Nebraska: Good Luck And Bad

 

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Fred Lutger and I returned to the picked corn field before daylight. The wind was crazy strong and ice was on the ground in places. Not what this bowhunter expected on a May wild turkey hunt. An hour passed before we saw the first turkey, a big gobbler on the far side of the corn field.

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It’s 65 yards across the corn field to this fat bellied longbeard big boy. I called at him but he didn’t react to it. The wind was blasting in the front window of the blind and he may not have been able to hear me.

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Usually, this early, most of the wild turkeys enter from the left side of the field. But the wind must have re-routed them through travel areas with less wind exposure. A couple of hours passed before we saw the next wild turkey. He came from behind our Double Bull ground blind and we first saw him on our left.

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He was hurrying to cut off a hen that we hadn’t seen yet. For some unknown reason the hen did a 180 and went back to the woods behind our ground blind. The gobbler blew her off and walked into the blind’s shooting window.

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However, I had my eye on another developing scenario a little farther away on our left. A Strutter and another fat boy gobbler were following another hen.

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They were too far left of my shooting window and I couldn’t get a shot at the Strutter. Both longbeards followed the hen into the corn stalks at the edge of the woods.

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Soon, some Jakes came from our right. A hen was in the middle of the group. They were 30 yards out but getting closer.

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I saw a longbeard in the trees at the end of the field 60 or so yards away on my right. I put Scott Ellis’s signature call in my mouth and yelped. The longbeard gobbled instantly and changed directions. I cut and shut up. He slipped up to the turkeys out in front of the blind. I ranged him at 17 yards and hooked my Fletch Hook on my string loop.

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My new Mathew’s Chill drew smooth and totally quiet as I eased it back to full draw. By now the longbeard had cut off the other gobblers and was next to the hen, he was facing me. I put my top pin on his chest and touched off the shot.

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He ran directly at the blind and quickly zig zagged around it. I peeped through a slit in the blind’s back window and saw him in a brush pile 70 yards away, flogging his winds on the ground. Then he was still.

A Jake came across the field in front of us. Look at how the wind is ruffling up his feathers.

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Next a group of Jakes came into the field and wandered around. When they saw our decoys they ran to them and looked them over.

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At 11:00 it was lunch time and Fred and I got out of our blind and I went to recover my longbeard. Oh, oh, it was not in the brush pile where I last saw it. Nearby, I saw lots of turkey feathers strewn around on the ground. The gobbler was a few yards further, nearly eaten. A fine double beard and the sharp spurs were good trophies but I much preferred to have the turkey meat also.

COMMENTS:

My ThermaCEL Heated insoles saved the day this morning. It was very cold and made even more so by the blasting wind. I wasn’t but my feet were comfortable.

My new Mathews Creed XS is black with zero shine so it’s invisible inside the dark blind. This bow drawn very smoothly and it shoots extra qwuiet.y. The Chill is short, only 28″ axle to axle, so it is just right for hunting in the limited space and head room of ground blinds. Creed XS is a definitely great looking bow, too. The bow features a Simplex Single Cam, Mathews unique Geo Grid Lock Riser, Parallel Limb Design, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Dampeners, Dead End String Stop Lite and a Zebra “Trophy” Bowstring.

Mouth Call: I used the Scott Ellis Signature Energy Series mouth call from Woodhaven Custom Calls. ThisScott Ellis’s call is easy to blow and control. Scott is a winning competition caller and very successful turkey hunter, Scott Ellis is, among many other honors, a NWTF Grand National Head To Head Division Champion. If you don’t have it I recommend Scott’s DVD “Mouth Call Magic”, in it he shares In-Depth Detail for using mouth calls for turkey hunting and calling and if you want to call better you should get this DVD.

BROADHEAD: I used the Dead Ringer Trauma and it got the job done. I didn’t use it to find the gobbler but on the way to the brush pile I noticed a good blood trail. This broadhead can be set for a 2 1/2″ or 3 1/8″ inch cut. I had it at 3 1/2″ and it made a wide cut.

The arrow rest is the Mathews Ultra Rest HDX and it’s a unique full containment, drop away rest that’s silent when I shoot. The peep is a Jim Fletcher TruPeep Max Hunter, an aluminum peep sight with a 7/32″ hole, perfect for low light conditions or ground blind use. A safety-tie groove keeps the peep in place and it does not turn when I draw the bow. I also used another Jim Fletcher product, the Fletch Loop Release. It is perfect for string loop shooting and it is one of the best releases I’ve used.

The ArrowWeb CT™ bowquiver is for both expandable or fixed blade broadheads. I like the design of the the foam inside the hood. The slots are just right for 2, 3 or 4 blade broadheads. This quiver is very well thought out and I like it a lot. Gene Curry set me up with one of his Sure-Loc bowsights and the main thing I like about it is it has extra bright fiber optic pins This is a target sight but they make hunting ones and I’m getting one.

ARROWS: I used the new Maxima RED carbon arrows from Carbon Express. I fletched these arrows with bright yellow 2″ Opti Vanes and Goat Tuff glue. Both are top quality products made by Goat Tuff Products.

Most days in Nebraska you see more wild turkeys than during the entire season in Rio Grande, Osceola or Eastern country. I used the Alpen Wings #599 Binoculars. They are small and light weight ande are easy to hand hold. They’re good in low light too, both in the morning and at the end of the day. Adjusting the Focus is quick and easy. They are a flat color that doesn’t shine and that is extra important when you hunt wild turkeys, because they can pick up something ibnside the blind if it shines. Plus they are waterproof and fog proof which is a must have, especially on cold days like we had this morning.

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