Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Turkeys the Hard Way
By Bob Humphrey
Trying to call a turkey into shotgun range is tough. Trying to call one into bow range, then attempting to draw your bow within spitting distance of the keenest eyes in nature is even tougher. It can be done however. And there are a few ways to make it easier.
First you’ve got to take a different approach. The aggressive, run-and-gun style favored by many contemporary gun hunters doesn’t lend itself well to bow hunting. You must become more sedentary, choosing a particular location and waiting to ambush your quarry. And you must be patient, willing to wait in that location as long as is necessary.
If you’re going to invest the time and effort, you’ll want to choose your location well. One tip is to get back away from the roads and the competition. Depending on how far back in you go, you could encounter birds that seldom hear a call, and rarely get bumped by other hunters. This gives you a chance to work your magic without interference.
Then you’ve got to set up your ambush. Scout the birds, learn their patterns and install a blind in an area they regularly use. You can build a makeshift blind out of natural vegetation, but portable pop-up blinds are a much better option. They offer sufficient concealment so you can wait until your quarry is right on top of you before drawing back your bow.
This hunting style requires some other equipment as well. You may be sitting for a while and you’ll want to be comfortable. I use an armless folding chair or stool. It’s also a good idea to have some type of bow holder to keep your bow ready and close at hand. You may want to bring a snack, something to read and of course, decoys. They’ll draw the birds into bow range, and take their attention off you and the blind.
That’s a lot of stuff to tote around in the woods, especially if you want to get away from the crowds ... unless you’ve got a means for transporting it, and you. ATVs can lighten the load and get you back into the most remote areas. They’ll save you time and lots of effort, and you won’t be limited on how much gear you take with you. They also ease the burden of toting an extra 20 pounds or so back out at the end of your hunt.