A Traditional Tom!

Just returned from a week in the turkey woods, and what a trip it was.  My permit started Monday April 22nd. and what a beautiful morning it was.  Sunny, blue skies, and light wind.  I only heard one gobble early in the morning and din’t see anything till later in the day when a couple hens walked into my set-up.

The evening hunt was quiet except for a couple “scrawny” deer feeding in the area.  I did get a text from my brother that his grandson Tanner had shot a big Tom around his place in Fairview.  They were now trying to get grandson Tristan a bird!

Tuesday it was cold and overcast.  Just the opposite of Monday.  I hunted till about 9 a,m, and then retreated to the warmth of the cabin.  Around noon I decided to take a stroll to my blind near a food plot, and on a whim grabbed my Bear Kodiak Magnum and a couple cedar arrows that my buddy Bob Baltrip hand crafted.  Now I saw on a whim, as I have always dreamed of sticking a turkey with traditional equipment, but had not tried to do so in decades!  The recurve is light, beautiful, and full of bowhunter tradition.  As near as I can tell it’s one of the first Kodiak Magnums Fred bear ever produced.  Bob’s turkey fletched, matching spined, cedar arrows were topped with a heavy 160 grain Snuffer broadhead!  They flew fantastic out of the 52 inch 45 pound draw weight bow.

As I approached my blind I saw a dash of “red” in the food plot.  I quickly retreated to some cover and saw two Tom’s feeding near the blind.  After some maneuvering I was able to sneak into the blind undetected.  The birds were feeding my way and soon were 15 yards directly in front of my shooting window.  They were both Jake’s but had very distinguishable beards (4-5 inches.)  I was a little nervous as I drew on the closest bird and shot over it’s back! They both jumped when the arrow hit the ground, but soon resumed feeding.  I had only brought two arrows with me, and was second guessing myself on my “last” chance for a tradition kill.  At about 13-14 yards the birds turned and started walking away and I knew it was now or never.  The arrow smacked the startled bird closest to me on the right side near the back.  He took off running with the arrow looking like the mast on a fast running schooner darting through the woods.  I was concerned about the lack of good penetration as I tried to remember the last spot I saw the two high tailing it out of sight.

They were on a deer run coming into my food plot and I found the arrow about 40 yards from where I took the shot.  There was blood, feathers, and flesh on the big broadhead.  Another 30 yards down the deer run, and there he was piled up right next to my 4×4 trail.  He had a 4-1/2 inch beard and was nice sized for a Jake.  I couldn’t have been prouder if he had a 10 inch beard.  I took some selfies and as I smiled ear to ear could actually take this accomplishment off my “bucket list.”

The photo of the “turkey crew” consist of Me. Derek, Tanner, Tristan, and brother Darryl. The first photo is of Tanners big bird that his grandpa Darryl worked into range after Tanner and him did some creative calling!

Mike

Leave a Reply