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Larry Atherton
UKC Forum Member

Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Central Michigan
Posts: 6472

May 11th first turkey hunt this year

Well, I went out and roosted about a dozen turkeys Friday night. It was pretty cool as I was watching the turkeys there was a buck rabbit chasing this female all around me. They didn't know I was there and often were within about 8 feet of me.



As I was watching the turkeys, the one tom seemed to be the dominate bird. When I was getting ready I saw my old tom turkey decoy. In the past it has scared away more toms than to has drawn. I really don't know why, but I loaded it up with a receptive hen decoy. I left the house at 4:30 am and had everything set up by 5:30 am. I had a tom gobbling from the southwest and one from the east. I had thought the tom flew up to roost directly to my west. Both birds were gobbling their heads off. I looked at my watch at 6:00 am when I noticed nothing was gobbling any more. Grabbed my binoculars scanning the field to the southwest. Yep, there was a large gobbler strutting along the field edge. He was probably about 260-270 yards away. I took out my old box call that has a heavy rubber band on it, and gobbled. The tom started walking north along the woods in my general direction. He started walking back & forth with his fan fully extended. I saved some money up this last winter to buy this custom crystal pot call that I played with in Gander Mountain over a year ago. I pulled out my new turkey call and proceeded to cluck about 5-7 times, then did 2 purrs followed up with about 3-4 yelps.



I looked up, and the gobbler was running full tilt straight towards me. I went to set down the pot call and striker, and looked up to see the gobbler was already here! I fumbled with my bow and getting my release on my D loop. The gobbler had already started a fight and thumped the decoy. He could tell something was wrong. Man, I was shaking and breathing excessively heavy. This darn turkey had completely rattled me! The tom started to back off. He was at about 12 yards and I shot. There was a thud and feathers flew. The tom ran straight towards the woods and stopped about 33 yards away. I already had a arrow nocked and was at full draw. He stopped and the arrow flew followed by another thud and even more feathers. The tom took off on a direct run for the woods to the west.



I was sitting there shaking like a strung out junkie. I looked at my watch and it was 6:07 am. I sat there trying to calm down and decided to check my arrows. My first arrow was easily found. It was wet and covered in turkey feathers, but I didn't see any blood. I saw movement to my left and there was 12 turkeys piling out into the field. Here I am standing out in the open. I quickly turned and headed back to the blind. The turkeys never saw me.



Most of the turkeys were hens and jakes. The jakes half gobbled, and here comes a gobbler from my east running straight to the hens. The tom didn't even look in the direction of my decoy. The tom made it down to the hens and stayed with them for awhile. Then two more toms coming from the south were heading towards the group. The one tom walked away to the north to let the two gobblers have the hens. The hens followed the first tom. Then everyone was all together. All those hens, jakes, and 3 toms. The lead hen started to make her way down to my decoys and the rest followed. The 2 new toms saw my tom decoy and started straight at it. Before I knew it all the turkeys were right there 10-18 yards from my blind. I could have easily shot any of the 3 toms several times. Finally, the toms got wary and went back to the woods edge west of me. I had all those turkeys in the field until 9:00 am, and then they all started going off in different directions. It was 9:30 am and there was only 2 hens left.



I exited the blind and they spooked off. I went to look for my second arrow. I couldn't find it. I looked for about 10-12 minutes and finally found two feather. That gave me a direction, and I soon found one speck of blood. I followed along that line and found some more feathers. About every 50 yards there would be 2-3 more feathers to about 80 yards from the corner of the woods. I went down into the woods. There was 3 large pools of blood and then there was my arrow. The arrow was covered with blood and feathers. The odd part was my nock was gone. Circling around the area with all the blood, I found one speck of blood that indicated the tom went across the creek. I finally found blood on the north side of the creek and it lead me to my tom. The arrow hit just above the tom's vent and went straight through the front of the tom.



The tom's beard was 11" and each spur was 1 3/16" long. I don't think I have ever had both spurs exactly the same length. That was my first day hunting. I am hoping to take a retired friend out for his 1st ever turkey hunt. This time though we will be using the ole shot gun.

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Larry Atherton

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Doug Robinson
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Warsaw, New York
Posts: 4217

Larrry

Great Story thanks, I felt like I was there!

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Todd K / UKC
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Kalamazoo, Mich.
Posts: 6026

Good job Larry! Thanks for sharing an exciting hunt. Congrats.

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