Our off-season deer work has kind of slowed down, but turkey season is well underway in Nebraska and we hit the woods for the first time this spring.
Just like our public land whitetail hunting, we have a couple different public land locations we like to hunt turkeys on. This particular public land site was one we hunted last year. We didn’t have any success during the short time we had to hunt this site last season, but we did gain some valuable info from every unsuccessful hunt that we had and it paid off this year.
We knew from last year’s hunts that the turkeys like to roost on the western edge of this property and usually avoid the rest of the property altogether. So, the first evening we headed straight for the western edge of the property. It wasn’t long before we heard a couple gobbles on the walk in and hurried to get set up. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We got set up and nothing happened. We called and didn’t get a response from any toms. But we trusted our past experiences and waited out the birds. About 30 minutes before sunset we heard a few gobbles as a group of about 7 jakes and a couple hens worked towards us. They worked past us at about 30 yards and moved farther east to roost on an adjacent property.
We immediately began planning our hunt for the next morning, having seen where the birds had roosted. We had witnessed this group of turkeys walking across a small dirt dam on the edge of a small pond before they crossed the fence to roost on another property. With the pond blocking the turkeys route to the south and a deep ditch with thick trees making it hard to cross to the north, this dam made the perfect spot to set up for the next morning.
We had seen the turkeys cross there the night before and this was the “path of least resistance” for the turkeys after they flew down. So, the next morning, we got in early and set up at the end of this dam, hoping that the turkeys would work down the dam towards us. It took longer than we thought, but sure enough the turkeys started working towards the dam. I hit the call just once and that was all it took as about 15 turkeys (a mix of hens, jakes, and one tom) began walking down the dam into bow range.
Our outrageous set up was a lone tree at the end of the dam, with me sitting in front of it filming and Chance standing up behind it. The plan was for Chance to stay hidden behind the tree and I would tell him when to draw and he would then just lean around the tree, pick a bird, and let the arrow fly. So, as the birds worked farther into bow range, I whispered to Chance to draw. He drew back, leaned around the tree and was able to arrow his first turkey with a bow. How this ridiculous setup worked I don’t know, but it was definitely a memorable hunt.
With one turkey down, it’s now time to focus on the other longbeards that are in the area. The turkeys seem to be roosting in the same spot near this dam almost every night. So, the plan is to use this dam to our advantage again and hopefully tag out on another Nebraska public land turkey.
Keep checking back every Tuesday for more Updates From The Field during this year’s turkey season and be sure to check out our latest short film “Unfilled” as well as the new short film we will be creating to document the recent successful turkey hunt we had.