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There is a line in one of my son’s favorite movies, “Kubo and the Two Strings” that goes like this: If you must blink, do it now.

Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish.”

Ok, so I am no hero, nor will this story end in my demise, but I think it sums up how the 2017 Spring turkey season started and ended. So if you must blink, do it now….

This past spring, I was a little pressed for time being home only a short time to try and fill my tags, both archery and shotgun. On this particular May morning, I needed to head to the family farm to get my mower for a friend. We decided to take the cameras along, and I would bring both my bow and gun as we would try to make the most of this errand. The family farm is perhaps one of the prettiest tracts of land that I have been fortunate enough to hunt in the past few years. Rolling hills, mature timber, and open fields for Spring Toms to do their love strut. Pulling up to the cabin mid morning we first got the mower loaded up and then decided to take a walk in the timber to see if we could entice a Tom to thunder off. At the top of the central ridge that runs though out the property we let off a few yelps. Not expecting any response at this time of day, we unexpectedly got a thundering gobble not 70 yards up the road and closing. Springing into action like minutemen, we took our positions. Myself behind the TurkeyFan. My two friends with the cameras off at different angles to film. Crouching down behind the fan with bow in hand, I thought to myself, “this can’t be happening, it never happens like this!” Peering through the window on the Fan I could see the glowing white hot head of the tom as he came straight down the logging road as if on a string. With the fan concealing my position and giving the tom something to fixate on, I quickly drew my bow and came over the top in one fluid motion. As soon as my single pin settled on his chest I squeezed off the shot. At 10 yards the lighted nock was near invisible as it sped through the tom. Now, I have never shot a turkey with a bow, however I have shot an Ostrich, and I would have to say they do almost the same thing, just on a smaller scale. Try and run and flop, with wings a flapping. Looking back at my friends with a chimpanzee style grin and a thumbs up I couldn’t believe that we had just filled one of my spring tags. After a quick recover and quick interview I wanted to check on a food plot at the bottom of the ridge that I had put in earlier in the spring. Setting the harvested bird on a stump at the top, we strolled down laughing and joking about how it would be to catch another bird in the field. No sooner had we got to the bottom of the ridge did we hear another thundering gobble. This time at the far end of the large food plot. Looking at each other in pure disbelief we once again took our positions. This time however, I would leave the bow behind and take the Benelli. Will stayed back to film from a wide angle, while our cameraman tucked in behind me. The new tom was courting a hen on the far side of the food plot, luckily for us, we could cover quite a bit of ground before having to deploy the Fan and make a final approach. As we neared the sound of the tom, we finally noticed he was across a ditch that we would have to cross. Using the Fan as cover we managed to get into the ditch and crest the far side. Cresting the ditch and inching forward we managed to get well with in range. Realizing I didn’t have my bow but a shotgun, I quickly came over the top and leveled the front bead on the tom’s head. One blast at 40 yards and the show was over for him and me. Like that, my spring season was over, almost before it had begun. What turned out as a midmorning errand, ended up as one of my most memorable turkey hunts to date. So, if you must blink do it now, because if you are not careful your season can end also. Like I said, I am no hero, but in this story, the strange had become the reality.


-Rick Franco




Last modified: January 24, 2018

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