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Turkey Hunting Gear & Reviews with Kash Daniel (UK Linebacker #56)

Turkey Hunting Gear & Reviews with Kash Daniel (UK Linebacker #56)
March 3, 2021

You might know Kash Daniel as #56 the linebacker from the University of Kentucky but he’s also one deadly turkey hunter! Kash has downed his fair share of thunder chickens in his time. He came to Gearbox Talk to discuss the differences he’s noticed in mountain birds versus all others, turkey decoys or no turkey decoys, calling strategies, his shotgun setup that he calls the “Turkey Cannon”, and his favorite turkey calls.

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Gear Mentioned:
Jake Decoy

Laying Hen Decoy

Ol' Tom Time & Motion Easy Turkey Vest

Mark Shortridge Turkey Calls (Facebook)

Mossberg 835 Shotgun

TruGlow Red Dot

Shotgun Pistol Grip

Winchester Ammunition Double X 3.5

Kick's Choke Tube

Show Notes:
Kash Daniel’s Football Career:


Brad: last week we talked with a turkey veteran today we're taking a different approach a lot of my friends would know Kash daniel as the standout linebacker who played for the university of kentucky what many people may not know is this guy is turkey obsessed now Kash is not the turkey slayer tony is from last week it's hard to be at that level but this guy's put in some serious time chasing those mountain easterns and birds from all over the country we're gonna talk about the differences he's noticed between mountain birds versus other species decoys or no decoys calling strategies his shotgun setup and his favorite turkey calls turkeys are tricky animals to hunt you have to be ready to run the option and this show is going to give you some ideas on how to do just that I want to remind you really quick that if you still need some gear for turkey season we have a ton of it on go wild direct that's ranging from a lot of products to your mossy oakley if you pull over to your rocky boots we've even got these garmin inreach minis which can serve as a safety device it's an sos it's navigation it's texting awesome little product to pick up before turkey season hits not only can you get free shipping on these products but you can actually save 10 percent right now by using code nwtf10 in wtf10 if you use that code we're going to donate 50 of the proceeds from that purchase to the national wild turkey federation so not only do you get free shipping and a discount you get to donate to an organization that's fighting for conservation all right let's talk about how to sack a gobbler this season this is gearbox talk with Kash daniel


all right Kash we got a fellow kentuckian on here man how's it going

Kash: hey man

Brad: you know a lot of people who haven't been to kentucky don't realize how diverse the landscape is from eastern kentucky out to western kentucky you're hanging out in central kentucky right now and that's where you've done a lot of turkey hunting but you were we and you were just both talking about our experiences in hunting turkeys in eastern kentucky and I'm in southeastern you're hitting more eastern side but it sounds like the bird behavior is pretty similar along the appalachian mountains can you tell me a little bit about your experience there in hunting those those mountain birds versus more like the private farmlands you're hitting in horse country

Kash: yeah man just to put everything in kind of like you know a better scenario here just first off I think that not only is a mountain bird one of the hardest you know birds to kill but overall you know just an eastern wild turkey I believe is the hardest out of the group to kill you know I've hunted osceolas I've hunted easterns I've hunted rios merriams and I'm hands down in eastern wild turkey is the hardest to kill anywhere you're hunting easterns but if you're hunting in eastern in the appalachian mountains like east kentucky east tennessee you know western west virginia you know western western state of virginia you know it can get pretty hard man I mean the mountains are you know straight up and down and you know just like I was talking about with you I've you know I've been turkey you know mostly all my life and you know I've never been able to or hear of anybody be able to call a turkey you know a full time all the way down a hill I've just never been able to see it happen but and you know last year fully going out you know fully at it for the first time really in my life since you know because I always had spring ball you know or something with baseball in high school or something that kind of kept me half and half from turkey season in sports but last year was the fully the first first time I actually got to get into it heavy and it was every day I was going and I was learning something each and every day no matter what I was hunting but the one thing I did learn was that you have to find a strut zone for these birds in these mountains you I mean they they could they'll only come so far I don't care if you got decoys out or what else you got out here you can probably have corn yeah and they still probably wouldn't come downhill but you got to find their strut zone you either got to get up and you know outflank them get them get above them early in the morning and have them come up to you or you know you know halfway through one time the one bird that I killed this year I had success was halfway up the hill and I found a logging road you know where typically times where I'll go after them again they would get hung up around the ridge up around there but I knew I couldn't get them come all the way down the hill but maybe I can get them coming halfway down and I got him to come down on that logging road so I would assume that that was their strut zone you know when hens were calling so that's how I killed my my mountain bird last year but yeah man it's just the difference between hunting a mountain bird and hunting a bird in here in central kentucky is just it's just unreal it's just totally totally different

