Sitka Mountain Gear
Natural Setup or Bust, round #2 contest
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
trkyslr 21-Feb-16
trkyslr 21-Feb-16
midwest 21-Feb-16
TREESTANDWOLF 21-Feb-16
HUNT MAN 21-Feb-16
Drahthaar 21-Feb-16
Ridge Wraith 21-Feb-16
Timbrhuntr 21-Feb-16
joehunter8301 22-Feb-16
joehunter8301 22-Feb-16
Ermine 22-Feb-16
Scoot 22-Feb-16
trkyslr 22-Feb-16
Mark Watkins 22-Feb-16
joehunter8301 22-Feb-16
Zackman 22-Feb-16
Mad_Angler 22-Feb-16
Scoot 22-Feb-16
writer 22-Feb-16
Julius K 22-Feb-16
Mark Watkins 22-Feb-16
trkyslr 22-Feb-16
Ermine 22-Feb-16
Ermine 22-Feb-16
JohnB 23-Feb-16
trkyslr 25-Feb-16
trkyslr 25-Feb-16
elkmtngear 25-Feb-16
Franzen 25-Feb-16
writer 27-Feb-16
trkyslr 28-Feb-16
trkyslr 07-Mar-16
trkyslr 07-Mar-16
joehunter8301 08-Mar-16
JohnnyRingo 08-Mar-16
Pass-thru 09-Mar-16
trkyslr 11-Mar-16
trkyslr 13-Mar-16
t-roy 13-Mar-16
HUNT MAN 13-Mar-16
trkyslr 13-Mar-16
trkyslr 13-Mar-16
eatsleephunt 22-Mar-16
trkyslr 22-Mar-16
Scoot 22-Mar-16
trkyslr 22-Mar-16
writer 22-Mar-16
joehunter8301 22-Mar-16
trkyslr 22-Mar-16
trkyslr 10-Apr-16
Franzen 11-Apr-16
joehunter8301 11-Apr-16
joehunter8301 11-Apr-16
Franzen 15-Apr-16
trkyslr 15-Apr-16
trkyslr 03-May-16
Greg Kush 03-May-16
Mark Watkins 04-May-16
BoggsBowhunts 08-May-16
trkyslr 08-May-16
BoggsBowhunts 08-May-16
trkyslr 08-May-16
HUNT MAN 08-May-16
HUNT MAN 08-May-16
kota-man 08-May-16
trkyslr 08-May-16
Franzen 09-May-16
Scoot 31-May-16
sitO 31-May-16
trkyslr 31-May-16
HUNT MAN 31-May-16
stoneman 31-May-16
Scoot 01-Jun-16
Brotsky 01-Jun-16
Somersbow 01-Jun-16
QQ Archery 01-Jun-16
Scoot 02-Jun-16
trkyslr 03-Jun-16
Mark Watkins 04-Jun-16
otcWill 04-Jun-16
trkyslr 12-Jun-16
trkyslr 13-Jun-16
From: trkyslr
21-Feb-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
It's that time of year again and we've elected to have another "Natural Setup or Bust Round 2" contest as so many enjoyed giving it a go last time. Last year we had the junior turkey Future of Hunting contest and soon the winner (Ryan) will be out here hunting with us in some of the most scenic turkey habitat there is. This year we decided to go back to the natural setup theme for the contest and open it up a little more.

We enjoy hunting with bowsiters every year as it gives a chance to share what we have a passion for in chasing longbeards in Northern California. As normal there will be 5 judges all bowsiters. The winner selected will be welcome to come out to our woods here in nor-cal in spring of 2017 to turkey hunt with us for 3 days general season, or 2 days jr weekend. Winner will have to get here on their own dime and buy license and required stamp. However it's been known especially with the kids that this great bowsite forum has many people who've donated and covered some of the expense to make it happen.

