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Author Topic: Solana Turkey  (Read 1149 times)

Offline BDann

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Solana Turkey
« on: January 14, 2013, 10:25:00 PM »
First day at the ranch for me was Wednesday, after picking up Rob at the airport. We had a great chat on the way to Solana, getting there in time for the start of the hunting. I was really hoping to get my first traditional harvest while on this trip, as I've been trying for a few years.

This trip had many firsts, and a paid, guided trip was among them. I really didn't know what to expect, other than to see a whole lot more game than I'm used to seeing. I was not disappointed!

Nathan(Bornagainbowhunter) Bisch, and Gary (Katman) rounded out the crew in our guide Gary's truck. I soon found out that I was keeping company with some very experienced and successful hunters, and was trying to soak in as much info as I could.

Anticipation for the afternoon hunt was nearly killing me as we all layered up, put on the camo, and started piling in the trucks.

Here's a shot of my view from the stand Wednesday evening.

  [/url] [/IMG]  

I had a young 8pt. come in pretty early, along with a little narrow 6. One of the many button bucks made an appearance and offered many shots. Later in the afternoon a pretty nice 8 moseyed by about 70 yards out, being careful to keep his distance. A doe and another button buck came in as well, and she was wired! She seemed to pretend to eat, then pop her head up and stare holes into me as the little guy chowed down without a care in the world.

The deer knew exactly where the stands were, and came in looking up.

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 10:27:00 PM »
Right before dark I started to hear pigs off to my left. I've never had any experience with pigs before, so I was pretty excited when I saw them coming in.

There were a bunch of cedars and brush to my left, and the pigs came in through the thickest of it, never giving me an open window to shoot through. Most of them were probably in the 50 pound range, and every one of them looked identical, all black. There were probably around 15 of them, and it was getting hard to distinguish one from another due to the fading light.

They finally went out to the corn, and were in constant motion, which I learned is the norm. I picked one out about 10 yards away and began to lift my bow, but they all started dead away from me before I could draw. It was a quick "drive by" snack for them I guess. No shots on Wednesday, but a great day regardless.

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 10:28:00 PM »
After hunting since I was just a kid, you can imagine that I've had a few pretty good days in the fields and woods, most of which were in the company of my long gone German Shorthair chasing pheasant and quail in Kansas on the farm. I can honestly say that the Thursday afternoon hunt was my most exciting day hunting that I've ever had.

I was still pretty pumped from the night before, and Thursday morning was pretty good as well. There were no shot opportunities during the morning hunt, but lots of game wandered in and out my view.

The guide told me he was putting me in a new spot, and I told him that I was good with wherever he decided to put me. I must say that when he drove up to a box blind in a pasture with what looked like very little cover I was more than a little skeptical.

He gave me the rundown on where the deer approach from, and then turned me loose, telling me on his way back to the truck to be ready as soon as he drove off.

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 10:29:00 PM »
Allright. Just got done with the dishes and getting the kids ready for bed. I've got to start earning points for next year...

Directly behind the blind is a hillside, about 100 yards or so. It's covered with tall grass and some brush, but not very much. In front of me is a cactus flat with cedar trees throughout, and a creek about 150 yards or so. Beyond the creek is a rocky hillside and cliff that the Texas Hill Country is known for.

I was really questioning the guide after 30 minutes, as the cattle started moving into the area. Remembering him telling me to ignore them, I chose to do just that. After the cattle moved directly behind me I happened to look out of the right window, and caught movement instantly. It was only a couple of button bucks, but if the window would have been open I think I could have jumped on them.

They fed within 7-10 yards for quite a while, then a young 8 pointer joined them. I kept agonized over whether or not to shoot the 8 pointer, as I've never killed a buck, with any weapon, and was still looking for my first traditional kill. As he wandered closer, I could not take it any more.

