SO, starting tomorrow, heading for Nebraska, I will use a gilly suit, my stick and a couple of decks.
Pictured is my gilly suit and if it is too warm I will try my ASAT leafy suit.
Up for the new challenge? Well time will till.
I will report back at the end of the trip.
my best, Paul
I'm in the Pine Ridge forest near Chadron now, birds are still bunched up. Vocal early and some during the day yesterday, but following hens. Horribly windy today and haven't heard a gobble since fly down. Get-r-dun bud!
good catch you had so thanks. Paul
Flocks here in E Central NE are just starting to break up. Still not a lot of gobbling but you should be hitting it just right. Keep us posted on how the Monster Suit works!
We look forward as always to the stories!
Good luck and i look foreard to the report.
My best, Paul
PS, I am leaving the compound bow at home.
Looks like you had some success with the ASAT as well! Nice
Great call in the gilly! I've tossed around the idea a few times as well with the recurve, but haven't yet done it. What are you doing on your left arm to eliminate all obstructions from the suit?
Did you get the peacock to go into strut, Steve?
Turkey = Pavo
Peacock = Pavo Real
Have fun Paul.
Look forward to the pics!
VERY INTERESTING FOR SURE AND SURELY A NEW CHALLENGE
I learned a lot.
The first agenda was to see if there were any turkeys around so I drove to a high bluff for an observation of the surrounding creek bottom and agriculture fields.
From here I can see up and down the creek for a mile and on a calm day hear a tom gobble.
Nothing like the real deal to start the first day.
After an hour the birds move west along the tree line and disappeared.
I was time to make a move and get ready for the hunt.
Place the decoys out and carved out a blind in the small pine trees. The wait was on.
An hour later no sight or sound of turkeys. 4pm
I stood up and looked to the far end of the field 500 yards way and through the cottonwood tree line with the 10x. Movement.
The challenge was on.
After they flew up, and two hundred yards from the roost was this pine tree thicket along the edge of the field, I thought a great place to ambush a tom in the morning.
I cleared out a hiding spot and shooting lane and left my seat and decoys there for the morning hunt.
Tomorrow should be a interesting day.
LITTLE DID I KNOW JUST HOW INTERESTING OF A DAY IT WOULD BE.
My best, Paul
I felt the stick in my hand and the fingers tight on the string.
"come on, come on, come on."
I first tom hit the ground followed by a few others. Now some more hens. Now all of the toms were on the ground and in strut showing, " I am bigger and more grand than the others". What a show of nature in its finest.
I peered through the branches of my hid and noticed a single tom heading my way as he had now spotted the decoys. He stopped at 30 yards, looked my way and then turned around and headed back.
"OH, come on!!" I said under my breath.
A few light hen yelps got the tom's attention. Their heads turned in my direction and they headed my way leaving their hens behind.
They were closing in-- 20 yards, 15 yards, and how they were at the jake decoy only 10 yards away and standing side by side within inches of the decoy.
My hands tightened on the recurve bow and string and I slowly brought it up to shooting position. The tension on the string felt good and my muscles were anticipating the draw cycle.
Quite a spectacle, watching two wild critters doing their thing and up close and personal.
I quickly thought back to last year's elk season and on the very first evening I had a bull elk at 40 yards. A slam dunk for sure.
As then and as now, the arrow left the string and sliced through the cool early morning air! Hunt over???
C'mon Paul bring it on! Dam cliffhangers...;) Sounds like you had a great time. Cant wait to hear the rest.
We have all been there. I hung my head, shaking it side to side a few times and then uttered something under my breath.
The word was not Dam or O'gee!
The toms putted a few times and headed back to the hens really unaware that something was trying to kill them. A half hours later all of the turkeys had cleared the field and it was now 9am.
Like my elk hunt last year, the arrow hit a small unseen limb and deflected away from the target.
Slam Dunks have a way of turning into Dumb Dunks.