Cali has a 3 bird limit and i can say based by stats we get shots (mostly kills) every hunting day in the woods with others. Trust me it would be a good time and we dont ask or expect anything in return except smiles from the winner during his/her hunt here. Just another way to meet hunters and enjoy the outdoors. If the winner cant make it the judges will have a consolation prize or select a runner up winner to take the prize based on their submission.

Weve opened this up for both VIDEOD hunts and PHOTOGRAPHED hunts. Heres the competition and rules.

-bowhunter must 'bow'kill a spring 2016 bird using a natural setup or spotnstalk technique. --NO BLINDS, NO GUNS, NO CROSSBOWS. A make shift natural brush blind made up of some branches/brush to break you up is exceptable.

- for bowhunter who video the hunt, It can be either self filmed or filmed by second person. (self filmed hunts are obviously tougher so deff opp for higher scoring by judges if video is legit quality)

- a hunter can enter more then one entry. So multiple hunts and or kills can all be put into one video or you can enter more then one video per hunt.

-video must be max 5 min in length.

-somewhere in videod hunt you must show proof of the date during hunt/kill via cellphone or someother electronic device and use the phrase "Natural Setup or Bust" in the video.

- video must be submitted to the thread as a link/attachment within 15 days after the latest state's season ending date if that makes sense.

Videos will be judged by following the rules, capturing the hunt and pulling the viewers in, footage of both bird(s) and hunter, complete hunt story, videography quality, challenge of the setup/hunt, smiles and positive attitude during the hunt, etc..

For non video guys/gals you can participate with photographs by these rules. Pics can be self taken or taken by another person (not the shooter)

- hunt entry must have 5 specific pics per hunt.

Pic 1-3 should be action pics of birds coming into and in the setup or during stalk. Bonus points awarded for action shots containing both birds and hunter in same frame.

Pic 4 will be a pic of hunter posing with dead bird in the setup or kill location.

Pic 5 needs to be a creative pic of hunter or huntress and a visual phrase "Natural Setup or Bust, Round 2" or "NSOB #2" in any type of pre hunt, during the hunt, or post hunt pic of your choice. This can be done in many creative ways as we saw in the kids future of hunting contest last spring.

Use your imagination. Pics will be judged by quality, originality, and following required rules.

Also it DOES NOT require a kill to enter this contest it may just knock off a few points in the scoring system but those points could definitely be made up in other areas.

If you cant participate please dont let that change your mind on hunting birds in a natural setup as we'd still love to hear the natural setup hunt stories on this thread. We know that by throwing out blinds it makes the challenge much more difficult but makes the success much sweeter.

And as marked this thread is a debate free thread so any debate or negativity will be removed and blocked. Also anyone violating any of Bowsite's forum rules may be removed from this contest.

All bow hunters (adults and kids) are welcome to enter. Lets have a fun season and let the games begin!!!! Good luck to everyone this year in the turkey woods! All entries please submit to this thread.

From: trkyslr
21-Feb-16

trkyslr's Link
Here's a link to Kyle's (Ridgereaper) winning submission from the first NSOB contest. Great job, great footage, and a great hunt. Man I love turkey hunting! Kyle came out and killed a great rio with us in 2015, which will be shown in a few weeks.

From: midwest
21-Feb-16
Great vid....been awhile since I've seen it! Good luck everyone!

21-Feb-16
This was great to watch and kudos to you for continuing to support Bowhunting!

From: HUNT MAN
21-Feb-16
Thanks Chris , joe and gang for doing this again. Lots of fun. Hunt

From: Drahthaar
21-Feb-16
Thanks for posting, looking forward to all the hunts. Forrest

From: Ridge Wraith
21-Feb-16
Whoever wins the contest this year is in for a real treat. Chris and Joe know their turkeys! The scenery and action I experienced on my hunt with them was beyond belief. I had more action in those days than many years combined back home in IL. Good luck to all NSOBer's and thanks to Chris and Joe for sharing their season and knowledge with Bowsiters.

From: Timbrhuntr
21-Feb-16
This is great that you do this ! Look forward to following this every year!

