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7 Cheap, Effective Deer Habitat Improvements | Steve Bartylla @deerhuntingmag

Posted from: http://youtu.be/S1ifv6d-IqU

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Posted from: http://youtu.be/S1ifv6d-IqU

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Hunting

N.F.C. – Maps & Scouting Lead To Success with Kevin Vanderploeg

Posted from: https://audio.simplecast.com/1ee470f6.mp3

On this episode, Dan talks with Kevin Vanderploeg of Michigan about his 2018 deer hunting season. Actually, the story really starts in 2017 where was able to harvest a 156 10 point buck on public land in Ohio.

During the summer months of 2018 he identified two shooter bucks in a 10 acre woodlot that made him focus on the area a little more. Knocking on doors to gain permission he picked up an additional 30 acres. During a scouting mission before the season started he found a buck bed and some old sign that got him excited for the upcoming archery season. The scouting paid off, he was able to harvest one of the shooters early in October.

Then, later in the month and in to November he took two out of state trips to hunt public ground. Using digital maps that showed terrain feature, he was able to find some really good tree stand locations that resulted in him sealing the deal.

I love talking to guys like Kevin who put in the time to locate the best possible locations and ultimately get the job done.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

on

Posted from: https://audio.simplecast.com/1ee470f6.mp3

On this episode, Dan talks with Kevin Vanderploeg of Michigan about his 2018 deer hunting season. Actually, the story really starts in 2017 where was able to harvest a 156 10 point buck on public land in Ohio.

During the summer months of 2018 he identified two shooter bucks in a 10 acre woodlot that made him focus on the area a little more. Knocking on doors to gain permission he picked up an additional 30 acres. During a scouting mission before the season started he found a buck bed and some old sign that got him excited for the upcoming archery season. The scouting paid off, he was able to harvest one of the shooters early in October.

Then, later in the month and in to November he took two out of state trips to hunt public ground. Using digital maps that showed terrain feature, he was able to find some really good tree stand locations that resulted in him sealing the deal.

I love talking to guys like Kevin who put in the time to locate the best possible locations and ultimately get the job done.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Continue Reading

Hunting

Hunting the Easy Way? Part 2

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/hunting-the-easy-way-part-2/

Archery tradition of “Hunting the Hard Way” dying or is it already dead?

MARQSCOUT
Sponsored by: The Archery Hall of Fame

By: M.R. James

          IN MY LAST COLUMN I briefly examined the positive and negative effects that modern technology has had on the ancient sport of archery and 21st century bowhunters. For those of us with lots of gray in our whiskers, folks who began shooting arrows at targets and game animals in the 1950s and 1960s, can likely recall crafting or buying our first longbows and recurves. We mostly used tapered cedar or metal shafts with glue-on feather fletching and field points for shooting paper or hand-sharpened, store-bought, cut-on-contact broadheads for hunting deer and other woodland game.

            Back then, drawing an arrow the average 28 inches or so
before releasing it took a bit of doing with heavier-pulling hunting bows. For
example, if your bow’s draw weight was 60 or 65 pounds, it was no different
than using your index, middle, and ring fingers to lift that total weight slightly
more than two feet off the floor, hold it steady while aiming, and then
relaxing your fingers to make the shot. States established minimum draw weights
for hunting, typically in the 35 to 45-pound range, give or take a little, to
help achieve necessary penetration for quick, clean kills.

            Kinetic energy was something you’d find referenced in a
physics book. Compound bows and minimal draw weight let-offs were, until the
late 1960s and early ‘70s, known only to H. W. Allen and Tom Jennings and their
small group of followers. By the way, the let-off on my initial Jennings bow, the
one used to take my first compound-killed buck, was around 10 or 12%. In 1971,
when the very first copies of Bowhunter Magazine
rolled off the presses, only one compound bow ad could be found. But by the end
of that same decade, most of the major North American bow companies were
building, advertising, and selling fast, flat-shooting wheeled bows for hunters
and target shooters alike.

