Questions or Comments about this article?Email Joe Nawrot
When I began the 2006 Midwest spring turkey season trek, little did I know that this year would be like no other!
The second week of the Wisconsin spring turkey
season my cameraman and I sat patiently awaiting the arrival
"Hold On lets not get carried away, before we jump
to conclusions I want to take you back well before the season even
Like I was saying, before we even think about
talking about the hunt there are too many other aspects when it comes
down to it!
Weeks before the season even opened scouting new territory was on the
agenda, since the previous year, birds seemed to vanish from the area
they called home for years…what happened, and where did they go?
Turkey hunters used to be able to venture a-field
and hear gobbles from several birds in virtually any direction and
decide which bird to work within range by calling them into a
positioned set-up. Things have really changed the past few years; not
only in the Midwest, but also across the country you'll hear about
frustrated hunters complaining how the ol' gobbler eluded his perfect
I can recall the most common used phrase by turkey
hunters…"The one that got away!" Today it's, "What happened to all the
turkeys?" The birds are still around, its just they've adapted much
more to us turkey hunters.
One month of solid turkey hunting this past spring
proved to be the most challenging yet. Calling birds into range was the
most difficult aspect, remember we're not running and gunning. With a
bow in hand and a cameraman filming we were looking for some exciting
footage to present.
After locating new and promising ground to hunt for
the spring season we had several set-ups ready. With everything in
place and video equipment ready for action it was time to hit the 3-D
range for some fine-tuning on my archery equipment.
This spring I was absolutely thrilled to pick up the VENOM Peep Sight
by Scorpyon Technologies… In previous years of hunting out of a ground
blind with a bow we had to pass up dozens of shooting opportunities,
why? When I'd come to full draw and look through my peep sight I could
not see anything due to the fact that most peeps are black and
don't gather the light that bowhunters need for early morning and late
afternoon low light shooting conditions.
"The VENOM Peep is manufactured in Horizon Blue" because it is
"Optically Eutropic", or "Light Gathering". It is also virtually the
same color as the atmosphere in pre-dawn and post-sundown light
conditions, which are the optimum hunting periods. This color is easy
on the eye but importantly, it allows the pupil to adjust more rapidly
than standard Peeps in those critical seconds between the time the Peep
is drawn to the eye, the target is acquired and the arrow released."
Quiet, intent, scoping out the big bird.
With my bow in fine tune, my cameraman and I were ready to hit the
woods and capture some footage for the 2006 season. Arriving to our
location in Adams County Wisconsin we knew we would see and hear birds
since we had scouted this location before. Even though we were in the
heart of Wisconsin's finest turkey hunting we still remembered that
these birds were educated and avoided calling, especially yelps. If
anything we would rely on soft seductive purrs and clucks to ease an
ol' gobbler within range.
Bow and Camera ready for action.
As my cameraman situated his equipment under the cover of darkness in
our Double Bull Matrix blind we heard two gobblers roar out less than
100 yards from our location. I had waited for this day throughout the
year and it was finally here, I knew there was a good chance of getting
a Muzzy in the air.
Nine jakes and three hens walked 3 yards in front of the blind, one
gobbler held up just out of range. We had birds everywhere the next
morning, but still, no gobbler to present me with a shot opportunity.
Relocating for another morning location I popped up the DB blind and
situated my cameraman to my right. Sitting patiently like previous
mornings a gobbler roared out and erupted from the woods like no other
morning, soon followed by birds from each direction.
The woods lit up with action and some immature Jakes
were first to the earth surface to present the turkey world that they
were the dominant mature bosses in the turkey world. After
strutting their stuff in the spotlight trying to impress the ladies 35
feet from ground level, the true king of the woods had enough of these
Sweeping down ever so calmly the king of the woods
drifted only yards from the Jakes; it was then that he sealed the deal.
With the Jakes shying away from the presence of the this ol' gobbler my
cameraman softly whispered that three other gobblers were making their
way down the hill heading straight for the group of Jakes.
These three bosses who knew they owned the woods
joined forces with the fourth gobbler (King) and settled issues in just
over a minute, with the Jakes running for their lives up the steep hill.
During this time we had hens pitching down in every
direction, we could not keep track of which bird was which. Keeping a
close eye on the four studs in full strut they decided to split and
group with their hens.
Just when I thought the fight was over we heard
something from behind the blind getting closer, it was the same
direction the Jakes had left. Just when I thought we would never see
them Jakes again, they had returned on the run with re-enforcements.
They had picked up four other youngsters to join in,
harassing the harlem of hens. Enough said, the gobblers had enough of
this immature attitude and decided to ward of these Jakes for good. All
four gobblers put up an end-all, brutal fight; the Jakes had
enough, learned a lesson and bolted the area in hopes of finding a
group more tolerant to accept them.
With all the action starting to taper off, the King
of the woods had picked his group of hens. They were heading directly
toward our set-up, I mean they were close; I'd have to admit they
caught us off guard. Coming to full-draw I looked through my VENOM Peep
and was amazed at the amount of light it had picked up in the darkness
of the blind. With the bird now at 9 yards I whispered to my cameraman,
"READY?" he replied "Yes!". As soon as I heard that positive word, my
shaky finger met the presence of my Tru-Fire release and off my arrow
sailed making a complete pass-though.
With my heart pounding I could not believe how
perfect the morning had gone, not to mention all the action with the
Jakes. High fives to my cameraman and cheers were let loose from the
adrenaline that ran high.
Before we could get out of the blind my cameraman
warned me that he might have not captured the shot on video. Shocked!
Was the only word, I had to find out then and there, I feared of
"breaking time code" on the DV tape but could wait no longer.
We reviewed the footage and it turned out beautiful,
even though the lower half of the bird was not in view we had great
footage. My cameraman explained that the bird was so close to the blind
that he was limited since the tripod would not extend higher, the other
aspect was when I said "Ready?" he thought to pull back…he never saw me
draw my bow!
All in all, a great hunt.
It was an exciting year with numerous kill shots,
missed shots and just plain old fun running the camera. It was though,
by far the toughest and most challenging year in the woods hunting
spring turkeys. Though this hunt may sound like it was perfect or easy,
let me assure you these types of hunts don't come around everyday.
Sometimes things go as planned, 98 % of the time they don't.
Impressive spurs on a big gobbler.
Many aspects made this 2006 season as exciting as it
was, but by far the VENOM Peep sight by Scorpyon Technologies allowed
for bow shots that otherwise I would normally have to pass on, since
low lighting conditions limit when we can shoot, especially hunting
from a ground blind that blocks
A large percentage of the light is blocked from coming in and gathering
into the peep sight. Here are some facts about the VENOM Peep Sight
that you should consider whether hunting or target shooting.
The new 'VENOM' Peep Sight is a major advancement in Peep Sight
technology in that it is automatically, at the draw, rotated into
proper shooting position by using their solid
"Everlastomer" Tether. This solid tether is not only light adsorbing
but is quieter than standard tubing. The VEnom does not use the
standard rubber tubing. The Peep itself is manufacturedin Horizon Blue
from an almost indestructible polycarbonate and has a large .30" dia.
aperture so you can actually capture your entire sight pins/guard for
3rd Axis sighting. It really opens your sight picture. The cable clip
is unique but you also have three other methods of securing the tether
end to your cable.
All I know is I will never use another peep on my bows.
Questions or Comments about this article?Email Joe Nawrot