With the Alabama season but an afterthought Mike Pentecost headed to Wheeler, Texas, to hunt with outfitter Danny Pierce of Rush Creek Guide Service. Pierce runs hunts in both Oklahoma and Texas with properties not far from the border on either side. Mike is five turkeys away from completing his quest and with the abundant tags at his disposal in the Lone Star and Sooner states combined, he’s hoping to take a dent out of the rest of his goal.
Traveling with cameraman Terry Sullivan, the group arrived in Texas during the day, settled into the camp house and ran into town to pick up licenses before heading out to hunt within hours of arriving in the state.
“Danny dropped me and Terry off at a spot where he thought the birds would be and told us what we needed to do to get on them,” Mike said. “I've been hunting with Danny for several years now and have become friends with him, and I understand where and how to hunt on his places.”
Mike suggests it's always good to build up not only friendships, but trust and understanding with the outfitters with which you hunt.
“He doesn't have to stay with me and hold my hand like he has to do with some clients,” Mike said.
The two men got set up and start calling shortly after being dropped off, and sure enough, both hens and gobblers began responding to their calls. Two jakes soon appeared, and the gobblers and hens were closing fast, when suddenly deer busted out of the bottom in front of the hunters and scattered everything.
“Sometimes you just don’t have a real explanation for what went wrong,” said Mike. “It had to have been some kind of predator came running up in there.”
He was still able to salvage some hope as the sun began to set, getting a couple of toms to respond to his late calls. They even closed to within 100 yards, but in the end, it was too little too late and Mike could do little but sit hopelessly and watch the toms fly up to roost.
“At least we had fun that first evening,” Mike said.
As it got later, we were able to get the gobblers back interested but they were not coming back down where we were. I could see the strutters up about 100 yards away, but it was getting late and all the turkeys started making their way to fly up to roost
The second day in Texas proved even more challenging. With all-day hunting allowed and a sun that doesn’t set until after 8:30, hunters find themselves not getting back to camp and eating until well on to 10 p.m. Throw in a little story telling and a soothing shower and it’s midnight before a hunter crawls into bed. With the sun an early visitor, hunters in the state often find themselves getting back up at 4 a.m. in order to be in position when the sun rises.
TV Show producer and host of "The Fever," Mark Scroggins, is working with Mike to produce another television show and he was able to join up with Mike and Terry on the hunt, but nothing the crew does all day seems to work for the camera.
“We work turkeys all day long in multiple locations and call some turkeys up, but they don’t come in right for the camera, so no shooting,” said Mike. “My tail is dragging already after all day in the heat, but I try to stay optimistic. Tomorrow is yet another day.