Crossbow Nation banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For some reason our birds have been extremely quiet this season. You will hear Toms gobbling on the roost, but once they hit the ground they get a total case of lockjaw. No midday gobbles and trying to get a shock gobble is all but impossible. Maybe it is because our bird numbers are down, or maybe it's just that with the cool, dry spring there is less undergrowth and the birds are using their eyes, or maybe a combination of both. No doubt someone will get around to blaming it on Trump sooner or later.

This morning was no exception. I heard three Toms while they were still in the trees. The closest sounded to be 150 to 200 yards away. When they flew down the gobbles stopped. I did hear some hens between me and that closer bird, but that only gave him something to go to instead of my calling.

I had set up at the very bottom of a long, sloping hayfield that has steep timbered draws on either side and river bottom below. There is a hump that runs down the center of the hayfield that seems to attract birds later in the morning. I had set the decoys on the crest of that little hump and was tucked back under the northeast side of a Cedar growing on the edge. My furthest decoys was 22 yards out, but they were easily visible from all of the brushy edges.

20210427_072422.jpg


About every 15 to 20 minutes I would do a short series of yelps, purrs, and clucks on the MADD crystal slate. Starting off softly, watching closely, then ending with some louder, raspier notes. About 8:30 as I started a set of calls I was immediately answer by a hen behind me in the draw. She called two more times before coming into view just down from me. I saw movement in the brush behind her and was hoping she had a Tom tailing her, but as it neared the edge that drab brown color turned out to be a second hen.

They both wandered out through the decoys, pecked around at the red clover in the field, then dissapeared over the hump. I kept looking for that trailing Tom, but there wasn't one. Obviously both of these girls had already been bred and were working back toward their nests.

It was close to a hour later when I saw something back in the edge toward the bottom that wasn't there earlier. It was still as a statue and could have easily been dismissed as a shadow back in the brush. A couple soft yelps on the call and that shadow started moving toward the outer edge.

A big dark bird showing full color on his head. With his size and coloration I was very surprised to see he was a Jake as he stepped out into the hayfield. He stood there a moment eyeing the decoys, puffed up, then went into full strut trying to get the plastic hens to come to him.

After strutting and showing off for a minute or so, he dropped his tail and started walking toward the ladies. Now I like shooting longbeards as well as anyone, but I also like eating that tender, white meat, so a big Jake is fair game in my book. If he gave me a shot I had already decided to take it.

As he worked in on the decoys, he went to the backside of the hump. When his head dissapeared I slowly raised my bow and got the forend resting on my knee. About as fast as he had gone out of sight he began to reappear strutting straight toward the rear decoy.

He stopped just behind it and raised his head. He was a perfect 23 yards, so I settled the crosshairs directly on the base of his head, took a short breath, then squeezed through. The crested 2216 zipped off the Matrix directly to where the skin stops and the feathers start. The blades on the Hypodermic had to have been perfectly horizontal and obviously opened on contact because at impact I saw his head pop off as he dropped, followed by several seconds of wing beats.

20210430_103316.jpg


A nice 17 pound bird that will be some sweet eating. This young guy definately went head over heels in love.

20210430_103949.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,784 Posts
Well done, congrats.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Vet

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,784 Posts
Well done, congrats
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Vet

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,981 Posts
For some reason our birds have been extremely quiet this season. You will hear Toms gobbling on the roost, but once they hit the ground they get a total case of lockjaw. No midday gobbles and trying to get a shock gobble is all but impossible. Maybe it is because our bird numbers are down, or maybe it's just that with the cool, dry spring there is less undergrowth and the birds are using their eyes, or maybe a combination of both. No doubt someone will get around to blaming it on Trump sooner or later.

This morning was no exception. I heard three Toms while they were still in the trees. The closest sounded to be 150 to 200 yards away. When they flew down the gobbles stopped. I did hear some hens between me and that closer bird, but that only gave him something to go to instead of my calling.

I had set up at the very bottom of a long, sloping hayfield that has steep timbered draws on either side and river bottom below. There is a hump that runs down the center of the hayfield that seems to attract birds later in the morning. I had set the decoys on the crest of that little hump and was tucked back under the northeast side of a Cedar growing on the edge. My furthest decoys was 22 yards out, but they were easily visible from all of the brushy edges.

View attachment 197717

About every 15 to 20 minutes I would do a short series of yelps, purrs, and clucks on the MADD crystal slate. Starting off softly, watching closely, then ending with some louder, raspier notes. About 8:30 as I started a set of calls I was immediately answer by a hen behind me in the draw. She called two more times before coming into view just down from me. I saw movement in the brush behind her and was hoping she had a Tom tailing her, but as it neared the edge that drab brown color turned out to be a second hen.

