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.
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!
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!
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!
Jake and I are hosting another Big Brothers hunt this spring. So much more exciting than killing another bird, myself.
Will help support again this year for sure.....PM me the details.
Thanks for the inspiration guys.
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.
Chris...that is an awesome painting!
Best of Luck, Jeff
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.
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.
Other than that, I am sitting in my blind and lopping off heads at 8 yards or less like in this video...
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!
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.
How's everyone else's natural setup hunts going? Let's here it...
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.
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.
My set up.
There's a relatively uncooperative pheasant in there somewhere...
Where little doves come from...
But we spent a whole lot of the season looking out the window of a blind at something like the pics below.
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).
Here's what he looked like as he was shuffling along on his knees.
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.
The hen started to pull away from the tom and he tried to keep up with her.
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...
...and the tom lagged behind due to his strutting and acting tough to the "new guy".
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.
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.
He strutted back and forth trying to keep him away from the hen.
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.
Here he is at 3/4 draw.
Full draw and taking dead aim.
At the shot the tom shot up and flew for a couple of wing flaps.
We then watched helplessly as the the Chicken and his new gal ran off and our 2016 season came to a close.
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.
Thanks for posting Scott, great photo sequence. I bet old dad was shaking about as bad as Ryan was watching that unfold! Nice work!
QQ Archery's Link
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!
Very nicely done....next year the chicken won't be so lucky!