New Spring Challenge

April 6, 2017 Aaron Hershberger

There are three things that I take as telltale signs that spring is here: the chirping of the Boreal Chorus Frog, budding trees, and the sound of gobbling turkeys. The latter of these signs is what excites me the most about spring’s slow arrival. Until recently, I’ve spent much of turkey season sitting behind the barrel of a 20 gauge shotgun. This season will be spent looking through the sites of my Matthews bow. I’ve had great luck hunting for turkeys with a shotgun, so you may ask why switch to archery now? For me, it’s about the challenge and careful preparation.

Harvesting a turkey with a bow can attribute to one of the greatest hunting conquests Nebraska has to offer. This is due to the fact that turkeys possess incredible eyesight that allows them to see color, detect motion from several yards away, and have a visual field of 270 degrees (humans have a field of 180). Pair the turkey’s impressive eyesight with drawing a bow from 40 or less yards away and you have yourself a much smaller chance in harvesting a turkey compared to shotgun season.

Besides practice with my bow, preparations to up my chances of bagging a spring turkey will include proper blind and decoy setup as well as wearing the appropriate gear in the blind. Unlike whitetail deer, turkeys do not get nervous by the spontaneous setup of a ground blind. When in the blind, it is crucial to wear all black on the torso and head, as well as covering your face with paint or a camo mesh neck gator. Lastly, the placement of decoys is crucial for a unnoticeable draw with a bow. In front of my blind, I place the hen then I place the jake or strutting tom facing the blind. This way the toms will approach the decoy jake head on, putting their fan to the blind and giving me a chance to draw without being spotted.

With season already underway my challenge begins…

Rachel Denniston
Outdoor Education Center Camp Assistant

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