Well the day was young so the story continues.
There was something about this gobble that sounded like he was searching for something in particular. Maybe a few hens he had lost track of.
I answered back with a raspy hen cackle on my box call. He appeared at the edge of the thicket, red head very visible and looking in my way. A few more calls got him coming and he was closing the 150 yards quickly.
With a few seconds he was at the jake decoy with fire in his eyes. The meaning was he wanted to killed this jake. He jived this way and that doing a complete 360 around the decoys but moving all of the time. He never did go into a strut posture and calm down.
I was waiting for a shot opportunity if he calmed down. He was now getting nervous and at any second he might leave. When I thought I had a opportunity, I partly drew back the bow and tried to focus.
He saw some movement, putted and was away!!!!!!!!!!!!all before I could shoot.
Another hung head and MORE uttered words.
Harder to call in for sure.
A peanut butter with C-raisin sandwich helped my mental attitude. The afternoon sit would be a long one as I forgot any reading materials. Maybe a short nap would do.
Heavy winds up to 30 mph gusts howled though the tall cottonwood trees, sounding almost like a fright train.
Every 15 minutes I would give out a series of hen yelps on the box call, just to let any nearby toms know, a hen was in the area with hot pants on.
The wind was still blowing hard. To my right I had a blind spot to the field ahead and when I stood up to see in that area, this tom and two hens were feeding 60 yards away.
I quickly sat down and gathered my wits. "Ok, Paul, take your time and make it happen this time."
I'm ready. Two yelps on the call gets his attention. He is coming. Looks like another tom with fire in his eyes. Man, does he look mean! Neck outstretched, and coming at a fast pace now. Another dancer. Would not settle down to allow for a good shot.
I slowly drew back this time, being very careful. Pick a spot. Hell, the whole tom looked like the spot at 10 yards.
He is getting very agitated and seems to be on high alert.
I draw back. Putt,putt, putt, he is gone without me getting off a shot.
Hard to tell what a turkey sees but I am now VERY convinced that not only do they have the normal two eyes but at least 6 other eyes well placed to see EVERYTHING. I mean everything!!!!
Day two comes to an end without any more action. Four toms in the decoys at 10 yards and no kill yet. Actually one of the best action packed days I have had so no complaints.
Another day ahead tomorrow, as I head back to my truck to eat and sleep. 5 am comes early.
I did leave one "crutch" at home, my compound bow but I did bring along another, my pop up blind.
The forecast was for high winds in the afternoon so I set it up on the upwind side of the stubble wheat field and at the end I had been seeing the turkeys.
I went to the nearby town and had breakfast and then returned to the field around 2:30pm.. Did not hear or observe any turkeys on the way in.
At 4 pm I hear a few hen sound behind me and along the creek. Shortly these two hen come out of the thicket to investigate the sounds and decoys.
These were the last I would see or hear the rest of the set.
Another day in the turkey woods!
As SWAs, they can only handle so much hunting pressure and then the turkeys start to wise up.
I headed back to the pop up blind but around 8, I decided to move to the other end of the field where I had heard a tom gobble prior to fly down and where I had seen the birds roost Monday evening.
I had just set up the blind when a gobble was heard and also a few hen yelps behind me and near the creek . I had high hopes but that was it until 11 am when I spied this tom and two hens on the opposite side of the field and they had no interest in coming to my side.
2 pm I crawled out of the blind and stepped out front to see down the field edge to my right.
Almost too far out as there was the whole flock at the other end and guess what? Right where I had the blind this morning for a couple of hours.
They might move this way. Two hours later, here they come but all of a sudden, they went on alert, flew and cleared the field. Out they came a few minutes later and fed for 15 minutes, and then on alert again and again, they cleared the field but to return again, this time closer.
A few hen sound aroused the interest of two hens and one tom.
Pictured the flock getting closer.
Camera in one hand and bow in the other.
