We got up early and got all set up in a nice where I knew some birds had roosted near from scouting the night before. I had a couple decoys in front of us and it was a beautiful morning. We heard geese, cranes, ducks, drumming grouse, and most importantly, turkeys! Here's what our decoy spread looked like that morning.
After the tom I set up for left the roost and headed away from us, we occasionally called and waited. Morgan tried her hand with both the box call and the diaphragm call. She did well with the box call. The diaphragm call, well...
Soon she was snacking...
Soon after that, she took a nap. Just before she dozed off I called in this hen.
She hung around the decoy spread for almost an hour. Towards the end of that hour I softly yelped and a gobbler blew up about 40 yards to our right. Morgan had already woken up, but she popped up and got herself ready. I got her crossbow ready (hold the groans and complaints please, I managed to use a vertical bow on this hunt too, but if it bothers you that my nine year old daughter used an xbow, then you suck and you should quit reading this! LOL). I looked up and a jake pealed off of a couple hens and headed for the jake decoy.
Just after I took the picture above I had finished whispering to Morgan to take her time and to wait for him to hold still, when two more jakes came sprinting in. I whispered "more are coming Morgan" and watched and readied the camera for some more pics. The birds attacked the decoy with great enthusiasm! They were feverishly beating the tar out of it and I was loving the show. Just as I was about to snap another picture I saw Morgan aiming left, then right, then mumbling something and she sounded like she was panicking. I leaned over and whispered "Don't shoot yet, Morgan. Just take your time and wait for one to hold nice and still. There's no hurry." I leaned back up to take more pictures and just as I did, I heard the "Whump" of the bolt taking off.
I watched in amazement as I saw the turkey get hit-- he rolled back and to the side, but his left wing dropped straight to the ground. "Oh my, what a terrible shot!", was all I could think. I reached down for my bow, to try put a finishing shot on the bird, but before I got my bow up, he was running off at breakneck speed.
I tried to decide whether to get Morgan loaded up with another bolt or not, but decided that bird would almost certainly die, so I took an arrow out of my quiver and when I looked up I was pleased to see another jake walking into my shooting window at a whopping distance of 4 yards. I shot him and he ran 15 yards and keeled over. The last remaining jake ran over and put a beating on that bird.
While he was doing this I saw Morgan's bird flopping just 20 yards to our right. A double! Most importantly, it was with my daughter! We were thrilled.
For the second time in a couple weeks the decoy was sprayed with blood!
The scene of the crime.
When we got over to the bird Morgan shot I quickly discovered that she had actually made a good shot. The Magnus Bullhead had clipped off the tip of the bird's beak, cut about 1/4 of his neck, and after passing by the head area hit the wing and sliced it off. It definitely wrecked this jake's day!
I was so excited to take pictures I forgot Morgan's face mask!
Typical Morgan, she just had to have a picture like this!
Good luck, Robb
A HUGE congrats!!! Way to go teaching your dear old Dad a life lesson on shot confidence:)!!!
Nicely done Scoot!
Best of Luck, Jeff
We went to a roosting area last night and get set up at about 5:45. I'm pretty sure we bumped a tom and a hen on the way in- they were headed in the direction of our planned location and we tried to hightail it in there and beat them to the spot. But, all was quiet and I think we spooked them on the way in. However, we heard a gobble about 45 minutes later and I looked up and saw three jakes coming in on a string. Ryan readied his bow and I got my camera ready. Unfortunately, something happened to me at that point that I've never had happen-- my camera battery crapped out on me. I failed to charge it and it died, so all I got was crummy cell phone pictures. Poor planning on my part.
The jakes attacked the decoy immediately. After getting busted the last time he tried to draw his bow, Ryan was patient with when to draw. Too patient, IMO, but he finally got back to his knock point and locked on the biggest jake in the bunch. That guy finally lifted his head up and held still for a second and Ryan made good on the opportunity.
Ryan loves to pack any animal he shoots out of the woods. However, he didn't make it too far with this pack-- the blind, two chairs, and his turkey.
We were tagged out in MN! Four tags (one in SD) in about 2 1/2 weeks and all were filled! All we have left now is to help some friends try get a bird or two. What a great Spring for my kids and me! Have I ever confessed just how much I love bowhunting?!? I love it and I'm so glad my kids do too. Thanks again for all the kinds words! Good luck to all who are still chasing thunderchickens!
Also, tell Ryan that if he comes back to SD next spring he can carry my pack too, I only want to carry loads this heavy out of the elk woods! Ha!
Scoot, it will sure be nice in a few years for you. With all that experience Ryan is getting packing stuff out, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to pack your elk out for ya!
It was nice to see a turkey come within your effective range! LOL!
"It was nice to see a turkey come within your effective range! LOL!"
Haha, I can handle that distance! I hope an elk comes the same distance from you this Sep, Z!