6:39 I settle into the blind after a 1/2 mile walk in.
7:30 Turkeys are going crazy. Gobbling non stop with some hen feedback.
7:36 1 lone hen flies down
7:39 feeder goes off and the hen stays
7:42 A beautiful 15” spread 7 point mature 4.5yr old deer comes in behind old feeder and approaches feeder. This is one of the largest bucks to date that I have seen on this property after 10 years.
7:46 small doe trickle in followed by bigger does
7:50 2 Tom turkey come in with mature doe near them.
Doe spook multiple times due to wind/nervous behavior. 8 point stays
8am I wait for a good opportunity as big doe and turkey fight over corn for a shot. Turkey flaps his wings and I draw back with no response from deer. I wait for 2 minutes at full draw for doe to turn broadside. I release and watch my arrow fly gracefully over her back due to her dropping 6” Deer ninja that she is runs away unscathed!
All the deer spook but the turkey stay at 25 yards. Turkey come back into 18 yards and I pick the longest bearded bird as my prey. I draw back, hold on his chest and release. The bird is struck by the arrow with an odd puncturing sound and hits the ground only to promptly fly off to the right and back of the blind. After hearing the departing wingbeats for about 5 seconds I hear a crash. I waited about 10 minutes and struck out to find my arrows. At first I couldn’t find my doe arrow even with the luminock but eventually found the arrow embedded in the dirt 15 yards behind my target area. The arrow is spotless with a deployed swacker. Disappointed, but not surprised, I set out to find arrow number 2 and my turkey. I begin looking on a game trail to the back of my blind and find a trail of feathers and a large lump next to a tree but no arrow. At first, I dismissed the lump as a pile of dirt and roots, thinking that would be too easy for this to be my turkey. Mind you I was only 40 yards from where the turkey was shot and 25 from the blind. I got about 10 yards away and realized to my surprise that the lump, was in fact my turkey. Approaching the bird I saw it’s massive tail feathers and bluish head peaking up from the ground. After making sure it was dead, I rolled it over to look at its beard! The beard was bigger than I expected, 9.5” long with 3/4” long spurs. I took a moment to enjoy the reality of what had just happened. I hadn’t successfully taken a turkey and hadn’t shot an animal by bow in 15 years! For the past 4 springs, I had actively turkey hunted spending close to 15hrs each trip out looking for turkey only to be disappointed by myself or the bird. 2 times I had a shot at a bird but missed due to poor angle or hunt planning. Yet now while targeting deer,in a freak event, I had a 2 huge toms in front of me within easy shooting distance, even with a bow. I consider myself extremely lucky to have shot a beautiful gobbler, especially when that was not my original target. Of the six sits on the ranch during bow season this was the most interesting. I saw animals that I hadn’t before, I got 2 shots off and I saw a pond full of ducks to boot! Patience pays off, persistence is key and hunting will always be about the pursuit, not the kill!
9:29 2 1/2 four point walked out into field behind feeder for 2 minutes
9:40 Cows move into the field and I call it a hunt.
I heft the 20lb bird onto a shoulder and begin the triumph walk back to the ranch house!