Brad: yeah when I hunt them back home I've always had people say like calling them calling them downhill is a tough battle and so the the strategy for everybody is to try to get ahead of them or to get above them and the success I've had back home has been in that scenario where they're coming up the hill you know I've seen them come up and then they'll go you know a couple hundred yards along the ridge before they kind of wander off and you know in the mornings it does seem like they're always going up and I've asked other people about this too and and kind of heard a similar pattern there now on your your farmland and and in central kentucky for anybody that's not familiar with the landscape like this is your traditional rolling horse farm right like there's tree lines and stuff that that you're going to hunt I imagine it's a pretty good setup for your decoys with those treat those tree lines that you're hunting is that when you're using your decoys the most

Kash: yeah you know when just like how we were talking before you know typically the style that I hunting I'm a run and gun style turkey hunter unless like I was telling you I know where a turkey or two is is roosting or you know specifically where their strut zones are for this for you know the past week or whatever but for me man I just I love being able to go out and go after the turkey rather than like when you're deer hunting you're standing in a deer stand you're in a blind and you're kind of just sitting there and waiting and hoping something comes by when turkey hunting run and gun the way that style is that hey you know we get out of the truck we walk we hoot like an hour if we get one fire up we go after that bird and then if that don't work out we just keep going you can holler off on another bird and keep going after different ones that way you're not wasting I think in my terms you're not wasting your time out there yeah yeah for sure but you know once we locate that bird we'll go set up on it and if it's a situation to where like for example when I was in florida last year we got the truck and we were walking the road and we hollered off and one bird sounded off and it was you know maybe a couple hundred yards away so we were just buckled down there we didn't want to push that bird too much and you know try to get right on top of it kind of just let it work itself to us real soft on the calling at that point you know once you get them into that certain range you almost want to just shut up and don't say anything and just kind of let them figure it out on their own but just a couple soft purrs a couple soft yelps here and there you know not not so often you know you have a couple minutes in between and then you know the decoy setup we had there was obviously just right in the middle of the road when it's just and essentially when you're looking at it like when you're punting back in east kentucky when these central are not east kentucky but center protected with these horse farms it's almost like the same situation we were hunting florida except for hunting a road we're hunting a field and beside it are two tree lines you know going down this field that used to be you know maybe a you know soybean field or just a field that you know horses go out and just eat grass or whatever but it allows those birds to come out you know and kind of see what's going on yeah make sure that hey you know and I tell this every year turkeys get smarter every year man I just think they get smarter but but yeah it's a situation there to when I can put up you know the jake or you know the full blown tom or a you know a feeding hen and at that time if you know if if one feels froggy you know he'll leap and he'll come out and he'll get his butt smoked

Brad: yeah what what decoys are you using I think you got some on hand there you're going to show

