by Nancy Rodriguez
The first day of spring turkey season is always magical. As I climb under the low tree branches in the dark, I know today will be a great day in the field. I am hunting after all! My decoys are set 20 yards out, ready for some action. I take my stand in the twilight. I quietly adjust myself in the tall, damp grass and slowly place twigs and branches around me for extra concealment. I lean against a mighty oak tree with my backpack next to me and shotgun across my lap. I have my arsenal of turkey calls ready to start their love songs.
As the curtain of darkness starts to rise, I am greeted with the beauty of spring. The new leaves on the trees are fluorescent green and dew sparkles across the blades of grass all around. Birds are singing back and forth, as a butterfly feeds on a lupine flower at my feet. Suspended from “my” oak tree hangs a shiny thread with an oak worm attached to it. It is gently swinging in the morning breeze. Is there anything better than this?
I start with the first song on my playlist…”Love Me Tender.” My slate call sounds great. I hope a gobbler recognizes this song and gobbles. Hmmm…Nothin! Again…Nothin!!! OK, I change the song. Mouth call in for the next song…”I’m Too Sexy”… Nothin!!! I switch between these two songs for a couple of hours and no action. Damn Birds!!!
As I quiet back down, my right bum cheek starts to go numb. My nose is running to who knows where, and I have a flock of not turkeys around me, but mosquitoes! Only my eyes are showing a small amount of flesh and of course a mosquito finds it. As I realize I’m getting nailed right on my eyebrow, my left bum cheek goes numb. I have an oak worm inching across my knee, and a spider crawling across the rim of my hat. I slowly flick off my buddies just as a gnat flies right into my eyeball. Direct hit! I rub most of him out except for what feels like his left wing. Serves him right! Where’s my turkey? Damn birds!!
Okay, time to bust out my go to song. I use this only when all else fails. As I break out my box call, I am really ready for some action! I shift on my now completely numb bum and try not to think about my itchy eyebrow. I sniff my runaway bogey nose, blink my eye with a floating gnat appendage in it, and notice there are oak worms dropping down on me like paratroopers! Time to get this show on the road!
Next song up…”Ain’t to Proud to Beg.” As I hit the chorus-GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! Yeah baby!! I turn up the sound and hit it again…“I AIN”T TO PROUD TO BEG”. GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE! This time he’s closer. I aim my barrel in the direction of the gobble and with my adrenaline pumping, I wait. I watch the tall grass for any sign of movement, and pray I will see a glowing red head appear. He moves closer and closer, gobbling as he tries to find the hen singing a song no mother would approve of. I line up my fluorescent orange bead on the beautiful red head that magically appears and pull the trigger. Poor thing, he didn’t stand a chance.
A Prois chick playing “Ain’t to Proud to Beg” gets them every time!!!
by Nancy Rodriguez
If you have ever planted a garden and watched it grow, then you know the satisfaction that comes from it. You choose your seeds wisely, prep and till the dirt. You carefully place the seeds in their own little spot in the earth. Then you water, fertilize, nurture, and wait. Then one day it happens…a tiny little green stem pops up to say hello to the world. You can’t help but smile, because you are part of something magical. You are growing food! You’re constantly working in your garden, watering, fertilizing, and sometimes even talking to your plants. Your plants grow and mature daily. Then the day comes when you see a tiny green tomato pop out of a little yellow flower, and your smile becomes bigger. But the greatest satisfaction will come the day you pick your first beautiful vine ripened tomato. Your knife will cut through the beautiful red flesh and you will swear you have never tasted something so delicious. You know exactly the preparation, work, and care that went into growing that tomato. You know with that, you are providing a perfectly healthy piece of food for your family. Every time I eat a vegetable from our garden, I remember the journey it took to grow and harvest this food. This type of food adventure never ceases to amaze me, even if it is in my own backyard.