They both wandered out through the decoys, pecked around at the red clover in the field, then dissapeared over the hump. I kept looking for that trailing Tom, but there wasn't one. Obviously both of these girls had already been bred and were working back toward their nests.

It was close to a hour later when I saw something back in the edge toward the bottom that wasn't there earlier. It was still as a statue and could have easily been dismissed as a shadow back in the brush. A couple soft yelps on the call and that shadow started moving toward the outer edge.

A big dark bird showing full color on his head. With his size and coloration I was very surprised to see he was a Jake as he stepped out into the hayfield. He stood there a moment eyeing the decoys, puffed up, then went into full strut trying to get the plastic hens to come to him.

After strutting and showing off for a minute or so, he dropped his tail and started walking toward the ladies. Now I like shooting longbeards as well as anyone, but I also like eating that tender, white meat, so a big Jake is fair game in my book. If he gave me a shot I had already decided to take it.

As he worked in on the decoys, he went to the backside of the hump. When his head dissapeared I slowly raised my bow and got the forend resting on my knee. About as fast as he had gone out of sight he began to reappear strutting straight toward the rear decoy.

He stopped just behind it and raised his head. He was a perfect 23 yards, so I settled the crosshairs directly on the base of his head, took a short breath, then squeezed through. The crested 2216 zipped off the Matrix directly to where the skin stops and the feathers start. The blades on the Hypodermic had to have been perfectly horizontal and obviously opened on contact because at impact I saw his head pop off as he dropped, followed by several seconds of wing beats.

View attachment 197719

A nice 17 pound bird that will be some sweet eating. This young guy definately went head over heels in love.

View attachment 197720
Congrats and thanks for sharing.
Great read!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great pics. and even better story. Congrats Old Vet. Getting within 23 yards of a gobbler and shooting his head off with a crossbow arrow is no easy task. Well done.
Thanks big bird 1. I love to turkey hunt with a bow and the closer they get the more exciting it becomes. One of my favorite seasons was spring 2014. I still had sight in both eyes and was hunting with a Black Widow PSR recurve. Filled both tags that year. The first a 12 yard head shot, the second bird was a 6 yard shot through the base of the neck. Both big adult Toms. A very memorable year!

Good Season.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Thanks big bird 1. I love to turkey hunt with a bow and the closer they get the more exciting it becomes. One of my favorite seasons was spring 2014. I still had sight in both eyes and was hunting with a Black Widow PSR recurve. Filled both tags that year. The first a 12 yard head shot, the second bird was a 6 yard shot through the base of the neck. Both big adult Toms. A very memorable year!

View attachment 197745
Wow,
That's absolutely awesome and with a recurve to boot. So sorry to hear about your vision issues. It takes a real man to continue on with what you love after a life changing event like that.
All the best to you my friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow,
That's absolutely awesome and with a recurve to boot. So sorry to hear about your vision issues. It takes a real man to continue on with what you love after a life changing event like that.
All the best to you my friend.
Well, you can either sit in the corner and feel sorry for yourself or figure out ways to go on enjoying life. Since I've never been much on playing the victim I chose option # 2. My retinal ecullusion occurred in September 2016. I relearned how to shoot rifles, shotguns and crossbows left handed by November. Not to play on words, but since then I have never looked back.

Life goes on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,334 Posts
Well, you can either sit in the corner and feel sorry for yourself or figure out ways to go on enjoying life. Since I've never been much on playing the victim I chose option # 2. My retinal ecullusion occurred in September 2016. I relearned how to shoot rifles, shotguns and crossbows left handed by November. Not to play on words, but since then I have never looked back.

Life goes on.
Old Vet, i don't know what a retinal ecllusion is, but i suffered a torn retina in my left eye that Same year. That was one scary and tough thing to deal with. You are Obviously a Great Hunter and an even better Man that never gives up and it Shows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Old Vet, i don't know what a retinal ecllusion is, but i suffered a torn retina in my left eye that Same year. That was one scary and tough thing to deal with. You are Obviously a Great Hunter and an even better Man that never gives up and it Shows.
A retinal ecullusion is basically a stroke in the eye. The veins and arteries supplying blood to the retinal are about the size of hair. A blockage occurs cutting off the blood flow and all or part of the retina dies. No pain or indication other than strobing light flashes in that eye followed by a flood of floating black spots and within hours a loss of vision.

Mine happened overnight. I thought it was a detached retina which is not that uncommon at my age and is treatable. Not the case. Similar symptoms, but once the retina dies that's all she wrote.

Since you suffered the torn retina you likely had many of the same symptoms and know the panicked feeling that sets in.

The experience certainly gave me a new appreciation of all the things most of us take for granted.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stalker and JCAT
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top