I am absolutely convinced that any archery season is a complete emotional trip. They start with an immense amount of joy and anticipation. Followed by highs and lows until the conclusion is reached. A punched tag or a tag sandwich. Either way you slice it, my heart would not pump without bow in hand.
My season started out with a low that was tough to overcome. My very first morning was less than desirable weather. Literally 30+ mph winds and a heavy overcast. With that being said, the birds roosted on the property I was hunting. My blind was blown over and stakes ripped from the soil. As quietly as I could, I planted the blind back on the ground and out of the bushes in which it had been every so violently tossed into. I was forced to hold the blind down as I could hear the gusts ripping across the field. I thought it was going to be a short morning, and it should have been.
Needless to say, I had and opportunity and I missed. It was a buzzer. Shaved a few feather. The gobbler calmed down at about 75 yards and proceeded to feed across the field. I was devastated. Late season archery opportunities are hard to come by. If I am able to create another opportunity I must capitalize.
I was on a new property and inching my way closer to arrowing myself a big gobbler. It reminds me of a very slow game of chess. One close call after another, but one element always seemed to fall out of place. My last weekend of the season started on a rough note. I had the big old bird coming, but to my dismay a dog had run seen them an run them off. My heart sank, but still I pressed on. I went to check another small property to find a tom already strutting in the adjacent field. I don't think my truck was at a complete stop before I began my attach. I had to reach the corner of timber before they did, a tom and a hen.
I did make it. With one small soft persuasive yelp then hen turned and went the opposite direction. I couldn't believe it. Again, my heart sank, and again, I pressed on. Creeping to the corner of the timber the birds had headed to I thought I heard something. I proceeded on my journey only to recognize the sound this time. Apparently I had fired up a different bird with my calls. At this point I was in the corner with little undercover to hide myself. By his gobbles I could tell he was coming and coming he was. I had to make a decision and now. If I wondered aimlessly looking for my ambush spot I was sure to get busted. Then I had an idea.
I looked up and there was my only option. I said to myself, "What the hell, why not?" It was my favorite treestand to hunt from. The one in which King George had been killed early last fall. As my bearded prey gobbled closer I shimmied up the tree and prepared myself for what could be one of the coolest archery moments of my life. Arrow knocked and ready for flight. I tickled his ears with one more sexy yelp.
He came in strutting and gobbling to within 15 yards. One more tiny yelp stopped him in his tracks. The arrow hit old tommy boy and rolled him right over. A minute had passed and the tom gather himself to his feet and limped off. I was fist pumped pretty much to the point that I was out of control. I gathered myself, not really though, and climbed down. It was a light blood trail that turned into a massive blood trail. I found him piled up at the base of a big tree. I sat there with him in respect of the moment. My season was over. Weeks of highs and lows ended with 22 1/4 pounds of turkey and 10 1/4 inches of beard. Upon cleaning and eating the gobbler I had found two different size bb's inside the bird. He had been shot twice already! Tough Guy Tom! It truly was one of the most unique and memorable hunts to this day. Remember, never give up. Anything can happen at any time in the great wilderness. Especially when battling the beards.