            Arguably, the compound bow had just changed archery and
bowhunting forever. Using wheeled bows with their cables and pulleys, made bows
shoot faster and bowhunting easier than using stickbows.

This wild, free-ranging British Columbia bison fell to well-placed arrows after I’d stalked within 40 yards before raising my Mathews compound bow The one-ton giant is one of several bison I’ve taken over my 60-year bowhunting career and proof that broadheads can quickly drop even the largest beasts found on the North American continent.

            THE LEGENDRY ARCHER/BOWHUNTER HOWARD HILL wrote Hunting the Hard Way in 1953, rightfully
noting in his book that using firearms was easier and more woodcraft and
stalking ability was necessary for archers to get close to wary game before
making the killing shot. He also said of bowhunting, “I know of no greater
measure of game conservation than using the bow as a weapon in hunting game.” That’s
because of its low overall impact on game populations. That was true in Hill’s
heyday and in the 1960s when I got serious about bowhunting (with only 3 or 4 of
every 100 bowhunters tagging a deer).

            Now, half a century later, bowhunting success shows decades of growth. Much of that improvement is because of the population explosion in North America’s whitetail deer herds, better bowhunting tackle, and more knowledgeable, experienced hunters. From an average success rate of 3 to 4% in the ‘60s, bowhunters in at least 10 states and provinces now enjoy 30 to 40% success putting venison in the family freezer. Only Nova Scotia’s 6%, Maine’s 10%, and California’s 11% fail to hit seasonal deer kill averages in the teens or better. (Note: All figures cited are from the 2018 Bowhunter Magazine Deer Forecast.)

I killed this young Michigan buck with one arrow from my Pearson recurve in the late 1960s. Since treestands were illegal in the state back then, I was still-hunting with the 25 yard shot presented itself. Gotta love what Howard Hill called “Hunting the hard way.”

            Such success has not gone unnoticed by game departments
and deer biologists, as well as critics of bowhunting’s lengthy seasons, which
often include the annual rut when bucks are most visible and vulnerable.
Combined with diseases like EHD or CWD, that can take a heavy toll on deer in
any given area, plus increased road kills and overharvesting does by issuing
too many antlerless licenses, complaints about deer sightings are becoming
increasingly commonplace.

            My adopted state of Indiana is a good example. Nearly
one-third of Hoosierland’s 75,000+ bowhunters fill their tags annually without
adversely impacting the herd. However, an overly long firearms season, including
an arbitrary antlerless late season that takes a heavy toll on pregnant does, has
transformed the state into counties with pockets of plenty and adjoining
counties, which formerly supported good numbers of whitetails, into areas with comparatively
few if any deer. Not surprisingly, this has caused growing numbers of unhappy Indiana
deer hunters to grow increasingly restless.

            Compounding the mounting unrest (no pun intended), is the
fact that in recent years certain high-powered rifles and crossbows have been
legalized for hunting Hoosier deer. Throw in the annual road kills and the crop-raiding
deer legally blown away and left to rot by farmers during summer months, plus fears
the Indiana herd is dwindling, may be true. Making killing deer easier is an
issue in Indiana and elsewhere. Calls for protecting does by reducing
antlerless permits and eliminating the late season are increasing.

I’ve frequently shared hunting camps with rifle hunters where wearing blaze orange was the law. Caribou, like this Quebec P&Y bull, are a favorite challenge. I stalked him as he fed across the rolling tundra and stopped him with one arrow at no more than 30 yards. Challenge faced, challenge met.
 

            I HAVE NO DOUBTS that the modern crossbow is already
having a major impact on bowhunting. When in 1976 neighboring Ohio legalized
the use of crossbows during archery seasons – and Arkansas followed suit – it
took only a few years for crossbow usage during deer season to exceed the use
of vertical bows. More recently, after Wisconsin okayed crossbow use in 2013,
the identical thing happened. In 2018, Badger State “bowhunters” registered
46,750 deer by shooting crossbows, while 40,055 tagged their deer with
compounds and traditional bows held and shot vertically.

