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First turkeys for my daughter and I!


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#1 Tuffdaddy

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:44 AM

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Have to share this though as Rodney’s slate call did the trick for us.

My daughter and I headed up for the second season of Wisconsin turkey hunting. Last year was the first year she could hunt, and because she doesn’t like shooting guns yet (hates loud noises), she went with her bow. At the end of our trip last year, she ended up missing a Jake and a big Tom with her bow. We saw plenty of turkeys last year, and I could have shot a few of them with a shotgun, but wanted her to get an opportunity. Calling a turkey into 15 yards or less is no easy feat.

Fast forward to this season. She practiced hard with her bow, but wasn’t quite confident in being able to put a good shot on, so she decided to use her recurve crossbow. The first morning, we had 3 toms come in to our stand first thing off the roost, but none would come closer than 30 yards. We went in for breakfast, moved the blind, headed back out and called in another Tom. He hung up at 40 yards, not wanting to leave the 3 hens that came in with him. Gave us a great show, but no shot for her. At least we were seeing birds. After a mid day break, we sat in the same blind as we were just off a trail they feed on when heading to roost. We ended up having 7 hens and 4 toms walk by at around 30 yards. Doh!!!! Still no shot for Ellie. The birds actually hung around for 20 mins 15 yards from where we had the blind in the morning. I got an earful from Ellie because we moved, but had to explain the chess match.

The next morning was a bit cooler and we heard a few gobbles from back where we thought they were roosting in the woods, as well as across the road at the farm across the street. We sat quietly and listened to the woods wake up, and then, as Ellie was laying on my lap, I gave a soft help and a few clucks. 5 minutes later, a hen came in. I told Ellie there was a turkey coming in but it was a hen. Then I noticed it was a bearded hen (probably the one she passed up last year!).

She got set behind her crossbow and watched as Bruce Henner, as we affectionately names her, came in, giving our decoys a wide birth. She stayed around though, pecking and feeding 20 yards off. Ellie was hesitant to shoot that far, even though we practiced that range (she’s shooting iron sights vs with a scope). I let her know she was in range, but a small pine was blocking a clean shot. After a few minutes, she moved to the right of the tree at about 15 yards. I told Ellie to take her if she could. A few moments later I hear the thwack of a great arrow hit! The bird flew up and I could see the bolt sticking almost all the way out of the other side of the bird. She flew to the top of the oaks and pines, and came crashing down 40 yards away.

We initially couldn’t find her, but realized we were looking in the wrong area. I walked a trail backtracking and found her right where she came down. Ellie put a perfect shot on her, hitting nothing but the vitals. Super proud dad moment!!

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After pictures and cleaning her bird, I went back out for a bit as we had heard a gobble when looking for her bird. I set up on the intersection of the trail we called the gobbler in mid day yesterday. I called on Rodney’s slate call with some yelps and clucks and sure enough, got a response. Game on I thought. Well, I think I over called and after some back and forth, 45 mins later he had been quiet for a long time, with no sightings. Had to run in for breakfast and regroup.

After breakfast, I headed out with my buddy. I told him there was a Tom in the area but I thought I spooked him. We adjusted our spot a bit and sat along a trail that led to the back of the property where I thought the Tom was.

I started off with some aggressive clucks, followed by a few yelps and a few more clucks. A few minutes went by and we heard a gobble near the back trail about 60-70 yards off from the sound of it. I gave a few more clucks and a soft yelp. Then nothing. 10 minutes later, I did a few more clucks and he gobbled back, but closed the distance. I shut up and we kept our eyes out.

After 2-3 mins, I saw him coming down the trail in front of us. My heart was pounding as I got ready for the shot. He saw our Jake decoy and immediately strutted 5’ from it. Clucking the whole time as he came in.

Then, he got behind a tree that was in front of me!!!! For a minute or two, I couldn’t see him. Afterwards, my buddy said, I was waiting for you to shoot and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t until he saw the tree in front of me lol. I wasn’t sure he was even there, but figured I would have had to have seen him leave so I slowly tried to peak around the left of the tree. Couldn’t see him. Leaned slowly to the right and saw him at 15 yards with his head straight up! Couldn’t shoot like that though. I patiently waited and then he turned and slowly walked away and to the right. I had my head on him and clucked once on the diaphragm. He stopped but didn’t put his head up. As he took another step, I clucked again and he put his head up. Boom! Put him down with a 25 yard shot to the head.

I couldn’t believe it. After 2 years of holding off shooting birds until Ellie got one, it finally happened. 2 hours after Ellie shot hers. What a great experience! And a shout out to my buddy who didn’t shoot him, even though he easily could have, because he wanted me to get my first one.

Thanks for reading the marathon story, and thanks Rodney, for the great call!!!

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#2 SWAMPBUCK10PT

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 12:46 PM

Great Story and a Lifetime of Memories --CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH-------

SVB


CALL'EM THEY'LL COME

#3 hassell

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 05:45 PM

Congrats. on the hunt and sharing.



#4 youngdon

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:52 PM

Congrats to you both, with an extra high five to Ellie on her first bird.

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#5 azpredatorhunter

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 06:18 AM

Congrats Tuffdaddy

Get your daughter some top of the line hearing protection...

#6 Tuffdaddy

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 08:35 AM

She won’t shoot a shotgun yet, and won’t let me when she’s in the blind so we’re okay for now on the hearing protection. But if she does start shooting guns, we have some for her (she comes with to shoot sporties). I actually brought my bow in the blind when I was with her just in case we had a chance at a double.

She was back at the house when I shot mine, but that wasn’t in a blind. Was set up against a tree.


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#7 glenway

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:05 AM

Bruce Jenner, huh?  Great stuff with both of you connecting.  Glad you posted again.  I'm sure Big D will appreciate the assist.  

 

Your daughter has done something I haven't:  taking a turkey with a bow.  Great job with the story, too, Tuffdaddy!



#8 Tuffdaddy

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 05:29 AM

Thanks Glen. I can still hear the sound of the bolt hitting the bird. I have it on video, but the actuyshot was out of focus because the camera focused on the blind when I moved to get a better angle.


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#9 glenway

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 12:39 PM

Yeah, auto focus.  You'll always be able to replay the video and that unique audio in your head.  Great that you got to share some of that genuine excitement with a willing daughter. 

 

And, I must commend you on your command of the language.  You would be any editor's delight.






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