Job changes, kids in school activities, a move, and fluctuating turkey populations as well as loss of land to hunt on has curtailed my turkey hunting the last few years. I killed a jake on a one day turkey hunt with a friend in 2010, and that was my last turkey hunt. My job keeps me very busy in the spring, and with no where close to home to hunt, I just didn't go.
I live in the country on 10 acres of property we bought in late 2010. Turkey populations really took a dive in my area since 2011 with the drought. This spring I started seeing a few birds, but the only ones I could find were on property that does not allow hunting. My business is really slow right now, so I can't afford the gas to drive anywhere. So I wrote off my 2015 season, and hoped 2016 would be better.
I got up early one morning to do some work in the garage, and heard a gobble right outside my garage! I raced in the house to get my camera, and had 4 jakes, one longbeard and 8 hens in the driveway. I would ease the camera up to a window and take a few grainy pictures, and then go to the next window as they moved around. I dug out a slate call and started calling out the windows, and the tom circled around the house looking for his lost girlfriend. One hen really took exception to my calling and got cranked up. Great fun.
Thursday night, May 14, I was working in the garage and heard a gobble out back! It was 7:30, so I knew there was a chance they would roost in the trees over my field. I started getting things ready. First time in my life I have sharpened a broadhead while listening to the intended quarry gobbling 125 yds away! I shot a few practice arrows too, wondering if the turkey had any idea there was a hunter waiting for the next morning to come after him.
At 8:30 I slipped back there, and figured out where he was. The hunt was on!
I eased in after dark and quietly put my blind up, only 50-60 yards from where I thought he was. I figured better to do it now, so if he heard me he would forget about me by morning.
I heard him leave the roost, and he flew to the hens and popped into full strut in all his glory. It was the longbeard! That was going to change the tactics some. I figured a jake would come right in to the new guy on the block. A mature tom wasn't going to be so easily fooled.
The hens started heading north, away from me. I pulled the call out, and yelped a couple of times. That got the tom to sound off, and the lead hen whipped her head around. Some new slut was in the neighborhood calling to her boyfriend and she didn't like it! When she yelped back, I mimicked her every note. This exchange went on for 4-5 times, and each time I would mimic her with a bit more feeling. She headed my way, bringing the group with her.
I had a new sight with a light, but had forgot to turn it on. I lined up the 20 yd pin to the side of him from inside the dark blind, eased it over and used my 10 and 30 yard pins to the get the left and right correct, and squeezed the Trueball.
The arrow hit high with a whack, and seemed to somersault slightly and landed beyond the tom. Feathers were flying, and the tom was on his side with one wing looking floppy. He flipped over, his head still up. Not sure what happened with the first shot, and knowing any turkey with his head up is not a good thing, as turkey's laying down with a head up can become running or airborne turkey's quite fast, I pulled a second arrow. This one went a tad high and missed. No reaction, which I thought was a good sign.
Bowhunting is a game of inches, and I used every fraction on this hunt. The Killzone had opened at precisely the right angle, with one blade cutting across his back severing the spine and breaking the wing bone on the far side. That explained the arrow flipping up, looking almost like it had bounced off. Had the head been turned 90 degrees, it would have been feathers only and an entirely different outcome to the hunt.
My hunt lasted less than 45 minutes and was over. It virtually went as planned. I was stunned. Then I noticed he had a band on his leg. I have always liked walking up to a deer or turkey I have killed and thought, wow, no human has ever touched this animal. Not this time! He weighed 22#, had a 8 5/8" beard and 1 1/18" spurs. I called to report the band, and am waiting on further information on where he was banded and when.
If you read this far, thanks. I hope you enjoyed it.
What county, Iron?
NE Reno county.
Hoping to find out where and when the bird was tagged. That is the info that is supposed to be given to me. I would be curious how far he traveled from where he was tagged, and how long ago to try and figure out how old he was.
Didn't know bird #s had taken that big of a hit in that part of the county. That can't be far from some places I can access.
Please let me now what you find out as per the band.
10 years ago I could hunt a farm 2 miles from my house where the landowner said he counted over 700 birds there in the fall. I personally had 398 of them walk by my blind one morning. You would be hard pressed to find a bird there the last few years. It used to take me 10 minutes to find 50 birds, I have driven over an hour the last 3-4 years and not found any. That's what makes my hunt so special to me.
This thread was about a special hunt I had in my backyard. I enjoy it a lot when others post their hunts with photos, so I thought I would try it. It was the first turkey hunt I have had in 5 years, and it was just a lot of fun. I have very few places to hunt, and even fewer places with birds on them. I love to hunt turkeys, but can't hunt them if they are not there.
This was not meant for you to jump in here and blow your horn about your average time to kill a turkey. I didn't start the thread asking that. You seem to always want to upstage anyone posting anything. When will you learn? Many on Bowsite wanted you kicked off before, and then you came back. You have whined that you can't get interviews and magazine articles about how great a turkey hunter you are. Let me tell why.
You don't get it. You just want recognition instead of sharing in a humble way what you know so others can learn. You don't take the time to take good photos (based on what I have seen on Bowsite) or how to write about your experiences. You jump in on any thread and try to tell how great you would have done it.
If I am going to bust your chops, let me also give you some advice.
I took two brand new turkey hunters out years ago. Neither had ever killed a bird or hunted turkeys. First morning early in the season first guy kills a bigger bird than anything I have ever killed. Second guy can't go until the last day and kills a jake right off the bat. I called these birds in for them. They were really happy guys. I took good photos and shared the story with a few tips and it was published in a national magazine. And I am far from a turkey hunting expert!
You could do the same but you are going to have to really change your ways. Quit thinking about how great you are, and eat some humble pie. Don't offer your opinion unless asked! Listen (or read) and ask yourself do I really have anything I can offer. Unless you are getting paid to share your views unsolicited, you would be better off listening and learning. I know that from experience.
Hopefully you will listen to what I have wrote.
I know alot of birds are banded on the property NW of 56th and Kent road. We have taken a few off there with bands in the last couple of years. Great story!