Bow Hunting Maniac » 2007 » April

Turkeys-1 Bowhuntinmaniac-0

Posted in General

Well, I hate to say it, but I got whupped yesterday.
I got into the turkeys, actually 2 nice Toms running together. They did not make 1 peep coming in and they caught me by surprise.
All of a sudden, there they were……..I finally was able to get my bow drawn, anchored and set my pin on the wing of 1 that was broadside, and released………I could not believe my eyes!! After the dust cleared and the birds were outta there, I went and found my arrow or, rather pieces of my arrow. It was completely clean…….I had missed.
The only thing I can comprehend that happened is, that I hurried the shot, completely missed and the arrow hit a tree and snapped into 3 pieces……….that, or I met the Bionic turkey.
But, it is not over. After my business trip to Minnesota, I will be back after them again……


Posted in General

Turkey season is a mere 4 days away and I cant wait. This is the first time in 5 years I have had a spring tag as, in Arizona you have to be drawn to hunt spring turkeys.
The weather is not cooperating so far, we have had quite a bit of wind and, today has been rainy and sometimes a little snowy with the high at 39*.
Hopefully that will change before Friday morning, but I will make the best of it.
Wish me luck………
and keep yer broadheads sharp,

Ground blinds

Posted in General

Upon a request, I am going to write about ground blinds. The specific request was, “natural made blinds vs. pop ups”.

Since bowhunting at an early age, I have used several types of blinds when hunting, but all were hand built, because there was no such thing as a commercial one that I knew of.
Mark, my lifelong friend, and I have been using blinds for ourselves and clients in hunting animals including coyotes, antelope, turkeys, elk, deer and javelina.
A natural made blind is exactly what it sounds like……it can be made from limbs, branches, grass and leaves to look like the surrounding area and, is mostly used to conceal the hunter and any movements made. This type has no roof and is actually very crude.
Another type of natural blind that I have used is primarily for antelope hunting. It is made of plywood and is basically a box. There is no floor but has a roof. The roof gives shade and also makes the blind dark inside, so the ‘lopes cant see the movement made when drawing a bow to shoot. After the blind is built, shooting windows are cut out at optimum locations.
This is a very good blind, but you need to remember the down sides of using this. It is very cumbersome to place and build and, also to tear down and haul home. But, also there is no ventilation and is basically a sweat box.

Pop up blinds are very useful. They are easy to carry, set up, tear down and offer not only a way to conceal yourself but, also the better ones offer scent control..
Some animals will shy away from a newly placed blind, which makes it necessary to brush it in. Basically, you are just breaking up the outline, because blinds have straight edges and animals aren’t used to that.
But, I have found that turkeys, javelina, antelope and coyotes either don’t notice a blind or, just don’t care about it. But, deer and elk will not only notice but they will either leave or stare at it until they are comfortable.
Pop up blinds can be expensive with the most I have seen one sell for is about $425. You can find cheaper ones, but you need to remember that whichever one you buy needs to not have anything that will make noise in the wind. One such blind comes with camoflauge “leafy” edges. I learned the hard way that antelope don’t like the noise this makes with a slight wind.
All in all, I prefer a pop up blind, but remember to get chairs or stools that wont creak when you move.

Keep yer broadheads sharp,

Ready to buy a bow?

Posted in General

Over the years, I have heard one question from people that want to or, are just getting into archery…….how do I find a bow?
There are many things to think about when selecting a bow, but I feel, the main thing to consider is, how it feels in your hand.
Manufacturers build the risers (handle portion) differently. Some compounds are machined aluminum, while others are forged aluminum. Because risers are built differently, and will also differ between brands, it is very important for you get a feel for it.
It doesn’t matter if it is a recurve, longbow, or a compound. If it doesn’t feel good in your hand, the excitement of shooting it will fade fast, and you will not practice like you should.
When you are ready to shop for a bow, go to a reputable archery pro shop,(this does not include Walmart or a pawn shop) and ask the salesman a lot of questions. Grab every bow you can get your hands on and see how it feels. You should be able to wrap your fingers around the grip and your wrist should not have to adjust to make it comfortable.
After you find a bow that feels good, then you can consider your options as far as, style, speed, and bow weight.

