We’re Dreaming | From Geese to Gobblers Here in Central Missouri, we have just been pummeled by 5.5” of snow and bitter cold temperatures, with no end in sight. While we have had blast chasing geese these last few weeks, it’s to not think forward to the things yet to come. We are blessed to live in an area that offers many different types of outdoor recreation for the Hard Core outdoorsmen. Presently, we are keeping the Hard Core Snow goose decoys close, and are hopeful to that we will continue to keep putting them to good use for the next month or so. That being said, we are looking forward to shifting gears yet again and are dreaming of that first gobble of the year! We wanted to take the opportunity to during this bitter cold snap to set the stage for a gorgeous April sunrise, and gobblers staring down the Hard Core Widow Maker hen decoy. Here is Hard Core, we believe in creating the most life like and durable decoys on the market. We feel that we have hit the mark with the Hard Core widow maker. The Widow Maker offers one of the most realistic moldings on the market today, matched with an unbelievable paint scheme. The bread and butter of the Widow Maker, in our opinion are the motion stake system. As any Hard Core hunter will tell you, having motion in the decoys is critical, regardless if you’re decoying green headed mallards or trying to fool a wary three year old gobbler. The Widow Makers motion stake system will have her looking like the real deal on even the windless of days. While it may seem incredibly premature, we like to begin scouting for spring turkey season about the first week of March. We feel that it is important to use scouting this time of year as a means to “take inventory” of what adult birds are in the area. As we get closer to the breeding season, adult birds will begin to break up into smaller groups, however at until then they will grouped up into larger groups ranging from 4 to sometimes as many as 10 birds. Adult gobblers will tend to disperse sometimes large distances as the breeding season commences, however we still feel that in our area we still have a good chance on retaining the majority of the birds on our property or a property we have access to. Scouting this time of year feels more like scouting for a 170” whitetail than it does a long bearded turkey. We tend to focus on crop fields during the middle of the day, especially if there is snow on the ground. We also tend to utilize our trail cameras during this time to help use determine our adult, sub-adult and to hen ratio. We also take every opportunity to get out and kick around our properties. Nothing is better than doing a little shed hunting/turkey scouting during the month of March. We feel by starting early, you will be on top of your game come opening day, and will increase your odds of putting a long beard in the back of the truck. We were blessed with a wonderful season during 2014. Our team found ourselves hunting across multiple states, and was lucky to punch tags in every one of them. While hunting new areas is always exciting, nothing compares to hunting on our on turf. Opening day found us standing by a large white oak, a tree that we had stood by one many pervious opening days listening to the woods come alive. This tree stands at the corner of a 42 acre pasture, right along an abandoned trail that leads back into 400 acres of timber. Through our scouting, we knew we had at least on bird in the area and we were excited to see what lay in store for us. We have been lucky to take several turkeys from this very spot. This is one of those spots where, if the birds are there they will come right up the lane to field edge. However, if they are not there, then it can be a long day. It didn’t take long for our gobbler to sounds off. He was roosted a little closer than we initially thought. We quickly set out the Widow Maker in the lane, and find our ambush point. We never heard him fly down, however, when the bird quite gobbling we suspected that he may be on the way. We finally saw what we were hoping to see, a large white softball making its way toward us. The lane had a slight bend to it. The gobbler was being very cautious as he made is way toward where he had last heard the gentle tree yelps, staying tight to the cover. Once he cleared the bend, and saw the Widow Maker, his steady walk turned into a sprint, as the bird through caution to the wind and came straight in. We have been lucky enough to chase turkeys for many years, and have come to appreciate the feeling that every turkey hunter gets when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this gobbler has committed and is COMING! That is what we live for here at Hard Core, that feeling that keeps us all doing what we do, chasing Ducks, Geese, Turkeys or Whitetails across the countryside. That feeling was strong on this morning. This bird closed from 50 yards to 15 in under 30 seconds. While it is always a treat to watch these awesome creatures strut and do their thing in the decoys, on this morning we were on a mission, a mission to fill a tag! The sound the Beretta echoed down the ridge, and we had a beautiful 2 year old bird down. While it’s very seldom that our hunts play out this way, on this morning we found ourselves with a tagged bird, in the back of the truck with the key in the ignition by 7:02 a.m. Though we are still going hard, chasing waterfowl, we find our minds beginning to wander slightly, and as the snow falls across the area we are starting to dream about full fans and gobblers in the bed of the truck!