Last Day In Nebraska: Last Gobbler

The heavy cloud cover broke up and the sky brightened. So did the view around us. Before long, without making a sound, a small group of wild turkeys came over the top of the hill and ambled down in our direction.

Soon they were down on our level  Then, without warning, a closed mouthed longbeard walked into view on our right and approached the other wild turkeys. That made them turn around and go back up the hill about 10 yards. He followed them.

This gobbler had darker tail feathers than the Nebraska Merriam’s. He looked to be a Nebraska Eastern.

Some soft yelps from the right tipped us off to the possibility that more wild turkeys might be coming. Of course, the longbeard heard the soft yelps too and he turned around and stepped it off toward the new turkeys.

This year I’m turkey hunting with a new product named the BowStix and it comes in handy when you need to get your bow going fast. The BowStix holds your bow upright and ready to go. It is particularly nice in a ground blind where space is limited — and when Collin and his video gear are in the blind with me there is no extra space, the BowStix is a lifesaver. It keeps my bow ready and my arrow is knocked and waiting for action.

When the lonngbeard switched directions I put my hand on my bow’s grip and drew it to full draw. When he was in range two other gobblers were in the mix. Now my pins were shining brightly. I just needed a clear shot.

More soft yelps came from the right and I leaned so I could see further to the right. A flock of hens were on the way. These two gobblers were messing up my shot opportunity, once the hens got here there my gobbler would be surrounded by hens.

I needed to get an arrow going before they got here. The longbeard stepped around the other gobbler and headed toward the approaching hens. I needed a couple more steps.

The longbeard passed the other gobblers and was in the clear. He was almost to the open gate.  My pin was already following  him.

I put the Fireball to work and the arrow rocketed to the gobbler and knocked him down. Both leg joints were smashed and he flapped his wings wildly.

And then he was still, with his head on the ground. I waited a few minutes got out of the blind and recovered the gobbler.

His tail feathers were definitely darker. I carried him back to the blind.

Here is a picture from Collin’s camera.

Robert Hoague with his Nebraska Eastern wild turkey gobbler


Robert Hoague of

Alpine Archery F1 Fireball – A week before we left for the Florida hunt for Osceolas I received this new Alpine Archery parallel limb bow. I immediately went to to my friend Jim Mitchell’s ranch and Gene Curry set the bow up. So it was all that it could be.

When Gene was finished the F1 Fireball was quieter shooting than any bow I’ve ever owned. Quiet is important when bowhunting gobblers. A smooth draw is important too and this bow is extremely smooth and comfortable to draw. The bow’s rosewood grip fits perfectly. Speed is a good thing too and the Fireball is rated at 337 FPS. My turkey setup this year is only 58 pounds but the F1 Fireball still has plenty of speed — the arrows rocket out of this bow.

So when I took my shot the bow drove the arrow through both leg joints and cut a massive hole in the vitals and took the gobbler out too. This bow has lots of power, even at 58 pounds.

Grim Reaper Broadheads – When hunting gobblers I think the wider your cut is, the better. And the  tougher your broadhead is the better. When you make your shot nothing beats watching ’em drop. And that’s what happened today. This 100 grain Whitetail Special smashed both leg joints and made a 2-inch cut in the vitals. This Grim Reaper broadhead is a real winner.

Victory Arrows – I’m shooting Victory V Force carbon shafts. These carbon arrows group tight and fly fast. They are very tough too, I’ve shot wild hogs, deer and an alligator with them and have never had one break. Victory makes strong, good shooting arrows.

WannabOutdoors Bowstix – Until the BowStix there was no convenient way to keep your bow ready to shoot in a ground blind. It screws it into the bows stabilizer hole and has bi-pod legs that support the bow upright in shooting position. I nocked an arrow and stood the bow up with the BowStix.  Later when a shot opportunity came I reached for the bow. All I had to do was draw it. Nice.

I fletched my own arrows with the Arizona EZ Mini Fletch. It does 3 feathers at a time and is easy and fast to use. The vanes were white Bohning Blazers and I use the super fast drying Goat Tuff glue.

On The Bow – Gene Curry installed a string loop and a Whisper-Peep on my bowstring. My bow quiver is the Alpine Soft Loc 5 arrow model. It is quiet and can easily be removed from the bow (for hunters who want to do that). The arrow rest is the Alpine Whisperflite fall away rest. This rest is built for speed bows, meaning it gets out of the way faster than most of the drop aways. I’ve used this rest for 4 years and it is excellent. The bow sight is the Cobra Archery BoomSlang. I got the one with the largest pins available, those tiny pins are difficult for me to see inside a dark ground blind. I also had Nikon Binoculars and Rangefinder.

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BostixGrim Reaper BroadheadsGoat TuffArizona EZ Fletch