22-Feb-16
Thanks Kyle. It was a blast having you out last year. Looking forward to seeing the submissions and everyone's success. Good luck guys, gals and kids :-)

22-Feb-16
dbl post. On another note I'm Gettin fired up :-)

From: Ermine
22-Feb-16
Cool stuff guys!

From: Scoot
22-Feb-16
Thanks for doing this, guys! Couple questions: 1) Although you said that spot n stalk is an acceptable method, I assume this does not include a decoying/spot n stalk set up with a heads up decoy or something similar? My impression is you want something more natural than that?

2) Joe, are you going to be in the loop when Ryan and I come out in a few weeks? It'd be fun to meet you!

From: trkyslr
22-Feb-16
Scott, decoys including the heads up are all good. the whole natural thing is not using a blind relying on your camo/ blending in and stalking skills. Not using a blind having to draw on a bird using foliage and or waiting until the bird(s) is interacting with the decoys is a very challenging but fun part of it. Maybe we'll get Ryan a 'natural" kill :-)

From: Mark Watkins
22-Feb-16
Chris and Joe....this has quickly become a Bowsite Classic!

You've motivated me to think through potential spot and stalk and natural blind ambush/calling locations for this spring...cant wait!

Keep up the good work!

Mark

22-Feb-16
Scoot I'll be there :) I'm going to take a friends kid first morning shouldn't be too long of a hunt then I'll hook up with you guys. Sunday I'll be there all day. Can't wait.

From: Zackman
22-Feb-16
I love to see the junior involvement in this contest and will start off the travel budget donations for next year's junior winner. I'll donate another $100 this year to the junior winner towards flights/hotels/meals/etc.

I know I will not be the only one and I hope another deserving junior is the recipient of this year's contest. Thanks for putting it together again this year boys!

From: Mad_Angler
22-Feb-16
Wow. That video is impressive. It definitely sets the bar pretty high.

From: Scoot
22-Feb-16
Thanks for the clarification, Chris. Joe- sounds good! We're very much looking forward to teaming up with you guys. Ryan is really getting amped up! He's not the most emotionally expressive kid, but I can assure you he's excited to come out there and hunt and hang with you fellas.

From: writer
22-Feb-16
Love the stuff on taking kids on turkeys. A perfect way to introduce them to the Outdoors.

Jake and I are hosting another Big Brothers hunt this spring. So much more exciting than killing another bird, myself.

From: Julius K
22-Feb-16
Very nice gesture guys!

From: Mark Watkins
22-Feb-16
Just "cut in" a natural blind in an alder patch with the chainsaw today.....the dekes can be seen for about 150 yards in two directions.....am feeling the Turk love.

Will help support again this year for sure.....PM me the details.

Thanks for the inspiration guys.

Mark

From: trkyslr
22-Feb-16
Excellent Mark! Good luck and can't wait to hear your results. Thanks.

From: Ermine
22-Feb-16
Cool stuff guys!

From: Ermine
22-Feb-16
Cool stuff guys!

From: JohnB
23-Feb-16
Way to help everyone out with all you do! Remember seeing the looks on your face from your elk hunt, kinda like when a longbeard gobbles 10 feet away cant help but feel the rush!

From: trkyslr
25-Feb-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Less than 4 weeks away and last year’s contest winner Ryan will be here hunting. Can’t wait!!!

This is a pic from one of my hunts in 2014 in a pretty open location. The big oak in front of me was about 2 yards away and the decoy was about 4 yards away from me. In front of that is about 100 yards of open grassy slope with no cover. I placed the decoy just to the right of the tree where I could use the tree to draw behind and when the bird popped out to confront the jake decoy he was in range. That was my setup location and decoy setup game plan, which worked out perfectly. As the bird popped into my shooting view at about 8 yards, he spotted me and the arrow was sent to end his spring fling sort of speak. If the bird came in from the right side where I didn’t have the oak to draw behind I would have had to wait until the longbeard interacted with the decoy distracting himself or walked to the left or right behind either tree. I hope more turkey hunters who maybe always use a blind give this a chance as when it works; the success is much more rewarding. It really tests your setup location strategy, time of draw strategy, and sneaky woodsman ship/blending in skills. Good luck to all turkey hunters this spring.