The feeling of new adventure is the same for me with hunting, fishing, and gathering but on a much grander scale. My husband and I enjoy the great outdoors together, leaving the distractions of our daily lives behind, and embracing the stillness of the wilderness. Ultimately we hunt for food, but the journey and adventure are also extremely important to us. We train, prepare, and work hard to harvest every animal we take with an accurate and clean kill. A biting contradiction in the world of non hunters, I know. The process of killing is a direct result of taking responsibility for the life of the animals you consume. I know how the animals I eat lived, and more importantly I know how they died. It then becomes my responsibility to utilize as much of the animal as possible to the best of my ability. Whether I’m chasing antelope over the desert floor or diving in the deep blue ocean to pick abalone, I know each and every adventure I experience will provide food for our family and a memory that will last forever. No matter what, I always give thanks to the animals, fruit, plants, and mother earth. I believe, as long as there are people living and working to preserve the hunting and gathering lifestyle, there will always be wild places for everyone to enjoy. I choose to hunt, harvest, and gather from the earth. The food nourishes my body, but the adventure nourishes my soul.
From field to plate…these are some of the amazing meals that our food adventures have provided.
Whether it’s ducks, geese, or cranes you’re after, choose your hunting gear wisely because let’s face it, it’s going to be a cold, wet, and windy day afield. Waterfowl hunting isn’t for the faint of heart, birds don’t take days off because of weather and you shouldn’t have to either. This season, try Próis’ Xtreme Line to keep you warm in the field or marsh.
You can’t function without your weapon, which extends beyond the shotgun you carry. Hunting apparel can make or break your hunt, especially when you are fighting the elements. Próis’ Xtreme jacket and pants offer a waterproof shell and insulated fabric, which will keep you dry and warm on the most frigid days.
Try the Xtreme jacket on for size and you’ll never want to take it off. Offered in both Realtree AP® and Advantage Max 1®, this jacket has all of Próis’ signature features you know and love. Nylon tricot lining makes for ease of layering and added silence. Deep chest and hand pockets with zippered closures offer plenty of space for calls, gloves, hand warmers, and other tools.
The more wind the better when it comes to hunting waterfowl, but more wind can also mean added discomfort if you aren’t donning the proper attire. This is not a concern with the Xtreme jacket, as it features Velcro closures at the wrist and a ducktail designed to provide additional warmth and dryness to the backside. A built in drawstring along the waist further enhances warmth and keeps cool air out.
Próis’ Xtreme pants are constructed of similar materials, with nylon tricot lining and 150 gram 3MM ultra thinsulate. They are also offered in both Realtree AP® and Advantage Max 1®. Layer these pants over your jeans while goose or crane hunting and you will never be cold again. As the day goes on, quickly remove them by unzipping the 9 inch boot zippers, designed specifically for ease of layering. Deep-set cargo pockets on each side are perfect for stowing flashlights, cell phones, or other important gadgets. An elastic waist and drawstring are perfect for layering and keeping the breeze out. These pants are the ultimate in warmth and perfect for the seasoned waterfowler.
The Xtreme line is offered in sizes XS-XXL. Get these items and more at www.proishunting.com or call (970) 641-3355 to receive additional advice from the staff on recommended sizing and camo patterns.
Próis was created for women, by women who refuse to settle for downsized men’s gear or upsized children’s gear. Each garment is created with the most technologically advanced fabrics available and a host of advanced features to provide comfort, silence and durability. The company’s out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in amazing designs for serious hunters that have taken the industry by storm and raised the bar for women’s outdoor apparel.
To learn more about the company’s innovative line of serious, high-performance huntwear for real women, contact: Próis Hunting and Field Apparel, 28001-B US Highway 50, Gunnison, CO 81230 · (970) 641-3355 · Or visit: www.proishunting.com
It’s so quiet that all I can hear is the sound of my heavy breathing as I make my way deep into elk country. No wait, I think to myself, I hear a noise. It’s a low grumbling. It gets a little louder, and a little louder still. Then, all of a sudden I hear a squishy, explosion sound followed by a pungent smell. I look down and see the top of my 6 month old’s head. She’s dangling from a front pack and yep, full diaper. The grumbling noises are followed by a happy squeal and then some random babbling. For a minute there I almost felt as if I was sneaking through the woods.
There’s one month until the start of archery elk season in Colorado and I’m doing some scouting. I have been hunting these woods now for over 20 years and my dad before me and we know these woods like the back of our hands. We also know that there are elk in here. My scouting this year is more focused because I now have a baby who requires much of my time and I’ll likely be taking her with me for some of the hunts as my husband will be working during season and the grandparents are out of town. Plus, it’s what we do. We’ve always hunted as a family and I see no need to stop now that I have a family of my own.
