By: James Teeslink, Bowtech Pro Staff ~
Springtime in the Midwest means turkeys and shed hunting. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Merriam’s wild turkey is the dominant species, although there are a few eastern wild turkeys. For archery hunters, the season usually starts the first weekend of April offering hunters the unique opportunity of pursuing them while they are still in large groups.
My season started on April 2nd. On opening morning I hunted one of my favorite turkey spots of all time. It was a small farm that I was very familiar with and had harvested birds on before. I was in my blind right before sunrise and could hear them gobbling off the roost, but I didn’t hear much after that. I hunted until the early afternoon, but with no birds I decided to come back the next morning.
That next morning the birds came off the roost and flew right onto the neighbor’s property. I’ve hunted this farm long enough to know that once they are gone, they’re gone all day. With that, I decided to hunt a place that I’ve never hunted before. I packed up my stuff and took off to the new place.
As I opened the gate to drive onto the new property I could hear turkeys gobbling. I knew that if I was quiet and careful I could get on these birds. I parked, grabbed my BT-X and headed to the gobblers. I could hear them getting farther and farther away and I knew that I would have to run fast to catch them. I dropped my pack and grabbed only my mouth call and my Bowtech and took off. After only 40 yards of running I jumped a bunch of jakes. So there I was, standing in the middle of a field, watching turkeys run away from me, darn.
I decided to just wait for some more birds to work their way in. So, I put my decoys in front of me and tucked myself into some pine trees. That’s when I heard more birds, and they were close. I sat down and yelped a few times, but before I could finish a tom cut me off and came running in. He came out of the trees on a dead run for my decoys. He plowed through the decoys knocking all of them down, even the hens. He turned his fan to me and I drew, steadied my pin and squeezed my release. He was facing me when the shot went off and my arrow hit just low and right of the base of his beard. I thought I missed when my arrow deflected down but he jumped up and started flopping around.
I didn’t realize the size of this turkey until I made it up to him. He was 26 pounds! His beard was 10 inches with 1.625 inch spurs. This was my first BT-X harvest. I’m sure there are many more to come.