They were on edge for sure and the hens stopped short but the tom crept in like walking on age shells and man was he tense.
I had blackened out the windows only leaving a one sq foot hole to shoot through.
A quick picture at 12 yards.
More head shaking and mumbling from this hunter.
Picture of him heading out.
I took down the blind the night before so now it was the gilly suit, stick and decoys but only for an afternoon hunt.
I decided to truck around a bit to cover the other areas as to their potential. I did see a two toms and hens but decided to take it easy and only hunt the afternoon. A few other hunter were showing up and the Friday afternoon drive bys.
I did spy this turkey of sorts.
I found a good hid and set up for the action to happen.
Right time--right spot? hard to tell.
I contemplated shooting the biggest one and my handed tightened on the bow and string.
Right there. Should I or not. They are getting nervous.
I make a small move to draw and they are gone, just like a few of the others. How did they see my movement????
Well, here is the evidence. I was back lit. Yep, the late afternoon sun shinning on that old bark-less log created a huge white spot,
and any movement I made was highly magnified.
If I return next week I will cover that area of the log with pine limbs to darken up the back ground.
Well, if one is not living, they are not learning and nature has a tendency to teach one in many ways.
An interesting Journey for some and it was surely for me.
No failures, just more learned experiences. I will be back and just maybe next week with a gilly, stick and decoys.
My best, Paul
I would put money down that you will get it done on the next trip!
I would like to get behind the turkey's eyes, just to see what they see. I know one thing, they never say to them selves, " wait, what was that!"
my best, Paul
Robert De Niro....Taxi Driver
Hell of a movie back then.
Church? Yep, prayers also help. You know what they say about a "happy wife".
My best, Paul
Yes, I will be heading out tomorrow for the rest of the week.
Thanks all for the replies.
my best, Paul
my best, Paul
As most of you that have been following along with my Challenge know that I had a lot of action last week when I had 5 different toms in the decoys at 10 yards in the first two days.
The hunt would have been over the very first hour of the very first morning when two toms were within inches of the jake decoy and 10 yards from my broadhead tip, BUT I MISSED THE CHIP SHOT.
Like many of you I hate to have an unfilled tag in my pocket so I headed back to Nebraska this last Monday to see if I could punch my tag.
I arrived at 2 pm at the very field on the SWA I had hunted the week before but there was a blind set up in the very spot I wanted to hunt. I drove down the road a bit and set up an ambush along creek but saw or heard nothing that afternoon or evening.
Just before dark and back in the truck I drove up the road farther and spotted a mature tom and a few hens crossing the open grassland and heading for their roost area. A few goobles later as they flew up, then it was dark. I gathered up my blind and decoys and set them up in the dark along a brush line hoping to lure them in, in the morning.
He already had a party going on so why join another one!
A hour later I am heading 100 miles farther east to where I has killed the majority of my Nebraska turkeys.
I took a break for lunch returning a 1 pm and stayed until dark with not action.
At fly up time, a tom roosted 300 yards behind me.
I will try the gilly suit in the morning.
More morning light, he gobbles a few times and flies down and across the creek. This creek is 4 ft deep so no chance to wade and follow.
Later I hear wing beats and his hen lands just above me.
I am stuck for a while but later decide to move farther away.
Drove to town for lunch and spoke with some other hunters that had seen birds but they seemed to be henned up. And some of the single toms they had seen did not respond.
Friday morning found me at the blind. The wind is expected to howl to 35 mph and thunder and rain in the late afternoon.
I had a good book to read and only two more chapters to finish.
GRASPING FOR STRAWS!
Interesting how one year it all goes good and you seem like a turkey bow master :). and then other years, the plan never seems to go the way you want it no matter how hard you try. We have all been there, for turkeys, deer,,elk, etc.
I truly believe bow hunting or any type of hunting is a passion of sorts and it brings our soul back to it's original roots, as hunters and gathers.
