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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Bowhunting turkey

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It’s been a great opening weekend of archery season here in Zone C, as designated by our Florida Wildlife Commission. I had three clients with me on small farms here in our county and man oh man, we had some fun. Now, there were a few arrows released at deer which missed their mark leaving the deer confused as to what had taken place. But, two more arrows found their mark and Blake Smith, a professional on the Bass Fishing tournament trail, went home a mighty happy fellow.

Blake’s luck began Saturday afternoon when a flock of nine longbeards entered the farm. He quickly began moving himself into position to intercept them as they reached a narrow pass between two oak thickets. He crept to within thirty yards, came to full draw until the largest of the flock entered his shooting lane and at the shot, eight gobblers fled the scene.

I arrived to check out his success and I swear, I couldn’t have knocked the grin off of that young man’s face with an ax handle! After I measured out his trophy gobbler, he found that he had just arrowed the biggest gobbler of his hunting career. Anytime you hunt turkeys with a bow and arrow, shot placement is critical; you have very small, yet decisive points of aim to anchor your bird on spot. His shot was on the money and Mister Longbeard went on to the big oak hammock in the sky painlessly.

For years I’ve heard others telling me to, “shoot ’em through the wings so they can’t fly off.” Except then they just run off. Since turkeys spill very little blood and leave even less sign of their passing, it’s an extremely difficult job of recovering the bird.

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I tell all of my clients to shoot them low in the body where the vital organs are situated if facing to or from you, so you break them down on the spot. That way they can neither run nor fly and their end comes very, quickly.

My other two clients that missed their shots on deer, had multiple opportunities, but fortune simply wasn’t in their favor. Neither deer were wounded or otherwise injured, only a bit inconvenienced at having their supper interrupted as they browsed the newly falling acorn crop.

But young Blake wasn’t yet finished as just prior to nightfall, he selected a fat, old doe for his family’s table and once again his arrow found the mark creating a very quick recovery. We were joined by my other two clients soon after as well as my good friends, and the farm owners, Justin and Trish as we reduced the carcasses to table fare for Blake’s lovely family, his wife and five daughters. You can only guess how welcome all of that meat is to their household!

Folks, if you’re going a-field this week, I do pray you enjoy great success and if you do, please drop me a line and send me a pic to [email protected]. God bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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