From: trkyslr
25-Feb-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
The original masters of the natural setups on turkeys. One of my favorite turkey hunting photographs.

From: elkmtngear
25-Feb-16
"The original masters of the natural setups on turkeys. One of my favorite turkey hunting photographs"

Chris...that is an awesome painting!

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Franzen
25-Feb-16
I imagine I'll be putting in an effort again. Screwed up my one chance last year. Getting it all videoed or photographed is more than I can handle, but good luck to all participants. Always fun to see some of your successes.

From: writer
27-Feb-16
We have the print, too, Chris....what are the chances of two turkaholics, a half-country apart?.... :-)

Birds starting a little break-up out here, mostly big flocks busting into smaller flocks. Toms still ganged up, which means some great roost gobbling and fly-down fights.

From: trkyslr
28-Feb-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Michael, it's a goodie and yes birds gettin in the mood here.. Can't wait!

Here's a pic from one of our hunts last spring. As the birds passed behind the big oak is when I drew. Stay tuned to watch this hunt unfold.

From: trkyslr
07-Mar-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
It's getting very near... We've got a lot of rain the last couple weeks, which was well needed. Birds are right on schedule and getting fired up. Can't wait and good luck to everyone in the turkey woods!

From: trkyslr
07-Mar-16
I like shooting over my left side as its more natural... Sometimes I may be on the side or just behind a tree.. Plus other factors in where or how I sit depends on terrain, obstacles and view to draw with/behind, sun an shadows (always better in shadows) and the route I choose the birds to come into my calls ;-), gonna be a good year!

08-Mar-16
Be on the lookout for our 2015 video. Almost done. I'm like a kid in candy store waiting for it :-))

From: JohnnyRingo
08-Mar-16

JohnnyRingo's Link
I, Adam Bender, will commit to ditching my blind for atleast one hunt this year, just so I can play in this little contest.

Other than that, I am sitting in my blind and lopping off heads at 8 yards or less like in this video...

From: Pass-thru
09-Mar-16

Pass-thru's Link
In case you missed the video thread last years video is live! Can't wait to see the entries this year! Good luck everyone!

From: trkyslr
11-Mar-16
Johnyringo, excellent!!! Good luck on the natural setup and all your hunts this spring. That's some cool looking land your hunting.

From: trkyslr
13-Mar-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Here's a pic from the decoy looking back at Joe from one of last years hunts. The decoy is about 10 yards from Joe. As long as your camo colors match well with the foliage your hunting in and you either use brush to break up your outline or position yourself partially to the side and behind foliage you should be good. Being broke up an the shadows make this setup perfect. Now big thing is not giving up your location and alerting the bird with movement, noise, or unnatural colors (ex. that white undershirt showing its triangle) to send him running. In the hunt pictures, Joe drew on the bird as it was showing some rather odd love moves to the hen decoy so he was a little occupied. It was wait for decoy interaction to draw or draw when the birds head goes behind his own tail fan. Good luck everybody!

From: t-roy
13-Mar-16
Looking forward to following this year's contest as much as last year!

I will pledge that if I do enter, just to give bighurt a chance, I will do it left handed......& with 1 eye closed too!

From: HUNT MAN
13-Mar-16
That's not fair showing a picture of Joe hiding. He could hide behind a fire hydrant :)!!! Hunt

From: trkyslr
13-Mar-16
Hunt... ROFLMAO!!!

From: trkyslr
13-Mar-16
Troy hope to see it! Good luck buddy!