Kash: so these are a couple that I picked up this is a stand-up jake right here and I was telling you earlier some of the birds I was hunting last year so this is a I kind of did a little redneck ingenuity here on this one and kind of spray painted some white on here to kind of take away that full boss look because I think it's sometimes that even because I have it paired up with a hand here as a stand-up pin I can lay it flat on the ground where I can stand it up and the most success that I've seen is when I stick it up on the stick and it's not fully laying down yeah for some reason I just never had a success with a lay down hen and it originally didn't come like that it ain't got a hold or anything literally I just go out there and I find me a stick in the ground and just said


yeah so I painted this just to make sure just to try to you know look less intimidating you know for more birds to move in but other than that man if it's not that those don't work I do like to fan a little bit fanning's probably one of my new my new favorite ways to turkey hunt once I found find a bird on location if I can't get him to fully commit me and coach grant had a problem with that last year we went turkey hunting my old offensive coordinator from uk we had a bird sitting up on top of this ridge just making it circles around that ridge spitting and drumming hollering off at us and we would crawl you know he had that fan up about it behind him in front of him and I was right behind him he was crawling and crawling and crawling we got to about I don't know 30 yards of it and then he was like okay he goes when I drop this thing you get ready to shoot well he dropped it I get ready to shoot gun goes click didn't I don't know what happened I think when we were crawling I must have you know jammed something or not jam but this jar or something in there to where it didn't go off but that's turkey right there

Brad: yeah yeah for sure man I'm assuming you're not fanning much when you're out back home on public land we should probably put that disclaimer in there I'm thinking about taking a full blown up tom at

Kash: that point I might I'm probably not even taking decoys but I'm back on my public land

Brad: yeah yeah dude you and I were kind of talking about that before the show got started like there's a certain point where I leave the decoys behind and might even be like trying to conceal the bird on the walk out instead of over the shoulder

Kash: you don't get winged right there in the shoulder walking out

Brad: yeah man turkey season you gotta if you're new to this you gotta be especially careful on you know you can't wear orange or you're not supposed to yeah and so you wanna be visible but don't be carrying that bird out of there like like a turkey's walking out all right man I wanted to to talk to you a little bit about you know we kind of talked through your decoy strategy let's let's talk through a little bit of concealment and you're moving around sounds like you're not a fan of the blind you like to run and gun do you have a vest that you prefer or how are you carrying around all your gear

Kash: so last year I ran with a with an alps outdoors vest it was probably like one of the nicest vests I ever had it had a kickstand for me as well I used that a lot for turkey hunting or not just turkey hunt for coyote hunt as well but it was with mossy oak and now I'm with I'm with realtree so I had to get rid of that one but I'm waiting on my new my new vest right now I think it's it's the standard old tom turkey yeah a vest you know that tyler wore last year and you know it's just I don't need a lot of things you know for me I just needed a spot for my slate call and my stick and you know maybe a place to put my phone that's probably the only thing really I need I got all all the all my bullets in the chamber ready to rock and roll if I can't bust one with three shots I don't deserve to kill one anyway

Brad: I like it I have an alps one as well switching to a turkey vest was a game changer for me I'm not a super advanced turkey hunter probably hunted them for like five or six years now and just like like you said getting like sitting in a blind all day is just so not my style for turkey season I love it for deer season and I'll sit there all day waiting on a deer to come through all the time like I love like peak rut in a tree stand more than like I can even explain but for some reason once I'm there's the the adventure aspect of run and gun turkey hunting because you're just constantly you know locating moving as it's high action if you haven't started turkey hunting yet and you know a lot of the listeners here are getting into something or they're trying to find new ways to help them get better at something because they are at a beginner level I think like just dive right into running gun man it's just so much fun because you're gonna see and hear so much more than if you just sit in a blind for for for six hours or something you know I just think it's a lot more fun way to turkey hunt and I will say most of the people I don't really know that I've talked to through podcasts I've talked to a lot of turkey hunters they're all moving that's how you get your your bird sightings up which if you can't see birds you're not gonna shoot them right like that's you just gotta move so let's talk a little bit about your your calling strategies throughout the day you know in those early morning hours what's your strategy to get birds from the roost and then to get them moving your direction if you've located one