You got to love getting dirt under your finger nails!
I gave him a horn honk and a wave good by.
Maybe I will be up to the Challenge next year. One never knows for sure as we are only part time hunters and the animals were chase and full time wild critters. Unpredictable at times.
my best, Paul
PS, I have an unfilled Colorado Turkey tag.
I'm having "one of those" year's, too.
While it may hide you well it seems it is the movement of the body but more important, the movement of the recurve bow while drawing that got me busted. That first morning it was still dim light before the sun was up so I was in the dark shadows behind some pine limbs. Once the sun was up, any movement was more noticeable. Two toms did come in side by side so maybe they distracted each other from seeing me draw. The other times, only a single came in and they were on "pins and needles" when approaching the decoy and never did stop for a good shot.
I can see while using a compound bow that one has more time to draw, hold and then fire. Now so much with a recurve bow as most draw and fire all in one. I finely removed my arrows from my bow quiver to prevent the birds for seeing that movement of the feathers then I raised the bow.. Lots of small item to consider.
Camouflaging the bow is very important. I use some stick on leaf camo on the upper limbs. I do not believe on can just set out in the open, in the wood and let the ghillie suit hide you and be successful. One needs to consider a better hid behind some pines or better cover.
Another thought is to have a few trees or low shrubs in front where the decoys are so that a turkey has to go behind them, and then to allow the hunter to draw with out being seen.
Still a fun but challenging way to hunt outside of a blind but one still needs to conceal oneself the best they can and be out of the sun and in the shade and darkness.
I recently read an article concerning the eye sight of a turkey and they claim it is 3x 20/20 for 270 degrees and if they just turn their heads some, it is 360 degrees which they always seem to do.
Hunting elk or deer seem like an easy deal when hunting off the ground compared to the tom turkey.
Good question. The Challenge continues.
my best, Paul
Last week I returned to Nebraska for the 3rd time in guest of the mighty tom turkey. As you have read I had had some close encounters this year with the recurve bow, some with the ghillie suit and two from the blind.
If you remember, last year it only took me 5 days to killed three toms in two states and the last one was with the stick. So far this year I have spent 15 days. Now, if I would have connected the very first day I hunted, A MISS at 10 yards, the story wound have long been told and a hero picture posted. So here I am and the only hunt available is to try to fill my Colorado tag starting this afternoon and for the next few days.
Well, they few down alright but stayed back in the woods all morning. This tom must have gobbled 100 times but would not leave his hens. At 11am. all was quite and he left his strutting area for parts unknown.
I decided to pack up and head farther east into Nebraska and to another SWA.
Well the toms and hens fly across to the opposite side of the creek, four ft deep, right at first light. Damm! or something like that.''Back to the truck and then to drive around the 4 miles to see where they are.
I sun is just coming up and I spy them in an old cut corn field on private land but just adjacent to the SWA property line. I decide to drive across a cut old wheat field on the SWA property, (like a friendly farmer) to scare them back into the woods. Well that worked.
Back to the road and hiding the truck, after setting up the blind this time and decoys. I was back in the blind within 40 minutes and just in time as the turkeys started to filter back into the field where I had seen them.
This just might work as the hens came out first and then were heading my way to my calling. Under the fence they came, just 70 yards away, and then came to within 40 yards, looked at the decoy set up which included a jake and three hens, and proceeded to change directions and circle around behind me and into the woods. I continued to call and now hear the toms gobble and they also entered the field. Two toms together and they must have been twins because the stuck together and copied each other in every move and sound.
Under the fence they came and up to within 20 yards but to my blind side of the blind where I had no shooting opportunity to shoot with the recurve bow. They also circled around behind me and followed the same track as the hens did. I dropped the back window and had a brief shot opportunity at a moving tom but he got behind a tree before I could draw. Damm!, or something like that.
I just hate setting in the blind for many hours but I stuck it out unit dark. Heard a few gobbles, saw a few single hens but no more action near the blind.