From: eatsleephunt
22-Mar-16
I'm in

From: trkyslr
22-Mar-16
Eatsleephunt, excellent! Good luck

From: Scoot
22-Mar-16

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Bust! Actually Ryan did not get busted. He had birds inside of his range but wasn't sure of the distance, so he never tried to draw or shoot. Dang! I wanted him to shoot one of those jakes so badly! I believe he could have gotten drawn and made the shot, but he was cautious and decided not to try. All three of us wanted him to take the shot, but I'll never be mad at my son for not taking a shot he is unsure of making.

From: trkyslr
22-Mar-16
Nope Scott, Ryan did excellent! Well camo'd, became part of that tree, and most important stayed still. I have faith Ryan has many natural kills in his future! :-)

From: writer
22-Mar-16
Gotta admit it, guys, one of the things I like most about hunting out of a blind is that it gets me off the ground, and further from ticks. Plus, we spray down the blinds, too.

We're well into several months working on a huge story on tick-borne illnesses, one of the most comprehensive in the nation, and it's some very, very, very scary stuff. Far worse, and infinitely more complicated, than I believed even two years ago.

I've taken up to 40 ticks off of me in a single day from run and gun, sit on the ground turkey hunts. That was pre permethrin, though.

22-Mar-16

joehunter8301's embedded Photo
joehunter8301's embedded Photo
No fire hydrants here. Jus sneaky Indians!!

From: trkyslr
22-Mar-16
Michael, I don't even think about that to decide which tactic to use. On average I pull maybe 2 tics off me a season now, which was the same in my blind days. Permathin and spray works

From: trkyslr
10-Apr-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
Here's the setup pic from my last kill... Used the tree just to the left of the Jake deek to draw when the bird passed behind it.

How's everyone else's natural setup hunts going? Let's here it...

From: Franzen
11-Apr-16
Called in two toms over the weekend on separate occasions, but no arrows released. One of them was at 8 yards. That one came in silent from the opposite direction of the one I was actually calling to, so he was to my right; impossible for a right-hander to draw and shoot. When he got that close without a hen in sight he boogied out pretty quick.

Fun weekend, but really very little gobbling action after flydown. Only got one mid/late morning bird to make any noise. Hope to get out for at least one more day this season.

11-Apr-16
Here was this mornings setup. Kinda had to scramble as it was getting pretty light and didn't wana get busted off the roost. Bird hit the ground way earlier than I expected an came right in. 15 yard shot. Think the best thing we had going for us was it was still too dark for video light and we were still in the shadows of the trees and he was so fixed on the deeks that he never even noticed Nate. He drew once the bird attacked and it worked like a charm!! Love natural setup stuff!! Pretty sure uncle Nate is a fan now too!!

11-Apr-16

joehunter8301's embedded Photo
joehunter8301's embedded Photo
Lets see if the pic works this time

From: Franzen
15-Apr-16

Franzen's embedded Photo
Franzen's embedded Photo
Not eligible for the contest, but here you guys go. IL state land 2-year old tom. Run-and-bow in the timber without blinds or dekes; just me and the calls. Finally got one to come in from the direction I needed them to and allow me to get a shot off.

I had a pretty good setup. I was in a transition area from open timber that they had burned in late-winter to an area of slightly thick timber with a bunch of young trees. From my 10-2 was the thicker timber with a nice deadfall out about 15 yards in front. To my left, about 7-10 was a fairly steep ravine, steep enough that any approaching bird would have to be in range of me on top of the ridge to get a peek at what was up there. To my right, about 2-4 was another ravine, but less step. Obviously I was on the ridge with the line of the ridge behind me.

I'll keep the story short and just say I was interrupted by a vehicle that stopped on a nearby road that made the gobbling tom shut up. A few minutes after the vehicle ended up leaving I hit the call and bam, there he was at like 60-70 yards. I wasn't expecting it (I had my glove off for some reason and was turned slightly to my left). I quickly turned to a better shooting position, and never even bothered with the shooting hand glove. I saw the gobbler approaching, and wouldn't you know, just perfect right behind the deadfall.

