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2020 Turkey Season
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
HUNT MAN 17-May-20
WV Mountaineer 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
Scoot 17-May-20
t-roy 17-May-20
Brotsky 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Jasper 18-May-20
Jasper 18-May-20
Jasper 18-May-20
Jasper 18-May-20
Jasper 18-May-20
midwest 18-May-20
t-roy 18-May-20
t-roy 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
SBH 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
midwest 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Beav 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
midwest 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
midwest 18-May-20
Scoot 18-May-20
t-roy 18-May-20
midwest 18-May-20
NoWiser 19-May-20
otcWill 19-May-20
gunnar 19-May-20
Scoot 20-May-20
From: Scoot
17-May-20
My crew and me had a fun 2020 turkey season. Besides Ryan and Morgan (my kids), I had other friends and family I tried to help with getting a thunder chicken too. Below are some pics and videos of the 2020 season. It was a good one! However, as you'll see, it certainly wasn't perfect. But... we had fun!

From: Scoot
17-May-20
Ryan and I hunted the opener. I believe it was on a Wednesday. We were in a great area with tons of gobbling, but nothing came our way off the roost and we had to be done so Ryan could do his "distance learning" at home. Ryan was so tired after getting up at 5:30, he slept half the day and had to do homework until later that night. Momma wasn't impressed. I couldn't get Morgan to go the next morning, so unfortunately I went by myself. Of course, it was an outstanding morning that would have easily resulted in a double, if one of the kids had been along. I got picked off by a 3rd bird that was off to the side when I drew, but still managed to make good on the chance. This was my first double bearded turkey, which was cool.

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The bird that stuck around for 10 minutes after I shot the turkey.
Scoot's embedded Photo
The bird that stuck around for 10 minutes after I shot the turkey.
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
17-May-20

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The following weekend I got both kids out. Morgan was up to bat! We had a great night in the blind together, but unfortunately the birds didn't show up until late and all they had in mind was getting to the roost.

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Ryan really wanted to shoot a turkey with the Heads Up decoy. Unfortunately, all he seemed to do was scare the heck out of birds with it. He chased away every bird we went after with it. Until one day we spotted a group of jakes out in a field I'd never been in. A quick call to get permission and we were on our way. We crossed the field and the birds had drifted back onto the property to the south. Unfortunately, the birds were now on posted land and we didn't have permission on the other property. I called, they'd gobble. Back and forth, but they wouldn't come off the posted land. I shut up and tried get them with the silent treatment. I sneaked over by Ryan so we could discuss. Soon he said "they're coming" as he looked past me with big eyes. He was within a couple feet of the posted land boundary ("our field" was tilled, the posted land was untilled). I told him to back up quickly behind the heads up decoy. He moved a few yards and then said "Dad, look!" Five jakes were running 100 mph right at us. I laid down flat and watched. The birds hit the skids a few feet from the property boundary. They were literally 2-3 feet on the wrong side of the boundary. Ryan sat on his knees and hid behind the fan of the decoy. He stared, his heart was racing, the birds were gobbling in his face, but they wouldn't take any more steps towards him and he wouldn't be tempted into shooting while they were on the wrong side of the line. Soon, they drifted back and left. I was very proud of Ryan.

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The next day was fun! My brother managed to shoot a bird in the morning in one of my favorite spots. This was a public land bird in an area that receives some pressure.

From: Scoot
17-May-20
That same day my buddy Gabe came up to hunt too. I had a spot I was saving for Morgan, but decided to put him over there instead. He had a heck of a morning. Around 8:00 AM he had a nice tom coming into the decoys. The tom came strutting in and got to within ten yards of the decoys. "Putt!" "WTH, I didn't even move" was Gabe's thought. Then he saw it-- a wolf was coming in to his spread and chasing off the turkeys. The wolf walked right up to his hen decoy, sniffed it, then chased off the other birds. That's when he got his phone up and recording.

One thing to add about this wolf. We don't live in wolf country. In fact, the MNDNR insisted there are no wolves in our county for a very long time. This was in spite of the fact that many were seen and photographed. But, as you can see as plain as the nose on your face, that's a wolf!

