After getting Blake’s bird squared away, I was eager to get back into the field. Temperatures hovered in the mid-sixties and the wind was calm. Joining me in the blind for the evening hunt was my good friend, boss and Vice President of Grand View Outdoors, Derrick Nawrocki.
Like Blake, Derrick had yet to punch a longbeard with his bow, and I was eager to help make that dream a reality.
We were set up in an open bowl, and not long after deploying our Ameristep blind and placing out fakes, we had some hens and jakes come cruising through. The gaggle of birds had a different destination in mind and simply wandered off into the thick brush — the hens purring lightly and pecking at newly sprouted grasses the entire way.
An hour trickled by and I spotted three toms on an open hillside about 800 yards away. “Yep, that’s the ones I was telling you about,” Derrick whispered to me while peering through his binos.
You see, Derrick had been hunting this spot for a few days and the birds had been skirting him. He kept telling me about three big toms — toms he’d dubbed the three amigos — that he would see everyday.
The birds worked their way across the open pasture in our direction, but I just couldn’t call the trio off of their hens. We were sure the game was over. The birds got behind us and we figured they were on the way to their roost. We gave it another hour…nothing.
After making our game plan for the following morning, I set everything outside the blind and jumped out. I told Derrick to stay inside while I looked for a morning spot to place the blind. While glassing for that spot I caught movement in the brush. It was the head of a hen, and she was moving in our direction. I tossed our gear back in and huddled under some brush outside the blind.
The hens were on us a few minutes later, and they had a Jake in tow. I whispered to Derrick not to shoot the Jake as I could see the vibrant fans of at least two toms in in the brush. The toms were still a good ways off but moving in our direction. He couldn’t hear me. Luckily, the Jake never gave him a clean shot.
At one point I could have reached out and grabbed the foot of a hen. They were so close! Let’s just say I became an official believer in Under Armour‘s Ridge Reaper pattern.
We were surrounded by hens, but the toms had gone missing. Then, without warning, a trio (yes, the three amigos) popped out right on top of the Jake/Laydown hen combo. They blew up into strut and towered over the Jake for a good 30 seconds. My mind was racing. Why wasn’t Derrick shooting? Then came a whisper, “Dude, these hens are right behind our blind.” He had been peeking out the back window watching hens and hadn’t noticed the gobblers. At the time I had no idea what was going on so I called lightly on my Final Touch diaphragm and the trio gobbled. Seconds later an Easton arrow powered by Derrick’s Bowtech BT-X slammed into one of the toms. It was over. We had pulled it off! Team Grand View Outdoors is on a roll! More to come.