I eased into shooting position, careful to keep the chair from squeaking. He was maybe 15 yards away, broadside, and facing my right. The button bucks were completely oblivious to everything but the corn.

Did I mention that I was a bit excited? This blind had a narrow floor to ceiling window in the front, with a screen covering the bottom half. The screen did a good job of covering up my movements as I got into position.

My eyes were burning holes in the lower part of his chest, just behind the crease. I just couldn't bring myself to aim at the dirt below him, fearing that he wouldn't follow the script of dropping at the shot.

As I drew back everything was going as planned, and I hit both anchors, and let my bow arm get still, feeling the string slip off my fingers. Then I felt the bottom limb of my MOAB slap the dog out of my left calf, sending arrow skidding along the rocks underneath the buck. I felt like cussing, and I did. Repeatedly.

My target did not stick around after the arrow clattered past, but soon returned with the button bucks and another one of his buddies, a 6 pointer with a tall, narrow basket rack.

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 10:29:00 PM »
At this point, the 4 bucks now feeding were on the far side, perhaps 25 yards away. Knowing that they would be in the next time zone before my arrow reached them I just relaxed a bit and waited. While checking out the bucks through my binocs I happened to see my wayward arrow lying on the ground about 30 yards away, the hot pink fletching standing out against the light brown grass.

During one of my frequent scans out of the side windows I picked up movement to my right, and spotted a flock of turkeys headed my way down the brush line. They looked like they were in a BIG hurry. Turkeys were passing one another on a dead run, trying to get to the corn first. Once they arrived the bucks backed off a bit giving the turkeys some room.

As they fed closer I picked out what looked like the biggest one and followed his movements like a hawk. Slowly I turned on my iphone video cam and quietly leaned it against the bottom of the screen window, making sure that the turkey was in view.

This time I made sure my darn leg was out of the way, and drew back. I don't remember releasing the arrow, but it was gone, hitting the turkey just back of the chest and low. The arrow completely passed through the bird, coming to rest just past him. He jumped up and flew a few feet, then staggered over to some grass and laid down. The other turkeys trotted over to him and stood around, wondering what was going on I suppose.

I thought he was down for good, but he got up and slowly walked to a cedar tree nearby and went down for good. The dream of my first traditional kill was a reality, finally, and I got it on video.

The rest of the turkeys followed him to the cedar tree, standing around for quite a while looking at him. They took turns strutting around him, looking like they were performing some kind of turkey memorial service.

While I impatiently waited to claim my prize I sent out a few texts and sent the video to my brother, who couldn't believe the story.

I was still shaking like crazy when the deer started to come back with even more of their friends.

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 10:31:00 PM »
When the deer started to filter back in, I thought that maybe I could get another shot. The 8 pointer came back, 3 button bucks, the 6, and a couple of does. The 8 pointer was posturing a bit when the others would get close, laying his ears back and doing his best to look nasty.

All of a sudden his demeanor changed and he and the others headed to the far side of the feeder, and they were looking to my left and behind me. Slowly I turned my head, and saw a forkie, another 6 and a doe coming my way. Behind them was a nice 7 pointer with a freakish rack. His left antler was a normal 4 point, the outside edge just at the ear. The other side had 3 points, but was probably 6 inches past the ear.

When he got there, you knew he was going to be running the show. The others gave him lots of room, staying well out of his way. Once again I eased into position. He seemed to be calming down after feeding my way for a while, looking like he was pretty relaxed, or as relaxed as a Solana deer can be.

He was facing my right, maybe 15-17 yards away as I started my draw. Thumb knuckle in front of the ear, check. Nose on the back of the feather, check. Skinny bird leg out of the way, check. I picked a spot low on the chest, just back of the elbow and once again felt the arrow slip away.

I've never seen a deer move so freaking fast in my life! The buck dropped down and did a 180 before the arrow arrived, and I got nothing but air. The deer scattered as I sat there wondering what just happened. This buck definitely "ran the script"!