From: Scoot
17-May-20

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
A couple hours later another tom came in and Gabe made good on the chance. A big bad wolf didn't save this tom's life!

From: Scoot
17-May-20
More tomorrow...

From: HUNT MAN
17-May-20
Now this is Bowsite at its finest . Can’t wait for more!! Hunt

17-May-20
Great stuff Scoot

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
The week+ that followed involved me trying like heck to get my kids a chance. I regretted shooting a bird without either of them early in the year and wished I had waited for a morning when I could have brought one or both of them along so I didn't burn that spot. But, with school going and after the way Day 1 went, I went out without them and shot one. Now I was trying like heck to get them a crack at one.

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
One evening I couldn't get either my kids to go out (Morgan wasn't interested, Ryan had other stuff going) and I called a friend of Ryan's and asked if he wanted to go out. Colby was game and off we went. We had been out a couple times earlier and almost had a crack at a bird, but it didn't quite work out.

But this night was different. We called back and forth with a group of birds as the evening wore on. With not much time left in the night I turned to Colby and said, "Well, if a bird is going to come in, it better do it in the next 10 or 15 minutes." The words had no sooner had left my lips and Colby clamped his hand on my left knee and stared past me with dinner plate sized eyes. I looked to my left and a jake strolled past the blind at about 5 feet away. Colby was shaking with excitement as he drew his bow when I suggested he should. His shot wasn't perfect, but certainly did the job! It was great and I was excited for him.

From: Scoot
17-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo
Morgan was waffling whether or not she was going to hunt anymore or not. I convinced her to give it another shot or two. Unbeknownst to her, the next two outings would be outstanding!

Our first trip was really fun. A group of jakes made their way towards us, but weirded out late and went around us. Soon after a nice tom worked his way in by us. Just as he got to the decoys the jakes came in and ran him off. He came back 10 minutes later and the jakes again ran him off. Eventually he made it back to us and then he did something I'd never had happen before- instead of going to the jake or the laydown hen, he took a keen interest in the feeder hen. Since this had never happened before, I always put the feeder hen off to the side and didn't put it in a place where Morgan would have a shot. But this tom fell in love with the feeder hen! He made several laps around the hen decoy, then proceeded to "go to town" (Morgan's words) on the poor hen decoy. He humped and pumped the poor decoy for almost ten minutes. I probably should have just waited and saw how it played out, but instead I got the bright idea that Morgan could shoot out of one of the small side windows. She tried, but hit the blind and it threw the arrow off. I looked at her after the shot- she was visibly shaking. Adrenaline was taking effect and she was rattled. I loved it!

Next she tried to lean way over and shoot out the big window. The bird caught movement and tried to leave. Morgan got a shot and narrowly missed him as he walked away. Above is a screen capture of her shot- the arrow had to have missed the bird's neck by less than an inch as he quickly walked away.

After that, Morgan got one more shot too! The tom came back and hopped back on the feeder hen. Because we only had two bullheads in her quiver her only remaining arrow had a VPA on it. I decided she could fit a VPA through the small window with no problem. I was wrong! She again hit the blind and missed for a third time. After three shots the tom finally had enough and left (good thing because we were out of arrows). Dang, but what a morning!

From: Scoot
17-May-20
That morning was outstanding, but the next morning was even crazier!

From: t-roy
17-May-20
Awesome stuff, so far! Can wait for the rest, scoot!

Looks like your bird was still alive after your shot. Did your bullhead just break his neck and paralyze him? Also, did you know that your bird had 2 beards before you shot him, or was it just a bonus after you recovered him? I’m still waiting to kill my my first multiple bearded bird :-(

From: Brotsky
18-May-20
Ryan and fences...he still has the only bird here that wouldn’t cross the fence too. Grr! Great stuff Scott! Can’t wait to hear the rest!

From: Scoot
18-May-20
T, if you watch the video closely you'll see the tom repositions his neck a split second before my shot. This made the bullhead go from head lopper to neck nicker. I cut about 1/3 of his neck, which was just enough. He didn't make it much longer than the video.

Ryan and I put out trailcams in that area this spring one day when we were feeling particularly cooped up. We actually got a pic of a double bearded bird. However, I think the bird we got a pic of is a different bird. Regardless, i had no idea he had 2 beards when i shot him and I was definitely checking those birds over carefully looking for 2 beards- I just couldn't see it.