When the bird got behind the main trunk I drew and as soon as he cleared the tree at 25 yards I let one fly. The entry ended up being a little lower and further back than you would like on a turkey, but it was a solid hit. The tom actually took the arrow with him to where he died about 30 yards away at the bottom of the ravine. Two birds actually came in, but only one got to go home.

From: trkyslr
15-Apr-16
Franzen, awesome and congrats!!! Pic entries are good too if ya try to fulfill the required pic catagories.. Gotta have a winner and two years ago only 3-4 entries as NSOB is difficult. Plus winner of that one was from Illinois too lol....

From: trkyslr
03-May-16
Ttt... Hope to see some entries or might have to suprise a lucky random winner.

From: Greg Kush
03-May-16
I had a hunt that would have qualified that I posted on the Success Thread #2, but I didn't bother to post it here since I don't believe I would be able to come out for the hunt if I won.

From: Mark Watkins
04-May-16
Franzen, congrats! Those run and bow turks are TOUGH to make happen!

Mark

08-May-16
Good luck to everybody still in season, MO ended today and after 17 hunting days of nothing but NSOB I ended up with a nice warm bowl of Tag Soup, haha.

From: trkyslr
08-May-16
Boggs, nice to hear the effort... Any stories too share we could learn from? Like to hear it and maybe see any pics or vid from your hunts if you have them.

08-May-16
I took quite a bit of footage, might throw together a video. The farm I was hunting was really pressured (Of course not as pressured as those 'Bama birds) and it effected the birds quite a bit. Today I had Jakes roosted 50 yards from me that didn't fly down until 7:30. Strange year for sure, it's gonna be a long wait until next season. Most of my hunting was done before school so I didn't get the chance to wait out the henned up birds like I would've liked to.

From: trkyslr
08-May-16
Good stuff, hope to see it.

From: HUNT MAN
08-May-16

HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
Here are a few photos from a recent hunt.

My set up.

From: HUNT MAN
08-May-16

HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
HUNT MAN's embedded Photo
4 birds came from my right . They gobbled 3 times . Had to make a small move 50 yards and here they come. Drew when they went behind the tree in the photo above. 21 yard shot 5 yard recovery. First hunt with my new Hoyt. Good times. Hunt

From: kota-man
08-May-16
Great stuff Hunt. Just picked up that same bow.

From: trkyslr
08-May-16
Excellent hunt!!! Perfect draw tree too... Can't get much sweeter then that!

From: Franzen
09-May-16
Congrats on the bird and the Hoyt Hunt.

From: Scoot
31-May-16
My kids and I had a wonderful 2016 turkey season. We already wrote up a story with lots of pictures from our trip out with Chris and Joe, so I won't retell that tale. Since then, we've had a blast! My daughter shot her first turkey (also already written up, so I won't repeat that either), we've taken several of Ryan's buddies out hunting, and in general we've had a blast. Below are a few of the things we saw before the season wrapped up last Friday.

 photo P1060427-01_zpsszthgtgr.jpeg

There's a relatively uncooperative pheasant in there somewhere...

 photo P1060469-01_zpscx9m0k6e.jpeg

 photo P1060420-01_zpscqiyb3v0.jpeg

Dove.

 photo P1060394-01_zpsurj7xivq.jpeg

Where little doves come from...

 photo P1060409-01_zpssoaxswib.jpeg

Turkey nest.

 photo P1060413-01_zpsomh8tocz.jpeg

 photo P1060275-01_zpsrtnxn8lt.jpeg

 photo P1060269-01_zpsemechf05.jpeg

 photo P1060256-01_zpsyutnceh2.jpeg

But we spent a whole lot of the season looking out the window of a blind at something like the pics below.

 photo P1060281-01_zps1ogd6opb.jpeg

 photo P1060248-01_zpssvsi3oqb.jpeg

Our last three outings were frustrating. We found a nice tom that Ryan eventually named "Chicken". He would either come to our deeks/calls from 1000 yards away only to be too "chicken" to come the last 60 yards or he would see our deeks and run like a "chicken". He did not like something about our spread and I was a little unsure of what to do.

