Click the Go Video button and some wild turkeys take off right away. And as good as that is, it’s just the beginning.
The “serpant” slithered across the leaves toward me. A few of the snakes in the Yucatan are lethal so I never moved. The forest was nearly as hot as I was so I stood still as the snake slithered past my boot. Not sensing my motionless body he gave me a pass. Matia slightly laughed at me then refocused on the singing tom only a hundred yards ahead.
Light was building and as with most hunts for Oscillated turkeys we searched out a slight clearing in the jungle where we could call him into our trap. The little clear area wouldn’t be considered back home but it was all we could hope for here in the jungle.
I took cover against a large Yaaxche tree while Matia slid off into the grey light behind me. We then waited. The rhythmic calls of the Oscillated tom picked up pace as the sun illuminated the jungle. At last, I heard him fly down and land on the jungle floor. Immediately, Matia made his first call behind me.
His call sounded more like a chicken than a turkey, but the Oscillated tom answered Matia and began ‘pounding’ our way. Slowly the tom eased closer and began answering every call we offered. My pulse quickened as I heard the Oscillated turkey’s footsteps. He was coming my way but still behind a wall of foliage.
The best way to get a patient shot on a gobbler is to hunt from an enclosed blind. The blind won’t stop the turkey but you can use a rest for a crossbow and draw and let down repeatedly without being seen. Additionally, you can see or hear the gobbler coming so that you can be ready well in advance. You can’t open and close windows without being seen so anticipate where birds will approach and have your shooting windows ready.Concealing a blind is helpful but not necessary.
If you want the best chance of attracting turkeys, use a Jake decoy. Be sure to deploy it where a hunter cannot shoot the decoy and hit you. Good news: Wild Turkeys will attack your decoy. Bad news: They will constantly be moving. Eventually, they will beat on the turkey decoy and get tired or give up. You need to concentrate on the gobbler you want and where you will aim. When it stops, shoot.Jakes are yearling male turkeys with a short beard.
Gobblers will approach a hen decoy very differently than a Jake. They may strut up to the hen and stand motionless, exactly what you want to happen. However, some gobblers, especially longbeards may have been shot at over a decoy and they may run at first sight. Also, hens often don’t like a stranger in their territory and will alarm putt, taking a trailing tom with the flock.Shown are a feeding and an alert hen.
When a turkey hears an alarm call, a putt, it usually raises its head and looks for danger. Shotgun hunters use this technique once they have called a turkey into range so that the bird will raise its head and the shot pattern won’t ruin the meat.
I have no doubt the early Mayans had called Oscillated turkeys in close then shot them with long bows or blowguns. Being a primitive hunter, I consider myself fortunate to have such an encounter myself. My recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsula was by far the most rewarding turkey hunt I have yet to experience.
The Mayans were known as some of the greatest hunters to trek Mexico’s vast jungles and the Oscillated turkey played a roll in their long history of surviving in this harsh wilderness. The Mayans are gone now and all that remains are the ruins of their great society that once ruled the Yucatan.
I’ve always considered hunting near the Mayan ruins but avoided the trip up until now. Primarily because the Oscillated turkeys were killed by shooting them off the roost or over bait. I have nothing against these methods but if I were to travel the distance and endure the heat I’d rather do something a bit more challenging.
By luck, I recently learned that these beautiful turkeys could be called within range. Sergio Scarth with Balam Outfitters discovered the sounds that work well and luckily for me he invited me to try and be the first to actually call one in and arrow it on film. So I booked a seven day hunt.
Fast forward to early April, I was now deep in a hot humid jungle.
The author of the YouTube site “Death By Bungie” does an excellent job in his ‘show-and-tell’ of what your options are and where to aim with a crossbow when you take your shot on a gobbler. He shows you shot placement at various angles using both a decoy as well as video and pictures of real wild turkey gobblers.
The author of the YouTube site “Death By Bungie” tells us…
“I want to help make YouTube the #1 place for quality hunting entertainment. I want to help spread the hunting lifestyle. To do that, I set up this channel to showcase the crossbow and help others film their hunts and get those videos online. So, subscribe to this channel to be entertained and learn more about crossbows and filming in the outdoors.”
“This channel is about my love of the crossbow, hunting, and the outdoors. I hunt almost exclusively with the crossbow. I love it. Sure, like a lot of kids, I started hunting with a good ol’ Model ’94 Winchester 30-30 back in the 80’s, but drifted away from hunting when I went off to college, law school, and started a family. As my daughter got older, I regained my interest in the outdoors, and I consider myself lucky to hunt on the same property today that I hunted on as a kid. I got the Excalibur Axiom crossbow in 2010 and I haven’t looked back. This channel is the result of combining my interest in filming and hunting…”
Veteran wild turkey hunter Daniel E. Schmidt of Deer & Deer Hunting gets his turkey blind set up and readies his TenPoint Crossbow Technologies crossbow for the spring season. Daniel covers what he looks for to set a blind up and shows us how he prepares to hunt wild turkey gobblers in this episode.
