The next morning I was back on stand extra early. The roosted hen was nearby and I didn’t want to scare her off the roost on the way to my blind. I listened for gobbles but heard none. The hen never make wake up calls before gliding from her perch to the opening in front of me. She once again approached my decoy and then headed for the orchard. I hunted until 10 AM and Eugene came to take me to another farm.
We stopped by his home on the way and I got to admire two air boats parked in his drive. Eugene hunts alligators from the boats. He told me alligator hunting and deep sea fishing are his two passions. We headed to another farm, drove through the orchard and headed for the woods. Oranges were being picked and a lot of activity was under way in the orange grove. Eugene thought the place to be was in the nearby woods, and was he right.
“I’ll let you pick the spot,” Eugene said as we entered the woods. ” There are two nice Oak hammocks that the turkeys roost in and they will be heading here this evening.”
“I never guide the guide.” I told Eugene. “You pick the area and I can find the set up I like.”
We stopped in the second Oak hammock. I found a spot on the edge with pastures on three sides. I put the blind up with my back to the west. I don’t like starring into the sun all afternoon, and that puts the shadow side of the blind facing approaching birds. I placed the decoy 15 yards to my front. It was in the view of all three surrounding pastures. “Call soft,” Eugene suggested.
“Call soft,” Eugene suggested.
This is Eugene’s territory and I am not going to question his wisdom. As he left I got my gear set up. I put my video camera on the tripod and centered it on the decoy. I fell in love with my new Walmart boat cushion.
I waited 45 minuets and called softly with my mouth diaphragm. A close by hen quietly mimicked my call. I called again and her return call was closer. I got my bow ready in case she had a gobbler with her.
My heart skipped a beat as a big red headed longbeard Osceola gobbler snuck in from behind my blind. It headed straight for my hen decoy.
It passed my blind 10 yards to my left. I drew back and the gobbler jumped when it got to my decoy and stopped 5 yards to the decoy’s left. I centered my pin and shot. I heard that loud arrow slamming “thump” and watched the longbeard run 30 yards and collapse. My arrow was still in it. To my surprise the gobbler lifted it’s head and looked around. Not a good sign.
I loaded another arrow. The Tom bounced up and stood on one leg. It started to hobble off. I shot again and my arrow blasted a patch of feathers from unknown parts of the bird and it was off like a top fuel dragster. I marked the spot where it disappeared and bolted out of the blind, bow in tow.
The Tom had entered a thick wooded canal. I ran for the road and headed for the far side of the canal. As I came around the corner, I spotted my arrow’s bright fletching, the gobbler was heading for the next small patch of woods.
I circled the woods trying to cut the gobbler off, but I did not see it come out. I circled back to the last spot I saw the gobbler. He was still there … on the edge. I walked up slowly and when I saw the head of the gobbler come up I drew and shot. He was immediately down for good. I grabbed him and thanked God for this glorious day.
This was a special turkey hunt for me. This was my 5th Osceola with a bow and that completed my fifth bow Wild Turkey Grand Slam. I immediately called my fiancee Kathleen to tell her of my good fortune. I was surprised she was as excited as I was. Hunting really isn’t her thing, but she does support me in my passion. This made me really happy to hear her enthusiasm for my turkey kill.
I then called good buddy Robert Hoague and he sounded more excited than me. Just as I was about to call David my phone rang. It was David and he asked if I heard anything. ” Just a loud thunk,” I said. He shouted, “All right!”, with his South Florida draw.
Eugene was the next on my call list. He was equally as happy for me. This was really nice knowing others shared my joy for this hunt.
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