Another turkey scoutin’ trip

Posted in General

Sunday afternoon found me driving to my old spot again to check for turkeys.
I got to the camp spot about an hour and a half before roosting time, so I unloaded the quad and drove down the bumpy dirt road until I got to where a wash crosses the road. I parked there and waited.
I noticed there was a breeze coming from the southwest, but it started to calm after the sun had set. A few minutes later as the light started to dim, I thought that I should hear the turkeys at any time if they were still using the old roost trees.
It was getting late and I wondered if I would hear them, then there it was! Wing beats!! I heard 1 turkey fly up to roost, then a second. All of a sudden, there was a gobble…..All right!! There’s a Tom among them. After a couple of minutes, I heard two more turkeys fly up.
I waited until after dark and then went back to camp. As I was getting things done in camp, I heard a gobble come from the direction of the main road into this area, not 300 yards away. Immediately I grabbed my binoculars and walked in that direction. The Tom gobbled about every 3 minutes which helped me to keep my direction of him. I found the area he was in, then backed out to leave him alone.
Mark showed up in camp about an hour later and I told him what I had found. The decision was made to get up at 4:30 a.m. and get close to this Tom to see how big he is.
Well, as always, 4:30 came early and found me crawling out of my bag into the chilly air. We hurridly got ready and walked to the area.
As it started to dawn, Mark hoot owled and got the Tom to gobble. We were over 100 yards away, so we quietly moved closer. As we neared some pine trees, the Tom sounded off again and we were only about 40 yards from his roost, so we sat down to wait for more light.
After about 20 minutes, it got light enough to see the Tom in the tree, but not light enough to see his beard or spurs.
As we waited, the old Tom sounded off several times. A little bit later the coyotes started howling, which caused other Toms to gobble into the waking forest. Finally, we were able to see that this Tom had about a 9 inch beard and spurs pushing 1 inch on each leg.
When it was time, the old guy flew down and walked away from us. After a few minutes, we hiked back to camp and headed out for some more scouting.
It ended being a great day of scouting. We heard 7 different Toms gobble, one as late as 12:30 plus, we saw 14 cow elk, one of which had a radio collar.
Season opens in 2 1/2 weeks and I have high hopes of getting a Tom. Mark and I take time to try to find out of the way spots to hunt, as we use bow and arrow, and try to stay clear of the shotgunners.

Turkey Scoutin’

Posted in General

Well, Sunday was a day to scout for turkeys.
In Az, you have to be drawn for a spring tag, which is getting harder to accomplish every year. It has been several years since I drew a spring tag, so I have archery hunted them in August, which is more difficult and not as much fun since they are not gobbling that time of year.
Finally this year I drew a tag in my favorite unit. Not only did I draw a tag but Mark, my longtime friend and his son, Vance, also drew.
Well, I met Mark and Vance at our old camp spot early yesterday morning. They had arrived the day before and filled me in about everything they heard and saw.
“The turkeys are gobbling pretty late in the morning”, and I gave Mark my “yeah, right” look and told him I knew it was April Fools day and he isn’t getting me that easy.
So, we took the quads and headed to one of the old spots. As we did we came across a mud puddle that had turkey tracks all over it, but they were small.
As we got close to one place we were going to stop, there was another mud puddle that had a lone track on it and, it was a very big track. We got off of the quads and I took a closer look at the track, It was made in the last day, and was a lone Tom.
As we hiked up a ridge, there was a faint gobble in the distance, the time was 8:17. I commented how they are gobbling late so early in the month, and Mark said, “I told you, but you didn’t believe me”.
That got me excited but wondering what will happen in 4 weeks when the season opens. On top of the ridge, there are oak trees, which are still dormant, but we found scratching and as Vance says,”turkey poo”. This confirmed that the turkeys are still using the old spot which is my favorite, but I have to wait 4 more weeks.
One more scouting trip will give us enough locations for the 3 of us. We are using archery equipment so, we have to ensure ourselves that we are not close to where shotgunners will be.