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Team NYB Takes Two Toms Down – Part 2

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It was a little while longer before we heard another gobble, then another and another. There were at least three birds on the other side of the river and possibly a fourth. Around 5:45 am three hens flew into the field and started making their way towards the hardwoods.

Dero and I sat in the blind without moving or making a noise. We weren’t going to start calling until the hens left the field and at that point, our calling would be very little.

With the feeding hen decoy and Jake decoy set out 20 yards in front of us it was only a matter of time before one of the gobblers saw the decoys and came in. As the hens disappeared I began with my first sequence of yelps starting softly and then building up in volume – the birds gobbled right back. A few minutes later I did a similar sequence of yelps and then shut up.

Dero coached me as the birds came across the river and made it to our side of the field. I was sitting on the right side of the blind which is very thick and has lots of cover in front, blocking my view of the right side of the field. Dero saw one gobbler, then a second and a third.

Slowly and carefully I raised the shotgun and got ready for the birds as they approached. I knew there was a slight hill in front of us that would cause the birds to disappear and then pop up at 30 yards. Dero had the camera rolling and got his gun ready.

“I’ll take the one on the left,” Dero said. “I got the one on the right,” I replied. The only part we didn’t work out too well was how to both shoot!

The three gobblers popped over the hill and gobbled at the decoys. They approached the Jake decoy and started circling around to the right of the decoy. I wasn’t sure if they were getting themselves ready to pounce on the decoy or were getting nervous and ready to run so I steadied the bead and squeezed the trigger knocking the bird on the right down.

Dero didn’t have much time to react and quickly put a shot on the left bird before it made it down the hill. We had our first birds down of the season and a double on film to top it off!

The two birds were beautiful Toms, my bird had an 8″ beard and a 3″ beard with 1″ spurs while Dero’s bird had a 10 1/2″ beard and 1 1/2″ spurs! It was an incredible hunt and one we both won’t forget.

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Turkey Hunting

Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1 in New York

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Bowhunters take to the woods this spring after weary old gobblers in New York.

It’s my favorite time of year after deer season – the spring turkey season (probably because it’s the only other time I’m out hunting with my bow). Following suit of previous seasons, the 2014 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and the annual youth turkey hunting weekend is April 26-27. The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.

Not nearly as popular as deer hunting, there only 100,000 turkey hunters expected to head afield this spring. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can’t get excited about calling to a bird and have it respond and watch it work its way in. It’s a very interactive hunt.

According to the DEC, hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license (if purchased before Feb. 1) or hunting license (if purchased after Feb. 1).

  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.
  • Crossbows may not be used for the spring 2014 turkey season.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird.

One thing that caught my eye is that the state’s enacted 2014-15 budget includes language authorizing the use of crossbows for hunting under certain circumstances. So while hunters cannot use crossbows to take wild turkey during the 2014 spring season, they might be able to in 2015. It will be interesting to see if the changes go through for next year and what affect that would have on the number of hunters taking to the field for turkey hunting.

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Turkey Hunting

Bowhunting Turkey in New York

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Teresa took this big longbeard on the opening day of the 2012 Spring Turkey Hunting Season in Orange County, New York. This is Teresa’s first turkey kill and she got the job done with a heart-pounding 23-yard shot. Congrats to Teresa on an awesome longbeard!

Did you have success this spring? It was tough with the warm weather we had in April before the opener.

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Turkey Hunting

NY Bowhunter Takes Turkey During Fall Archery Season

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Last Friday morning my cousin Ken had the day off to enjoy a day afield. He was set up in his tree well before first light, but the morning was really slow and Ken only saw one deer. The tall spike came down the hill 50 yards to his right and kept on walking to wherever it was that he was going.

With no rubs or scrapes in the general area, Ken and his father Nick decided to hunt a different area that afternoon. On the drive to their hunting spot that afternoon they spotted a flock of turkeys and ten deer out in a field just a few door down from where they would be hunting.

Ken headed to his stand at the top of the hill and waited in anticipation for the deer and turkey to leave the field and move back into the hardwoods. Around 5:00 pm the woods exploded with noise and movement and the deer and turkey came barreling through the woods. Shortly after, Ken heard a lady yelling at her dog who must have decided it would be fun to chase the deer and turkeys out of the nearby field.

Then Ken heard a single turkey coming towards him from the bottom of the hill. Ken got ready and drew back with the bird at 20 yards. The bird took two more steps and Ken made a chirping sound to stop it and let the arrow fly. The bird only made it a few more yards before going down.

Congrats to Ken on taking a turkey with the bow, that’s never an easy thing!

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