Ironically the night before Ryan half-heartedly told me to be sure to not shoot any turkeys with two beards so he could when he went out. When I got home and showed him the double bearded turkey I wasn't sure how he would react. He gave me a big smile and stuck his hand out to shake mine and he congratulated me. Once again I was awfully proud of his reaction because I knew deep down he was also a little bit jealous, even if he was also genuinely happy for me.

From: Jasper
18-May-20
Congrats on a great and fun season Scott!

From: Jasper
18-May-20
Congrats on a great and fun season Scott!

From: Jasper
18-May-20
Congrats on a great and fun season Scott!

From: Jasper
18-May-20
Congrats on a great and fun season Scott!

From: Jasper
18-May-20
Congrats on a great and fun season Scott!

From: midwest
18-May-20
Really great stuff, Scott! Looking forward to the rest.

From: t-roy
18-May-20
Gotcha. I’ll bet ol Grinner is regretting that he didn’t go with you that morning! :-) Are you using the 125s or the 100 grainers? What is your setup for filming?

The second bird that my wife ever killed was a double beard. I never hear the end of it from her!

From: t-roy
18-May-20

From: Scoot
18-May-20
Haha, Jasper falls victim to a glitchy website! :) Seriously, thanks Jasper!

Morgan was ready to go back out the next morning, after getting three shots the day before. We set up in the same area, but about 150 yards to the SE. We saw birds early, but they weren't interested in coming over by us. They patrolled a treeline about 200 yards west of us. Eventually they headed to the north by the highway and I figured they would cross and go into the woods north of us. They often do that and I can't hunt the property across the road. However, as luck would have it, several hens crossed the road coming in our direction. Eventually, the hens dragged the toms and several new toms in our direction. Soon seven toms and a bunch of hens were coming across the field in our direction. One tom split off from the rest and walked directly at our setup. About 60 yards out he was making a bee line to us. But... a hen started calling behind us and he veered off to our right and went behind us. All the other turkeys came our direction, but wouldn't quite commit all the way. Then I heard it... the tom that went behind us was close. Really close. He was within feet of our blind and I could hear him drumming. Somehow Morgan couldn't hear it, but I'm not sure she knew what to listen for. He stayed back there for about five minutes. Finally, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye coming from the left side of our blind. I grabbed Morgan's knee and pointed towards the bird. She casually looked in that direction and I watched her face react as she spotted the bird. It was great- I could see the excitement in her eyes!

What happened next is in the video. The bird climbed on the laydown hen and once again "went to town", in Morgan's words. The tom was only about four yards from us. Morgan got drawn without the bird having a clue. She took careful aim and let it go. It hit the blind again! I couldn't believe it! The camo netting had slipped up a bit after I had everything all set up and she clipped it. Clearly Morgan needed a better guide!

The tom scooted away, but I called him right back in. He again climbed on the laydown hen. Morgan tried to draw, but the bird caught a little movement. He strolled over to the jake decoy and after a little shuffling around, Morgan got her shot. Check out the video- the first shot is earlier (the one that hit the blind) but the 2nd shot, and the far more interesting one, was at 2:50 in the video. Check it out.

From: SBH
18-May-20
Incredible wolf footage from the turkey blind! What a great season you guys had! Congrats

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: midwest
18-May-20
what the heck???

From: Scoot
18-May-20

Scoot's Link
T, using the 125s, which I love. However, I can't say I loved how this deal worked out! It was a one in a million (maybe 1/1000) shot though. The exact center of the bullhead hit that bird right between the eyes- if it was 1/16" left, right, up or down the blades would have lopped the top 1/3 of that gobbler's melon off. Instead it bounced right off of his skull. ...and since I know the questions are coming- she's shooting a 30 lb Mission Craze II. Arrows are Easton Axis and I'm not sure about total weight. It's actually pretty heavy since I have longer arrows on there for clearance with the Bullhead and we're using 125s.