Kash: well the first thing we're going to do is when we hop out of the truck and we generally know where you know we've seen turkeys work the field you know maybe in the early or late winter really early spring maybe before turkey season comes in because kentucky turkey season comes in late man it comes in second weekend of april and you only got three and a half weeks to hunt them yeah so I mean you you got it that's why I like last year I was I was able to hunt every single day just because it was so short of a season but you know I can remember you know trying to pattern turkeys out just based off movement you know at certain farms that I had back home you know but for me when we get out and we're starting to walk like for example if we have if it's if it's an area obviously we have no idea where we're hunting the first time we're hunting and we know there's birds there though we're obvious we're starting off with a owl hoot notice the standard just keep on going nine times out of ten one's gonna hold back at you you know if one's in the area if you got it at the right time you don't want to do it too soon you know a lot of guys they see as soon as they start to see the day break a little bit when the sky starts changing a little bit okay let's start now just just just wait a minute the thing about learn if there's one thing I learned about turkey hunting is that you got to be a patient dude be able to turkey hunt and from calling to when to move versus when not to move I mean you got to be calm cool collected and know your surroundings more than I think in any other style hunting especially if you're gonna go with the run and gun attack because you're going after the bird into its territory it's on its home turf you know it's not you're not sitting there trying to bait it you know 500 yards away you know from the roost you're just trying to get it fly down and hopefully not get seen

Brad: yeah I mean turkey has an advantage in pretty much anything you know a site their site's unreal they can fly and get out quickly it's like they they can they can move a lot faster than you can their hearing is just incredible and and so really like staying still is is so critical in in any amount and I think I think the other thing I think a lot of people overcall too kind of like what you're saying of just like getting after it

Kash: that's my that was my biggest mistake when I was first getting into it was that I was like like it's it's the overall excitement that you hear from the bird and that's what got me hooked on turkey on was that just to hear the roar of the of the gobble back after you called and it's like oh shoot it hurt you heard that yeah and so that was what's always for me was I was like man I got to keep calling I don't know I'm here and it took me it took me a long time to sit there and say man as soon as you get it into you know a certain range a certain pitch you hear in your in your head let it work itself you know you got its curiosity you know you had its you had its curiosity when you were hooting like an owl and now you've got your soft yelps and it's hollering back at you a couple times now you have its attention it's flown down it's in the area maybe a supple couple soft yelps here and there with your slate call or if you're a mouth call guy maybe a couple soft yelps or a purr here and there but other than that dude shut up just yeah just be quiet

Brad: so in those first calls to get them coming towards you are you doing like fly down cackles or you just what's your approach there

Kash: I'm just just with a soft yell I'm mostly a yelper now when it comes to mouth calls especially I'm i'm still learning you know how to cut you know right because I don't want to go out there and I don't want to do something that I'm not you know comfortable with so that's the one thing I will say about turkey hunting I learned is that know what you know your style and don't try to do too much yeah because I think when you try to do too much you're starting to do stuff that you've never done before obviously you're out there to learn each and every time and you learn something new each and every time that you go but don't if you've never ever ever experienced you know fanning before don't go out there your first time expanding you know expecting to fan a bird and be able to kill it perfectly you know I mean it's not going to happen same thing with calling and for me dude it's just a soft yelp some purrs and maybe a couple cuts here and there on the on the slate call now I can I can cut pretty good on the slate call and I can also cut pretty good now with a mouth call after summer and a fall practicing and annoying annoying my roommates to death with it but so I'm actually excited to get back out there you know and experience with some different calls I have one of the calls that I run is made by a guy named mark shortridge back in paintsville kentucky where I'm from cool enough he was actually one of my high school teachers and he's a you know state champion turkey caller here in state of kentucky so he makes some great calls he's got some some great straight up you know v cuts and then he's got some different styles where I've never even seen before and I'm like well how in the world do you how in the world do you you know do you talk with this and he's like well you got to put your mouth here and there I'm like ah but this is this is a little different now but yeah

Brad: how what's his what's his brand we'll put a link to it in the show I think it's just mark shortridge turkey calls I think you can find him on find him on facebook and and certain I think it's just facebook you can find him yeah

