TASAJILLO GOBBLERSJuly 10, 2013 - Mathews Inc
Spring was slow to come to the Hill Country, lows in the high 20’s was not uncommon and mostly highs in the 50’s, this made for extremely tough Gobbler hunting. The Gobblers were still flocked up with the hens “Hened Up” the Jakes “last year’s male poults” were flocked up, ready for any fight a lone Gobbler did not want! I would start calling either using a Lost Call, Cutts or Cackles, the Old Gobblers would gather up their hens and head for some far off place. The Jakes would come running looking for a fight, it was really tough hunting.
I received an invitation from my close friend Chad Stevenson of the famed Elusive Wildlife Technology “Flashlights” by the way, available in “Lost Camo” to hunt his infamous ranch for hogs and Gobblers plus to do some filming and “field testing” of his various new products. This ranch is located in the central part of Texas in the beautiful Hill Country, full of game and great history! This Ranch has the most Tasajillo Cactus “this cactus has a red fruit that Rio Grande turkeys love and the Whitetail will consume both the fruit and joints of the plant
The Weather was not kind to us this week, we had dangerous Thunderstorms and we was locked down in camp for two full days, low water crossings were way too dangerous to think about going to town and it’s against the law to cross low water crossings during flooding! Finally the weather broke, Wayne and I decided to go out and give those Gobblers a try! I thought we was going to hunt out of a ground blind but Wayne Burns, who is now doing my filming & editing for me said, no way we’re “Running & Bowing”
We stopped on a ridge, gave a few sweet yelps and had several different Gobblers to respond. We found an area where we could use the cedar to our advantage, let me tell you now if you’re going to try “Running & Bowing” you need to have a light weight folding stool, a small backpack like the Timber Hawk “buck scrape” light weight, padded front organizer compartment perfect to organize your different turkey calls, hydration compatible, “for turkey hunting” I use a couple of those inexpensive aluminum water bottles easy to reach & drink, when sitting in the brush. The first set up was not productive lots of Gobbles but no one came to see us.
The second set up was about a mile away and we heard several different Gobblers, gobbling on their own! As we set up in an Oak Motte, “this is a small group of trees in one location” We did not have much time to get ready as I had given a “lost Call” a hen that is looking for company ! Immediately I heard a Gobbler, he was coming quickly, Wayne and I jumped down into this Motte, we was ready, I think? That Gobbler was on top of us immediately, I was looking for an open shot, there was none, finally at 25 yards I had a shot, as the Gobbler went behind a bush, I started to draw my Creed bow, but the Gobbler with his little beady eyes picked up the slightest movement, the race was on! The Gobbler had seen me draw my bow and was off in the opposite direction faster than I could get my sight pin on the Gobbler. So much for “Running & Bowing” very tough and difficult to accomplish!
Within minutes, I heard another Gobbler way off to our left, I again cutt at this Gobbler who sounded like he had his head in a jug! The Gobbler again Gobbled, I tried to cut him off as quickly as possible, now there was three Gobblers were going nuts gobbling. These Gobblers were coming quickly! We spun around, moved our Avian-X “feeding” hen to our left so the Gobblers coming in, could see “feeding hen” decoy, taking the pressure off of me drawing my Creed. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men do go awry! These Gobblers came quick Gobbling, then shut up, not a peep? I picked up my Bradley Glass friction pot call, gave a soft sweet cluck, that was all it took, those three Gobblers turned inside out, went nuts Gobbling! They were moving quickly toward us, not 30 yards from the motte. As the first Gobbler went past me I knew I was going to shoot one of the monster brutes, the first Tom had a huge rope of a beard hanging from his chest, looked like one of the ZZ Tops boys! The dominate Gobbler had a real “paint brush” of a beard that was really thick! I never did see the third Tom as I was now drawing on the Dominate Gobbler, I was again picked off by one of the Gobblers, he gave an alarm putt and was walking off. I think it was as an old Rock and Roll Singer sang “it’s now or never” following the long beard dominate Gobbler I had a shot at 40 yards, I launched the wicked VAP 350 “Lost Camo” Arrow with the new Grave Digger “Chisel” point broadhead, was off and running! Within a split second the arrow hammered the Old Gobbler dead center thru the wing butt, the Gobbler took off low running for about 20 yards and the rest is history.
What a thrill a monster old dominate 4 year old Tom dead, after a lot of high 5’s , doing our work of cut a ways for a future airing of Tex Mex Outdoors we did our recovery, let me tell you where the arrow hit that tom, it looked like someone had dumped a bag of turkey feathers! This new Creed Bow is a deadly piece of equipment delivering my payload quietly, fast and furious.
The Rio Grande Gobbler had three (3) Beards, (1st) was 11 inches long / (2nd ) was 7 inches long / (3rd) was 6 inches long with a total of 24 inches of beards, Spurs, 1 & ¼ inches long and weighed 23 lbs. My best Rio Grand Gobbler ever. If you love hunting Turkeys and want to extend your hunting season try bowhunting Gobblers “Running & Bowing” I know you will love it.
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