June 03, 2011
If anyone is still turkey hunting right now you probably know all about hunting educated birds. These guys are not falling for any more clever tricks and have become very wary and difficult to hunt. Theses gobblers have been called at, spooked, and shot at so if they get a bad feeling, they immediately retreat. With that said, turkey season is still open in some states and I'm not going to sit at home just because the hunting gets a little tough.
Welcome to 5th season in Illinois. Instead of this state being called the Land of Lincoln I think they need a new slogan, Land of Ticks. I won't even get mad if they take my idea, in fact I can probably provide some great tick shots if needed!
After hunting for three days and not even seeing a bird, the last day I started second-guessing myself. I was contemplating getting out of the blind and doing a little run and bow hunting. If these turkeys couldn't come to me, maybe I would have to bring the game to them. As I unzipped the blind I looked back onto the field one last time before getting out and saw a big gobbler coming right out of the woods onto the field! My blind door was wide open, all my front windows were down and now I was staring at a huge gobbler closing the distance to my decoys. There was no time to zip up the blind door so I grabbed my bow, resituated and waited for this big boy to come in.
I'm not sure if there is such a thing as turkey fever but if there is, I was getting close to it at this point. I felt completely unprepared but the camera was rolling and my bow was in my hands. Movement was critical at this point, because the darkness of the blind was gone. There was as much light in my blind as if I was sitting out in the open! As the gobbler came within 20-yards of my decoys something spooked him. I'm not sure if he saw movement in the blind, my cameraman changing the light on the camera, or what but he decided he had enough.
He turned and started heading back to the woods. I drew my bow and made a shot that I feared was a little far back. I immediately bolted out of the blind to find my gobbler down only 40-50 yards away with another tom already on him pecking the dead bird! Even though the shot was a little far back the turkey was quartering away enough that my rage broadhead had enough penetration to go all the way through him taking out his vitals.
This was the last day of the season and absolute proof that gobblers can come in anytime. It's almost hard to believe I hunted for days on end, and then when I decide to unzip my blind, a gobbler decides to stroll onto the field. That's ok though, because I still love my gobblers all the same whether they show up on the first or last day of the hunt.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.