I look to my right and across the fence to the private property and there were 4 jakes feeding. Well, an opportunity is a opportunity so I give out a few lonesome sexy hens calls and they head my way. Here they come, under the fence and to withing 25 yards, they stop. I had also place in the setup my tom strutter decoy. Nope, they were not coming any farther so they circled around behind me and through the woods.
Ok, OK, I am seeing a pattern here. All of these turkeys followed the same pattern and followed the same track through the woods. Time to make a new move.
Here they both come. They fly across the creek and are now heading for my setup but are slight veering off to the left and out of my shot picture.
I give out low volume hen sounds that turns both of them and now they are coming back to investigate the hen decoys they can see. I am sure they were looking for any other toms that may have been with the hen but were unseen to them.
Fifteen yard but moving through the trees and slightly down hill. Here comes one but moving. Small shot opportunity.
I shoot, I miss! Damm!, or something like that.
I only see this one hen but hear a tom or two off in the distance . Damm!, or something like that.
I can hear the one tom that has lots of hens to my right but he has never showed himself and has always headed the other way at fly down.
A little later from the private property field, the twins show up and are glued to two hens.
You know, these "unsuccessful" hunts are never a failure, but all of these experience just adds to the memories of great times in great places with bow and arrow in hand.
I was able to start a good book that keeps one busy during the slow times.
I have a Colorado turkey tag in my pocket and within the next hour, will be heading to eastern Colorado to hunt turkeys again.
As much as I would like to state. " it is not about the kill but more about the hunt"
I am taking both bows, ie, the recurve and the compound bow and will be using the blind.
Time to kill something! Hell yes! or something like that.
my best, Paul
Great write up and fantastic pic's Paul. Now its time to give one a dirt nap.
1948 Dodge Custom Town Sedan.
Thanks for the stories Paul. I always enjoy them!
Really enjoyed the book. A buddy rowed for Washington and met some members of that team.
You're due in the turkey woods.
As we all know , it can take 15 days or 15 minutes.
Story to follow ASAP.
my best, Paul
After hunting Nebraska for 15 days off and on with the recurve bow, I had 15 toms within 25 yards during that time period. Missed an easy chip shot the first day and last week had two desperation shots :(, Not good!
SO, with a Colorado tag in my pocket I headed to eastern Colorado and along the South Platte River. This is the same place I killed a good tom last year within an hour of setting up the blind at 12 noon.
I had high hopes of filling my tag but would not know until I got there and checked for sign and maybe hear a few toms flying up to roost at dark.
I wanted to kill a tom so I took both the compound and recurve bow plus the blind.
I should be at the blind by 5 am.
At 6am I hear a distant gobble. I answer with my box call and some loud hen yelps.
Within 200 yards, a second but weak gobble. Sounds like a jake.
At this stage of my hunt, a jake is just fine.
Ten minutes later he is closer and coming but will be behind the blind and across the small water way.
My compound bow is on hand and ready.
Arrow on its way! WACK!
THE END, to a perfect season.
my best, Paul
Way to go!
PS. I cant wait 'til Im retired..... Ha! Ha!
It's as simple as that.As epic a bowhunt as any in NA and nobody had to tap into their IRA to do it....
So here is my dilemma. I have an unfilled Nebraska statewide turkey tag in my pocket.
I know were some turkeys are.
I have all next week to hunt if I want to.
My wife does not care if I go.
So my question to all of you great minds and hunters,
SHOULD I GO??????
my best, Paul
It's a long time till next turkey season, Paul....go get 'em!
Congrats on the CO bird....great stuff as always.
You are asking, so I'm casting my vote....you are headed to Nebraska!!!
I hope this is a democratic decision!
Good luck and keep this journey rolling!
