Lesson Learned…..Posted: November 27, 2011
i went back into the forest today. i’ve kind of grown fond of spot stalking. instead of finding a spot to set up a blind, i walk slowly….while crouching and staying low, and listening to the forest, checking for droppings and feathers. i work the call every 10-15 minutes, listen and head in the direction of the clucking.
well…..we’re ass deep in deer season. i wandered into the kill zone of 2 deer hunters in tree stands. the first one, racked his antlers together to got my attention. i held up my fist to acknowledge and i headed behind him. about 45 minutes later (and a missed shot at a turkey as well) i heard an owl call above me. i froze and slowly raised my head to the trees. i saw the hunter….then heard a hushed voice, “i can smell you.” FUCK!!!!! i left the forest. i probably spooked most of the deer in the area. see, i’m hunting turkey, turkeys rely mostly on vision and sound. their sense of smell is poor. BUT…….there are many deer-hunters in the area, and i had committed a bit of a faux-pas. i took it as a bad sign and decided to leave the forest, i blame my miss on the etiquette slip. i figured i wasn’t going to bag anything and was due to miss no matter how many turkeys i saw. i left the forest and went home to shower, sleep, and think.
i was going to buy scent gear and scent mask deodorant, when i remembered something my grandfather taught me. i dig a small hole and gather some moss, and set it on fire. i then let the smoke soak into my clothing….especially under my arms and around my groin. i put out the fire and head into the forest. people burn trash and fires in the forest all the time, so the smoke scent doesn’t alert the deer, and to be honest i’d rather smell like burnt moss than milked skunk odor (yes…..you can buy that). this morning was cool, and there wasn’t much wind. i smoked my clothing and went to a tree where i saw some feathers. i sat by a tree about 30 yards away (my longest effective shooting range) and waited for them to un-roost. just as the sun was breaking the horizon, i heard them coming down, the rustling of the trees, the cackling and gobbling. i slowly got up…..took to a knee, housed and arrow and got my call. after about 15 minutes of quiet, i heard a hen. i worked the call (i tried cutting). the strategy is to annoy a hen enough to lure a Tom (or gobbler) in to investigate. the Tom is the target. around 0815 i had a hen coming to me, i clucked more boldly than she did, i was trying to piss her off. she escalated her calls and strutted towards me. i fell silent. she clucked again. i sheepishly purred with the call.
then i waited. i heard the Gobbler, and watched the hen back off. the Tom called, i clucked once. “that’s right, come get some good loving Big Boy.” i yelped and i drew him in about 35-40 yards. i put down the call and grabbed my bow. i did NOT……have much time. i had about a 3-4 minute window. i drew the string. i put the sight pin just to the right of the center of the bird. i took a deep breath……as i slowly exhaled i released the trigger. you need to try and keep the pin on the target even AFTER you release the arrow. the arrow GRAZED the Tom and he screeched an alarm and flew off. DAMMIT!!!!! i backed away and decided i didn’t want to keep at it. i was too pissed to continue. i decided i was going to NOT come back into the woods until i was better at shooting. as i slowly walked back and i heard, “not bad” whispered from a tree-stand. i looked up and nodded. i checked out at the game station, the warden asked me how i did, and i told him the tale. “been doing this long Son?” he asked. i answered, “no Sir. this was my third trip out.” he gave me some encouraging words and told me he liked the idea of the smoke scent mask.
i went home, took a shower and slept. i woke up around 3pm and headed to Green Acres to use the archery range. i shot a 4 arrow volley from about 35 yards. i was pulling to the left of the yellow but i patterning well. i called Jack who is the Bow-Smith and i told him i wasn’t happy with the trigger. he watched me shoot 4 arrows and asked for my trigger strap. he loosened it and i IMMEDIATELY noticed the difference. “OH YEAH, THAT’S MUCH BETTER SON!!!!” he replied after the adjustment. i set 3 arrows in the yellow and one in the red at about 11 o’clock (again…all were in a VERY close pattern). the yellow is about the size of a baseball (though a tad bigger) and the red is about the size of a soft ball. the blue zone is about the size of a basketball. i ran 12 more arrows then Jack told me i should call it quits (i had been shooting for about 45 minutes, and i was getting fatigued). i’m heading back tomorrow to shoot some more. as i’m typing this, I’M FUCKING BEAT and SORE!!!! my shoulder is SOOOO DAMN tense. i had to rub some tiger balm into it.
what’s funny is how ridiculously keen my senses are becoming. ANY sound that’s out of place get’s my attention. i was at home (it was dark out) walking to bring in my recycle bin and i heard a pop on the jogging path to my right. i froze and my head snapped in the direction of the sound. i dropped to a slight crouch. what i had heard was something stepping on an acorn. my eyes focused and i saw 2 shadows, i heard their voices. it was 2 kids, i waited for them the pass and went back to taking my bin in. it’s just odd how this simple thing caused an immediate reaction in me. i have also come to realize i need to rock my hunting boot’s more often, they aren’t quite broken in and my feet are done. lol.
i watch this 2-3 times a day now. lol.
Walking Dead’s on tonight. Win-sauce. AND i’m cooking my turducken stuffed with cornbread and crawfish stuffing. oh, and i found the perfect bow for MissMalice. *giggle* she can now take quarry from the “Valentine’s day pink marshmallow forest” (best line EVAR btw Pooks). kees kees.
i have mouth calls, but i’m NOT good with them. i need to practice. i haven’t been good with the mouth calls thus far. but i’d prefer them to the box call since i can keep my hands on the bow while calling.
i WILL get better with a mouth call.