J.J. Reich and M.D. Johnson are certifiable turkey nuts. That means they're our type of guys. Not only are J.J. and M.D. good with a gun, they capture quarry on camera quite well. We asked them to take some snapshots along the path of pursuit for gobblers in Northwest Oklahoma. From mapping out the hunt to gazing at an awesome night sky to getting attacked by a herd of cows, they have all the photos you wouldn't expect from a hunting trip. And pictures of bagged turkeys.
Scroll down to enjoy the photo gallery.
Turley's ranch house was home for the hunters. "It's always weird staying at a 'hunt camp' that's nicer than my own house," Reich said. "But I struggled through it."
M.D. patterning Browning and Winchester shotguns using Winchester's Extended Range #5's prior to the hunt. That pattern will kill a wild turkey, don't you think?
Another hunter trying to decide on which of the many promising spots he should sit on opening day. With the hundreds of birds spotted during scouting, the task was daunting.
Walking through the fields toward the hunting spot, enjoying the profound quiet.
The Washita River traverses seven miles of the 15,000-acre Turley Ranch in Western Oklahoma. The river provides a pristine habitat for turkeys and other wild game. The bottom lands of the river have a thick cover of large trees, with many thickets and open meadows occasionally broken by a green field of rye or alfalfa. From the river, the terrain slopes up quickly into the red canyons and hills that become upland rolling native grasses with good cover and large cottonwoods. Pictured above is an abandoned Oklahoma homestead.
J.J. used a combination of calls to attract the turkeys.
J.J. shouldering the new Winchester Super X3 Red-dot package. The included Red-dot scope provides reliable accuracy.
M.D. with a big tom he called in on the second morning. He's happy now, but he wasn't happy when he got lost on the huge ranch while walking back from his successful hunt. But that's a funny story for another time...
This photo is M.D.'s idea of fine art!
J.J. was set up in a good turkey spot, when company came. "Some young heffers caught me on one of their fields and came in close to investigate," he recalled. "I set-up near a turkey roost area, but I had to move out to a different area because these cows would not leave me alone."
"The annoying gang also inspected my TransFan turkey decoys. In this case, 'inspected' means licked, kicked, pooped and urinated on! I know wild turkeys like Transfan decoys, but I guess cows don't."
After relocating to appease the cows, J.J. had some luck. Here he poses with his Rio jake taken on the last evening of the hunt. "That was about the 130th jake I saw that afternoon," said Reich, relieved to bag a bird rather than eat "tag soup."
J.J. and Turley Ranch Office Manager, Lorrie Sumpter, posing with their prize back at the ranch.
After a hard day of hunting, J.J. and M.D. had the difficult task of field-testing Turley Ranch's fancy living room. All in a day's work.
Learn more about the Turley Ranch at www.turleyhunting.com.
Thanks to the following two hunters and journalist for the photos:
NAH Senior Field Test Coordinator
Freelance photographer and writer
M&J Outdoor Communication