I do realize that my strategy for this coming archery season needs to change this year. I used to be in incredible shape and put in miles from sun up until sun down and I could run from one canyon to the next after a bugling elk. But this year I’ll be packing a 7 month old and she’s not only heavy, but not exactly sneaky, stalking material. My normal strategy of spot and stalk may have to change.
Today I’m putting up some game cams deep in the woods to check for some patterns that may make hunting with a baby easier. As I’m walking a long I can’t help but picture myself sneaking up on a nice bull while he’s raking his horns on a tree, unaware of my presence…. that is until the baby on my back squeals with joy at the site of a large animal and waves her arms in the air. Yep, that’s how I envision it. And I got a reassuring message from Kirstie Pike, CEO of Prois when I told her I’d be hunting with my daughter. “LMAO! Some of my worst hunting experiences were with my kids!!! Way to land on your feet!”. I’m not quite sure I’ve landed on my feet, but more likely my head.
So, my expectations are a little different than years past, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it my best effort. I’m an experienced hunter, so I’ll take what I know and try to make the best plan possible, and when that doesn’t work I’ll improvise the best I can.
Scout some good locations for some ground blinds, where my daughter and I can sit and wait for an unsuspecting elk to walk by. The ground blind will be equipped with a camouflaged baby tent where Tiegan (my daughter) can move around and play without being seen. It’ll also double as a diaper changing station. Sit, patiently (or not so patiently), in ground blind while the sounds of baby babbling and the smell of dirty diapers fills the air. J
I consider my plan to be flawless. (insert sarcasm) But all it takes is one elk to walk by, right?
Plan B: Spot and Stalk and elk with a babbling, constantly moving baby on my back.
Again, another flawless plan….
Or so we’ll see.
Two weeks later….
Today Tiegan and I checked one of our cameras deep in the woods on this ridge next to an avalanche chute. She babbled and chewed on my finger most of the way there. It was a great day, with no clouds in sight and a crisp feel to the air, which made it feel like fall was on the way. We climbed the long logging road up to the top of the ridge, cut back into the deep woods, across two avalanche chutes and up to a high ridge. I set up her tent and she played a bit while I got the card out of the camera and set it back up. Just after noon, we were still on top of the ridge. I was feeding Tiegan a bottle and looked across to the other side of the avalanche chute and out walks 2 bulls and a couple of cows. Great! I think to myself, this ought to be a good test. We had to walk/sneak back past them to get to the truck, so I would be able to see how sneaky we could be. I pack up the tent and all our gear and get her in the pack and cut across the chute several hundred yards below the elk.
We (I) quietly move across the trees. I keep Tiegan distracted with a chew toy. We make it to within a hundred yards below the feeding elk. Not even remotely close to being within bow range, but I’m not interested in spooking them, or at least I hadn’t planned on it. As we get to the edge of the trees along the chute. Tiegan cuts loose with some babbling. I look up to where the elk are and sure enough they’ve zeroed in on our location. Luckily the wind is good and they just stare, trying to make sense of the moving thing on my back. Before they figure it out I slip into the trees and head back towards the truck.
This will definitely be an adventure, a difficult one.
This year I’ve put up some game cameras in my usual hunting spots way back in the backcountry. I’ve never used game cameras for scouting before. I’ve always just used them to check out the deer, skunks, raccoon, mountain lions and bears that roam through our property outside of town. And I’m horrible at placing the game cameras too as these are the type of pictures I get….
Yeah…the horns from this guy block the entire head of the bull in the water. Just my luck…
The only 2 photos I got of these bulls. I never get a look at the far one and the closer one you only see a teasing bit of his nose and brow tines….
I’ve gotten a few other decent pictures too…..
But mostly it’s just nice seeing elk and it gives me an idea as to their patterns and what time of day they are moving. This is important because I’ll likely be spending a lot of time in a ground blind. I’ve never hunted from a ground blind or a tree stand before. I’ve never able to sit still for long enough. So, this will be new experience on many different levels for me. This ground blind won’t be your typical blind as it will be complete with a baby tent and a diaper changing station. The tent’s purpose is so that she can move around and play and not be seen by large animals with great eye sight. I’ll cover it with a camo netting.
