For those that followed and engaged in my “Life Of A Bowhunter In Deer Season” blog, let me first extend a big thank you! I love bringing live to semi-live hunt updates from the field and sharing my adventures, and it’s time to do it again.
Yep, the doldrums of winter are lifting and the sun-soaked days of spring lie ahead. For me, and countless others like me, that means one thing: spring turkey hunting! Join me once again – or for the first time – as I tackle springtime noisemakers in a trio of states (Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma). In addition to the blog updates and videos concerning all things turkey, I will also be adding some get-in-shape-for-fall pointers and shooting and equipment tips, and I’ll be taking you on an exciting free-ranging axis hunt to the Lone Star State in late May. It’s sure to be a good time, and I encourage you all to keep the emails coming.
Let’s kick start this Day 1 blog right and go right to the Nebraska woods.
NOTE: Most of these updates are typed in the field on an iPad or iPhone, and mistakes are inevitable.
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Southeast Nebraska
Weather Conditions: Overcast skies and winds out of the SW gusting to 30 mph.
Setup: Field edge of a cut cornfield where the birds like to cruise throughout the day. Avian-X (www.avian-x.com) LCD Lookout Hen, LCD Laydown Hen and LCD-Jake Quarter Strut decoys placed at 11 yards. Primos (www.primos.com) Double Bull blind tucked between a pair of medium-sized cedars. Calls used included the MAD (www.flambeauoutdoors.com) Billy Yargus Signature Series Soft Touch diaphragm and the Primos Power Crystal pot-and-peg.
The conditions were less than ideal, but one thing I’ve learned during my springtime turkey tenure is this: Turkeys will still be in the woods and they will still be doing the things turkeys do. They may not be as vocal, but they will work if you’re willing to get out (no matter the weather conditions) and get after them.
An hour had trickled by before we had any in-the-field action – a group of 10 hens and one lone tom scratched and pecked their way across the top of the field. The group was about 150 yards away and, due to the slope of the field, couldn’t see our decoys. The howling winds also thwarted our efforts to pique the birds’ interest with our calls.
Another hour had come and gone, and my good friend and hunting partner Terron Bauer and I were spinning turkey tales about hunts past when we heard it. Yep, we were certain – it was a gobble. It was off in the distance, but it was no doubt encouraging. The wind was starting to subside and a few minutes later, the gobbler thundered again. The good news: He was much closer. I let out a couple of soft yelps with my diaphragm and he immediately thundered back. I waited, repeated the process and this time not one but two gobblers responded. We waited. Nothing. Terron decided to toss out a couple of soft yelps on his slate and the pair cut him off instantly. Seconds later they popped through the brush on the opposite side of the field. There were four toms, a handful of jakes and two hens. The hens saw the Avian-X decoys and came on a run. The jakes followed, but the toms skirted off to our left. Not sure if the longbeards were ever going to commit, I made the decision to head shoot a jake.
I pulled my Hoyt (www.hoyt.com) Defiant Turbo back, settled my Trophy Ride (www.trophyridge.com) React Trio on the bird’s head and pulled through my Scott (www.scottarchery.com) Longhorn Hex and watched as my Rage-tipped (www.ragebroadheads.com) Easton (www.eastonarchery.com) dropped the juvenile in his tracks.
We had finished high-fiving and were wrapping up a little video segment when Terron spied four hens at the opposite end of the field. Yep, a big tom was in tow, and after calling softly and subtly to the hens, they walked right in to the decoys. The tom followed and stood over the dead jake in full strut. It was an awesome sight. A well-placed arrow put the tom down.
I couldn’t have asked for a better hunt to kick off this spring blog. Be sure to keep an eye out for the video (coming soon) right here at www.grandviewoutdoors.com. I hope you’re all either in the woods or preparing for your upcoming spring adventures right now. Feel free to drop me a line and keep me posted on how your hunts go by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.