Traveling home from work each day I pass a flock of turkeys scratching for bugs in a green hay field. With turkey season in full swing I could not take it any longer. I wanted to chase those birds. After a friendly conversation with the landowner I was granted access. It was time to get to business and go after them that night. During turkey season my gear always rides in the truck bed so, it did not take long to pull it on. Tossing on a turkey vest full of gear, I was off for the field edge for a quick hunt.
At my destination there was sign everywhere, including wing feathers scattered about. My initial setup did not look promising so I made another adjustment. It was so late, I would be lucky if I had not spooked the birds. Inside of thirty minutes the flock filtered out, feeding right in front of me. What a perfect situation to help close the deal on a Michigan bird. It was only 6 o’clock when I was loaded up and heading home.
Everything came together perfectly that evening. Traditionally hunting wild Michigan turkeys is a real challenge and chasing these birds with a bow and arrow can be downright crazy. Most hunters find it enough of a challenge putting themselves into position to kill a turkey with a gun. Change your weapon of choice to archery gear and now your mobility is cut down, calls are limited, and the last 50 yards of an approaching turkey can be hair-raising.
To help me get close enough to kill a wild bird with a bow I talked to Rich Nicholas. He is a Michigan outdoorsman and turkey hunting expert in his own right. He has taken down more longbeards than I can count. When he is not hunting for himself he is calling, guiding, and scouting others. We are lucky enough to have Nicholas provide some of his deepest secrets towards getting archery close to our sharp-eyed Michigan turkeys.
Planning Your Pursuit
The largest challenge of archery gear is you are stuck in one location. Sneaking and peeking is off the table. With mobility cut down you have to be certain you are in the perfect location. Nicholas will give us a few techniques to ensure this is done successfully. Nicholas explains, “Turkeys do not seem to mind newly erected blinds.” They will feed past them like they had been there all along. Laying in wait of your quarry is tough to do unless you have the confidence that your location will produce.
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