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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One of the things that I looked forward to when I retired in 2019, was getting to have more time to chase turkeys. The fact has always been that I'm a pretty bad turkey hunter. I have for many years used them as an excuse to hunt with my stickbow rather than any real passion toward turkey hunting itself. In the 'early' days, I gun hunted and killed a few; but it just didn't trip my trigger to the degree that it does a lot of people.

It took me 10 years to kill my first archery tom, and 'twenty" to kill the second one. Do the math...it ain't pretty. That said, I you have to give me credit for being persistent. (And I guess a bit dull witted) Last year, I hunted like a mad man. Finally got a shot at about 6 yards and the arrow deflected downward off the screen net (a Korean blind with a screen the thickness of burlap) that resulted in a clean miss.

Feeling the sting of defeat a little more than most of my historical mishaps with a bow, I promised myself that I was going on an out of state hunt where money wouldn't be an object....some place where turkeys were as thick as bees on a hive! I heard Rio's were pretty dumb and were plentiful so that seemed to be what I needed. I called seem like a hundred outfitters in early January, telling them I was a recurve shooter, needed a 5 or 6 yard shot, and truthfully wasn't a very good caller. Oddly, they were all booked up. I'll give credit to one TX outfitter who told me that he didn't want to hurt my feelings...but frankly I just wouldn't fit in with the other hunters:)

I finally found an outfitter in SE Kansas who said he thought he could make it work...said he only had one other hunter booked in the turkey archery season. (It's cool that KS has an archery only turkey season!) I asked all my friends, all of which really couldn't see spending a couple grand to hunt a bird with a bow. No takers. I also place a request for anybody to join me on this forum. Crickets.....

I hunted the first two weeks in Mississippi and never saw or even heard a gobble. I loaded up and set upon the 10 hour trip to Kansas alone. It didn't look like turkey country but what do I know? I got to the lodge and no one was there. Shortly after I arrived a car drove up and Sally from Wisconsin showed up...the other hunter. She made steady drinks (for her) and I listened to her stories for a couple of hours. The outfitter finally showed up took our money and had us sign some release forms. One of the two guides got there a little before dawn after a night on the town. He was my guide.

The first two and a half days of the three day hunt....I didn't see or hear a turkey. Sally didn't either. The outfitter said they had lockjaw...too early. Yet the afternoon of the last day, we went to a different spot and turkeys were gobbling everywhere! I called a jake into my decoys where he proceeded to whip his plastic adversary.... while alternating with some serious negotiating with a very stiff and unresponsive hen. He actually stayed on the two decoys for over FOUR hours at 5 yards....eventually jumping up on the tom decoy so much that he drove the supporting stake all the way into the ground!!!! Why didn't I shoot the legal jake? The outfitter said 'jakes' were off limits and could not be shot. I even texted him and offered him several hundred dollars (while my DSD was being destroyed) more if I could shoot the legal bird....he said he rather me not. So much for merits capitalism...money doesn't buy everything. I eventually got out a bag of Lays potato chips and sit in the middle of the open window and chopped 'tater' chips. The bird never even acknowledge my presence. I took some poor video with my phone. At least I was right about the Rio's being dumb.

Not deterred, I returned to Mississippi and hunted like a possessed madman. No birds or gobbling activity until two weeks ago when I heard two behind my house. I hunted a couple of mornings and the birds were roosting within a 150 yards of my Primos blind. They flew the other way from the roost each time. I thought I heard a corn feeder go off in the direction they flew. I suspected some wildlife 'hanky panky' going on; but had no proof.

Given the birds were coming back toward my property in the afternoon, I got in my Primos blind about 1:30 and sweated like a sumo wrestler in a hot rocks sauna. A hen walks into my decoy set at 4pm, pecks the head of the hen, and walks off cackling like she was on crack. That was exciting, but the best came 15 minutes later. Two huge toms, walked in looking like T-Rex's with beards thick as bananas dragging the ground. As one closed the gap to 7 yards, I drew, steadied myself, and made a smooth release. The first bird in a decade was going to be mine! Joyful jubilation was at hand! EXCEPT...the bottom bow limb hit my pants leg and the arrow whipped nearly straight down...the arrow later indicated a complete miss. ARRRRGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

I understand that turkeys have the brain size of a pea, but I was pretty sure they wouldn't be fooled again into the same decoy set and funny looking blind. But what choice did I have? I waited a day and went back into the blind and sure enough a bird was gobbling in the same place as the other mornings...Though just one bird rather than the two I had been hearing. I heard some light calling in the direction of the suspected corn feeder. Sure enough, he flew in that direction. 15 minutes later, I heard the report of a small caliber rifle and that's the last time I have ever heard a gobble>>>ARRRRGGGGHHHH. I never know what happened to the other bird.

Well that probably it for this year. I had a chance....a very good one at that and messed it up. But you wait until next year! Next year is gonna be big! I'm going to get them then..... I'm going to a place where turkeys are as thick as bees on a hive......etc, etc, etc

Your welcomed to come.
 

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Sorry to hear about your experiences with the outfitters...especially the one who said you wouldn’t fit in. That’s a load of crap if you ask me.

But I do admire you sticking with it at home..at least you can say you had an opportunity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate it guys. I kind of look at it like I created some memories that will stick with me forever. Though it didn't turn out the way I wanted; it was still WAY better than sitting on the couch watching TV!

I've gone the last couple of days without any activity....so I'm sure it's over for this year.

Already planning for next year!
 
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