Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Archery Turkey Challenges

T-minus 5 days until my turkey season begins and it looks like the weather here in MI is going to warm up just in time. I have been seeing more and more thunder chickens and I don't know whose fired up more, the toms or me! This will be my first year pursuing turkey and I am going to try to take one with my bow. Lately, I have been absorbing all the information I can and have a plan of attack in place. Because of their keen eye sight, bow hunting turkeys can present extra challenges. The biggest obstacle is being able to draw back your bow undetected. The best way to counter this is to hop into a blind. Unfortunately, I do not have this luxury.....yet.

In order to conceal my movement while drawing my bow, I will have to use natural features to my advantage. One possibility is to look for a "natural blind." This can be anything from a downed treetop to an area with thick vegetation. A small pair of clippers can come in real handy, and you can cut branches or boughs to help conceal yourself, plus they can help you "trim" up a shooting lane. Another tactic I may try is to line up a large tree between myself and a approaching turkey, as this would give a brief chance to draw.

I have learned that decoys are imperative to helping an archer. These give the tom something else to focus on, and can also aid in getting them into range. If you face your decoy towards you, a turkey will naturally want to walk around and face it head on. For bow-hunting, this can be an excellent moment to draw, especially if the tom is in full strut with his tail feathers obscuring his view.

In order to minimize movement, I have decided to use a mouth call if I am out solo. Turkey calling is new to me, but I am no longer sounding like a sick bird! I keep my call in my truck and practice while driving, this definitely will solicit some funny looks. However, I have been listening to turkey sounds and am fairly confident I have the Yelp down.

Well, now that I have a plan laid out to overcome the challenges associated with archery hunting turkey, I feel more confident. Hopefully in the next couple weeks, I will have a success post. After all, I love it when a plan comes together!!

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