|Beautiful South West Oregon|
Time to hit the road to meet up with Kevin Perry, the Outdoor Account Manager for Under Armour, to help with the first Oregon Cabela’s pre-grand opening, new store training. Kevin is originally from Georgia and currently resides in Colorado; this was his first trip out to my home state of Oregon.
Wanting to share my deep rooted love of Oregon, I invited Kevin to hunt Rio Grande turkeys with me and my good friend Matt Thurman in the south west region of Oregon. Looking forward to a fun hunting trip with friends, I was excited as this was my first hunting trip in over a year that I had been out in the field without a video camera behind me.
When Kevin’s plane touched down it was pouring down rain. I was nervous about the poor weather conditions continuing throughout the week and into the weekend; as this has been one of the wettest springs that I could recall for the valley. Even with the turkey populations being so abundant, the hunting had been tough going so far this season.
|The skies are getting ready to clear up.|
After we completed the in-store training for Cabela’s, we climbed into my truck and headed south to meet up with Matt, an area local and turkey guru. To our delight, the weather broke just as we finished our drive and we were able to use the last hour of daylight to get out do some scouting before our morning hunt.
Like a typical woman, always being prepared, I asked Kevin if he grabbed his binoculars for our scouting trip and he quickly dismissed me saying that he would just use mine if need be. Coming from Georgia, if a turkey spots your car a ½ mile away he is gone like a flash, Kevin was not prepared for what we were about to encounter. Needless to say, Kevin spent most of the hour with my Swarovski’s in hand literally getting an eye full of proudly strutting toms, while I took the back seat.
The next morning with the weather cooperating, we put our scouting trip to work and crept into position under the cover of darkness near a roosting site. Sitting side by side, Kevin and I anxiously played the waiting game. We had scouted the area almost too well and ended up getting a little too close to the roosting tree and we were literally sitting below the flock.
At first light, a raspy jake was making every effort to gobble; we were so close to the flock that we could hear the toms spitting above us. The scene really broke loose when a goose sounded off setting off a chain reaction causing the big gobblers to light up. The scene was absolutely story book with jakes, hens and gobblers all around us.
A large tom took flight and landed directly in front of us with a second large tom right behind him. Knowing that there were more turkeys in the tree above us, after a quick communication between me and Kevin, we decided not to hesitate on the opportunity at the two mature gobblers.
|Good times with great friends.|
Taking aim, Kevin fired first and I quickly followed suit. Sitting side by side with my friend, we had managed to pull a double on two huge gobblers. Kevin’s tom had a 10 inch beard and mine was right behind with a 9 ½ inch beard. The remarkable feature on my tom, that we will now call “Capt. Hook”, was the size of his spurs, which measured in at over 1 ¼ inch which is HUGE for Oregon.
Being thrilled with our success and everything happening so quickly, we weren’t ready to quit hunting. We decided to surprise 11 year old Hailey Miller by having her father Jim pull her out of school to take her with us hunting under the OR Youth Mentored Program.
While we waited for Jim to pull Hailey out of school for our adventure, we decided to try and get Matt on a big gobbler. After changing locations, we had a gobbler respond to a hen yelp.
Quickly, we set up the decoys and put Matt 20 yards out nestled in a clump of trees with his bow in hand. Kevin and I set up 40 yards from the decoys with the hopes of drawing the gobbler past Matt and within bow range.
Our plan worked perfect once again as two excited young jakes came strutting up to the decoy. Matt decided to pass on the opportunity in hopes for finding a mature tom later on. By the time all of the action died down, it was time to go and meet up with Hailey and her dad Jim.
As a group we spotted a large tom strutting across an open field on the edge of a wooded lot. We made a stalk by looping around him and into the woods; setting up just off from the field’s edge and safely out of sight. Hailey set up with Matt by her side and the decoy just in front of her. Kevin, Jim and I hung back in the woods and called to the gobbler.
Quick to respond, the gobbler came in to our calls, but he was keen and held up 50 yards out strutting and displaying right in front of Hailey. Knowing her shooting limitations, Hailey patiently awaited the tom to come in closer to her.
With all the commotion coming out of the woods, the neighbor’s dogs decided to come over and take a closer look spooking the tom before Hailey had an opportunity to take her shot. This set up had busted but we weren’t giving up.
|A flock of Jakes; eager to come in to our calls.|
Hailey was quick to spot the next flock of turkeys consisting of two mature toms and some jakes. We set up the same way that we had before. The flock was anxious to get to us but there was a fence separating us and no way for them to cross without flying, they quickly lost interest and moved on.
At the end of the day, Hailey was really excited to have been out of school for the day with her dad and some new friends having some close encounters with some big gobblers. With anticipation building, Hailey now has caught turkey fever.
Kevin and I rounded out our trip by stopping in at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford OR to say hello and picked up a second turkey tag, just in case. We spent the evening in the historic town of Jacksonville OR located at the entrance of the Applegate Valley Wine Country. This picture perfect historic village is a must see if you venture to southern OR.
|The quaint streets of Jacksonville Oregon.|
Under clear sunny skies, while driving Kevin back towards the airport, we took the opportunity to take in some of Oregon’s most beautiful scenery in the broad and fertile Willamette Valley. I was thankful to have been able to share such a wonderful weekend with friends in a place that I love enjoying all that is beautiful in the outdoors.
|Jacksonville Oregon surrounding area.|
|Thanks for helping make this trip successful Under Armour, Swarovski Optik, Bugling Bull Game Calls & Eberlestock.|
Under Armour Clothing for Kristy
Base 2.0 Top
Camo Evo Cold Gear Pants
Camo Evo Cold Gear Hoody
Camo Full Zip Hoody
Quest Jacket & Pant
Women’s Camo Glove
Camo Active Beanie
Speed Freek Boots
Hitch Lite Cushion Boot Sock
EL 42 Swarovision Binoculars
Bugling Bull Game Calls
One Arm Bandit Turkey Call
Turkey Strutter Box
Gobbler Getter Turkey Tone Top
Raspy Cutter Turkey Tone Top
Eberlestock Mini Me Backpack