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Quest For The Grand Slam 2003
The Digital Logs Of The 2003 Double Grand Slam Merriam's Bowhunt in south Dakota, by Robert Hoague
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Quest For The Double Grand Slam Bowhunt.
Bowhunt For TheFlorida Osceola | Rio Grande | Merriam's | Eastern |
| Equipment We Used | Doug Crabtree's Grand Slam Hunt | Double K Guide Service |

Part 2:  The Merriam's Wild Turkey

Apr 13: Arrival Day:  We began seeing Merriam's 70 miles from South Dakota. As you see here these two jakes were good enough to let Doug (Crabtree) sneak up on them with the camera. (Bigger Pic) We saw lots more. Sunday evening we arrived at Dave Keiser's Double K Guide Service. Dave guides bowhunters exclusively. The terrain is a combination of rolling prairie and wooded canyons and Doug assures me there are "oodles and oodles of turkeys." We are meeting Brooks Robinson and Keith Beam of Double Bull Archery. (We have to buy our licenses in the morning and then the hunt begins.)

We stayed in Wichita, KS last night and this morning we stopped at  Dick's Custom Archery where I bought some red wraps and 5" red feathers & Snyper replacable blades. The arrow I missed the Rio gobbler with has barbed feathers and I could not see it clearly when I shot. The red will help.

April 14: Day #1

Two gobblers and Dave Keiser & Brooks Johnson

Dave Keiser took Keith Beam and Brooks Johnson of Double Bull Archery and me to a field overlooking a canyon and we set up two blinds. (Brooks was shooting, Keith videoed and  tagged along to take pictures) Here's Brooks' blind. Before daybreak we heard several gobblers. They flew down and soon we saw a gobbler with a hen on a distant hillside. A couiple of Toms came up to them and the gobbler chased them away. Keith called at the two Toms and they stopped. And then headed our way. One bird moved out front and I got a good pic. And a closer pic of the Tom. A group of hens came out of the canyon, clucking away. The Toms stopped just short of bow range and went after the hens. Here's Keith Beam in the blind talkin' turkey. You can see a long way up here in South Dakota and we enjoyed seeing 9 other groups of turkeys on the hillsides around us. Then we got in Dave's truck and we drove and glassed for gobblers. We set up twice without any results. The 3rd time was better. We walked down into a deep canyon and set up in a small opening. Here are Dave Keiser and Brooks Johnson placing their decoys. Here is the terrain and the blind. Then we all scattered for 100 yards and hen called to make it sound like a bunch of turkeys. 

It worked.

A longbeard strolled up behind the blind Keith and I were in and gobbled several times. (Too close to risk a picture.) The bird drummed and spit and then left. It didn't seen Brook's decoys because our blind was in the way. Two other Toms came but the same scenario played again. 
After that we returned to camp for lunch. 
Doug Crabtree was there, he had gone to the capital to get our hunting licenses. We went to a farm and set up near the biggest collection of turkey tracks you can imagine. At roosting time we glassed dozens of gobblers flying up in some cotton wood trees. We will be back there tomorrow.

Day #2: Morning Hunt - Dave Keiser took Doug and me to AJ's. We set up on a high spot in a field adjacent to a canyon. At first light we heard lots of gobbling and hen talk in the canyon. When the birds flew down they walked 1,000 yards to the North of us and we watched 100 or so birds on the far hill for two hours. Dave picked us up and we went to another area .

Day #2: Run & Gun (Without the gun)
Dave Keiser picked Doug Crabtree and I up. He said we were going to "Run and gun." First we went to the "Goose Pit" area and Dave drove the ridges above the canyons. Soon we glassed several gobblers in a creek bottom and Dave zipped ahead of the turkeys and we set in a cut corn field on the edge of the woods. Doug began calling. A gobbler responded at once and soon a Merriam's longbeard walked out of the woods in full strut. He advanced to about 35 yards and then he saw our decoys. TO THE HUNT

Day 2, Afternoon:
Keith Beam (of Double Bull Archery) and I set up on the edge of the field near the strip of woods and large trees where Doug and I roosted the turkeys yesterday. Keith used a separate Double Bull blind to video. In no time we began seeing Merriam's. Keith was using a slate call and doing a fine job and the birds made their move toward the source of the calls.  To The First Toms

Day 2, Afternoon Continued:
After missing the Tom I felt a little rough. I didn't know it yet but I was only a few minutes shy of spending one of the best hours of my entire bowhunting life. 
Wild turkeys began coming from all directions and I totally enjoyed watching and taking pictures of these beautiful Merriam's wild turkeys. The following link to the hunt includes a link to the photo gallery of the highlights of the activity. TO THE HUNT.

Day 3:  Doug Crabtree sat in his blind listening to the sounds of dozens of gobblers coming from the canyons around him in the Sully Flats area. The weather had turned bad during the night. At sunrise the temperature was at freezing, the wind was gusting hard, and the sky looked threatening. Sleet and rain began falling. Doug called and five Toms briskly came in to the decoys (he got their pics). NEXT

Two Toms and Brooks Johnson & Keith Beam
Keith Beam and Brooks Johnson hunted at Egg Roll Canyon. They heard a gobble and glassing the area. Six Toms were in the canyon. The hunters circled ahead of the Toms and set their Double Bull blind up in an opening on a high spot in the woods. They called and the Toms answered. Six jakes came out of the woods and approached their hen and jake decoys. Brooks drew his recurve but the birds ran to the decoys and passed through his shooting window. Brooks dropped a 2nd window and made a 9 yard shot. The turkey ran a few yards and gave out. The other birds ran to it and began pecking it. Keith and Brooks switched places and Keith aimed carefully for a head shot ... and made it. These two have harvested scores of wild turkeys but this is their first "double" on wild turkeys. Here is their picture.

Part 3:  In Search Of The Eastern

This bowhunt was tops. Doug Crabtree and Terry Speakman team called in wild turkey gobblers, one after the other. Doug Crabtree called in a longbeard almost a mile away and and completed his Grand Slam. Pictures and hunt logs. TO: Eastern Bowhunt

Part 4:  In Search Of The Rio Grande

This bowhunt is still in progress. Doug Crabtree drives 1,200 miles straight through and calls in a big Rio longbeard. Pictures and hunt logs. TO: Rio Grande Bowhunt

Part 1:  In Search Of The Florida Osceola

Doug Crabtree and I bowhunted one of the Florida Wildlife Unlimited wild turkey hunting camps near Zolfo Springs, Florida. Pictures and hunt logs. TO: Osceola Wild Turkey Bowhunt

The Equipment We Used
BODOODLE & Timberline Archery Products - Accurate shooting, arrow after arrow, depends on the bow's arrow rest and bowsight. 
Alpine & Barrie Archery - A close look at how Alpine Archery's Fatal Impact and SS Stealth Force and the Barrie Archery Snyper performed during set up and on this hunt.

Sponsors For The 2003 Grand Slam
Our double Grand Slam with the bow created excitement with several manufacturers and they stepped up to the plate to sponsor the event. The sponsors are:  Alpine Archery (bows), Barrie Archery (Rocky Mountain broadheads), Double Bull (blinds), Knight & Hale Game Calls, Pro Release (release aids), EASTON Archery (arrows), Spott Hogg (bowsights), Fine-Line Archery (peep sights & bowquivers), Bododle (arrow rests), Timberline Archery (bowsights), Knight & Hale (turkey calls), Florida Wildlife UnlimitedDouble K Guide Service and Freddie Bear Sports.

Sponsors Of The 2003 Quest For The Double Grand Slam With The Bow




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