Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Turkey Stories

Turkey season is still going strong and for some it is just about to get started. Below are a few more pictures of our recent success. This has been a good year for me.

Since I had already killed two birds this year I was going to let Danny shoot that morning. When he said he was going to hold out for a nice tom I brought my bow because I am NOT that picky!

After a little calling and having some hens within feet of our blind we spotted a tom behind us. We thought it was a jake because of its little beard, so Danny took the camera and I grabbed my bow.

Hunting in the mountains gives the turkeys an infinite amount of places to hide. If a wounded birds gets his wings he can be danged near impossible to find. So I decided to try out one of those Bullhead turkey broadheads. The results were devastating.

The tom gave me a 15+ yard shot and I hit him right above the caruncles. He started flapping and running off so we exited the blind immediately to chase him and shoot again if need be. We did NOT want to lose a bird in the mountains. The chase lasted about 75yds, he had expired, and bled A LOT.

A short video f the hunt:
Took my brother-in-law on his first turkey hunt this past week. We went to a totally new place not really knowing what we would find. We were pleasantly surprised when we got there to find the birds were roosting a few fields away from camp. Some even roosted within 100 yds from camp. We also had along another friend who has turkey hunted but has never had any luck, and never with a bow.

Camp was nice, right along a creek in the timber.

The first night was a bit of a scouting expedition but we still managed to get within ten yards of two really nice toms while still hunting. Didn't even come close to drawing the bow back though, they spotted me making the slightest of movements. I KNOW BETTER! Rookie mistake, but we found where they roosted and were going to back in the morning with the blind.

Next morning no less than 50 turkeys were absolutely going nuts on the roost. Of course the main flock headed the other direction, but we had these four young toms/jakes come to check us out.

My brother-in-law (Kelly) has become a danged good shot in the year that he's been in to archery, and I fully expected him to kill a bird. I didn't take into account what a little "turkey-fever" could do to a guy's shooting though. You can see a blur of yellow that was his arrow in this picture. He was about 4 inches in front of the turkey. DANG!

I had no intentions of being the shooter later that night but the only shot we had was out of one of the blind windows that Kelly could not shoot through. I one upped Kelly by shooting through the feathers of a young jake.

The next morning we moved closer to the roost hoping we could get more action, and boy did we. We had turkeys all around us all morning. We had talked a lot about where to shoot turkeys and how deceiving they can be with their feathers. Kelly shot at another tom and hit right where he was aiming, the problem was, there was only feathers there. Tough lesson learned, he didn't touch the bird's body.

Some more jakes came fast and we didn't have time to switch positions in the blind so I let an arrow fly at a small jake and shot him at the base of the neck. We held tight for a bit before going out and looking for arrows and a turkey.

While we were looking I saw my Dad walking towards us. I had no clue how his morning was going but I got a good idea when a turkey jumped out of a cedar tree and started to run with an arrow sticking out of him. The turkey was on the verge of death and we chased it a real short ways before we were able to shoot it again.

When we started looking for my bird we found a blood trail bigger than some deer that I've shot. We didn't have to follow it for long until Kelly spotted some tail feathers in the creek and pointed to my bird.

He had crawled into a little creek and up and under the bank. Amazing! Goes to show how it is so easy to lose a fatally hit turkey. They can hide so well.

The four of us. In total my Dad got two jakes, John (far left) got one jake, and Kelly (the big dude middle left) got lots of feathers!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Turkey Season Begins

Turkey season has started or is about to start in many states across the country. The Nebraska season began last Thursday and I was fortunate enough to get to go hunting. Early season is always a special time to hunt because the turkeys are still in their large winter groups. Later in the season when mating occurs more frequently it can be difficult to call toms away from their hens. But early in the spring those big gobblers are more apt to investigate a call because receptive hens are not as abundant.

So we set out with quite a bit of confidence for the opening day of the season. On this particular property the turkeys began roosting in the power line towers this year, which they had never done so before. With over 100 birds roosted in one of those towers, we snuck as close as we could without being seen and set up our blind and our chintzy little decoy. This early in the year I am not too concerned with the looks of my decoy. In my observation, later in the season when the birds have been hunted they seem to be a little more picky about the decoys.

The gobbling that morning started off intense. Not only did we have that flock of over 100 birds sounding off, but we had groups of toms from all directions coming towards all the commotion. There were, at times, no less than 50 toms all gobbling at once. We figured it wouldn't take long before a group or two decided to come check out our calling, which paled in comparison to the noise that the real turkeys were making.

After about an hour we had a group of four toms come by. I killed this turkey with my Mohawk longbow, a CX Heritage 150 arrow, and a Simmons Shark broadhead.

If we could have recovered the turkey we probably would have had many more shot opportunities that morning. Groups of toms continued to come to our calling but got nervous seeing the dead turkey and never came close enough for any shots.

Below are some more pictures of the hunt.

The power line tower in the background is just like what the turkeys were roosting in.
The big tom on the right is the bird that I killed.

One of the many groups that came no closer because of the dead turkey.