I’ve been packing the tent with me on our scouting trips and she loves it. It’s great to keep her out of the rain and bugs and gives my shoulders and back much needed rest every couple of hours. Another thing I’ve been doing is practicing a call around her so that she’s used to the noise. She makes a pretty good cow call/squeal, so there’s an added bonus. I’ve also practiced shooting my bow while she’s in the pack on my back. She get’s super excited at the sound of the arrows hitting the target and squeals with joy every time the arrow flies. Yeah, this is going to be an interesting season for sure.
I’ve also been going through some of the things I’ll be packing this season that I normally wouldn’t. Here’s my list so far…
Air-tight Ziploc bags for dirty diapers (to hopefully keep the smell at bay)
Bottles of milk & baby food
A small toy or two
Extra clothes/layers for the baby
As far as failures & successes go, there is always an adventure and this one will likely not disappoint. So, here’s to family tradition, and keeping a sense of humor about all things….
After duck season, our pups tend to get a little loose in their training when we don’t work them regularly. Luckily, it usually doesn’t take much to get your retriever back on task and ready to roll by opening morning. All you have to do is spend a few minutes a day working on these basic drills by yourself or with a friend to get your retriever ready for hunting season.
1) Basic Obedience
Every dog needs a little obedience work throughout the year. If pup can’t get it in the yard, he’s not going to do it in the field. By spending 10 minutes in the yard a few times a week doing these basic obedience drills, your first day out in the field will be much more enjoyable for you, the dog, and your hunting buddies.
- Sit– When used correctly, the “sit” command should communicate to your dog to sit and not move until told otherwise. I like to sit my pup on a training mat with a check chord in the yard. I then walk the length of the check chord 360 degrees around the dog. If he moves as I am walking, I command “no sit” and walk in to physically correct him by placing him back in his original location. I do this until he stays seated without movement and then switch directions. If your pup is having trouble, move closer to simplify the task.
- Heel– An obedient dog should be focused on the task at hand and work as a team with his handler at all times. Make sure your dog understands this by doing basic heeling drills in the yard with your e-collar. Once your dog is reliably heeling at every pace, incorporate a bumper or other distraction to make sure he understands to always stay with you until released. Doing these basic heeling drills will ensure that you and your pup are both on the same page. If your dog is having trouble, place him on a lead with a pinch collar so you can physically control him until he better understands.
2) Casting Drills
“Casting” is using hand signals to direct your dog to the bird. Generally, the four commands that are used are “Sit”, “Over” (left or right), “Back” (away from the hunter), and “Here” (toward the hunter). Keeping your pup’s casting sharp will make things much easier for both of you when hunting season rolls around.
The easiest drill for casting is the “baseball” drill. Put your dog in the remote sit position, and place three piles of bumpers (2 or 3 in each pile) around them. These should be at the left, right, and back positions, roughly 20 yards from the dog. From your remote position, command the dog to retrieve the bumpers one at a time using the “over” or “back” commands with the corresponding hand signals. To increase difficulty, toss a bumper to the pile of your choice and cast the dog to a different pile. This creates suction and teaches the dog that he must retrieve to the pile of your choice no matter what. If he’s having trouble, simplify by tossing a bumper to the pile you want him to go to and then cast him to that same pile.
Another great drill is called “walking baseball.” It’s a bit complicated to explain here, but you can get the full run-down by watching this video demonstration by Evan Graham. If you don’t have a field to train in, head to your local park or soccer fields.
3) Training Out of Dog Blinds
If you plan to hunt your pup out of a dog blind or off a stand, be sure to train for this in a controlled environment. This way, there aren’t any surprises and your dog understands what is expected of him.
Marking can be a tough thing to train for by yourself, but with a steady dog and 2 or 3 bumpers it can be done. The easiest and most effective way to do marks alone is to do walking singles. Sit the dog in a remote location and walk to the distance you want to throw from. When you get there, throw the bumper and send the dog by yelling his name. You may need to do this from 20 or 30 yards at first to teach the dog the mechanics. Once the dog gets the bumper and brings it to you, sit him and walk to the next location. Repeat 5 or 6 times, making sure the dog doesn’t get too hot. If possible, invite a friend and have him throw for you. If you have a friend with you, stay in one spot with your dog while your friend walks the field and throws singles in different locations at different distances.
