That all changed on the morning of May 17, 2014. I decided to reach deep into my bag of tricks and carry into the field a taxidermy mount of a giant Eastern gobbler that my longtime buddy Gary Clancy killed about 20 years ago. He gave me that mount knowing I'd put it to good use in the bow blind.
Because the gobbler deke is so large, I figured it would scare away visiting toms rather than lure them in, so I tipped over the decoy. I built up a mound of dirt under the deke's shoulder to raise its head and make it look like the deke was struggling for its life.
And it worked! The dead tom (the bird on the left) stepped out of the woods and into the picked cornfield with blood in his eyes. In three-quarter strut, he circled my decoy, and when he stopped just before jumping on the dying deke, I sent a Magnus Bullhead on its way. The arrow and broadhead are in the photo, too.
In the background you can see the box blind on the edge of the field. Because of frequent high winds in SD, a pop-up blind would be torn to shreds if left in place for weeks on end. I shot from the square window (black opening) in the middle of the blind. Range was only 4 yards.
Thanks Gary for giving me the taxidermy decoy, and thank you God for giving me the passion to hunt.