                                                                      

Modern crossbows equipped with telescopic sights are gaining in popularity with more and more deer hunters. They’re easier to use, require minimal practice once zeroed in, and account for a higher number of deer kills than conventional bows in some states where they’re legal. Archery purists say they are not for hunters who want the challenge of “hunting the hard way” with conventional bowhunting tackle.

            The reason is obvious? Crossbows are easier to use.
They’re pre-cocked, frequently equipped with telescopic sights, and ready to
shoot with minimal movement when a deer appears. They are, in fact, the
antithesis of Hill’s “hunting the hard way.” The claim that compound bows are
simply vertical crossbows doesn’t hold water for any objective hunter.

            Based on my 60+ years in archery and big game hunting, I
can state unequivocally that I can hunt effectively with longbows and recurves
shot instinctively, but I’m a better shot at longer ranges using a compound bow
with sights. Likewise, I can shoot even better at longer ranges using a
crossbow with a telescopic sight and bipod than hand-holding either a stickbow
or compound. I suspect this is generally true with a majority of folks.

            The popularity of crossbows is not surprising, really.
This is the age of busy, results-oriented folks who often have multiple
interests and obligations with little spare time. The crossbow doesn’t require
the strength necessary to draw and hold conventional bows, making crossbows
appealing to youngsters and women. Once legally used only during archery
seasons by physically challenged bowhunters, today’s crossbows typically
account for the only area of growth of hunting license sales in some states.
Deer hunters like them because of the long archery season, increased odds of
tagging a deer, and the minimal amount of practice time required once the
weapon is sighted in.

            Based on the limited research I’ve conducted, it seems that increased crossbow license sales do not result in more hunters showing up in the woods and more revenue for Fish and Game Department coffers. The state of Wisconsin cites a trend that indicates many “new” crossbow shooters are in fact gun hunters who like the longer season and better weather, or they are former bowhunters wanting better odds to fill a deer tag than conventional bows and arrows offer.

Why bowhunt? “To face the challenge of doing something difficult in hopes of beating the odds and savoring the satisfaction of achieving a personal goal.”
 

            What’s my personal take on crossbows? They are a fine
weapon and deserve a season and record book of their own. Crossbow kills should
never be allowed in the Pope and Young bowhunting record book. Moreover, since
I love bowhunting for the challenge it offers, I would never hunt with a
crossbow during archery season any more than I would use a firearm, if legal. However,
I do frequently hunt with my compound or recurve during a firearms season – often
wearing the required blaze orange over my camo clothing – and I’ve been
successful tagging every big game animal from deer to moose and caribou and
mountain goats and muskoxen to black bears and cougars. Crossbow hunters easily
could enjoy similar success competing with gun hunters, if willing to accept
the challenge.

            I oppose the use of crossbows during archery seasons except by physically challenged hunters. Why? Because they distort numbers of actual bow kills and thereby threaten the future of “hunting the hard way.” That’s the way I’ve hunted for six decades and will continue to hunt for as long as I have the strength to draw a bow and release an arrow.

For Hunting the Easy Way? Part 1
For more please go to: Thoughts and Tips with M.R. James

                                                                       

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

on

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/hunting-the-easy-way-part-2/

Archery tradition of “Hunting the Hard Way” dying or is it already dead?

MARQSCOUT
Sponsored by: The Archery Hall of Fame

hunting
By: M.R. James

          IN MY LAST COLUMN I briefly examined the positive and negative effects that modern technology has had on the ancient sport of archery and 21st century bowhunters. For those of us with lots of gray in our whiskers, folks who began shooting arrows at targets and game animals in the 1950s and 1960s, can likely recall crafting or buying our first longbows and recurves. We mostly used tapered cedar or metal shafts with glue-on feather fletching and field points for shooting paper or hand-sharpened, store-bought, cut-on-contact broadheads for hunting deer and other woodland game.

