Final Weekend of 2013 Texas Spring Turkey Hunting Season
I think we made the most of the final weekend of the 2013 Texas spring turkey hunting season. We were fortunate enough to hunt an area that probably hasn't been turkey hunted in the spring for years, which means they have no idea what a decoy is! With a submissive hen and a strutting jake decoy pair, the toms couldn't stand it and attacked the jake decoy with a passion. Saturday started with my oldest son. A jake came to the call quickly and without a sound, hoping to score before an older bird kicked his butt. We left him alone and continued calling. My son's hearing is much better than mine and he heard some toms sound off behind us from a large oak mott. We called again to make sure they had pin-pointed our location, then remained silent. 8 minutes later 5 toms raced in, went into full strut, and commenced attacking the jake decoy. Picking out the best beard in the group, Zak let him have a head full of #5 hevi-shot. This one turned out to have 2 beards, Zak's second double bearded tom. 3 of the remaining 4 took flight and disappeared, but the 4th decided to attack his fallen buddy. He caught the bottom barrel of the over and under and it was picture time.
My youngest son, Hunter (age 13), has become obsessed with traditional archery and now insists on hunting with a recurve. Saturday afternoon I took him to a bow blind and set the decoy pair at 10 yards. After an hour of periodic calling, we heard a gobble in response. Calling again to ensure our location was pin-pointed, we waited. A few minutes later 3 toms came through the brush, went into full strut, and commenced attacking the jake decoy. This bow blind is probably great for a compact compound bow, but not for a 62" recurve. Hunter ended up in an unconventional position to draw the bow, and the string contacted a chair as it was drawn. When he released, the arrow veered left and cut a few feathers off the lead turkey's breast. All three ran about 30 yards, then started strutting again. Hunter realized that a 40 yard shot was too far for him and a recurve, but he turned down the over and under I offered him. It was going to be with an arrow or nothing.
On the way back to camp I noticed 2 duck blinds being stored in an area not too far from a known roost. We decided to set up in one of the duck blinds Sunday morning and call from there. Still not ideal for a recurve, but better than the "bow blind" from the night before. We set up before daylight, placing the decoys a few yards out the back of the duck blind entrance. At around 07:00 I made a few yelps, then did the "fly-down" cackle at 07:10. At 07:20 a tom appeared from nowhere and started attacking the jake decoy. Hunter leaned around the entrance of the duck blind, drew the bow and stuck his first turkey with a recurve! After a heated chase, the bird collapsed and it was high-fives and picture time again.
It's hard to come up with "first evers", but this one may have a chance - a turkey with a recurve bow out of the back of a duck blind!