By: Roy K. Keefer
Shelby, my wife, and I huddled in the blind as daylight broke. We could hear an occasional gobble of a tom turkey in the distance. Now the challenge was to see if we could just entice one to come within bow range.
If you read my last article you know I was getting ready for a turkey hunt in Nebraska. The area is the same farm we have hunted multiple times for whitetails. Nestled on the Republican River in southern Nebraska, the wooded shoreline is home to many deer and turkeys. The turkey population is heavy and we thought the prospects for bringing home some turkey breast were good.
When we arrived the landowner/farmer told us that spring had arrived early. After a mild winter, spring had come at least a month earlier than normal. The gobblers had been strutting for nearly a month when we arrived. That caused us to have some concerns. But we had traveled 300 miles and weren’t about to give up without a solid effort.
My plan was to hunt on the edge of an alfalfa field that adjoins a cut corn field. The spot has been productive in the past; I remember one year killing two toms in one day with my bow. Due to the unseasonably mild spring the alfalfa was so tall that a turkey could walk through and never be seen. In fact, one morning three deer walked into the growth and they completely disappeared when they put their heads down to feed. So we went to Plan B, put on our HECS STEALTHSCREEN and set up our blind and decoys on the edge of the cut corn field. We started up the Thermacell to ward off the pesky mosquitoes and got ready for action. I was anxious to see the new VPA Turkey Spur broadhead anchor a tom.
I don’t use mouth calls, I wish I did but I never felt comfortable with them, so I rely on box calls to do the job. My calls were quickly answered and soon we saw two jakes with a 2 year old tom at the far end of the field off to our side and behind us. They would have to come to the corn if I was to get a shot. The closer they came the more evident it became that they would pass behind us. Shelby was in the blind with the video camera and things were a little tight. Not much elbow room.
We decided we would slowly close one side of the Matrix Double Bull blind and open up the back so I could get a shot. This necessitated moving the camera, backpacks and chairs, all the while trying to be quiet. It wasn’t easy but we got it done. As the turkeys came close to bow range, they veered off to the nearby woods over 40 yards away and never presented a shot.
The next couple of days brought more of the same. Despite moving the blind and trying several ways to set up the decoys, they refused to come within bow range. With a shotgun, they would have been toast but I was using my Mathews HeliM compound and it just didn’t happen. Long ago we learned if you want to hunt with bow and arrow you have to be willing to accept the fact that sometimes you won’t fill your tag. All in all we had a good time, we spent time together chatting about a lot of things; got to visit with some old friends and enjoyed God’s creations. You can’t complain about that.
Mathew HeliM compound
VPA Turkey Spur broadheads
Thermacell insect repellant