Turkey Season So Far

These turkeys greeted us upon our arrival at the ranch.


So far turkey season has consisted of an opening day attempt. The turkeys were there and I had my chances. Choosing my bow, but not wanting to set up my blind, I chose to float and shoot from the sitting position while leaning against an oak tree, just as I do with my shotgun.


Because my bow is very short (Mathews MQ32), I can shoot from the sitting position, but it’s not quite like standing. The problem with hunting without a blind is that the birds can see you draw the bow. For this reason, I decided to sit 30 yards from my decoy. This is farther than ideal, but sometimes compromise is necessary to give yourself a chance.


I’d had a response to my calling from a single bird and set up to see if I could get him back. My yelping failed to entice him, but another group of birds responded from behind me. Another series of yelps from my box call got a solid round of gobling from behind me and it was clear that they were on the way. I sat silent and waited.


Wearing my ghilie suit, I felt pretty confident that the birds would not recognize my outline sitting against the tree. The four birds came in behind me and walked by about ten yards to my right. They walked straight to my jake decoy. As they tried to intimidate the decoy, I drew the bow. They noticed my movement and became nervous. A wary old gobbler probably would not have put up with me, but the four jakes did.


I was able to draw and release from 30 yards. My arrow tickled the bird, but did not hit any flesh. He moved a few yards and I missed him again. After the birds passed, I called and they came back resulting in a third miss from 30 yards. Although I twice ticked the bird’s feathers, I never hit him hard enough to even scare him off.


Finally with two arrows left in my quiver and the birds drifting off, I decided it was time to regroup. Unfortunately that was all the action for the day.


I’m planning to try again this weekend. I’ll take my blind this time and try to get the 20-yard shot that will make hitting a bird much easier. However, if they refuse to come close to the blind I’ll once again try it free-lance. I may take my shotgun along in case I wound a bird, but I’m going to stick with archery as my main course.


One thought on “Turkey Season So Far

  1. I have only been on one “Turkey” hunt, Rich. I hope the following isn’t too long for this comment section.


    Alaska has some very fine grouse, (four species), and Ptarmigan, (three species), hunting. But Alaska is not noted for it’s abundance of Wild Turkeys. In fact, the only turkeys I have seen are in grocery stores. A few people will raise a turkey from scratch for their Thanksgiving table.
    I was hauling a trailer load of rocks from near where I work. Coming up a hill two and a half miles from where I live I noticed a grouse. No. It was too big for a grouse, must be a Raven. No. Not the right shape to be a Raven. By the time these thoughts have dashed through my mind I blurted out loud:
    “A TURKEY!!!!!!”
    I slowed down even slower, took my glasses off and couldn’t tell a thing. I am slowly coming to a stop and now have my glasses back on and it still looks like a turkey. I come to a dead stop just a short distance from the bird, rubbed my eyes and it still looked like a turkey. And I have no gun or anything to get it with. (The rocks on the trailer were all too big to throw.)
    I hurried home, unhooked the trailer, ran into the house and headed for the gun rack. As I grabbed the .22 rifle and shells I told my wife to jump in the Jeep, we are going turkey hunting. Error number one. It took five minutes to convince her I had not gone crazy.
    Error number two. I listened to her sound advice, which was:
    “Since it is evident the turkey is somebody’s lost bird possibly you can call it with a can of grain. Also, it is possible it is someone’s pet and you can approach it close enough to catch it with a salmon dip net.”
    We didn’t have any grain, but dog food made the same sort of noise in a can.
    When we got back to where I saw the turkey it was raining. Undaunted I started walking down the road in the rain armed with a .22 rifle, salmon dip net, and shaking a can of dog food calling out “here turkey, turkey, turkey.”
    Error number three. I forgot what day it was. It was payday. At least four persons who I have to work with were on their way to pick up their checks and stopped to ask me what I was doing.
    “Would you believe turkey hunting?”
    Then to top it all off, the rain had been getting worse and after an hour and a half I returned home with no turkey, and soaking wet. Since then I have had to put up with:
    “HEY! Turkey Bird, sampling your Home-Brew again huh.”
    “HEY DB,” (my common nickname), “I hear you have a real good batch of beer.”
    “HEY DB, tell me a good turkey story.”
    “Turkey Bird. Don’t you know there’s no turkeys in Alaska?”
    Etc., etc., etc., etc.

    That is a true story. 25 years later at a Thanksgiving party some one will still mention something about me hunting turkey’s in Alaska.


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