On Friday, for our last sit we decided to put the blind near a small narrowing of the field that "Chicken" had been coming through. We didn't put out any deeks and didn't make any calls. We also brought a Heads Up decoy, in case Chicken was around, but not interested in coming through the narrow part of the field he had been coming through.

Like clockwork Chicken gobbled from the roost, then hit the field. He was a few hundred yards from the tree he had roosted in the last time we were there (a couple days earlier), but he was only 100 yards from us when he hit the field and I expected him to come past us. He was strutting and gobbling at any noise he heard. He had a very distinct set of gobbles- he never gobbled once. He always gobbled at least three times, and occasionally would rattle off eight or ten gobbles in a row. He slowly made his way towards the narrowing (and us). Soon, he turned and headed away from us. He strutted and gobbled and fed around in the field. Before long we saw why he turned around- a hen was about 250 yards from us near the road to the North of us. He headed for the hen and soon had teamed up with her.

I looked at my watch and noticed it was 6:00 AM. It was the last day of school for my 5th grade son and he absolutely, positively had to be home in time to catch the bus and get to school for an awards program and final goodbyes. We decided to make something happen.

I had Ryan sneak out the back of the blind and get him set up with the Heads Up Decoy. He got on his knees and shuffled towards the turkeys, now about 250 yards from us (pic is zoomed way in).

 photo P1060486-01_zpslxdvhkgr.jpeg

Here's what he looked like as he was shuffling along on his knees.

 photo P1060485-01_zpsrnmhynsf.jpeg

I saw the tom spot Ryan- he lifted his head up and carefully checked Ryan out. Soon he started to make his way towards Ryan, who was now sitting back on feet and waiting.

 photo P1060487-01_zpsebbqha3f.jpeg

 photo P1060493-01_zps9egucss2.jpeg

The hen started to pull away from the tom and he tried to keep up with her.

 photo P1060496-01_zpsym4rlupc.jpeg

With the turkeys somewhat split up, Ryan tried to "split the difference" with the Heads Up Decoy so neither one would see around the decoy and spot him. The hen headed to Ryan's right...

 photo P1060498-01_zpsdqylv3qb.jpeg

...and the tom lagged behind due to his strutting and acting tough to the "new guy".

 photo P1060499-01_zpszk7sxnre.jpeg

When he was roughly in the spot in the pic above he finally let out his first gobble of the interaction. He was facing Ryan at about 30 yards and the gobble echoed off the trees to Ryan's right. When he gobbled I watched the fan on the Heads Up shake violently as Ryan startled. I could only imagine the adrenaline rush he was experiencing!

The tom followed the hen and came in closer.

 photo P1060503-01_zpsus1i73zz.jpeg

 photo P1060507-01_zps23snbvmu.jpeg

He got in between the hen and the "new guy" and acted like a defender, trying to box out the new guy and keep him away from his new found gal.

 photo P1060513-01_zpsyvkwkwyd.jpeg

He strutted back and forth trying to keep him away from the hen.

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If Ryan would have scooted in towards them at this point I'm sure the tom would have come at him to defend his gal. However, he tried to be patient and let the tom come to him. The tom strutted and paced back and forth for over a minute and Ryan waited for an opportunity. Finally, the hen putted a few times and Ryan knew things were going to go south in a hurry. The tom made his turn to pace back in front of the hen and Ryan started to draw when the half-strut fan of the tom blocked his head.

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Here he is at 3/4 draw.

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Full draw and taking dead aim.

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At the shot the tom shot up and flew for a couple of wing flaps.

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We then watched helplessly as the the Chicken and his new gal ran off and our 2016 season came to a close.

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Ryan had guessed the yardage of the shot at 20 yards. We paced it off after the fact and the tom was at 27 yards. With Ryan's low poundage and reasonably heavy arrow he had missed low, just underneath the tom.

