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BOWHUNT IN MISSOURI (at IMB Outfitters)

IMB Outfitters
Darrin Bradley's IMB Outfitters hunts Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and is has over 45,000 acres located in Pike County, Illinois, Southeastern Iowa (Zone 5), Kansas, Nebraska and Northern Missouri. IMB Outfitters is dedicated to maximizing the harvest opportunities of today's trophy whitetail, and turkey hunter. Darrin provides quality portable treestands to hunt from, located in topographically advantageous areas, such as rub lines, scrapes, funnels, food plots, and bedding areas. IMB land tracts are privately owned and managed for trophy buck production. With IMB a hunter may pursue trophy turkey of 3 species, Merriam's, Eastern, and Rio or trophy whitetail deer across the Midwest. For a free brochure you may visit www.imbmonsterbucks.com or phone toll free at 866-855-7063. or Email imb@adams.net.


First Day - Darrin's Day

Beginning at 6:45am Sunday I drove 14 hours to IMB Outfitters in Macon, Missouri and was greeted by Darrin Bradley and Tony May.

Tony May (Illinois Asst. Manager) and Darrin Bradley (Owner).

Darrin showed me a map of the property where Tony would take me to hunt the morning. We visited briefly and since I had to get up at 4:00 in the morning I went to sleep. When the alarm ran I jammed on my hunting clothes and went downstairs to drink some coffee. Tony drove us to our hunting area and we walked through the woods to a picked bean field and set up my Matrix blind and waited for it to get light.

Gobbles came from the trees along the nearby Salt River and from around the edge of the bean field. Tony called when we were sure some gobblers had flown down.

We glassed two groups of hens way out in the adjacent picked corn field as gobbles from the woods got closer. Tony and I were all grins, thinking it was going to happen. But the gobblers went for the real hens and we didn't see them. As the morning passed we heard more gobbles from at least 20 separate gobblers. This place really has the turkeys.

My cell phone vibrated. It was Darrin Bradley. He was very excited, "I got a monster this morning, big, big bird. Drive over here so we can get you set up for tomorrow morning."

We met Darrin and I took his picture with his big gobbler, a wide, thick and long beard and very long, sharp spurs. We set my Matrix up where the "new" strut zone (read Darrin's hunt below).

There were two longbeards taken today at IMB Outfitters in Missouri this morning. Here are the hunt reports from Darrin Bradley and Scott Ballance.

Darrin Bradley
Opening day of the Missouri Spring Turkey season Darrin went to his "old reliable" spot where he normally tags out opening morning of most seasons. Two weeks before he took his son to the "old reliable spot" for the Youth Turkey Season and his son tagged out in less than an hour. Darrin noticed that the gobblers were not strutting in their usual location, they were strutting 600 yards away near the river. For some reason their strutting zone had changed. Darrin thought this was just an oddity.

On the opening morning of the regular Spring Turkey Season daylight came. The majority of toms were once again in an odd location along the Salt River 600 yards from Darrin's Hunter's Specialties pop up blind. Normally the gobbling came from the 200 acres of hard timber 200 yards behind Darrin and not across the field where he heard the gobbler this morning. Three birds were all he heard from the 200 acres. Those three flew down and Darrin saw them come to the edge of the field. They were "line backers", monster birds and they promptly went to the area where Darrin saw the strutting on the Youth Hunt. The gobblers from 600 yards away flew into the field to the unexpected "new" strut zone and Darrin witnessed 15 hens and 7 gobblers. The Toms were dancing and strutting and double, triple gobbling like crazy. It was a mad house.

At this point Darrin realized that the strut zone had changed to this nearby but different area.

A loud gobble in the woods behind him alerted Darrin that he had a tom in the neighborhood. Darrin began purring on his Wood Witch Hunter's Specialties glass slate call. Minutes later Darrin heard a second gobble and then saw a monster tom was 30 yards away strutting for two hens. He was gobbling so much that his entire head was totally red. Darrin turkey hunts with a Bennilli super black eagle and he clicked the safety off and aimed at the waddle and pulled the trigger. The tom went down. Darrin ran over to the big gobbler and checked it out. This was a huge gobbler with a very thick beard and inch and a half, very sharp spurs.

Darrin's turkey hunt was over an hour after daylight. He clicked his cell phone on and called a bunch of people to tell them he got a monster gobbler. Once the strut zone was clear Darrin moved his blind so I could hunt out of it in the morning.

In telling me about this hunt Darrin said, "Today I learned that an old reliable strut zones can change. Perhaps because of crop rotations, high water, timbering efforts and other changes to the land." Then he added, "It's not so important to know the "why" an animals activities, what is important is to move with them to be successful."


Scott Ballance
Scott arrived at his hunting area at 5:30, birds were gobbling already. He walked to a fence corner and waited. He heard a gobbler drumming, it was 5:45 and still dark. Scott sat down and waited. The first daylight rays came and Scott saw the gobbler standing on a limb and was drumming in the tree. Scott called to the gobbler twice.

Another turkey flew down in front of Scott and saw the bird pitch down in the woods, Scott thought it looked like a hen. Daylight improved and Scott was able to watch the gobbler drumming and gobbling on the limb. Then Scott looked around and saw that the hen was actually a gobbler, it was 30 yards away and coming closer. In seconds it was 16 yards. The gobbler ducked his head and looked back to the west. That gave Scott time to get his shotgun on the tom. When the gobbler looked back Scott aimed at this head and pulled the trigger. The gobbler went down on the spot.

Scott lives in Macon, Missouri and has been a turkey hunter all his life. His advice to new turkey hunters is, "Take your time. It was 4 years before I killer my first turkey. If you go with a guide, trust your guide, don't try to guide the guide, they are out to get you your gobbler.

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