Last year I was able to get all three of my grandchildren a shot at a turkey. But wait, they are using shotguns and this is a bowhunting website. What gives??? I chose this topic specifically because killing a longbeard, even a jake, with a bow is a tremendous challenge. Each of my boys was successful, yet each one missed a turkey at 15 yards with a shotgun and a rest. Point is, get them successful and excited and then ease them into the archery game.With gun or bow, introduce a youngster through a ground blind.
I run and gun in the Great Plains each year and may put in 10 miles in a day. That is fun, but I enjoy waiting, listening, and videoing turkeys on my small farm just as much. I have my blind set up 10 days ahead and have it stocked with a chair asnd decoys prior to the opening day so that all I have to do is show up with my crossbow and rest. Hearing shotguns boom in the distance makes me nervous, yet I’m confident that an old tom will come slipping by the blind.Black is the best camo pattern for a blind.
I have some pretty cool camouflage that will blend with about any background or weather condition, like snow, yet the best color to wear in a blind is black. You want your blind to be as dark as possible on the inside so that a gobbler can’t see inside. Be extra careful with the new see-through models as they allow light to penetrate the blind and a gobbler can see any movement through your shooting window.Keep new hunters warm and well-fed.
When I was a school principal, I never had a teacher’s meeting without donuts. Even the grumpy ones smile with a snack in their fingers. Kids are the same way. If it’s cold, have a thermos of hot chocolate and bring hand warmers. You want quiet snacks, not potato chips, but have lots of them and let them pick out their treats the night before. You want them to be part of the plan. If the day turns cold and rainy, head for a convenience store, warm up, and come back.Decoys allow you to predict where turkeys will approach.
in six years, I’ve never had a turkey ignore this decoy. Turkeys have been killed and missed while flogging it. Jakes hate it, and Longbeards too. The decoy allows me to have a small shooting window because I know where the turkey will be. For youngsters, this allows you to set up a tripod rest with the crossbow or shotgun locked in. In this way, the youngster can make a very accurate shot. If the bird is strutting, use a diaphragm caller and make a “puck” which will cause the tom to raise its head.
With spring turkey season almost here, now is the perfect time to do double duty with your trip to the woods. Since you probably hunt turkeys in the same areas you hunt deer, why not make a mineral lick? The giant buck in the lead picture fell to the Eskers, identical twins who have developed their own specialized minerals. They are amazingly successful and a mineral site is something every hunter should consider.I’ve used Tall Tine minerals over the past year with excellent success.
Tractor Supply sells these blocks for $15 and I bought five last year. During the season, deer consistently came to the site as I will show on my Vosker trail camera pictures. I wrote a review of these cameras which got a great read from you. Their benefit is solar power and I only change batteries once a year and get as many as 100 pictures per day. That’s an amazing performance from a camera.Vosker
I had given up on the Maryland season last winter when this nice deer showed up. The late archery season was in and this deer was 20 yards from my tree stand. However, I did something stupid. Instead of sticking with minerals, I chose to bait the site with corn. I got 250 pictures the first night of a dozen or more deer, but the site had so much activity, the buck stopped showing in daylight. I really shot myself in the foot.Yesterday’s Giant Bear
This huge bear has been captured on camera for at least five years. It only passes my stand once or twice per year but here he is checking out my mineral block. These blocks last between three and six months so that you can stay out of the woods while still attracting wildlife to your area. I’ll turkey hunt there in early May and probably put out another block.Yesterday’s surprise visitor.
This is the first time I’ve seen a bobcat at my Maryland stand, yet this is a big tom probably looking for a female. I’m hoping he keeps moving because bobcats are a significant predator of deer and turkeys. Mineral licks attract all kinds of wildlife and they will alert you to predators on your property, even if they don’t actually lick the lick.
Canning Venison is easy. John Royer shows you how to do the cold pack canning process for venison. Then he shows you how to use the canned venison to make hot deer meat sandwiches with venison gravy. The deer meat is from a doe that John shot on a hunt
Joel Strickland and ‘Lab Coat Guy’ say “NO” to Soaking Wild Game Meat. They have good reasons too, and you will want to hear those reasons before you begin to prepare your next wild game meat for eating.
Antlers begin as vascular tissue, one of the fastest growing tissues in the animal kingdom. They’re made up of a network of vessels that carry blood and nutrients to the rapidly growing matrix, which is covered by a thin layer of skin and hair we refer to as velvet. As they reach maturity, antlers go through a process of mineralization. Blood flow is cut off and they become hard, dead bone.
Antlers serve several purposes. Bucks use them to spar with other males as they build neck and shoulder strength and sort out dominance. Later, they may be used as weapons when fighting a rival for the opportunity to breed. They also act as signals to a potential mate, larger antlers demonstrating a healthy individual.
Once the breeding season is over, they become more of a liability than an asset. They’re no longer needed to fight a rival or attract a mate. They could tangle in limbs, vegetation or some structure, and impact with a solid object could result in skull fractures or abscesses. So, they’re cast off.