Brad: no we'll find him we'll put a link to it in the show notes to give people or to give him a hopefully a little business here all right man so I totally agree with what you were saying on you know over committing to a style sometimes I joke or to a call sometimes I like I'll i'll attempt to do so and I'm a intermediate level caller if not in between that beginner with a mouth call yeah sometimes I'll try to cut or something it sounds like I'm choking on my diaphragm and I'm like did the turkey care like how long do I wait to let it reset


i've talked I've talked to Becky Humphries who's the ceo of the national wild turkey federation about that and she's like you know what sometimes you'll hear real turkeys that sound terrible and she says you know she says don't worry about it just keep going and keep calling and have fun with it but that's true when you think about it if you get out in the woods long enough you'll hear turkeys that you're like that's the worst turkey hunter I have ever heard in my life and then sure enough it's a real bird that'll crest the ridge and it wasn't a turkey hunter so you know if you're new to it I just say keep going at it you're going to mess up that's part of the fun just getting like like you said man when you get that first response back from when you called you will not not be hooked on turkey hunting that's it like you're you're hooked for life at that point


let's talk about your shotgun set up man here this was some kind of wind down our turkey episode here Kash and I are also gonna do a bass fishing episode too but we're gonna talk about the what kind of shotgun he's using to chase these birds for right now

Kash: so this is my I call it the turkey cannon not just a turkey these moss birds they kick with with some vengeance to them this is just a you know a standard mossberg I believe it's a 835 yeah it is an 835 I've had this gun for so long this is my first turkey gun that I got I actually took the the stock off and put a pistol grip retractable stock be able to fit you just right also got my true my true glow red dot on there I'm a big red dot fan and pair that up with I think I'm not switch it up this year because if I have to shoot multiple times my face ain't gonna be able to take it it feels like I break my eye socket every time I'm shooting at three and a half double rx winchesters adam but I might size down to a three because this right here could shoot threes or three and a half but yeah it's shooting softballs at them and to pair it up with the choke I have a kicks choke tube on here you screw screw in and out and it shoots the tightest pattern that I've ever shot with any with any turkey load I can put in and a lot of times too you see a lot of guys are like well you know you gotta you gotta size it up to the right shell you gotta size it up to the right gun you know I can take any shell after I sight it in with the red dog whether it be a winchester three and a half for a winchester or a something else three inch it's going to be right on the money or if not pretty damn near close to it

Brad: how how far out have you patterned it

Kash: I think I got this from sitting in about 80.

Brad: whoa all right

Kash: 80 it touches I think I can get about seven seven or eight beads at 80.

Brad: wow all right man nice nice well dude this was awesome thanks for coming on the show and highlighting a little bit of the gear you're using but also like being open to you know hey you know it's okay if you screw up that's part of part of turkey hunting I love that message

Kash: part of everything man it's part of life dude you're gonna screw up in life man yeah just take it for what it's worth learn from it you know and the next time you go out you know apply what you learned and just keep going after man that's the thing about it is there's always the next day to go out there and try it again

Brad: yep for sure man all right well dude thanks for thanks for highlighting a little bit of your gear appreciate it

Kash: yes sir appreciate you


Brad: all right thank you Kash thanks for coming on the show man always great to talk to a fellow kentucky and quick reminder to shop for your turkey gear in the show notes if you're buying through go wild you can use code nwtf10 we're going to give you 10 off of that purchase and we're going to donate 50 of our proceeds to the national wild turkey federation this offer is good for all of march 2021. if you're not sure what to pick up I'm going to drop some recommended products into the show notes myself you know we've got a ton of massio gear there's some rocky boots in there again I call out this inreach mini because this thing is awesome but you know anything that's purchased with that link or that code we're going to donate to the national wild turkey federation so you know give it a go it's an awesome opportunity to save on something you're going to buy anyways and to raise a little bit  %


of money for one of my favorite non-profits in the outdoor space all of the gear that Kash mentioned is also in the show notes and I just want to thank you all finally here and thank you so much for tuning in every week the show is growing like wildfire I appreciate everybody that's showing the sharing the show with their friends everybody that's you know logging in on GoWild all of that stuff is appreciated so so much so all right guys that's it for me today I'm out

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