I walked out to Ryan and he had a mixed look of excitement and disappointment on his face. I immediately recognized this as one of those instances when my reaction as a father would really impact how Ryan responded to what had happened. I said, "Wow, was that an awesome experience or what?!?" Ryan smiled and said, "That was incredible! What a great way to end the year! I don't even care that I didn't shoot him, that was so cool."

We talked about what had happened and how everything had played out. It was a really unique and thrilling experience and we were both satisfied with it fully.

We finished the year with an unpunched MN tag, but what a great way to finish it! Ryan had come so close to getting it done outside of the blind. Next year he'll be back and I'm quite certain he'll want to give it another go outside of the blind. The Chicken will get over 10 months to do what turkeys do. In the meantime, Ryan will be shooting and sharpening his bowhunting skills and I can assure you we'll be back for another crack at the Chicken.

From: sitO
31-May-16
Friggin awesome job Ryan, you are a true hunter and what a great learning experience! Really neat pics and write up too "Dad" I think you two should go to Cali again!

From: trkyslr
31-May-16
Scott and Ryan that's flat out awesome way to end the season. Ryan to do what you did on that hunt for "chicken" and the smart decisions and hunting skills I saw in person turkeys very very soon need to be careful when you're in their woods, along with what ever other game your pursuing. Awesome pics too Scott. Thanks for posting and adding to the thread!

From: HUNT MAN
31-May-16
That made my day. I was for sure he was going to pull it off in the bottom of the 9 th again . Thanks for posting. Hunt

From: stoneman
31-May-16
Great picture sequence, I was rooting for you Ryan! Next year!

From: Scoot
01-Jun-16
Thanks guys. I sure hoped Ryan would fill his MN tag on that great tom, but this was still a fun way to end the year. It left Ryan excited and happy with the cool experience and also still wanting more. He's sad the season is over, but he's hungry for the year to come. He's got visions of big deer in his head this coming Fall and we'll be shooting and prepping for the year to come over the Summer. Already can't wait for the season to crank up this Fall!

From: Brotsky
01-Jun-16
Awesome job Ryan! You'll get that Chicken next year!

Thanks for posting Scott, great photo sequence. I bet old dad was shaking about as bad as Ryan was watching that unfold! Nice work!

From: Somersbow
01-Jun-16
What a great experience. Thanks for sharing. The entire hunt was a huge success in my mind. Congrats on pulling the tom into bow range Ryan! It'll happen for you.

From: QQ Archery
01-Jun-16

QQ Archery's Link
congrads ,to you both ,memories to cherish for sure.

From: Scoot
02-Jun-16
"I bet old dad was shaking about as bad as Ryan was watching that unfold!"

Definitely! It's incredible to me how much I've learned to control my emotions and stay composed at crunch time (usually), but that all goes out the window when it's your own child who's behind the bow. When he was out in that bean field with the turkey at bow range I could feel my heart pounding and my breathing speed up. It's like I'm 12 again and I've got a small six point buck in front of me!

From: trkyslr
03-Jun-16
Looks like the last season date is tmrw June 4th... That being said I'll give until the June 14th to hopefully see anymore submissions, hunt stories, pics and or vids to this thread. If no entries are posted we'll elect to offer the prize to someone who we think deserves it. Thanks everyone!

From: Mark Watkins
04-Jun-16
The stuff great hunts and memories are made of Ryan!!!

Very nicely done....next year the chicken won't be so lucky!

Congrats!

Mark

From: otcWill
04-Jun-16
Wow! Glad I clicked this thread. That's bowhunting at its finest right there, Ryan! Great job with the camera, Scott. Thanks for taking the time to share your season

From: trkyslr
12-Jun-16
Ttt.... A couple more days and we'll be making a selection.

From: trkyslr
13-Jun-16
tmrw we'll be making a selection.. thanks to all who provided information or hunt accounts to this thread. Tmrw might post the selection on a new turkey thread.

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