There's still a bit of daylight left, but I have no more broadheads in the quiver. This is a situation that I've never faced before. For some reason I carry one field point or hex head in my quiver in case I want to stump shoot on the way in or out. I was really regretting that decision on this hunt. I decided I'd better go retrieve the 2 arrows I could see while there was nothing in sight.

As soon as I opened the door to the blind deer started blowing on the hillside behind me. I slowly closed the door and sat back down, not wanting to ruin the spot for the next hunter. I figured that the action was over for the evening.

Then the pigs showed up. They came in fast, from across the field behind me, right at dusk. Here I am, no broadheads left, with 15 pigs at 7-10 yards. The thought did occur to me that I should shoot one with the field point, but I didn't think that would work very well and held off.

My flaslight shining on them startled them briefly, then they returned to the feed. Nothing I did in the blind seemed to bother them, and they stayed for around 20-30 minutes as I waited for the guys to come get me.

The wait seemed like an eternity for me. I was a bit nervous about the turkey, thinking that the hogs may go over there and eat it, but I was ready to rush over and defend it if necessary!

Finally I saw headlights coming and I started out the blind, still shaking from the excitement. Katman noticed the vacancies in my quiver and I told them what had happened.

I was pretty sure where the turkey was, but we retrieved the arrows first, and the one I hit the turkey with was covered with blood. I followed blood on the ground to where he had laid down, then headed to the cedar tree where he died. The guide found him first, and I had my prize!

Upon further inspection back at the ranch house, we discovered that the turkey was a special one- he had not one, but TWO beards! I was ecstatic, and called my wife to tell her the news. She immediately asked if I was going to have him mounted, and I told her that I believe I would!

It was an unbelievable afternoon, one that I will never forget!

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 10:46:00 PM »
Here's a shot of me and the gobbler, taken by Gregg Dudley.

   [/url] [/IMG]  

Here's the video.

  [/url] [/IMG]

Offline BDann

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 10:50:00 PM »
Here's a Solana Trifecta of Gregg, myself and Nathan .

 [/url] [/IMG]

Offline huntsman247

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 11:47:00 PM »
Sounds like you had a blast!!

Offline Richie

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 12:40:00 AM »
Good job   :thumbsup:
Once a Marine always a Marine, Semper Fi

Offline ti-guy

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 10:12:00 AM »
Congrats!
An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it's going to launch you into something great.

Online Bisch

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 10:20:00 AM »
Congrats again on the double bearded bird, Brian!!!!

Bisch
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Lone Star Bowhunters Assn Life Member
TGMM Family of the Bow

Offline Bowhunter4life

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 11:00:00 AM »
Congrats again Brian!
"Bowhunting isn't a hobby or a sport... It's a way of life!"

Quote: "Everything you read on the internet is the truth." -Abraham Lincoln
 
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Offline joe ashton

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 11:15:00 AM »
:thumbsup:
Joe Ashton,D.C.
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Offline Mike Gerardi

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 02:27:00 PM »
Great looking bird. Congrats. I love turkey hunting.

Online Cyclic-Rivers

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 08:24:00 PM »
Great Job, those are still on the ole bucket list!
Relax,

You'll live longer!

Charlie Janssen

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Wisconsin Traditional Archers


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Offline gregg dudley

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2013, 09:37:00 PM »
Congratulations again, Brian!  It was a pleasure to share a camp with you even if you snore like a chainsaw!
MOLON LABE

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Come shoot with us!

Offline KentuckyTJ

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2013, 09:27:00 PM »
Good work!
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Offline SheltonCreeker

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2013, 09:36:00 PM »
Way to go! Congrats!
"Other things being equal, it is the man who shoots with his heart in his bow that hits the mark." Dr. Saxton Pope

Offline Fritz

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Re: Solana Turkey
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 12:06:00 PM »
Great story and bird!   :clapper:
God is good, all the time!!!

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