Keep tuned for the next chapter which will start on May 17th.
my best, Paul
Story to follow but I have to clean a bird.
my best, Paul
The challenge was to use the ghillie suit (once in a while the tent blind) and the recurve bow and I did just that for the first three trips. Had a few close encounters with toms, like 12 in number during those hunts but could just not pull it off:ended up missing thee shots with the recurve. BAD!
I thought back to the very first day and that miss. The hunt could have been accomplished with a good tom on that day and I would have posted the "hero shot". But in retrospect, being one who likes to hunt, the "HUNT" would have also been over.
For those who have followed along, you now realize that I killed a good tom in Colorado just last week (compound bow and blind) and it only took me 15 minutes the first morning of the hunt. Prior to that short hunt, I had hunted in Nebraska 15 days.
So with an unfill Nebraska tag, and the vote of the (above) committee, I headed back to Nebraska on Tuesday afternoon.
As I crossed the creek near the enterence of the SWA I spied these wood ducks. Glad to have the camera on hand.
Since one can hunt turkeys in Nebraska from sunup to sundown, I set up the blind where I thought they might roost: off the field and back in the woods.
At the magic hour and out on the two track, I hear a truck and then a shotgun blast, one, two, three shots. Then all was quite. I figured a few turkeys were crossing the road when the truck driver spotted them.
Later this young buck came by.
Coming out of the woods, I had reset the blind where I had seen the turkey pass, that after noon in the field, hoping they would chose the same path the next day.
I planned on staying in the blind all day. Yea, all day. I will have food, water and started a new book to read and pass the time. I had finished the other book and what a great read.
9am, I hear a tom back in the woods but he faded away with a hen.
10a, I hear a weak gobble near by. I look out the back window and see a jake 30 yards away. I call lightly, but he turns and head away. Dam! or something like that. At this stage of the game, a nice tender Jake would be just fine.
THE WIND PICKS UP AND GUSTS.
3 PM. I exit the blind and spot 5 jakes at the other end of the field. I call but no response.
7pm, I gather up and head back to the truck to make a different plan.
My plan is to vacate the area and head farther east to another SWA and where I had also hunted the week before and where I had two close encounters with the recurve bow and out of the blind.
My new plan was to use my ASAT leafy camo suit, the Heads UP Tom decoy and the compound bow. I was tired of using the blind and was very tired of setting in the blind for long periods of time.
Time to make something happen as time was running out!
Time to be mobile and proactive!
I drove in the dark and after arriving two hours later, I hit the sleeping bag and set the alarm for 4 PM.
Time to listen for any nearby turkey sounds. As it became lighter out the normal birds sounds broke the prelight. Off in the distance, a tom. I headed that way and down the edge of a corn field, stopping to listen once in a while. A few WTs were heading back to the thicket to bed and crossing the cut corn rows ahead.. The tom and his hens were roosted at the other end, 250 yards away, but still in the tree.
I waited at the end of the corn field next to some cover, and made sure all of the equipment was ready? bow ready, Heads UP decoy attached, knee pads on, ASAT camo on, face mask up, gloved on, arrow on the string, hen call in mouth.(Sometime I use a gobble shaker to add sound) I had taken off the Tight Spot quiver for less weight as the decoy is mounted on the right side also, causing the bow to be out of balance with both attached. READY as pictured above.
The tom moves slowly and deliberately; all puffed up like the fat king of the roost he is.
I have to make very sure I do not over play my hand. I check out my set up and gear, and then move slowly forward on my knees (thank goodness for the knee pads) with the bow up and the Heads UP decoy hiding me. I send out a few hen yelps. The six hens come to attention and I cross my fingers they do not spook. They see another tom and go back to feeding and still move my way but still 150 yards away.
The tom hears my calling and also goes to attention but a few seconds later, goes back to full strut.
He has spotted the intruder for sure and then at first moves slowly forward. I am not sure what he will do until he does it. Will he leave his hens?
Will he committ to the decoy and come within bow range?
