South Dakota”s Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in late April, 2013. The Weather Channel called it the worst spring weather in the region in more than 100 years, with winter conditions — dawn temperatures in the low to mid-20”s, daytime temperatures never over 40, and, often, blowing snow. That means the turkeys remained in their winter flocks of, sometimes, more than 100 birds, making it extremely difficult to hunt them. We could not get close to roost trees before dawn or they would her us on the crunchy snow. So, the tactics were to try and locate them, usually in the afternoon, get as close as we could, and use the technique that has proven super deadly the last few years — a real gobbler fan attached to a Feather Flex Thunder Chicken 1/4 decoy.

Kristi Drawe, Marketing Director for Aimpoint, makers of some of the world”s finest electronic sights, is eager to bag her first gobbler. Ken Byers and her husband Shane join her on this adventure.

The Hunt

In this case what we did was, we used the snow to actually follow turkey tracks to locate where the huge flock was feeding and loafing in the afternoon. The plan was to get between they and their roost trees, show them the decoy, and see what happened. Because there were so many turkeys, the gobblers did not aggressively come attack the intruder — our decoy — as the often do during normal spring conditions, but it did allow us to slip in tight to them. But as they slowly fed towards us they flanked us, and we were busted; as they moved to make their escape Kristi made a tremendous 40-yard shot with a Remington Model 1100 topped with an Aimpoint sight and loaded with Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey shotshells filled with No. 6 nickel-plated shot.