12 April 1999

First Turkey

by Larry Velvick (President Idaho State Bowhunters)

First Turkey

My friend, Tom, had called and asked if I wanted to hunt turkeys on his property. Having never harvested a turkey my answer was obvious; "What time do you want me there?" Arriving at Tom's house at dark 'o clock we shot the breeze for a while waiting for the coffee to perk. After that important project was completed we headed for the truck.
Driving as close to our hunting area as we dared we parked the truck and walked up the road. It was still dark but you could see the turkeys silhouetted in the trees. We placed the decoys and got comfortable in the blind. The blind was placed in the corner of an alfalfa field and on the other side of the field was a rocky, grassy ridge which Tom assured me the turkeys always used in the mornings.

As the sky began to lighten the turkeys became vocal. You could hear gobbles everywhere! Soon it was light enough to see and we did see turkeys on the ridge as Tom had promised. Tom called and a jake answered and began to walk/run towards us. At times he'd slow down or stop all together. Another call from Tom would start him towards us again. Tom kept telling me, "Get ready, here he comes!"

I was ready or so I thought. When the jake got within my 20 yd shooting range he slowed down and checked things out. That's when I drew and shot at what I thought would be a soon dead turkey. Wrong!! The arrow flew harmlessly over his back. I had been pretty rattled but now I really was! I nocked another arrow and tried to settle down. The jake was confused as to what had just happened and his confusion was fatal. This time the arrow found it's mark. The turkey flopped to the ground but got up and began to fly off. My heart really sank at the sight of the turkey flying off and not showing any signs of a vital hit. However, at about 75 yds he came crashing to earth. I got out of the blind and ran to where he lay but running was not necessary as he was very dead. After the usual rounds of picture taking and back slapping we got back into the blind and opened that thermos of coffee and watched the sunrise. What a beautiful morning it had turned out to be!

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