Missouri Eastern


Active member
Jan 24, 2017
Took some time off work, went and hunted the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri with my dad. We have some private land we can hunt, but the public land has a lot more acres to run around and chase birds. And a lot of it was recently burned.

Bad weather was the name of the game, but finally got into them about a mile back on a sunny morning. Chased one about 8am, but I think we busted him in that open burn area. We then worked our way down into a ravine, and attempted to bring a gobbling bird down from the opposite ridge.

We found a great opening in the bottom, with sparse trees and the best greenery we'd seen all well. Set up the decoys, hid in a briar patch, and waited. The week of chasing birds and crappie finally caught up with my dad, and I saw his head droop as I looked his way. The next 10 seconds went something like this:

Three birds were at 20 yards over his shoulder. We were set up too far apart for me to poke him awake. His hearing aids weren't in. Birds now at 5 yards. Big beards. Half strut. And silent.

I'm panicking, trying to figure out how to yell in a whisper. He finally heard me, and jerked awake to look at me. The birds saw it- they popped out of strut, heads came up, and they started putting while walking away, fast. Dad's head swiveled to see them, so at least he was awake.

So up went my gun, and down went a bird. One hell of a way to wake up from a nap, I guess.

10 3/4" beard, 3/4" spurs, 47 7/8" overall length. Second year in a row from public land. Now it's back to Montana to chase a Merriam's.