Home Forums Campfire Forum Goals #1 and #2 achieved! I AM TRAD.

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    • tombow
      Post count: 103

      Greetings!

      Last week I achieved a huge goal and passed a shooting proficiency test which allow me to hunt with a longbow in the Duluth Archery Deer hunt for 2012. It has been a long time coming and I finally have the confidence and skill to put 4 out of 5 in a 6″ circle at 20 yards. On Saturday, May 28th I achieved goal #2 and that was to make my first traditional harvest. The story is below:

      In Minnesota, this years turkey hunting rules are as follows: 8 spring “seasons” which means 6-5 day seasons and 2 7 day seasons, lottery for the 1st 4 seasons, Over the counter-first-come -first served for the remaining seasons, or you can buy an OTC archery license that is good for the last 4 seasons 2-5 day plus 2-7 day, for a total of 24 days. I opted to try the lottery and selected the 3rd season, based on my work schedule and was lucky enough to draw so my season started yesterday, April 28, 1/2 hr. before sunrise. Earlier in the week, the landowner hunted Monday and Tuesday and never saw a male bird, hens? Plenty but no Mr.gobblers. so my hopes were limited. Sunrise was 5:55 or so, my wife and I got to the property at 5:10, piled on the gear and hoofed it across the field to a likely travel route along the field edges and back corners. Wind was 10-15’s ENE and had gusted to 30’s day before and overnight, temps were low 40’s, so I put us close to a southern-bordering tree farm with big pines, figuring the birds might roost better in the protection of the pines. I popped up the Big Mike 275, opened up the screen about 6 inches high, bunjied up the window to lower it’s bottom height –what’s the deal with the high window bottoms? BLIND MAKERS: LOWER THY WINDOW HEIGHTS< PLEASE!?--. I set out a low hen deke and a jake deke within 5 yards of the blind and headed in for the in-blind prep of arranging packs, chairs, staking the blind down, checking arrows and double checked the window height and settled in to see what the day would bring. Shortly after sitting down, we heard the first gobble, hair all up on the back of my neck and adrenalin rushing. GOT TO LOVE GOBBLERS! Made a few soft calls on my wife's FREAK-slate --yes it's HER call, but she let's me borrow it. so NICE!-- and we had 'em talkin' back! So we had birds to the South -pines-, birds to the north, 11 Deer in the field and a little conversation going on. The gobblers seemed to be interested in what we were saying and were either closing distance or at least looking in our direction. Once I could tell we had 3 or more gobbling, I hit the call hard and aggressive to sound like a hen fight. I've heard a real fight before and the gobblers on that day wen't crazy gobbling over each other while the hens fighting-purred and clucked. My hen-fight brought on some heavy gobbling. Rolling hills and field corners full of brush kept us from seeing the birds to the north, which sounded like they were in the field. Then we heard a loud gobble from the field corner by the pines and out walks Mr. Longbeard. We let him do his thing but it looked like he might pass us by and join the "nawthun" birds. But we kept carefully peeking through the blind and he was doin' his purdy-est dance moves for the lady by our blind. My wife got to hear her first spit-drum, just a like a truck on the road accelerating, Phht-Thdooooooommmmmm....and he was his own marching band, must have drummed oh I don't know how many times, but it was ALOT! Shortly after he showed up, another longbeard came out to check the situation out. So they were drumming, strutting and would gobble outside the blind at 15-20 yards and all we could do was peek through the window cracks and take millisecond glimpses. A couple times, the wind picked up and would cause the blind to flex which I figured would be our un-doing, but it didn't seem to bother the boys. One of them wandered down the hill in the field out of sight and we figured maybe we were gonna "lose" these birds. Then they were both coming back. I had my wife take , err HER call and told her to do some really light yelps. She played the symphony while I prepped the bow for a possible shot. FOCUS Grasshoppah, I told myself and I must have listened well. From that moment on, I was in the zone. The first bird to the window was just entering the frame at about 8 yards, I could see his head, neck and chest just inside the window edge, when the second bird walked past him into the clear at about 12 yards in full strut. I drew as he walked and picked a feather on his upper wing butt and the arrow was THERE. My wife said the arrow went "Wwhhh" when it hit him. He leapt up when the arrow struck, sort of cart-wheeled in mid-air, hit the ground and the arrow shaft either snapped when he landed or in mid-air. It is mere seconds that I have to hold as memories of my first traditional harvest, the first bird coming into the window, MY bird passing him up to become the focus of my eye, the draw as he passed, the arrow striking the feather I was focusing on, the bird cart-wheeling and landing and passing past the window to a place I couldn't see. I uttered "Got 'im!" and fist-pumped as we could hear him flopping just a couple yards from the blind. In a few seconds there was silence and we hoped he hadn't gone far. And I said "He's Dead" and I KNEW he was. After we left the blind, there he was, not 20 feet from the blind. I "YES"'d and fist-pumped around as my wife jumped up and down. It was a GREAT moment for us to share. AFter I settled a bit, I said "That one's for my Dad", who had passed away 1 year and 2 days before. He's the one that started the ball rolling, that lead me from fishing to hunting, to bowhunting to trad. bowhunting. Yesterday was the day that I began to truly call myself a traditional bowhunter. May your experiences be just as rewarding. Some day's it just all comes together. Thanks for reading this novel, it’s just something that I HAVE to do some times. Best of Luck to all, TomBow ——————– Best of Luck! Toelke Whip “MTB” 62″, 53#@28 ’65 K-Mag 52″, 58@28 ’53 Bear Cub longbow, 64″ 60#@28

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    • Wexbow
      Post count: 403

      Great story Tombow, thanks for sharing. Enjoy the warm glow of success 8)

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      Congrats on the success, and hope you enjoy much more.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Nice Job!

    • pewanogo
      Post count: 35

      Great hunt and story! Sometimes we are given a gift but we still have to be able to take advantage of it. Congrats

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Very nice bird TomBow! Congradulations on your first harvest!

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      Congratulations on a great looking gobbler!! 😉 Nice looking Whip too…Wayne (haven’t got mine yet)

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Enjoyed your story lots! Well done !

      I concur with the height of the window openings in blinds.

      Bruce

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Great gobbler, and well done all around! Congrats, Tombow!

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Good stuff!

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