This week on Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, we’re bringing you coverage of the 4th Annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash! This high-stakes, winner-takes-all competition is one of our favorite events that we look forward to all year long for the amazing hunting, fierce fishing, great food, camaraderie, and good ol’ fashioned bragging rights earned by one team at the end of the two-day event!
In the past at this legendary event, we’ve seen triumphant wins and devastating losses, from all out disqualifications to last minute lead changes! So what do we have in store for you this year?! Will Team Middleton clench a three-peat? Has Clark thoroughly read through the rules to claim the victory this time? Or will the fresh faces of Chris and Trait the Zaldaingerous Duo charge into camp and steal the win from everyone?! Let’s Find out!
To kick things off, we’ll head into the field with Clark and Brandon before the sun rises to get an early start on these birds. To Clark’s disappointment, no matter how much they called they never heard back from any turkeys. From that point on, Clark made the executive decision that he and Brandon would be trekking through the woods in search of these turkeys.
Over on another side of the property, Jeff Reynolds has guided the Zaldaingerous Duo around several locations of the property. Just like we saw with Team Wendlandt, the woods have been quiet for Chris and Trait. They called… and they called… and they called again… and at one point they even belly crawled, but still never got close enough to a roost to take a shot or even hear a gobble. After yet another move, they settled into a densely brushy area where they could see a large flock of birds just ahead of them. Unfortunately, when Chris takes aim, he doesn’t see his target is blocking another bird and takes two birds with one shot. Even though the Zaldaingerous Duo are pumped to have two birds on the ground, we all know the penalty for taking two birds with one shot isn’t just a point deduction, but an all out DQ of both birds. Still, they get some beautiful Texas Rio’s!
When we first parted ways with Clark and Brandon, they had just set off on a run ’n gun style of turkey hunting, a method not unusual for Clark. Since then they’ve hiked and hiked and covered lots of ground with the Wolverine RMAX2 1000 XT-R, and now we’re catching back up with them just in time for their first encounter with some strutting turkeys! Even though they don’t get a shot off on any of these birds, it’s still the closest they’ve gotten to any turkeys so far, and with plenty of hours of daylight left, they’re not out of the race yet!
Now, let’s check in with Wade Middleton and Scott Newby. Much like our other teams they’ve been making moves and hitting up several promising hunting sites, but haven’t had much luck. After a few more scenery changes, they settle in near a feeder with Scott on the gun and Wade nestled discreetly in a pop-up blind. With some skillful turkey calling from Wade, a huge Tom appears before them and Scott gets a great shot of on him! With their bird’s weights and measurements totaling thirty point seven points, they’re sitting in familiar territory on the leaderboard!
To close out this day one of the 4th Annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash, we meet up with Team Wendlandt one last time. We catch up with them just as they’re closing the gap on a roost, and with a little more patience, Brandon puts one of these birds on the ground! In an exciting turn of events, Team Wendlandt’s bird edges out Team Middleton for the lead heading into day two! Tune in next week to find out if Team Wendlandt holds on to their lead, or if we’ll see yet another wild twist to close out an exciting weekend of hunting and fishing at the 4th Annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash!