Iowa Turkey Hunt with Aaron CarterMay 1, 2010

    For the second year in a row, I enjoyed the pleasure of hunting with Aaron Carter, the managing editor of American Rifleman Magazine.  Last year, Aaron hunted at my house in Missouri, and it only took us about one hour to get him a big Eastern bird.  He was using his Stoeger then, and he darn near took the turkey’s head off!
    This year, we decided to mix things up a bit, and work an Iowa turkey hunt into our schedule.  I called my friend Paul Fountain, and asked him if he had any good turkey hunting spots up there, and he assured me that he did!  Aaron added another twist by bringing his Traditions Pursuit Pro Muzzle loading shotgun!  It gave him something interesting to write about, and it was fun to see that it put out a great pattern.


Patterning the Muzzleloader.

    Keeping up in tradition, we only hunted about an hour before Aaron had another big Eastern on the ground!  Since we have been hunting all over the countryside for Osceola, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s turkeys, it was cool to hear the familiar sound of an Eastern Turkey gobble.  If you’ve never studied the differences in the gobbles from species to species, you should try, because they are all unique.  Aaron shot his bird standing on top of our strutter decoy, and his muzzleloader absolutely smashed his turkey’s head!  What was even cooler, was the fact that Aaron shot his turkey in the same exact spot where I killed my big 8 pointer in the fall!


Aaron set up to shoot


Aaron's Bird struttin in.

Aaron's Bird on Top.


Aaron posing with his bird.

    After Aaron shot his bird it was my turn.  One of the most interesting things about my hunt is how I got the tag.  I had originally scheduled ten people to hunt in Iowa, and they all sent in for shotgun turkey tags. Aaron was the only person lucky enough to actually draw one, so I had planned on going up there to film just Aaron. Things changed however, when I found out that I could buy a muzzleloader tag over the phone and pick it up at any place that sold tags.  I did just that, and before I knew it, I was carrying Aaron’s muzzleloader and going after the final leg of my Grand Slam!!
    After having a couple set-ups go bad on us, we finally struck a bird with Aaron’s box call at 3:00 p.m.  We quickly set up a hen and a strutting decoy, and in about 5 minutes, we had another big strutter right in front of us!  I let him work the decoys for a few minutes at about 9 steps, and when the time was right, I literally laid the hammer down!  I wasn’t sure how to handle it, but as I ran out there to pick the bird up, I started to realize that I finally, after hundreds of turkey kills, finished my grand slam in one year!  Not only did I do that, but I also finished it in good fashion, because this bird was old and had some giant, sharp hooks!


Realtime Jesse telling Cally the bird is coming from the right.


Cally's bird struttin in.


Is that close or what?!





The Grand Slam bird hangs on the Hunt-Ve.


Look at those Hooks on Cally's turkey!


Jesse, Cally, and Paul Fountain with Cally's bird.


Aaron and Cally


They like that Muzzleloader.

    We still have four more states to hunt this year, and my kill made for number 41 on video!  I don’t know what the record is, but we have to be getting close to the most kills ever caught on video in one year.  By the end of this month, we should be in the mid 50’s, if not 60’s!  Stay tuned!