            Back then, drawing an arrow the average 28 inches or so
before releasing it took a bit of doing with heavier-pulling hunting bows. For
example, if your bow’s draw weight was 60 or 65 pounds, it was no different
than using your index, middle, and ring fingers to lift that total weight slightly
more than two feet off the floor, hold it steady while aiming, and then
relaxing your fingers to make the shot. States established minimum draw weights
for hunting, typically in the 35 to 45-pound range, give or take a little, to
help achieve necessary penetration for quick, clean kills.

            Kinetic energy was something you’d find referenced in a
physics book. Compound bows and minimal draw weight let-offs were, until the
late 1960s and early ‘70s, known only to H. W. Allen and Tom Jennings and their
small group of followers. By the way, the let-off on my initial Jennings bow, the
one used to take my first compound-killed buck, was around 10 or 12%. In 1971,
when the very first copies of Bowhunter Magazine
rolled off the presses, only one compound bow ad could be found. But by the end
of that same decade, most of the major North American bow companies were
building, advertising, and selling fast, flat-shooting wheeled bows for hunters
and target shooters alike.

            Arguably, the compound bow had just changed archery and
bowhunting forever. Using wheeled bows with their cables and pulleys, made bows
shoot faster and bowhunting easier than using stickbows.

hunting articles
This wild, free-ranging British Columbia bison fell to well-placed arrows after I’d stalked within 40 yards before raising my Mathews compound bow The one-ton giant is one of several bison I’ve taken over my 60-year bowhunting career and proof that broadheads can quickly drop even the largest beasts found on the North American continent.

            THE LEGENDRY ARCHER/BOWHUNTER HOWARD HILL wrote Hunting the Hard Way in 1953, rightfully
noting in his book that using firearms was easier and more woodcraft and
stalking ability was necessary for archers to get close to wary game before
making the killing shot. He also said of bowhunting, “I know of no greater
measure of game conservation than using the bow as a weapon in hunting game.” That’s
because of its low overall impact on game populations. That was true in Hill’s
heyday and in the 1960s when I got serious about bowhunting (with only 3 or 4 of
every 100 bowhunters tagging a deer).

            Now, half a century later, bowhunting success shows decades of growth. Much of that improvement is because of the population explosion in North America’s whitetail deer herds, better bowhunting tackle, and more knowledgeable, experienced hunters. From an average success rate of 3 to 4% in the ‘60s, bowhunters in at least 10 states and provinces now enjoy 30 to 40% success putting venison in the family freezer. Only Nova Scotia’s 6%, Maine’s 10%, and California’s 11% fail to hit seasonal deer kill averages in the teens or better. (Note: All figures cited are from the 2018 Bowhunter Magazine Deer Forecast.)

hunting website
I killed this young Michigan buck with one arrow from my Pearson recurve in the late 1960s. Since treestands were illegal in the state back then, I was still-hunting with the 25 yard shot presented itself. Gotta love what Howard Hill called “Hunting the hard way.”

            Such success has not gone unnoticed by game departments
and deer biologists, as well as critics of bowhunting’s lengthy seasons, which
often include the annual rut when bucks are most visible and vulnerable.
Combined with diseases like EHD or CWD, that can take a heavy toll on deer in
any given area, plus increased road kills and overharvesting does by issuing
too many antlerless licenses, complaints about deer sightings are becoming
increasingly commonplace.

            My adopted state of Indiana is a good example. Nearly
one-third of Hoosierland’s 75,000+ bowhunters fill their tags annually without
adversely impacting the herd. However, an overly long firearms season, including
an arbitrary antlerless late season that takes a heavy toll on pregnant does, has
transformed the state into counties with pockets of plenty and adjoining
counties, which formerly supported good numbers of whitetails, into areas with comparatively
few if any deer. Not surprisingly, this has caused growing numbers of unhappy Indiana
deer hunters to grow increasingly restless.

