You can never count on wild turkeys doing what they did yesterday.

This morning they flew down from the roost trees and went the opposite way from yesterday, into the hills to the north. I let the blind’s window down on that side and watched them and took some pictures. Absolutely nothing came my direction as they left the roost and headed out for the day.

Later, after two hours of no turkey activity I noticed a lone gobbler come from the woods at the bottom of the hill. It strutted and I got a pic of it.

I made a few medium volume yelps. The gobbler turned and looked my way, a big longbeard. A minute later it walked closer but to my left and then disappeared from my view. I cut at him and heard him gobble several times. He sounded closer.

Bingo. The longbeard came back into view 20 yards away. I made two soft yelps and switched from the camera to the bow. The gobbler knocked another 5 yards off the distance that separated us.

I prefer to use a gobblers legs as a reference for its vitals but the weeds were too high for its legs to show. So I drew and took my shot. The hit looked good.

Woops, the gobbler flew!

I definitely like it better if they don’t fly. But he could not get any elevation and I saw him crash land in the woods. There were no other hens or gobblers in sight so I slipped out of the blind and went to recover my gobbler right away. He was laying under a cedar tree, still as could be. About 40 yards from him he suddenly putted loudly and made a very rough take off. Again he couldn’t get any altitude but he flew about 80 yards. I hurried after him and slowed down when I was where I last saw him near the edge of the trees adjacent to a grassy field.

I couldn’t find him.

He probably was in the grassy field. A barbed wire fence separated the woods from the field and I had to walk down it a ways to find a place where I could cross.

Immediately, sticking up in the grass I saw the body of a wild turkey. I knocked an arrow, just in case, and slowly walked toward the gobbler. When I got to it the gobbler flapped its wings and bounced into the air. My instant reaction was to dive at him and grab at whatever I could get hold of. I came up with a grip on part of his tail fan.

Some tail feathers came out in my hand.

But not to worry, the gobbler was down and done.

Robert Hoague with a Nebraska Merriam's gobbler.

This gobbler was a 20 pounder with 12 inches of beard. A real nice Nebraska Merriam’s gobbler.

EQUIPMENT COMMENTS

  • Once again the Primos Double Bull Dark Horse ground blind kept me out of view, in plain sight. Primos.com
  • The “Viper” from Freddie Bear Sports was my call and it brought in this gobbler. It has a clear, natural sound that is just a bit raspy. It is billed a Cutter type call but it can do it all. Contact them at 708-532-4133.
  • I used a BowTech 82 Airborne set at 62 pounds. It has a history of harvesting gobblers, wild hogs, bear and deer for me.
  • My arrows were Carbon Express Maxims tipped with a Grim Reaper 2″ cut RazorTip broadhead. Just like their ad says, I watched ’em drop. GRIM REAPER Broadheads
  • The fletching is florescent yellow Gateway feathers on yellow wraps from EZ-Eye.
  • My smooth shooting Fletch-Hook from Jim Fletcher Archery launched my arrow on its way exactly when and where I wanted it to. Jim Fletcher Archery