Let’s start out where I left off with the last story. We all know about the Indiana buck that got away from me. Bad shot, he ducked my arrow, whatever excuse I wanna give or receive, he got away. It was time for REDEMPTION. (If you would like to find that story, look into “trophy stories” from last fall)
Three days before The 2019 Indiana Turkey Season, my 4 year old son and I were setting up the Double Bull blind in the field I call “The Last Strut”. Not only have I killed a few turkeys in this small field, but I have taken out a couple friends of mine in this field to harvest their first turkeys. So, never the less, it’s just the right field to be in.
Being a Sales Manager of a dealership, I don’t get to take time off of work very often unless its an emergency. And to me, this was! I told my boss I had a severe case of “Turkey Fever”, and asked for the day off. She understood 100% and gave me the day off, under one circumstance. That I would give her some morel mushrooms when I found some this year. DEAL!!!!
Wednesday. April 24th 2019. OPENING DAY.
I set up my half strutting Jake decoy over a hen in breeding position 8 yards away, and a feeding hen about 5 yards just to the right of them. I got in the blind and got my video camera set up, and then my Mathews Creed situated. Arrow is nocked and ready.
Now, its time to wait.
Hearing early morning roosting gobbles is one of my favorite things when it comes to the sport of hunting. And was I ever hearing them this morning! Not just from one direction, but all around me. Nothing close tho, as I knew they didn’t roost on my property. But my confidence with a turkey call is through the roof, and I knew it was just a matter of time once I started calling.
The time was 6:50 AM, when all the gobbles stopped. So I pulled out my Primos Hensanity Slate, and my Triple 777 striker, and gave a few yelps followed by a couple puts and purrs. The gobbles were getting closer. For a while after that, nothing but silence. But I wasn’t worried one bit, as I knew this field is HOT.
10:30 AM. The First Sighting.
I looked towards the road that is about 200 yards away, where I know they cross everyday. It’s like a highway for them. There was a hen on the other side of the road making her way to my field. I grabbed my Binoculars and watched her for about 10 seconds before I saw him. There was a BIG Tom strutting behind her. I know he saw my Jake decoy, as he went in circles strutting on the other side of the road. After 10 minutes, he finally crossed the road following that hen. But, they broke off into the woods more than 100 yards from me.
“They’re here.” I kept telling myself. “It was just a matter of time now.” Knowing how sneaky these birds are, I kept my focus all around me. Here came 2 more hens from across the road. They broke off in the same spot the first hen and Tom went. Not long after they were out of sight, 2 more Toms came running towards me from the other side of the road. When I say running, I mean they were on a full dead sprint. I could see their beards waving back and forth from 100 yards out. And out of nowhere, they broke off in the same direction the last 4 did.
Eager and excited, I grabbed for my slate call. Just before I hit it, another hen came from in front of me. She walked around my decoys putting and purring. And then she went into the woods. This was driving me crazy!
12:00 PM. Game Time.
From the time all 7 turkeys entered the woods. I didn’t call once. I knew they were there, and I knew they were close, and I said to myself, “Be patient, no need to hit the call and get one off tone sound to spook them from coming in. They know about my decoys. Be patient.”
There it was!!!!! A gobble from behind me. Probably 40-50 yards!
This dude was hammering down! I grabbed my slate and hit a few yelps followed by a couple putts and another couple yelps.
12:50 PM. The Second Sighting.
I looked out my left window of my blind. Here came another hen. Different one from the first that circled my decoys. This one was much smaller. I just knew one of the three Toms were soon to follow her out there. So I grabbed my Mathews Creed and waited. This being my first ever turkey with a bow, I wasn’t going to be picky. I wasn’t going to pass on the first one. Not long after the hen made her way to the middle of the field, he came out.
1:00 PM. The Arrow Flight.
I watched him cross under the electric fence. Body so big, he barely fit as I could hear the fence wire shaking. He was only about 20 yards at this point as he made his way to my decoys. Heart absolutely jumping out of my chest, I watched him walk slowly. As soon as he started his strut, I drew back. Shaking, breathing heavy, I had to calm down. He let down his strut as he started to walk behind my Jake. In a flash, I was going through the shot placements on a turkey with a bow, with all different angles through my head.
I let it fly.
It was almost like slow motion as I watched my arrow fly through the air towards him.
Absolutely PERFECT SHOT! Right where I was aiming! The Tom flapped his wings and tried to run, and made it only 10 yards before he laid down for his final nap. I couldn’t believe it. I had done it! I knew he had a decent beard on him, but I was focused on making the shot rather than sizing him up.
After a few minutes passed. I ran out to get him. I looked down and saw a very thick beard. “Was this Picaso?!” Picaso was a bird I was after last year and never had a shot at. I named him that because his beard was as thick as a paint brush. I rolled him over and at first I saw a double beard! SWEET! I killed another double beard 2 years before. So this was awesome.
But… to my surprise he wasn’t a double beard. This turkey had 4 beards! FOUR!!!!!
I am still in absolute shock! What an absolute trophy! A once in a lifetime!
This Tom weighed in at 28.5lbs on the dot.
His Spurs were 1.25″ long.
And his beard total length was 31.87″.
That night I looked up The NWTF Indiana Record Turkeys. After scoring my bird, with 2 other NWTF Members as Witnesses, my bird will be #1 in my County, and #2 in the State of Indiana taken with a Compound Bow. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I still do. I am far from done with the 2019 Indiana Turkey Season, as I look forward to calling for a couple friends of mine to see if they can also harvest their first turkeys with a bow.
I hope everyone has a safe hunting season, and best of luck to everyone!