3rd Annual Bowhunt - 2006


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Bowhunting Deer At Home - 2006
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January 2 - Part #2, The Rocket LIfts Off
January 2 Part #1, Elimitrax Where Art Thou? | Part #2: Rocket Lift Off | Hen & Me | Part #3: Look, Up In The Sky |

Because I was in one of the best wild turkey locations I brought along some turkey calls. I selected a Knight & Hale "Screaming Hen" and did some yelping. The gobbler answered me several times as he and the whole group faded away.

Around 9:00 the purrs, kee keees and contented yelps of a group of hens came from down the ridge. It sounded like they were coming right to me so I didn't call. Soon I heard them scratching in the leaves behind me. They were only a few yards from my blind, but on the side i have closed up. I figured the would be in sight any second. 

Not so, their sounds faded away as they continued working the side of the ridge and going West.

The frost or snow melted away and time moved on. I regularly heard more yelps and kee kees. So I thumbed through my call carrier. A Woodhaven "Billy Yargus Sting Team" call should do the job. I kept it soft, making a few yelps waiting a while and yelping softly again. Turkeys were continually talking in the woods around me but none showed itself. 

Close, but downhill behind me, at 10:50, excited cackles sounded and a few putts. A minute later they made soft yelps. Whatever had got the hens worked up was now forgotten. I let the Billy Yargus do some kee kees and picked up my camera when I saw a white head moving through the brush.

Two hens walked into view and I aimed the camera at them. The mesh was down and the camera focused on it instead of the turkeys. I tried a second time with the same results.

As I mentioned earlier I want to get a hen and our Taxidermy Columnist Larry Reese is going to make me a hen decoy to use on this coming Spring's Grand Slam bowhunts. This group had 4 hens and they were walking by me in single file. If I was going to get my hen decoy today I needed to get going pronto.

The birds now had their backs to me but one turned broadside ... and stopped. It wasn't' where I could use my shooting slit and I would have to shoot through the mesh. Quickly I pulled the blades of my Grim Reaper broadhead back and they locked open. I slipped the Fltecher FlatHead on the BowTech's string loop and looked for the legs and the wind butt of the turkey.  Then I settled my bright green top pin where it needed to go and pulled the trigger.

The arrow hit the wild turkey with the loud smack that it always makes when the hit is in the vitals. But the arrow popped high into the air and disappeared in the nearby trees!

The turkeys ran and I kept my eye on the one I had just shot. (Or did my arrow bounce off it?) In 20 yards they took a trail into the trees. My bird stopped and then 2 of the other hens stopped with it. They all moved around quickly and I couldn't tell which bird was the one I had shot at. 

As they disappeared down the trail it all ran through my brain, like an instant replay, the sound of the hit was solid, the arrow in the air was flat out weird. Movement near the trail where the hens had stopped caught my attention and I focused the binoculars on it. Turkey wings.

Whatever was up with the arrow in the air deal had nothing to do with the accuracy of my shot, my soon to be hen decoy was down. Actually it had never left my sight. I checked my watch, it was 10:57. I waited to see if a gobbler or any deer would show up and called it quits at 11:45.

As I started toward the hen I noticed something you don't always see with a turkey, a good blood trail. The soon to be hen decoy lay still on the ground. And I noticed my arrow sticking up in the ground 15 yards further down the trail. (I figured that arrow was gonna go un-found.) There was still a little frost on the ground when I took its picture.

Here is a picture of the Matrix ground blind here on the Ridge. It is set up beneath some live oak and cedar trees.

Here is a closer look. I cut cedar limbs and hung them from the lower branches of the overhead trees. That completely breaks up the outline of the top of the pop-up blind. This seems to be a key ingredient in making the blind part of the surroundings instead of something that attracts the attention of all the deer. Then I stacked cedar limbs against the sides of the blind and in front of it to break up the rigid lines of the sides. 

Another thing I think works is to leave the mesh down and cut shooting slits in it. Turkeys will usually be ok with the black windows but not deer, they don't like the big black spots. But it seems to me that small slits fit in with the surroundings. For example, notice the black limbs to the left of the bind and the black shooting slit in the blind's mesh window. 

From inside the blind it doesn't take that wide a slit to cover a lot of area. And there is always the option of shooting through the mesh as long as you have a fixed blade broadhead or one of the mechanicals with blades that will lock in the open position.

After loading my turkey in my truck I drove by the Point on the way out. There were 3 deer there ... at 12:30. So I decided to get back out A.S.A.P.

An hour later I was lunched and re-washed and sitting in my blind at the Point. So far things were going real good, but the rocket was going even higher this afternoon.

Here Is The PIcture Of Me With My Future Hen Decoy...

And The Good Luck Continues At The Point...

2006 Deer Hunt Sponsors

To The Home Page For This Bowhunt

Billy Don Van Cleave
Wild Horse Prairie Ranch
P.O. Box 199
Satin, TX 76685
Call: 254-749-6119
Fax: 254-546-2709
Dream Woods Adventures
2501 Ridge ST
Eldorado, IL 62930

For information call:
Doug or Greg at 618-926-1481

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