5) Steadying to Shot
In all the excitement that goes along with duck hunting, it’s easy to pay more attention to shooting ducks than what your dog is doing. Get him excited by shooting guns around him prior to opening day. He needs to know that steadiness is required even with distractions. If you can, take him to your hunting spot and work him out of the blind you’ll be using. This will help to further solidify those obedience rules in the field. Have a friend come along and throw bumpers for you while you shoot. If your pup is having trouble, have your friend shoot the gun while you focus on the dog.
Keep It Fun
Last but certainly not least, always remember to keep it fun! I like to release my dog from work by giving them an “Okay, good dog!”. After we are done, I always throw a few “fun” bumpers to let them know they did a good job. I also throw “happy” or “fun” bumpers when a dog is getting stressed during a tough training session. We all need a little break from work at times!
by Joni Marie Kiser
In April I had the privilege to attend an all girls turkey hunt in Mound City, Kansas with Wheelers Whitetails. The hunt was organized by Becky Lou Outdoors and my company Rockstarlette Bowhunting was one of the hunt sponsors. There were a total of 13 ladies that attended, split into 2 groups who hunted 3 days each. My group consisted of 3 girls from my Rockstarlette Bowhunting Pro Staff: Jayme, Ashley and Kate, some new friends Cyndie and Kerry, myself and the always energetic and fun Becky Lou.
Day 1: I am from Alaska, born and raised. I’ve hunted lots of things with my bow, but never turkeys. We don’t have turkey in Alaska so not only had I never even seen one in the wild, but I really had no idea what their calls sounded like, let alone how to make them myself with my cheap calls bought the day before! So after my first morning of sitting in a blind, we all came back to camp to regroup and have lunch. One of men who worked at the camp asked if any of us had tried to call from our blinds. I said, “I did” and got my box call to show him what I had done. He smirked, shook his head and said, “oh no!” He took the call and made a completely different sound from it. Well, I guess that’s why I didn’t see any toms! I laughed at myself and then did some practicing in front of him before heading back out so I wouldn’t scare anything off. Strike one for this Alaska girl!
Several of us were actually novices at turkey hunting. 3 of us had flown down from Alaska so everything was new to us. Ticks? They do what? We were horrified! Snakes? Brown Recluse Spiders? Hunting in Alaska and avoiding bear attacks was sounding easier and easier! For the type of hunting that I’ve done in Alaska: black bear, brown bear, moose etc…. We don’t even use face paint (or hunt out of blinds!), so even this was a real change from the norm. The “Lower 48” girls in the group painted the Alaskan girls faces up for us and we headed back out. Jayme and I sat in a blind together. We saw quite a few hens and jakes (young male turkeys), but no toms. Mike at Wheelers doesn’t allow jakes to be taken, so we were just waiting for mature toms to come in for this hunt. My calling was getting better and we got some answers back. We stayed till last light and hiked out with a pack of coyotes calls getting closer and closer as dark approached.
Day 2: 4 AM again? Good Lord. I barely got to bed and we were back at it. Of the 3 days hunt; the guides took each newbie hunter out for one 1/2 day sit in the blind with them. This morning Jayme and I split up and she went with guide David and I went with guide Mike. My spot in the woods was near a river. We hiked in in the pitch dark. Once settled it wasn’t long before you could hear all the gobblers that were roosted on the river start to call. For someone who had never heard anything like that before, it was such an incredible experience to hear the woods “wake up”. Eventually hens, jakes, deer and finally 2 toms started to come in. However the toms were off to the left of the blind, angled too far back for me to see them at all. As there were no windows/openings on that side farther back. Mike was sitting to my right and could barley see them at an angle and though he called and they answered back and even were making the “drum” sound, they never did get to an angle where I could see them. Regardless, it was a cool experience and I really enjoyed learning from Mike so I headed back for lunch feeling really fulfilled. We hiked back to the truck and started to drive out. But to make things even better, when we stopped at Becky Lou’s blind she had a great Gobbler on the ground with her shot gun and when we got back to camp, Jayme had also gotten one with her bow in her blind with David! I get just as excited when my buddies get something as when I do, so I was hugging them and jumping around. Then we drove the guides crazy taking a ton of photos before finally heading back out. We each had 2 tags but Jayme, being the super loyal friend that she is, refused to hunt any more until I got one, saying she “wouldn’t feel right about it”. So we headed back out to the blind with her as my side kick.
