LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015
In the spring 2008, I was committed. My wife would like to say in more ways than others. I was committed to using my longbow for the entire turkey season no matter how desperate I got. So I did my homework, found places to hunt, set up cameras, blinds, did some extra scouting, and purchased leftover tags. I did everything in my power to hopefully accomplish what I felt was next to impossible.
Several times I set out, but had no luck; I was getting birds on cameras and seeing birds from a distance, but closing the distance was just not possible. The birds were there– I just needed to work harder on a plan. I knew the later seasons would be tougher to hunt the birds, but I was bound and determined to not give up.
While hunting one sunny afternoon I noticed a group of toms strutting amongst themselves a couple hundred yards away in a green field. The sun lit up the colors on their feathers and made them even more tantalizing. I was on the other side of a fenceline in a cut corn field. The landscape was perfect because there were some drainages between the birds and myself.
The fenceline was also made of stone and brush. This was it. The cards were in my favor. I closed the distance to about 75 yards from the birds. I set up on the fenceline behind some rocks and brush on the cornfield side. My plan was to make a few soft putts and try to draw the birds down the fenceline past me so I could get a quartering shot at the last one. I felt this would be my best chance at not being busted.
After a few soft putts, they were on their way, like a bunch of college guys on ladies night at the local club. Within minutes they were well within bow range and looking for love. Any one of those birds could have been a trophy. I didn’t care about the length of beard or spurs; I kept focus on how and when I could pull off a desperation shot. The neat part was I was trying the Magnus bullheads, so I was curious about how they would work if given the opportunity.
It was now or never: on one knee I drew back. I think I hit anchor, focused on the closest bird, and let fly. I saw a flash of feathers and toms were scattering in all directions– all but one. He lay piled up approximately 15 yards from me.
After further examination it looked as though the arrow skimmed the back of the bird and caught a good piece of the neck and cut the bird wide open. It was one of those moments when you look around hoping to see if anyone is there to celebrate with you. I gave my thanks to my Maker, tagged my bird and headed back to the truck. I had to be careful with each step so I wouldn’t trip on my smile!
I had just accomplished something I never thought I could do. I knew I had withdrawn a huge piece of luck from my luck account, but that was ok. I would find a way to start saving up for the next time I would need to cash in. I was hooked: this traditional thing was slowly sinking its teeth into my bowhunting nerves, and man did it feel good. I still refuse to hang up the Mathews Z7, but we all like a new challenge every once in a while– this was definitely it.