Sorry. Going go lay it out there but I didn't recover this bird. Here's the story.
At about 5:30 I had a bird come sneaking in the timber, across the two track and clearing where my blind is setup, responding to some really light helping I was doing on my box call.
He came in on the back side of my jake and hen dekes and worked his way from about 30 yards down the two track and got right up on the jake dekes ****. He stood and purred really softly for a few minutes against the jakes backside and pecked at the back of his head a few times. He wasn't full strut but had his neck fully extended for this first exchange. Then he decided to face off with the jake and as he circled around and put his back to me I brought the bow to full draw while he also went full strut fully fanned out. I say there at full draw for probably a good minute while he pecked and kicked the jake. Finally he settled down and was just slightly quartering away but mostly broadside when I triggered my release.
I heard a meaty thud and the arrow made a complete pass through and knocked him down briefly but he got up just as fast as he fell down. He attempted to fly off by the arrow was still in him sticking through both sides and had pinned his right wing and he couldn't flap it. So instead he footed it back into the timber.
I felt really good about the shot and placement at the time but doing rewind in my head it's possible I missed vitals and made a meat shot. I thought he would be a goner and an easy recovery for sure but as hunting has taught me yet again taking an animals life is never easy.
Since I thought the shot was good I let him sit for a full 40 minutes before tracking. In that time I had another tom come in and hang up about 35 yards out and what looked like a hen sneak through the woods behind him.
After the other birds cleared out I started tracking almost 45 minutes after I shot him. The only sign I found was a single bloody feather and a twig that had a slight blood smear on it, which was expected as the arrow still in him would have plugged the wound. I looked for him from 6:30 until I let was too dark to see before calling it quits.
I am beyond disappointed and feel like a huge failure as a hunter and a teammate. Sorry to let everyone down.
I may give it one more go Friday or Saturday but I'm feeling pretty dejected right about now. Good luck to everyone else. Sorry again.
Thanks man. After I hit my nadir last night I decided I had to get out at least one more time before my season's done and try to redeem myself. I'll be out either Thursday afternoon or Saturday morning. Going to hit the same spot and stay optimistic.
Yesterday driving around at work I seen a lot of toms cruising by themselves at 930. If you aren't getting many gobbles I'd try to sit tight and wait for the hens to be breed then caught a tom lookin for more
Farmers must have decided it was a good day to tool around in their tractors. I'm about 1/3 mile from busy two lane highway and the tractors are drowning out the sounds of the woods! At least nobody is discing by me yet...
Thanks dandy, had a lot of activity this morning just no longbeards. Had three separate birds gobbling from the roost. if they follow the pattern of their lady friends, tmrw is looking good. Good luck to the rest of yall!
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