This year I failed to draw a turkey permit, but was able to purchase one over the counter for area “M.” I knew I would have to take about an hour and a half drive from my cabin, but I had fished around East Lake before, and seen plenty of turkeys.
In the past I have never really “hunted” turkeys in the fall, but would try for a fall license where I was deer hunting. If I got one great, but if not that was fine also. This year I purposed to try (at least for a couple days) to put a turkey in the pot. Actually I was much more confident I could put one down with my cross-bow due to it’s accuracy and blazing speed.
I arrived at my destination after dark, which was not my intent! I didn’t want to be making a lot of racket in the morning, so I set my blind up near a clearing, not to far in the woods. I had to use a blue flashlight hoping not to spook every animal in the vicinity of my blind. I put a chair in the blind and didn’t even bother to camouflage the outside, as I had a 1-1/2 hour drive back.
After a few hours sleep I was up and running again. I had two decoys with me, and set them in the clearing when I arrived about 6:50 a.m. I sat down and waited to see what this morning would bring. I knew this was long-shot, but there’s just something about the woods coming alive in the morning that is special.
In the fall you are not supposed to hunt turkeys this way, but I’m always trying different methods of pursuit. About 20 minutes after seven I gave a few soft “tree yelps” on my box call. Immediately I thought I hear several yelps coming back at me. I thought I was dreaming. I continued with the soft “yelps” and at 7:30 did two “fly down cackles.” I could definitely hear cackles and yelping around me. I only had one blind window opened, so a shot in front was all I had. At 7:40 I heard the flapping of wings and a bird glided 10 foot past my window and landed in the decoys. Soon many followed from all directions. I was stunned! Most were young birds, but I did hear a couple Toms gobble to my right, but never saw them. There were at least 20 birds milling around but I only had a shot at the three that were 20 yards in front of me. Two were juveniles, but one was an adult hen. I put the cross hairs on her and let er rip. The rage broadhead made a clean kill as the bird didn’t make 20 feet from where it was hit. The other birds didn’t know what happened and stuck around for awhile, but decided to leave their flock mate where she lay.
I retrieved my bird, put my tag on, and proceeded to take the blind down. I was back on the road by 8:00 a.m. She was still warm when I got back to camp where I prepared her for a Thanksgiving dinner. I couldn’t believe I could make all the noise I did setting up a blind in the middle of a roost. Talk about dumb luck! Turkeys are not known to be real smart, so maybe it was more like “dumb turkey!” No matter, I’m looking forward to roasting what nature provided come November.