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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 5-13-2015

by Mark Walters

Turkey with a Bow

Hello friends,

About ten years ago I tried hunting turkey with a bow and arrow for the first time. I was hunting in Missouri with my good buddy, Pete Hagedorn and on day one I had a truly massive tom come into the pasture that I had set my blind right in the middle of.

The tom had a triple beard and was very heavy. I put an arrow right through his arm/wing pit and he rolled over. He rolled over that is until I started getting out of my blind, then he woke up and ran off into the woods. That was one of my top five worst hunting memories.

I literally spent the next day looking for him and though I did find him, I did find a massive shed antler. The tom, which would later be spotted alive, was just an unfulfilled memory.

The following spring I was hunting on private land near my Juneau County home and someone stole my bow out of my blind.

The next spring, which was the last time that I tried harvesting a turkey with a bow and arrow, I was with my then 14-year-old stepson, Kevin. It was snowing, Kevin had just put the lights out on a tom and I was cooking eggs in the blind.

I had a tom coming in just perfect and Kevin started laughing really hard about something, the tom heard him and was gone just like that, Kevin ate a snowball sandwich after that experience.

Wednesday, May 6th
High 72, low 43

Less then two-years ago, I planted my first food plot. My daughter, Selina was a big help and my friend Scott Christensen, who is the plant manager at Allied Cooperative in Adams, was the person that gave me a lot of advice.

Selina does most of the bowhunting on the food plot and we both turkey hunt it. Today I would be alone and for the first time in several years I would be trying for my first gobbler with a bow and arrow. I was prepared to put seven full days in the blind and was determined to succeed.

Long before daylight I am sitting in my blind and thoroughly loving life as I was on the job, the air temperature was very comfortable and I had gobblers, gobbling from their roosts in two different directions.

I heard the birds fly down from their roosts and after a while it was obvious that they were working away from my blind as their gobbling was becoming more distant.

A couple hours into the hunt, I could tell that they had turned my way and comfortably waited for the story to unfold.

At 8:00 a.m. three jakes immersed from the forest and made a beeline for my hen and jake decoys. For ten minutes I could have sent an arrow, easily in their direction. I took their picture and made the choice that it was day one, I needed to hold out for a mature tom.

My patience was soon rewarded when I saw a big tom come from the same direction as the jakes and was headed for my decoys.

He was at 17-yards and wanting some loving. I actually used the hole in the screen that

Selina made when she drilled a tom during the Youth Turkey Hunt. I aimed just below where the head meets the neck and let my arrow fly. Holy Moly, I whacked him, he’s laying on his back, now he’s running, now he’s flying away, now he crash landed in the woods.

Now the jakes are punishing him for all the times he kicked their butts. Don’t worry “old buddy’ I will punish the jakes some day.

I knew he had to be history and quickly made my way over to him before the jakes removed all his feathers. My tom had a ten-inch beard, spurs that could kill a mountain lion and he was a real heavy bird.

This hunt was so cool that Selina and I both bought tags for the 5th season and bows and arrows will be in the blind.

Take a kid hunting or fishing!  Sunset