Photoperiodism (changes in the amount of daylight) triggers seasonal changes in deer physiology. As the days grow longer in the spring, the production of certain hormones like testosterone increases, promoting antler growth. As they grow shorter in winter, testosterone levels decline. The connection between skull and antler begins to degrade. An abscission line forms and eventually the connection becomes weak enough that the antlers fall, or get knocked off.behavior are caused largely by. Waning day length prompts a reduction in. That, in turn, causes an abscission line to form at the pedicel base as connective tissue dies. Then the antlers fall off. However, it is not a precise mechanism and there are other influencing factors, some of which are inter-related.
When exactly deer shed their antlers can depend on several things including age, health and genetics. Older bucks tend to shed earlier, perhaps because the mechanisms that cause antlers to shed have been fine-tuned over time. All those mechanisms require sufficient resources to function properly. If a deer is in poor health due to disease, malnutrition (including mineral deficiency) or injury, they may be stressed, causing antlers to be cast off sooner.
Venison ‘Stalkers Pie’ is a once traditional dish that has been resurrected by Scott Rea and it’s absolutely delicious.
Scott Rea is an Author, Butcher and Cook. The personal passion Scott has for butchery and food that he wanted to share before the skills and traditions he learned over a lifetime faded away. But it has evolved and become a movement of like minded people who frequent Scott’s numerous videos to imitate, replicate, modify and experiment!
Enjoy the traditional artisan butchery and recipes being brought into the 21st century for a new generation to discover and enjoy. No longer are these products, recipes and methods frowned upon, Today’s this new audience are getting back to the basics of field to fork, nose to tail eating.
Knowing what wild turkey hens are doing when you hear them helps you get better at bowhunting wild turkeys. This video shows you which calls are important for you to know and understand. And it demonstrates how you can make them and when to.
Every hunter needs a good pair of binoculars. The problem is a good pair of binoculars can cost a small fortune. If you have a new pair of binoculars on your wish list, Nick Hoffman, the host of Nick’s Wild Ride, is here to help. Nick is giving away a new pair of Vortex Binoculars this spring just in time for turkey season.
Vortex Optics are considered by many to be the best binoculars for the money in the industry. “I have been using Vortex Binoculars, riflescopes and rangefinders for years. They go with me on every hunt,” Hoffman said. “There is no doubt Vortex optics are crystal clear, hold up in the harshest conditions, and are built to last. In addition, they offer the best warranty out there.”
To learn more about Vortex Optics, visit www.vortexoptics.com.
Using a bow requires that you get in closer than you do with a shotgun. Setting up in the woods, on the ground, can be tricky. Here are some tips on picking the right place for your turkey hunting situation and setting up so you won’t be seen and will be able to get a bow range shot. This video covers important information applicable to hunting with a bow and arrow that will help you in filling your turkey tag(s) this year.
Jeff Sturgis shares his proven tips for finding shed antlers on both public or private land. In this video Jeff Sturgis of Whitetail Habitat Solutions covers every aspect of finding shed antlers. This is the most complete information I’ve ever heard or seen on the topic of Finding Shed Antlers. Watching this will make you a more successful shed hunter, absolutely.
The wild turkey mouth call is perfect for helping every turkey hunter sound like a wild turkey making its most basic call. This video moves you through the important steps that will lead you through putting it together to make your number one, most effective, turkey call sound.
Learn how to quickly yelp on a mouth call using the best method for building a solid foundation of mechanics. Starting with a single reed mouth call, will allow you to learn how to yelp well enough to call in gobblers quickly while also building solid fundamentals. Then moving to the double Reed no cut and focusing on how to present air to the mouth call using your diaphragm, allows you to learn the proper air control to produce realistic yelps.
Finally going to a three Reed call with rasp and focusing on finding the sweet spot in the call to get that clean top end note of the Yelp and bringing in the rasp naturally by accelerating the air and reducing tongue pressure will have you making the most realistic yelps possible. Following this simple 3 step process eliminates all the bad habits that cause people to struggle with mouth calls.
Tips for finding shed antlers. by Bob Humphrey
For true deer hunters the season never ends. We may not be able to shoot them until next fall, but we can still hunt them, or at least the sign they leave behind. One of the most exciting and informative signs is shed antlers. And just like conventional hunting, there are some tricks and tips to make you more successful.
When the rut is over, bucks focus their attention on feeding, restoring the depleted fat stores they’ll need to survive winter. Find the food and you’ll find the deer, and maybe their antlers. Where to look depends on where you live but it could be oak groves, late season food plots or un- or under-harvested crop fields. A fresh cutting may have remnant tops of downed hardwood trees. An two or three year old cut will have stump sprouts, a favorite winter food of deer. Take note because these are the same areas they use in late fall.
Besides eating, deer survive winter by minimizing energy expenditure. They do this by seeking shelter. In the north woods, they concentrate in wintering areas or yards, where dense softwood cover breaks the wind and reduces snow depth. In steeper terrain or more open ground they’ll spend more time on south and east facing slopes, protected from prevailing winds and exposed to more sunlight. Often these are the same areas they’ll use year round as bedding cover.
Often antlers simply fall off but sometimes they need a little help. This could come in the form of any obstacle that requires a deer to jump over or across, like a fence, a stone wall or a narrow stream. Dense vegetation, like softwood boughs or briar thickets might also hasten and localize the shedding process. All these places might also be regular travel routes during the real hunting season.