Swimming With The Gobblers



Swimming With The Gobblers

By Robert Hoague

May 11, 2008 – 2:17:22 PM


Mid afternoon I set up a ground blind at the top of the dam of the property’s largest stock pond. The afternoon hunt was uneventful.

The next morning I was in the blind before daylight. I have this new Release Light from 3B Outdoors Archery and used it to check the inside of the blind before getting inside. And the light helped me single out the items I wanted to use from inside my vest. And its green light kept anything from seeing the light.

Right now the season is nearly over and I can’t afford to miss a single gobble so I put on my Pro-Ears and adjusted the volume so it would pick up from a long way off.

When turkey gobble time came I heard two different extremely faint gobblers, one to the south and the other to the south east. I waited to call until it was light enough for some turkeys to be on the ground. Then I used a new call, a Woods Wise Flipside and called as loud as possible on the crystal side. Thanks to the Pro-Ears I again hears a few faint gobbles from the two gobblers but I could only hope they had heard me. Ten minutes later a closer, but still far off, gobble sounded. I leaned on the Woods Wise crystal again. Soon after I cut and yelped with the Flipside with a normal volume. A couple minutes later I cut and yelped with a Billy Yargus mouth call.

As sunlight poked its rays through the trees to the east it brightened up the area  around the dam and turned the ground into a patch work of bright light and shadows. My jake decoy was in the shadows and the pond and behind it the opposite side of the dam was doused in light. I took the decoy’s picture.

Gobble !!!

A loud one. Real loud. This gobbler was close. I cut excitedly with the mouth call.

My camera was still on and I looked for the gobbler. (No video today. I purposely left it home — it’s time to get down to what I know best. The Sony and the BowTech.) The gobbler come into view in the field below the dam. I cut at it with the mouth call and got the camera on him just as he blew up in full strut.

Up the side of the dam he came. I locked him in the viewfinder and took another pic.

When the gobbler saw my jake decoy he zipped straight to it. I got another pic as he pressed his chest against the decoy.

Immediately I zoomed in close for another pic. And set the camera down with the intention of getting my bow.

Wow … the gobbler leaped on the decoy and violently flogged it with his wings and spurred and pecked it. I snatched the camera back up and got a pic just as the decoy toppled from the force of the attach.


This time I did put the camera down and went for the BowTech. When my top sight pin settled on the fighting birds vitals I touched the release.

Feathers flew in the air and the gobbler flapped its wings wildly (and loudly) and it disappeared as it went down the steap, water side of the dam.

Splash !!!

Then the sound of beating wings in the water. An incredible sound. But over seconds.

Then you could’ve heard a pin drop.

Sometimes you go right after them, sometimes you wait. Hmmmm, no waiting today.

I eased the blind’s window open enough for me to step through it. A few quiet steps and I saw the gobbler laying in the water … dead still. Before I retrieved it I took the last picture of the hunt.

I wanted to get a picture at the dam of the gobbler and myself so I got my pickup and drove back to the dam. Woops, the tripod was not in the truck. Oh well, not a problem. All I had to do was drive home and get one. The back of my truck was full of blinds and other hunting stuff and I dropped the tail gate and put the gobbler on it and drove to the house.

On the return trip there was a considerable disruption because a group of cows decided I must be going to feed them and followed my truck. No novice at dealing with unwanted cattle during the hunt I angled off the road and zig zaged through some high weeds so I could lead the cows away from the dam.

When I came to a halt the cows moved up all around the truck. (In their defense I have to admit that the rancher that does feed them has a truck that is the same color as mine. So it was an honest mistake.)

It took some running and shouting but I succeeded in running the cows off.

Rats, when I pulled up on the dam another group of cows saw my truck and came a running. The deck was cleared in short order. I walked back to my truck.

Oh no !!!

The gobbler was gone.

I drove home. Nothing.

I drove back and when I got to where I had zig zaged because of the cows,  again, nothing.

I parked and walked around and eventually found my gobbler in the high weeds. He was a bit worse off for the trip, in my search I had driven over its neck and head.

Back at the dam I rigged up my tripod and set the camera’s delay timer several times. And ran back and forth to get a few pictures by the edge of the water.

Quite an unusual morning in the turkey woods. Once again, persistance paid off.


  • BowTech Triute – Because the bowstring on my 82nd Airborne was accidentally cut I called the BowTech Tribute into service. Once again it was up to the task. This is a very accurate, smooth, quiet and powerfull bow. BowTechArchery.com

  • 3B Outdoors Release Light Plus
    – Talk about a handy item. It is a green light that sticks to the head of your release. A push button turns it on or off. Its enough light to see around you in the dark and it does not affect your night vision. It is designed for finding your nock or string loop in the dark or low light but it has many other uses. 3BOutdoorsArchery.com

  • Grim Reaper RazorCut
    – Cut on impact, razor sharp blades, accurate and deep penetrating. They fly like your field points. An excellent turkey, wild hog and deer broadhead. GrimReaperBroadheads.com
  • PLUS: I used Carbon Express Maxima 350 arrows. I fletched the arrows with and AZ EZ-Fletch and used yellow EXE-Eye wraps and 4″ yellow barbed Gateway Feathers. Aslo, the bowsight is a Spot Hogg Real Deal with a light add-on, a Trophy Ridge drop away rest and a Jim Fletcher Fletch-Hook release. And the Pro-Ears and Woods Wise Flipside were also assets on this turkey hunt.


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