By: Brennen Nading (@nadingbr)
Another season comes to a close when the sun goes down in Wisconsin. 4 seasons down, and 2 to go. Anyone else get their ass kicked again this week? Several of us took to the woods the past 7 days and we only turned up 3 birds. Tough hunting to say the least. Can’t even blame it on the sheer number of birds, because we are hearing plenty of them off the roost in the mornings. The problem is, after they hit the ground, they won’t talk. Not just in the early morning when they are with hens, but seemingly all day long is a ghost town in the woods again this week.
Dylan and Brandon were chasing them on the east side of the state. On Thursday they made a play on a group of 4 gobblers that had come within 100 yards of their set up on Wednesday evening. They set up right next to an opening in a fence line where the birds always seemed to cross. With the birds being on such a pattern, the boys chose not to use decoys, and called very little. The birds continued on their pattern and shortly after they flew down they walked through the opening in the fence line and Dylan lit one up.
Mike and JP spent the week running around in central Wisconsin trying to get one killed on public ground. The challenge of public land hunting this late in the season is something that Mike was looking forward to facing. After 3 days of running and gunning, they racked up over 700 miles on the truck driving around from public piece to public piece trying to find a bird that wanted to work. A couple close calls but never able to seal the deal.
On day 4, they were in between checking public parcels when they spotted a bird on a private piece that Mike had permission to hunt. After 3 days of tough hunting, they decided to put the public land chase on hold and go after the bird. It didn’t take long and they were in a good position. A few yelps later and Mike had the safety off and finger on the trigger.
I spent 4 days chasing them on the west side of the state with my father. The activity for us was minimal, we heard gobbling but no close encounters the first 3 days. On Saturday evening, we struck up 2 gobblers and they finally began working our direction. As luck would have it, they circled the ground blind and came in behind us in the woods. With how the action had been to that point, we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity at a bird in range. In quick fashion, I opened the back window of the blind and my dad dumped the bird at 25 yards.
I wish I had more to say about the action this past week but that is all I have to report for now. Several of the other crew members took to the woods this week and got taken to school by the birds as well. Still hoping something clicks and we can finish the season strong. We have the 6 Packs n’ Racks crew joining us at Strutzone later this week and we hope to knock down some birds in central Wisconsin. Good luck to everyone still chasing them!