Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Triple Play....Missouri Style

10/23/09 - BS155, Deep South set, 44 degrees, NW 20-35mph
With the storm front that had brought all the rain over the past couple days passing through and temperatures in the low forties, I decided it would be a perfect Friday evening to checkout of work a little early and get into the Missouri woods. There were several fresh rubs around my set and to two very large sets of tracks heading into the bedding area just west of the set. With the front passing through the wind was gusting from 20-35mph out of the northwest and it had a cold fall bite to it!

I reached the set just before 3:30pm and as I was attaching my safety harness to the tree I spotted a flock of turkeys working over a rise about 200yrds out in the bean field. I’ve had three other encounters with this same flock during other hunts on the farm, so I knew that in the next half hour they would be feeding right by the stand I was sitting in. The entire flock walked into the timber about 70yrds west of the set like they had on every other occasion I’d seen them. Now it was just a waiting game.

The strong northwest winds didn’t relent and for the next fifty minutes I waited patiently for the approaching flock. At 4:50pm I finally spotted the lead birds of the flock workign through the timber. They walked through one of my shooting lanes, I ranged them at 30yrds. The next group of birds was about 5yrds behind the first and when the biggest bird in that second group stopped right in my shooting lane, I touched off the shot. My arrow was on the mark and upon impact the turkey flew into the air, flapped her wings a couple times and crashed back to the ground dead as Elvis.

At this point I realized the high winds were about to be my best friend! The rest of the flock was running around clucking and purring at each other, but because of the wind they had no idea what had just happened. I took that moment of turkey madness to nock another arrow. After a couple of seconds several of the birds began to calm down and go back to feeding and checking out their downed comrade. They had moved off a little further into the timber, but their path was going to lead them across the same shooting lane as before. I let the first two turkeys walk through the lane so I could check the range. This time they were 36yrds out. The next turkey that stepped in to the shooting lane stopped perfectly broadside and my second arrow of the evening was on its way. Thwack....the arrow tracked perfectly and the turkey launched herself into the air and instantly crashed back to the ground within feet of the first bird. I had just shot two turkeys in a matter of 60 seconds. Thanksgiving dinner will be twice as special this year!

After the adrenaline rush started to wear off and I began to settled back down the harsh reality of the strong northwest winds literally slapped me in the face. For the next hour and a half I sat patiently waiting for the first sign of deer movement and trying to keep my mind off the cold wind blasting me in the face and cutting through my clothes. Around 6:15pm the clouds started to breakup and I was treated to an amazing fall Missouri sunset, while I waited for darkness to set in.

For the past 3 seasons I've started to stand up during the first and last hour of every hunt so at 6:40pm when I caught movement 70yrds to the west of me, I was ready. A big bodied 3½ year old buck strolled into the picked bean field like he owned the place. I didn't recognize this buck from any of our preseason scouting or previous hunts. After glassing him and seeing good mass, 9 points with big kickers, and that he was mature I immediately decided that if the buck presented me with a shot opportunity that I’d take it. The only problem now was the buck was 80yrds upwind of me and heading away. I grabbed my custom VECtor grunt call from Vince Crawford (I named it Sass-A-Frass) and began grunting at the buck trying to get his attention. I was making each grunt louder than the previous one and finally on the seventh grunt, which I blew like a high-ball, the buck stopped and looked around but just briefly. As the buck dropped his head to continue walking away the wind literally died down to nothing as if to say “you’ve had enough tonight, here is a break” and I gave the big whitetail one more loud and aggressive grunt. This time the buck locked up and snapped his head in my direction. I could tell he wasn’t happy about the possibility of another buck being by his field, so I made an aggressive snort-wheeze call with my mouth...and the game was on!

The big buck pinned his ears back, puffed up his fur, and walked stiff legged towards my stand looking for the intruder. As the buck approached my first shooting lane at 30yrds he stopped to thrash some overhanging limbs before continuing towards the set. I let the buck pass my 23yrd shooting lane because his path was going to bring him inside 15yrds of the set. At 14yrds I made a soft grunt with my mouth and the buck stopped perfectly broadside...thwaaaaack! I watched my arrow hit perfectly behind the buck’s front shoulder. The big buck wheeled around and charged into the muddy bean field launching big chunks of mud with every step, but he only made it 60yrds before going down in a cloud of mud and soybean stalks! Just then the reality of what had just happened started to sink in...I had shot two MO turkeys and a mature 11 point whitetail buck with my bow…in one evening! It was truly a MO triple play I will never forget.

My "Sass-a-Frass" VECtor grunt call

A big thanks to DeLany for coming to help with the 3/4 of a mile drag! It was fun Chief! And another shout out to Vince Crawford from VECtor Games Calls...I would not have been able to kill this deer without my VECtor!

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