Graf’s Gobbler

It took a little doing, but we finally got Todd Graf back in the woods to chase spring turkeys. Todd and Justin recently made a sit in a ground blind set that has produced over and over again in recent years for turkeys. It’s just one of those prime pieces of real estate where the turkeys like to be.

The guys got their blind and decoys in place and climbed in to wait for the action to unfold. “This is one of those spots that you typically don’t even have to call,” says Zarr. “The birds are going to be in that field sooner or later.”

But on this morning, the birds appeared to be playing hard to get. The turkeys were hanging out in an adjacent field to Todd and Justin’s setup. Despite the fact that he rarely has to call from this setup, Justin ripped off some yelps towards a hard-headed gobbler crossing a cut corn field several hundred yards away.  Like a buck in rut the longbeard snapped his head up at the sound of the call, spotted the Avian-X decoys and b-lined for their location.

Using an aluminum turkey pot call

Justin scratches on his pot call trying to pull a gobbler into the field.

With the decoys placed tight to the blind, the gobbler rolled right up on the scene presenting Todd with an 8-10 yard shot. He dropped the string and sent a Black Eagle arrow zipping through the bird.  Although the first shot was a fatal one, Todd immediately got out of the blind and put a finishing shot into the bird.  A wise decision considering the amount of birds that escape archers each spring.

turkey and bow on the ground

Bowhunting for turkeys is tough. Their vitals present a very small target. Kill a bird with your bow and you’ll know you’ve accomplished one of bowhunting’s toughest tasks. Graf’s Halon 32 decked out in Optifade Open Country camo was certainly up for the job.

Todd's 2017 turkey

Todd was in the right place at the right time to kill his very first Illinois gobbler. It was a great way to kick off another season of Bowhunt or Die and the 2017 bowhunting season.

Measuring turkey beard

This gobbler’s beard measured in right at 10 inches with 1 1/8″ spurs.

It’s been far too long since Todd chased turkeys in the spring, but I think it’s safe to say, we’ve created a monster now. Todd is already planning additional trips to punch a few more turkey tags before he shifts gears and begins preparing for fall deer season.

hunter with turkey

Turkey hunting in the spring is pure fun. Walking out with a turkey over your shoulder will put a smile on your face and a great meal on the table every time.

Watch for this hunt coming shortly on Bowhunt or Die!


  1. If you would cross over to the head lopping camp you wouldn’t lose birds. You might miss every once in a while but that’s better than donating to the national coyote foundation.


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