A lot can happen inbetween the 150 yards that separate us. I move the decoy back and forth to show some movement.
The tom take a few more slow steps forward, slow at first but then he commits. He is running down the cut corn row, sort of bouncing like movement, and right into my lap, I hope. 100 yards, 75 yards, 50 yards. He slows down and goes full strut and looks over the situation. Convinced that the intruder is here to steal his hens, he move forward in full display, druming loudly. 30 yards, 25 yards, 20 yards, 15 yards. He lookED as big as a barn with every feather on his body sticking straight out and tail, fanned out full. Had to make sure to pick the right spot among all of those feathers.
Time to slant the bow to the right, (very slowly) and move the decoy off center to provide a good sight picture. He was now off to my right, I turned on my knees, following him. He detected the movement and started to let down his stance. Green pin centered, finger on the release, HE WAS TOO LATE, ARROW GONE!
Above picture of what the tom saw that last second as the arrow was heading his way.
Well one might expect with a well placed arrow, the hunt was over and the prize was mine.
NOT SO!. If you think there was drama prior to the shot, well think again. There was a lot more drama after the shot and more to come.
WACK! Feathers exploding, turkey tumbling, doing back flips and then rollng a few yards. The 471 grain arrow, with a 125 gr mech BH, traveling at 250 fps closed the 15 yards real fast, a mili- second. This is the same bow/arrow set up I use for 200 lb deer and 500 lb elk, (minus the mech BH for a fixed BH)
But the arrow BH penetrated both breasts, and broke the left wind near the joint and then the shaft stayed in the body, with the BH out one side and the vanes out the other. I shouted to myself, "die, die, die,"
The toms was not about to listen and he righted himself on his good legs, pointed backed the way he had come, and took off on a dead run like his tail was on fire. I again shouted to myself, " die, die, die" as he headed away, expecting him to pile up at any second.
I watched him cover the 200 yards back to the woods edge and disappear, the arrow still in him and sticking out both sides. "Dam!" or something like that, I said.
The tree line ended up being a small one acre wooded island surrounded on both side by the corn field. I circled round it carefuly without any noise. NOT A DROP OR SIGN OF BLOOD, FEATHERS OR BROKEN OFF ARROW!
On the second go around I would look carefully in the tall grass, brush, and downed logs. I was halfway around when I noticed some broken and laid down tall grass heading into the island. Too wide for a deer trail so I followed it for twenty feet.
THE TOM TURKEY EXPLODED AT MY FEET FROM THE TALL GRASS AND RAN FORWARD, CLIMBING OVER DEADFALLS, LIMBS, AND FINELY BREAKING FREE BACK INTO THE CORN FIELD. I had no time to mount an arrow, so I chased after him around the corner of the island. He had a head start and entered the adjacent woods 70 yards away. "Dam! I said, or something like that.
I was disapointed that I had not been more careful and had an arrow on the string. There he was for a brief moment at 5 feet, but now gone, and maybe gone forever.
And what compounded the problem was that there was deep creek just 150 ft away but I figure with a broken wing he would not be able to fly across, at least I hope that was true.
I started the slow search, but this time mounted an arrow. Inch by inch, foot by foot I looked and examined every sq foot of the area and then rechecked it again. NO Tom turkey!. Here did he go.
Ok, Paul, one more time around this area and along the creek. I expanded the search a little farther down stream and along a narrow deer trail just adjacent to the creek under a 5 ft bank. Just a few more minutes and I would give up the search.. I climbed up the bank and looked carefuly over towards the water into the tall grass.
THERE HE WAS IN THE TALL GRASS, HEAD UP BUT LAYING STILL. HE HAD RUN OUT OF TRAIL AS THE TRAIL CROSSED THE CREEK AND HE WAS UNABLE TO GO FORWARD.
I ducked down, readied the bow, stood up, aimed, and sent the arrow into his body. He flopped a few times and died. IT HAD BEEN TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS SINCE I HAD RELEASE THE FIRST ARROW OVER 500 YARDS AWAY.