            Compounding the mounting unrest (no pun intended), is the
fact that in recent years certain high-powered rifles and crossbows have been
legalized for hunting Hoosier deer. Throw in the annual road kills and the crop-raiding
deer legally blown away and left to rot by farmers during summer months, plus fears
the Indiana herd is dwindling, may be true. Making killing deer easier is an
issue in Indiana and elsewhere. Calls for protecting does by reducing
antlerless permits and eliminating the late season are increasing.

metal shafts
I’ve frequently shared hunting camps with rifle hunters where wearing blaze orange was the law. Caribou, like this Quebec P&Y bull, are a favorite challenge. I stalked him as he fed across the rolling tundra and stopped him with one arrow at no more than 30 yards. Challenge faced, challenge met.
 

            I HAVE NO DOUBTS that the modern crossbow is already
having a major impact on bowhunting. When in 1976 neighboring Ohio legalized
the use of crossbows during archery seasons – and Arkansas followed suit – it
took only a few years for crossbow usage during deer season to exceed the use
of vertical bows. More recently, after Wisconsin okayed crossbow use in 2013,
the identical thing happened. In 2018, Badger State “bowhunters” registered
46,750 deer by shooting crossbows, while 40,055 tagged their deer with
compounds and traditional bows held and shot vertically.

                                                                      

Ohio
Modern crossbows equipped with telescopic sights are gaining in popularity with more and more deer hunters. They’re easier to use, require minimal practice once zeroed in, and account for a higher number of deer kills than conventional bows in some states where they’re legal. Archery purists say they are not for hunters who want the challenge of “hunting the hard way” with conventional bowhunting tackle.

            The reason is obvious? Crossbows are easier to use.
They’re pre-cocked, frequently equipped with telescopic sights, and ready to
shoot with minimal movement when a deer appears. They are, in fact, the
antithesis of Hill’s “hunting the hard way.” The claim that compound bows are
simply vertical crossbows doesn’t hold water for any objective hunter.

            Based on my 60+ years in archery and big game hunting, I
can state unequivocally that I can hunt effectively with longbows and recurves
shot instinctively, but I’m a better shot at longer ranges using a compound bow
with sights. Likewise, I can shoot even better at longer ranges using a
crossbow with a telescopic sight and bipod than hand-holding either a stickbow
or compound. I suspect this is generally true with a majority of folks.

            The popularity of crossbows is not surprising, really.
This is the age of busy, results-oriented folks who often have multiple
interests and obligations with little spare time. The crossbow doesn’t require
the strength necessary to draw and hold conventional bows, making crossbows
appealing to youngsters and women. Once legally used only during archery
seasons by physically challenged bowhunters, today’s crossbows typically
account for the only area of growth of hunting license sales in some states.
Deer hunters like them because of the long archery season, increased odds of
tagging a deer, and the minimal amount of practice time required once the
weapon is sighted in.

            Based on the limited research I’ve conducted, it seems that increased crossbow license sales do not result in more hunters showing up in the woods and more revenue for Fish and Game Department coffers. The state of Wisconsin cites a trend that indicates many “new” crossbow shooters are in fact gun hunters who like the longer season and better weather, or they are former bowhunters wanting better odds to fill a deer tag than conventional bows and arrows offer.

Tom Jennings
Why bowhunt? “To face the challenge of doing something difficult in hopes of beating the odds and savoring the satisfaction of achieving a personal goal.”
 

            What’s my personal take on crossbows? They are a fine
weapon and deserve a season and record book of their own. Crossbow kills should
never be allowed in the Pope and Young bowhunting record book. Moreover, since
I love bowhunting for the challenge it offers, I would never hunt with a
crossbow during archery season any more than I would use a firearm, if legal. However,
I do frequently hunt with my compound or recurve during a firearms season – often
wearing the required blaze orange over my camo clothing – and I’ve been
successful tagging every big game animal from deer to moose and caribou and
mountain goats and muskoxen to black bears and cougars. Crossbow hunters easily
could enjoy similar success competing with gun hunters, if willing to accept
the challenge.