I'm a big fan of bullheads, especially for kids and low poundage setups. This is the second time I've seen a shot that was "just too perfect" for them though. The design flaw with bullheads when you're using a light weight bow, IMO, is that the exact center of the broadhead has no cutting edge. With my bow, or 99% of the bows of people reading this, the KE of the more powerful setups would push the broadhead right through. But with a low poundage setup, it just doesn't have enough oomph to do it. This almost happened to the bird Ryan shot in CA with Joe and Chris, but it hit the neck and the blades caught just enough of his neck to kill him. Morgan's skull cracker shot didn't end as well though.

T, I don't know what the little video camera is- I think it may be called "Dragon Touch" and cost about $40. I bought it on amazon and it was pretty inexpensive. I had problems with it early on, but discovered it was the cord/connection. Got a new cord and it's worked well since. It's pretty cool- I can run the camera with my phone, which is kinda neat. I can actually see the view of the camera through the phone and turn it off and on. I included a link to what I think is the camera I use.

From: Scoot
18-May-20
Check out these screen captures from the shot.

From: Scoot
18-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: Beav
18-May-20
Great thread!!

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: Scoot
18-May-20
Thanks Beav! We don't mop up on 'em like you guys do, but we pick a few off every year.

For some reason the glitchiness of bowsite right now is not allowing me to put in the second screen capture. The empty posts above are supposed to be that second pic, but it just won't go through. I'll keep trying...

From: midwest
18-May-20
I wonder if the Solid D-Caps would have worked better?

Bowsite is all hosed up right now. Can't attach any pics.

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: Scoot
18-May-20
Nick, maybe the D-caps would have worked better. I think they have a chisel tip, right? I suppose one could sharpen that. Not sure if it would have worked better than the bullheads or not. But, I think the D-caps are something like $30 each, so I think I'll stick with the bullheads.

For the record, I still think bullheads are the best option for low poundage bows. This really was an extremely unlikely outcome and she just caught a bad break IMO. Like my buddy NoWiser said, if that had been me, I'd have laughed out loud. Since it was my 12 year old daughter, I was totally bummed out by it.

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: Scoot
18-May-20

From: Scoot
18-May-20

Scoot's embedded Photo
Scoot's embedded Photo

From: midwest
18-May-20

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Yeah, they are spendy but I bet you'd have paid $30 to have Morgan kill that turkey. ;-)

From: Scoot
18-May-20
You bet your sweet ass I would have, Nick! However, I'm really not sure they would have resulted in a different outcome. The bullheads have a circular (rather than a chisel type) tip, but it also is pointed. Maybe it would have been better, but who knows...

I've got a few more random pics (I think), but that's a summary of where we're currently at. Morgan hung up her bow after that last outting. She said she had put in her time and it wasn't meant to be. Ryan continues to chase birds away with the heads up decoy! Mostly he's shifting gears and golfing now that the course is open, but he'll get out another time or two most likely. If I've got an update worth sharing, I'll post. Otherwise, that was our 2020 turkey season. It was a fun one! I learned a few things, once again, and I had a hoot helping others try get a turkey.

If someone knows a good turkey guide for Morgan, she's looking for one! :) Apparently her guide was a total failure this year. The replacement guide has to be with an outfit where the owner guides the turkey hunter himself- otherwise they suck (I learned this little fact this year too). Haha- thanks for following along.

From: t-roy
18-May-20
Try “Beav’s Bighead Turkey Emporium and Bowfishing Excursions”. They’re out of Nebraska, I believe. He won’t disclose how many acres he hunts on, so that might make it a non-starter for you ;-)

From: midwest
18-May-20
Thanks for sharing, Scott. I still can't believe that head shot didn't kill that bird but it sure was an education and outstanding video footage. You're a great dad and I'm sure those kids wouldn't want to be guided by any other. Thanks for passing it on!

From: NoWiser
19-May-20
Awesome season, Scoot! Morgan has some good luck coming her way after the last few weeks!

From: otcWill
19-May-20
Really enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time

From: gunnar
19-May-20
Great write up per usual! When are you going to give in and bring your kids down to my place?

From: Scoot
20-May-20
Haha, I heard a rumor you had a bunch of hot and bothered toms down there! I wish that was in the cards, Jon, but not going to happen this year. I suppose Ryan could scare the hell out of your birds with that damn heads up decoy too! :)

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