ONE TOUGH BIRD and a good example of a missed shot into the vitals.
One can place a red dot on a picture of a tom, to where they think the best shot placement should be, and those who confirm that, will also believe in the red dot shot placement. But put that into practice, ie, the red dot on a live bird, under a stressfull hunitng situation, and missing that red dot by a few inches can result in a simular situation as this. Luckly I found this tom, my 45th tom kill, 40 with the bow.
1 3/8 inch long very sharp spurs will do that. A true limb hanger. Actually my first ever an I have hunted turkeys in six states.
There is a learning curve when using one which only is learned by actual in the field experiences.
I have learned that a tom with hens seems to be attracted to the decoy and is willing to defend them. but like calling elk or grunting deer, they all are not attracted and may not come in.
I learned to draw when the tom is out farther and then wait for him to close in. Draw behind the decoy and wait and then slowly tilt the decoy out of the way and pick a spot. As stated, I took the bow quiver off to reduce weight.
Being in some high grass to hid your lower body when kneeling can help hid you some.
Practice at home before heading out so you will understand the bow's reaction when adding the decoy to the bow.
So, 19 days of turkey hunting in two states. The Colorado hunt only took a few minutes so the rest of the time was spent, with four trips to Nebraska.
It could have been all over the first day on April 5, with the gillie suit and recurve bow but then I would then have to stop hunting early.
The first tom I missed back then would have been a good trophy and a bird for the pot but now I killed a tom, very heavy with long spurs and a great trophy.
The challenge is on going and maybe next year, the ghilly suit and stick with bring home the prize.
Thanks for following along as that was, as always, fun to share.
My best, Paul
Thanks again Paul!
GR Heads Up Decoy
Jims, Happy hunter, happy ending
Jerry, keep at it and try the Headsup, I know you have one
Steve, fun sharing with words and pics
Garrett, your decoys surely adds a great tool to hunt with. Looking forward to use the doe mule deer decoy this season in the high country.
Greg, your hunt on video, with the stick was impressive
Terry, I had never hunted this late in the season and did not know what to expect. This tom was fired up and on the way home I saw other toms in the fields, in full display and with hens. The Headsup decoy is well worth a try the next time you decide to hunt and anytime during the season. I know I am glad I purchased one.
Thanks all, Paul
Your best bird, and with the attack-style of hunt - congrats.
my best, Paul
A testament to your skill and persistence as a hunter Paul!
Congrats on #39 and #40 with the bow......great hunts, great stories, great pics.....Congrats!
Thanks for taking us along!
Mark, I have learned a lot over the years and my first priority is---- I owe it to the game I hunt to find them when wounded. As much as we love to see them drop within eye sight, there are a few times they do not and this is when the skill of tracking presents itself; a learned skill for sure if one takes the time.
I appreciate the comments.
my best, Paul
Missing that bull allowed me to hunt 19 more days and I had a great time in the high country chasing elk. First day success? Much too short of a hunt that we wait all year to do again. Sort of like this season's turkey season.
Rich, what have you done with the spurs over the years? I want to showcase these long ones somehow. Anyone??
my best, Paul
Part of being a Bowsiter, is sharing our hunts and information as I know it has help me over the years to develop new tactics to hunt a variety of game.
I know there are more hunters today packing a camera along and many share their photo with the rest of us. The quality of the stories and photos are fantastic and they surely inspire us all to be better hunters.
I will be hunting Colorado pronghorn, deer in Colorado and Nebraska and elk in Colorado so maybe, just maybe there might be another story to tell.
my best, Paul
Say it ain't so, say it ain't so....!!!!!!!!!
Hunting geese with the bow gets better the week before Christmas as the weather turns cold.
I hope to tell the story of the bull elk I kill with my recurve bow. Time will tell.
Thanks for the note. Paul
my best, paul