I had some opening morning success yesterday in Ohio!
With the mid 30 degree temperature and bone chilling wind this morning, I couldn't help but ask myself if it was really turkey season. I knew I wasn't going to get many opportunities to hunt in Ohio this spring so I figured I'd better make the best of it. I dressed warm, and even pulled out a couple packs of hand warmers to bring along just in case.
I was situated on the edge of a large bottom field which had just been planted two weeks ago. I've had great success hunting this field in the past, but this time I decided to head to the other end of the field from where I typically set up to try and utilize the wood line as a wind barrier. As I sat in my Matrix 360 overlooking my DSD Jake, submissive hen, and upright hen, the woods came alive with birds chirping and other activity as the sun began to rise. I sat and waited, hoping to hear a gobble....nothing.
I sat for nearly an hour after daybreak before finally seeing a pair of birds through my Gold Rings. Off in the distance, nearly 400 yards away, a Jake was strutting and chasing around a hen. Typically I would have been set up only 60 yards or so from where they were, but the weather had me change my plans and I thought for sure it had cost me a shot at a legal bird.
I called sparingly for the next two and a half hours without hearing a peep. Finally, around 9:00 I look up and see a bird in the clover field to my southeast about 100 yards away. I flipped on my camcorder and began to film, not even knowing for sure what it was. After filming for a few seconds, I picked up my binoculars and saw the big ol' red noggin and beard. That got me excited!
I picked up my pot call and striker and started a few light clucks and purrs as he started making his way my direction. It seemed like eternity, but he finally made it in to about 45 yards. When he finally saw my DSD Jake, the game was over. He started to puff up and mean-walked straight in to 8 yards to come face to face with the Jake decoy. Spurs were flying and wings were flapping as I framed up my camcorder and got ready for the shot. I placed my pin right on the top of his hips and let the Grip Reaper tipped arrow go. I saw the green Firenock disappear exactly where I had held my pin and watched as the Tom struggled to make it another 15 yards before disappearing from the view of my camcorder.
It's hard enough to bowhunt these birds, but to be able to SELFILM it all makes it even that much more rewarding!
It turned out to be a great morning, and boy am I glad I didn't miss it!
He weighed in at 21.6#, sported a 7 15/16" beard, and a 3/4" and 1" spur.