            I oppose the use of crossbows during archery seasons except by physically challenged hunters. Why? Because they distort numbers of actual bow kills and thereby threaten the future of “hunting the hard way.” That’s the way I’ve hunted for six decades and will continue to hunt for as long as I have the strength to draw a bow and release an arrow.

For Hunting the Easy Way? Part 1
For more please go to: Thoughts and Tips with M.R. James

                                                                       

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Continue Reading

Hunting

Time To Talk (Wild) Turkey

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/time-to-talk-wild-turkey/

By Erik Barber from Bowhunting360.com.

In the Spring, April and May bring warmer weather, chirping birds, green grass and, of course, gobbling wild turkeys. Most states offer a spring turkey-hunting season that provides ample opportunities to get into the woods during beautiful weather to bowhunt wild turkey gobblers.

Before getting started, check your state and local regulations regarding season dates, approved bowhunting equipment, and license and tag requirements.

Why Hunt Wild Turkeys?

Wild Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. If turkeys are nearby, you’ll hear a tom gobbling to attract springtime mates. This heart-pounding call will make your bowhunt memorable by itself. Meanwhile, spring’s pleasant weather, blooming flowers, budding leaves and chirping birds will keep you enthralled as you wait in your blind for that gobbling tom.

A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan. Photo Credit: John Hafner

What do you need to know?

Whether you’re a seasoned bowhunter or are just getting started bowhunting, turkey season can quickly become your favorite spring pastime. Hunters can shoot only adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes,” during spring hunting seasons.

The wild turkey’s breeding season runs through April and May, and causes males to strut and gobble repeatedly to attract females, called “hens.” A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan.

A box call is a type of friction call. Hunters slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds that attract adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes.” Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Calls

Because male turkeys are vocal and aggressive during the breeding season, they’ll often respond to calling. Turkey calls come in many models, including diaphragm calls, which are mouth-blown calls that require much practice but are deadly because they can be used hands-free.

Another popular model is friction calls, which include slate calls and box calls. Friction calls are user-friendly. You make the sound yourself using a wooden peg, called a “striker,” to stroke the call’s slate or similar surface. With a box call, you slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds. In most cases, calls mimic a hen yelp, which is the sound female turkeys make while searching for a tom. However, some seasoned turkey hunters use a gobble call to provoke an aggressive response from toms. That call can lure in a gobbler that won’t respond to hen yelps.

Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. For example, jake (juvenile male) and tom (adult male) decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Decoys

When calling to turkeys, you’re urging them to search for the source of the sound. Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. Decoys are available in several options. The most common are hen decoys, which are what gobbling toms desire. In addition, jake and tom decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Experiment with different decoy setups to find one that matches the turkey’s mood. Passive toms tend to be attracted to a lone hen decoy, while aggressive toms often rush in to a hen and jake/tom combination.

Pop-up blinds help conceal bowhunters’ movements and, for that reason, are ideal for bowhunting turkeys, which have keen eyesight and can detect the slightest movements. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Hunting Blinds

Turkeys have keen eyesight, and detect the slightest movements. Pop-up blinds are useful for bowhunting turkeys. Bows require lots of motion when pulling them to full draw and settling on your target. A blind’s added concealment can make a big difference.

Turkeys have a relatively small vital zone, roughly the size of your fist, so it’s important to get the tom within a safe shooting range – about 30 yards, depending on the bowhunter – before shooting. Whenever possible, use a blind to conceal your moves, and a decoy to hold the tom’s attention while it approaches. Most pop-up blinds are portable, and easily set up and taken down. Those features let bowhunters move to different locations with little effort.

Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. They’re one of the most difficult animals to hunt with a bow, and the breast, legs, wings and thighs taste delicious when cooked properly. Get out there and bring home the (turkey) bacon! Photo Credit: John Hafner

To start your turkey hunting adventure, check your state wildlife agency’s website for laws and season dates. Then visit your local archery shop to get the gear you need to take on this challenge.

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

Published

on

Posted from: https://www.bowhunting.net/2019/04/time-to-talk-wild-turkey/

By Erik Barber from Bowhunting360.com.

