Overcoming Adversity to Fill Turkey Tags
April 06, 2022
I haven’t all the time been superstitious, however the deeper into my bowhunting profession I get, the extra I can’t assist however discover how unusual coincidences appear to repeat themselves. As an illustration, a lot of my most profitable hunts appear to start with one thing dangerous occurring.
Take the most effective turkey hunt I’ve ever been on, for instance. It occurred about 10 years in the past. Hoyt’s Advertising Director, Jeremy Eldredge, and I’ve sons which are roughly the identical age, and for a number of years he and I had been taking them to Nebraska every spring to hunt turkeys. That exact 12 months, the 2 of us had been packed in with 4 of our younger boys, driving by the center of nowhere in Japanese Colorado, when my shiny new SUV broke down on us. We barely made it to the closest city round for miles, solely to seek out out that the native mechanic was within the technique of closing up store for the weekend. It appeared as if our dangerous luck was going to price us half our turkey hunt!
After slightly begging and pleading, we had been lastly capable of speak the good-natured mechanic into staying open for just a few extra hours to assist us get again on the highway. Thank God, as a result of on that journey, the six of us went on to take a dozen toms with our Hoyt bows! That could be a pile of turkeys, and a feat made much more spectacular when you think about the oldest boy in our group was solely 14!
Unhealthy luck and turkey hunts, just like the one I simply described, have occurred to me extra usually over time than I’d care to confess to. So steadily, in reality, that I’ve turn out to be a bit superstitious in my previous age to the purpose I’ve truly come to anticipate — and sit up for — a fortunate stroke of dangerous luck in the beginning of any hunt, which is precisely what occurred when Bowhunter Editor Curt Wells and I went again to Nebraska final spring to movie an episode of Bowhunter TV.
Having been invited to return hunt by a buddy of ours from the Pope and Younger Membership named Joel Klammer, Curt and I drove into Central Nebraska on a ravishing day. The following morning, nonetheless, dangerous luck confirmed up. A storm entrance was rolling by and dumped six inches of snow on us — and temperatures had been anticipated to remain low for the subsequent a number of days.
Day One in every of our brief journey was a bust. With blowing snow and little visibility, the turkeys had been laying low…however I had a sense a little bit of dangerous luck to start with was simply what we would have liked!
The following day, I made a decision to drive an hour or so to some ranches I used to hunt again within the day with Jeremy, and I used to be stunned to seek out the snow hadn’t impacted that space to just about the identical extent. I visited previous mates and was capable of acquire permission for us to hunt on some dryer floor. But it surely was nonetheless chilly, the turkeys had been flocked-up, and Curt and I each knew we had been going to have our work reduce out for us.
On Day Three, I set a floor blind close to a thick stand of cedars the place the rancher had been seeing a flock of turkeys frequently. Not lengthy after daylight, cameraman Ken Sciacca and I heard some distant gobbles. With slightly calling, we had been ultimately capable of entice a few toms away from the remainder of the flock to return examine us out.
The “snowbirds” stood backlit atop a hill within the chilly morning air. Steam billowed from their beaks as they strutted and wolfed in an try and persuade our small flock of decoys to return be a part of the remainder of their group.
Video That Might Curiosity You
In late March and early April, when turkeys are sometimes nonetheless of their large winter teams, it may be troublesome to drag toms away from the flock. I usually fight this by making a small flock of my very own with my decoys. I usually use a minimal of three, however generally when it nonetheless appears like winter and all of the birds are actually packed collectively, I determine the extra the merrier. So, on that specific day I opted to arrange 4 decoys: A strutting tom over a bedded hen, flanked on either side by feeding hens, and it labored!
The toms on prime of the hill had been ultimately joined by a 3rd gobbler, and the trio determined they wanted to steal these hens from the lone tom and produce them again to the group. It didn’t work out properly for one among them, and the bad-luck barrier was damaged!
Curt and I had three tags every, and with the primary one crammed, it was time to get to work.
After watching the flock of fifty or so birds retreat into the duvet of the thick cedars, I figured it was time to depart the blind and take the combat to the turkeys. I gave them a while to settle into their noon lull, after which donned a bow-mounted Stalker Decoy and headed their means.
Occasional gobbles allowed us to zero-in on their place as we labored by the thick cowl on palms and knees behind the decoy till we noticed motion. After an extended stare-down with a number of strutters that had been inside vary however provided no pictures by the muddle, we lastly watched one perch himself upon a stump.
Inching my means alongside behind the decoy, I used to be capable of sneak inside 15 yards of the slumbering tom, at which level I knocked him off his perch with a well-placed Rage broadhead! Now we had two down.
The following morning, Curt and his cameraman, Cody Worley, arrange a stone’s-throw from the place I’d arrange the day earlier than, and I went simply down the highway to a different location. Ken and I popped up a floor blind, began calling, and shortly heard gobbles coming our means.
I’d set a Browning path digital camera out in entrance of our blind, pointed again in our route, and had 4 gobblers strut into our decoys, proper in entrance of it — capturing an superior reverse-angle HD video of the motion as I crammed my third and last tag. It was wonderful!
Now, for those who ever wish to see the Editor of this journal get grumpy? Simply put him three turkeys behind in a turkey killing contest! It wasn’t actually a contest, after all, however Curt is a competitor who doesn’t wish to be down by three below any circumstances — particularly on the subject of bowhunting! Let’s simply say that when Curt received my textual content informing him that I’d simply crammed my third and last tag, Mr. Wells all of the sudden grew to become extra decided than ever to get on the board…and it didn’t take him lengthy to take action!
Cameraman Cody additionally occurs to be a turkey information in Florida, and Curt had assigned him major calling duties. Shortly after receiving the information that I’d killed one other chicken, he had Cody get aggressive with the flocked-up turkeys, and though he was most likely talking Osceola to these Merriam’s, two toms broke from the flock and came visiting to analyze. When the encounter was finished, one lay useless in the midst of Curt’s decoys. Not lengthy after the tom’s quivering had subsided, one other redhead was lured in, and by lunchtime Curt had two of his three tags crammed.
The following morning, Curt had his third and last chicken pitch proper into his decoys from the roost, and he quickly had him flopping. On the similar time, after buying a tag for my cameraman Ken, he and I had been capable of sneak in on one other group with our Stalker Decoy, and Ken made his alternative rely.
We’d crammed all seven of our tags, all with archery sort out, on a hunt that had been reduce considerably brief by Mom Nature. Thank goodness it began out so badly!