The Thomas Ash Turkey

Q:  Tell me a little about what happened when the Turkey was harvested? The morning of this hunt was quite possibly one of the most memorable turkey hunts to date. Before daylight I slipped into an area I knew the birds were roosting. I set up in some small cedars, where the roosting area meets a small winter wheat field. The birds, both hens and toms, were very vocal on the roost that morning, and I was happy to join in with my calls. I had several hens that were roosted between my setup and where the toms were roosted on this morning. Two of these hens had gotten extremely worked up over my calling which naturally had the toms white hot. As the morning light grew the two hens pitched down and landed about 150 yards into the field past my decoy.


Bowhunter Thomas Ash poses with his trophy Kansas longbeard.

I made a few soft calls and the hens came running. Once they got within a couple yards of my old decoy they began to puff up and raise all kinds of racket. At this point I knew it was “game on”. I heard the toms fly down and non-stop gobbling ensued as the birds slowly made their way towards my setup. Meanwhile the two hens were busy investigating both my decoy and I. It didn’t take long for the dominate hen to realize that the yelps and purrs she was hearing were not coming from the decoy but rather from the trees. She quickly shifted focus and came directly at me to see what was going on.

While I was sitting motionless trying not to alarm the nosy hen, I could see the two big Tom’s making their way to the decoy and they were less than 50 yards out. As my heart raced the hen was now less than a yard away. I thought there is no way she will not discover what is going on here, but as luck would have it she just worked her way around the cedar in front of me and continued talking to the big boys. I now had both hens at less than 5 yards and the toms at 20. I thought for sure I would get busted on the draw, as the toms passed behind the last tree I made my move and drew my Mathews. The hen at my decoy caught my movement and the toms, now at less than 10 yards and in full strut, froze in their tracks. It was now or never, I squeezed the trigger on my release and my arrow found its mark. My tom was down, dropped in his tracks. Of course, now the other tom (likely the less dominate of the two) decided to begin beating the feathers off of my trophy, so I quickly hopped up to claim my bird. In hind sight, it would have been an easy double, but hey who wants to end their season the first week anyway.

Q: What were the major factors that helped you harvest this turkey? A lot of time scouting, a very understanding wife, and a little luck.

Q: Anyone you would like to thank, for their help with this harvest? My Dad, Tom and my good friend Terry Gribben, if it was not for these two guys I likely would not be a bow hunter. Last but not least my wife Amanda, who even though is often frustrated by my need to always be in the woods. She always makes the sacrifice necessary to allow me to pursue my passion. She is the best!

Hunting Conditions : April 6, 2013, Time of Day: Sunrise, Weather: 60 Degrees Clear and Calm, Location: Marion County, Kansas.

Type Equipment Used:

Bow = Mathews DrenalineBroadheads = Magnus StingerArrows = Easton Axis N-fused 340’sCamouflage = Mossy OakBlind = Gods Blind – a few scraggly cedarsCalls = Mad Heavy Metal / HS Double D Decoy = Old Flambeau henClothing = Scent Blocker Dream SeasonOther = Scott release

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