Well, I finally did it! I've gone out several times this season and saw tons of birds each time, but the toms were always henned up. Several have come within gun range, but just no luck getting them close enough for the bow. Despite buckman37's various attempts to try to take me hunting with the shotgun, I hung in there and it paid off - got my first turkey with my Hoyt!
I hunted solo today - Got out to the blind by 6am. Not one minute after I sat down, I heard a gobble. Thought maybe I was just hearing things (wishful thinking), but minutes after, a single big tom came wandering in. Thought my chances were good since he was all alone, so I called and he responded several times; however, he skirted the blind and ran off in search of his friends.
Kept hearing distant gobbles and putting, so I sat tight and remained hopeful. I would let out soft yelps every 20 mins or so, putting the feelers out there. There was a group of hens hanging about 50 yards away at 6:30 - Had a single hen come in and check out the decoys around 7am. I talked with her for a bit, but she went off with her group of girls.
All was pretty quiet. I was thinking about grabbing a quick bite to eat around 8:30 or so...getting a little bit hungry. I was texting buckman37 letting him know that I hadn't heard anything really since after 7am... getting slightly discouraged. His advice was to "Stay positive!" I look up from texting and THERE WAS THE BIG GROUP I WAS WAITING FOR! At least 4 nice toms, 2 jakes, and several hens - all walking away from me. I quickly put the phone down, and picked up the glass pot call and start making soft purrs and yelps. They responded, but kept walking away and taking the hens with them. They taunted me for about ten minutes or so, at 100 yards away, displaying for their girlfriends.
At about 8:40, I said "Forget this - Today is the day I'm getting one!" so I put down the glass call, picked up a box call I won at an NWTF banquet several years back. I started out soft - they liked this call better, so I got more aggressive with it. The hens were curious, so they came in towards the decoys, bringing the toms with them. YES! That's when I noticed one tom was super interested in the jake decoy... so I got even more aggressive with my calling. He RAN right up - I quickly put the call down, drew back my bow as he seem interested in the decoy. In my excitement I think I spooked him a little - he slowly started to turn away, but at 8:45 I released the arrow and got him right through the back. He flew maybe 20 yards away, and died inside a grove of pine trees.
I was shaking so much as I ran over...it all happened so quickly and was very surreal. Not only was this my first bow bird, but it was the first time I've called in a bird by myself. Luck was smiling on me today! Definitely tested my patience, but glad I hung in there. Special thanks to my hubby, buckman37, for setting me up in the blind, teaching me how to turkey hunt, and most of all telling me to stick with it and stay positive! I have had a couple of years of observing him, and it appears they've paid off.
He's not the biggest bird, but super nice beard and definitely cannot complain. Too bad one spur one broken off. 17lb 6oz, 11" beard, 1 3/16" spur, 11/16" spur. Overall scored 58.125.