In the Spring, April and May bring warmer weather, chirping birds, green grass and, of course, gobbling wild turkeys. Most states offer a spring turkey-hunting season that provides ample opportunities to get into the woods during beautiful weather to bowhunt wild turkey gobblers.

Before getting started, check your state and local regulations regarding season dates, approved bowhunting equipment, and license and tag requirements.

Why Hunt Wild Turkeys?

Wild Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. If turkeys are nearby, you’ll hear a tom gobbling to attract springtime mates. This heart-pounding call will make your bowhunt memorable by itself. Meanwhile, spring’s pleasant weather, blooming flowers, budding leaves and chirping birds will keep you enthralled as you wait in your blind for that gobbling tom.

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A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan. Photo Credit: John Hafner

What do you need to know?

Whether you’re a seasoned bowhunter or are just getting started bowhunting, turkey season can quickly become your favorite spring pastime. Hunters can shoot only adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes,” during spring hunting seasons.

The wild turkey’s breeding season runs through April and May, and causes males to strut and gobble repeatedly to attract females, called “hens.” A gobbling tom in full strut is arguably one of nature’s most beautiful sights. A strutting gobbler drops its wings so the tips drag the ground, and puffs out its breast while locking its tail feathers into a full upright position to form a magnificent fan.

http://twitter.com/freaknhunting

A box call is a type of friction call. Hunters slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds that attract adult males, called “toms,” and juvenile males, called “jakes.” Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Calls

Because male turkeys are vocal and aggressive during the breeding season, they’ll often respond to calling. Turkey calls come in many models, including diaphragm calls, which are mouth-blown calls that require much practice but are deadly because they can be used hands-free.

Another popular model is friction calls, which include slate calls and box calls. Friction calls are user-friendly. You make the sound yourself using a wooden peg, called a “striker,” to stroke the call’s slate or similar surface. With a box call, you slide its lid against the top of the box to make turkey sounds. In most cases, calls mimic a hen yelp, which is the sound female turkeys make while searching for a tom. However, some seasoned turkey hunters use a gobble call to provoke an aggressive response from toms. That call can lure in a gobbler that won’t respond to hen yelps.

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Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. For example, jake (juvenile male) and tom (adult male) decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Turkey Decoys

When calling to turkeys, you’re urging them to search for the source of the sound. Decoys can sometimes help bring gobblers into bow range. Decoys are available in several options. The most common are hen decoys, which are what gobbling toms desire. In addition, jake and tom decoys can coax in aggressive gobblers that want to drive competitors from their turf. Experiment with different decoy setups to find one that matches the turkey’s mood. Passive toms tend to be attracted to a lone hen decoy, while aggressive toms often rush in to a hen and jake/tom combination.

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Pop-up blinds help conceal bowhunters’ movements and, for that reason, are ideal for bowhunting turkeys, which have keen eyesight and can detect the slightest movements. Photo Credit: John Hafner

Hunting Blinds

Turkeys have keen eyesight, and detect the slightest movements. Pop-up blinds are useful for bowhunting turkeys. Bows require lots of motion when pulling them to full draw and settling on your target. A blind’s added concealment can make a big difference.

Turkeys have a relatively small vital zone, roughly the size of your fist, so it’s important to get the tom within a safe shooting range – about 30 yards, depending on the bowhunter – before shooting. Whenever possible, use a blind to conceal your moves, and a decoy to hold the tom’s attention while it approaches. Most pop-up blinds are portable, and easily set up and taken down. Those features let bowhunters move to different locations with little effort.

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Turkeys offer some of the most action-packed bowhunting opportunities you’ll ever know. They’re one of the most difficult animals to hunt with a bow, and the breast, legs, wings and thighs taste delicious when cooked properly. Get out there and bring home the (turkey) bacon! Photo Credit: John Hafner

To start your turkey hunting adventure, check your state wildlife agency’s website for laws and season dates. Then visit your local archery shop to get the gear you need to take on this challenge.

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