The spring turkey season has come to an end, and it will be
interesting to see the final harvest reports of how well we fared in the woods. Here are the last of this year’s spring turkey tales.
A Latham father and son both filled all of their tags. Fourteen-year-old Brandon Discipio started the season with a Guilderland tom that tipped the scales at 20 pounds and carried a 10-inch beard.
His second bird was even more impressive because it carried a double beard measuring 10 and six inches. It weighed 22 pounds, and had 11⁄4-inch spurs. The youngster shot both toms with a Remington 12-gauge Model 11-87.
Jimmy Discipio, Brandon’s dad, also had a great season. His first bird also had a double beard that measured 10 and three inches, had 11⁄4-inch spurs and weighed 20 pounds. He, too, was using a Model 11-87. His second tom, which he shot at about 10 yards with a Bow Tech compound bow, had a 10-inch beard and weighed 20 pounds.
Mike Wood of Perth was hunting in the Fulton County turkey woods when he blinded his big tom. Hunting from a ground blind, Mike worked his gobbling tom for almost two hours before he finally got him into shooting range. He took the big tom at 35 yards with a Mathews Drenalin compound bow, using an Easton arrow tipped with a 75-grain rocket miniblaster broadhead.
Wood’s tom tipped the scales at 26.2 pounds, carried a pair of
11⁄4-inch spurs and an 11-inch beard.
Two Schenectady turkey hunters had quite a successful season hunting right around home.
Three days after spooking a tom off the roost in Rotterdam, Dave Leon and Mark Amedore returned to the same woodlot in hopes of getting another chance at the tom. Good calling by Leon
finally brought the tom within range of their blind, and one shot from
Amedore’s Beretta ended the hunt. The gobbler weighed 22 pounds, carried a nine-inch beard and a pair of
Leon was able to fill his two spring turkey tags this season.
Setting up about 300 yards from the tom and several hens he spotted in a field, Dave used a combination of box and slate calls to get his attention. He was coming in quickly, but at 50 yards, the cautious bird saw something he didn’t like and stopped. Dave squeezed the trigger on his H&R single-shot 10-gauge, and was rewarded with a 24-pound bird dragging an 11-inch beard and wearing a pair of 11⁄2-inch spurs.
One week later, hunting in the same area, Dave was again talking with a tom. However, the gobbler was with hens. It took three moves and a lot of persistent calling before Dave finally turned the tom around. One shot at 30 yards, and the
22-pound tom with a 10-inch beard was history.
After taking a 23-pound tom on opening day, Reuben Bennett of Esperance decided to solicit the aid of his 6-year-old granddaughter, Alicia Cummings, to fill his second tag.
The two were set up in a ground blind for several hours when Alicia’s
expertise with the box call brought in a tom and a jake to the decoys. One shot, and Alicia and grandpa had their tom. It carried an eight-inch beard and one-inch spurs, and I think Reuben has found a turkey hunting companion.
It has been about 10 years since I shot my last bow-and-arrow turkey.
I have only shot three of them over the years, and I won’t tell you how many I have missed or have spooked before I could even get the shot off. However, this year, with my recent acquisition of a Bowtech General compound bow, I really did not want to wait until the fall archery deer season.
The area I was hunting was a thoroughbred horse farm in Saratoga County where I had watched a nice tom for several days enter the fenced-in paddock with the horses and feed right alongside of them. Obviously, I could not shoot there, so I had to find a way to get him before he entered the paddock.
The layout of the woods surrounding his entrance route was a heavy pine forest. It was almost impossible to walk upright because of the low-lying pine branches. Not a good place for a bow and arrow.
Every morning, the tom took the same route, and I knew that was where I would have to set up. It was 3 a.m. when I dragged the 10-foot stepladder across an open field and down the small path taken by the tom through the pines. About 30 yards into the pines, I cleared a spot where I could set the ladder up, and then I cleared a small three- to four-foot-wide shooting lane.
My shot, if I got it, would be about 10 yards to the trail, and it would have to be quick. I set one hen decoy on the edge of the pines near the paddock where the tom would see it and strut past me.
It was about 5 a.m. when the General and I finally got up on the ladder, and my first call got a response. He was there, and now he knew I was there, too.
But when he flew down, he stopped gobbling. Not being able to see to my right or my left, I had no idea where he was. Then, all of a sudden, he was there, fully displayed, standing right in front of me. But before I could raise the bow, he turned and went back.
You can imagine how I felt, but when he gobbled I knew he was still close. Slowly, I drew the bow, and as luck would have it, he re-
entered my shooting lane. And when he did, the General rewarded me with a nice 19-pound tom with a six-inch beard.
Definitely one of my most interesting hunts.