2016 Spring Nebraska Archery Turkey Hunt

The moment I met my husband, I knew he was a keeper. I had always loved the outdoors but my hunting had been limited to firearms deer hunting. Curt was an archer and to spend more time with him, I asked if he would introduce me to archery hunting. Curt gladly accepted and after dating for 9 months, we embarked on our first archery hunt together. March 25th 2006 found us in a blizzard, freezing our tails off, in a turkey blind in Nebraska. Ten years of Nebraska spring turkey hunts later; I find myself in the blind once again. This time however; there is an addition. Our 6 year old daughter, Aspen, is along for the ride.


With age comes wisdom and so instead of the March 25th opener; we now hunt the 2nd week of April. Generally speaking, the weather is more cooperative, especially when you throw a 6 year old girl into the mix. The later hunt dates are usually more productive when it comes to getting the birds to respond to our calling as well. With our bows, blinds, decoys, a week’s worth of 1st grade lesson plans, and two Labrador retrievers; we hooked the camper to the pickup and head south from our northeast South Dakota home.


We usually arrive in the early afternoon and after getting camp prepared we set out to place our blinds in some of the strategic hot spots we have located over the past ten years such as: “The Green Mile” “The Hole” “The Hilltop Roost” and “Uncle Claytons”. The rest of that afternoon and evening is spent scouting for potential new hot spots that we might incorporate into our game plan.


After a late night picking woodticks off a husband, a daughter, and two labs; I thought I deserved to sleep in. Curt had left early that morning and returned with a big Tom just as Aspen and I were getting back from a nice morning walk with the dogs. The sight of that bird really got me excited for the afternoon hunt. I took a few shots with my bow to make sure everything was still dialed in and to give me confidence before my hunt. Usually I enjoy the peace and quiet of hunting by myself; however with Curt tagging a bird this morning, he and Aspen wanted to join me on my hunt. I packed a handful of snacks, plenty of drinks for all of us, some math and reading homework, and we were ready to head out.

The only thing left to decide was where to go. “The Hole” has always been good to me and is located in a funnel offering up close shots even if the birds are not that keen on decoying. “The Hole” was going to be my killing field for this evening. The three quarter mile hike into “The Hole” took longer than usual since I like to use this time as an outdoor classroom. We studied the various plants, flowers, and animal tracks we came across. Aspen was quite fond of informing me each time she discovered a new kind of poop. A lot of the tracks and droppings we came across were from turkeys so I knew there were birds using this area.


Soon we were all seated comfortably in the Double Bull watching over the two feeding hen decoys 10 yards in front of us. The first 90 minutes was uneventful except for the fact that I was able to get several chapters into a new book and the plot was beginning to thicken. About 430 pm the plot began to thicken in my own piece of non-fiction. A couple birds were working the ridge on the opposite side of the creek. Some soft purrs brought in a nice Tom who took up residence just to the left of the blind. The turkey was within 20 yards but a lot of brush was in between him and I. He strutted back and forth gobbling his head off for those hen decoys but would not commit to coming in to them.


All the racket the Tom making got the attention of three jakes that had followed the creek down from the right and were now strutting and circling my two decoys. To the extent that my “trophy hunting” is broadside and within range, I had three trophies to choose from. I drew back and anchored; every time I would settle my pin on the wing butt of one of the Jakes, it would turn or move not offering me a shot I felt comfortable with. After about a minute of this; I could feel the tension and anxiousness growing from my two cheerleaders. Finally one of the Jakes paused just a little too long. My three blade fixed blade broadhead, found its way to the Jake’s vitals in a puff of feathers. All three birds darted up a short ridge in front of the blind. My target Jake only made it halfway up the ridge before tumbling backwards and rolling back down near the decoys. The other two Jakes; seeing their fallen comrade left behind, they turned around and came to what I thought would be his rescue. Instead they pounced and pecked their partner until they made sure all of the nails were in the coffin. The cheerleaders were singing my praises as though I had just thrown the winning touchdown in the homecoming game.


We waited patiently for all the turkeys in the area to depart on their own accord before getting out of the blind. Aspen went directly to the kill and began a post mortem examination. I searched through the two inch layer of oak leaves that were on the ground and found my arrow with a healthy number of turkey feathers still clinging to the arrow. Memories of a hunt like this last forever but pictures really bring the memories back to life. We proceeded to honor our quarry with a good supply of tasteful pictures. Many of these were immediately sent to family and friends who enjoy up to the minute status reports of our hunts. Nebraska spring turkey hunting always has a special meaning for my family and I.

Jan 06, 2016 | Category: Arika's Corner, Turkey Hunting | Comments: none


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