When I had been out with Mike and he called those 2 toms in, I heard them do their drumming sound. I was floored. I had no idea that they did this and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I tried to explain it in camp to Jayme, Cyndie and Kate like this; “you know when you pull up to an intersection next to a guy in a hooptie car and he has all the windows up and all you can hear is the bass pumping and booming from inside the car?” Because that is really what it reminded me of! They looked at me like I was crazy until they each got to hear it for themselves. That night, as we sat in the blind, Jayme and I got to experience it together. First one, then two, then three, finally a total of 5 toms, all in a row came strutting up over the hill towards us and they were all “pumping bass.” With 5 of them doing it all at once, it was vibrating the tent. We were giddy with excitement; totally in awe, gasping and smiling at each other. They never got closer than 50 yards and even then it was through the trees and I never had a shot with my bow, but it didnt matter. We left the blind that night at dark, totally elated. I didnt care if I got a turkey or not, because I had gotten to share that amazing experience with my friend. It was a once in a lifetime thing for us Alaskan girls. To me, that is really what the hunt is all about more than a trophy in the end, its the beautiful memories that you make along the way.
That night David had headed out with Kate to her blind and Becky Lou had gone with Ashley. They didn’t get birds but learned a lot by having a seasoned turkey guide along with them in the blind. Cyndie however, came home with a beautiful, bearded hen with her shot gun. It was incredible! I don’t even think she realized how rare it was until we all told her. Extra cool for her first turkey ever!
Day 3: 4AM again and Jayme just wasn’t having it. So I let her sleep in and I went out alone. I had fun, but didn’t see any toms just lots of jakes and hens. After lunch she agreed to come back with me since it was the final night of the hunt. I had had a lot of fun on the hunt, learned a lot and seen some really cool things. I felt pretty peaceful about it. Of course I wanted to get something but ultimately I felt happy with my experience with my friends and I know that getting a turkey with a bow can be really tough so I was okay with just having a fun afternoon in the blind with my friend. We had lots of jakes and hens come in, in fact we had 2 jakes that bedded down less than 2 ft from the blind and took a nap for hours. Then finally 2 toms came in. They were on the left side of our blind and one came right in to 10 yards but stopped right behind the metal feeder leg. He just stood there with the pole blocking him so that I couldn’t shoot. I was ready, just waiting for him to take 2 steps when I heard footsteps off to my right. A deer had come up and was beside the blind, then he winded us. He started stomping his foot and snorting; and the next thing I saw was the turkey disappearing into the brush to my left. Jayme and I looked at each other with disappointment, we thought that was going to be it! I called more and got answers from 2 directions. It was so funny, I would make a call and Jayme would whisper “oh that was such a good one”. I found it really funny that 3 days earlier we had never even heard a wild turkey call and here we now were experts on what made a “good one”.
Finally, another 2 toms came in strutting. They walked straight in and stopped at 10 yards with no obstructions. The larger one was all puffed up, but the smaller tom had mellowed out and was starting to peck corn. I’m not a trophy hunter, I enjoy hunting but I am not concerned with having the biggest or best of anything, I just enjoy the whole experience of the hunt. So I raised up to shoot the smaller tom. Mike had warned us not to shoot a turkey in strut so I was fine with taking the smaller of the 2 toms. I drew back, put my pin on him and was about to shoot when the larger one all of a sudden dropped his feathers down and started to eat. I swung my pin over to him and dropped him. He went face down in the dirt. Jayme who had been tense this whole time watching this all go down, yelled out, “Bird down! Go get em!” Super loud, scaring every other turkey, deer and raccoon that was around us. Things went running, scrambling, flying in all directions. It was hilarious chaos. I unzipped the blind and lept out and ran over to my turkey. On Jayme’s turkey she had taken a side shot through the vitals and afterward, the guide picked it up by the feet and stood on the neck to finish it off. Well we didn’t know anything about turkey hunting and my turkey wasn’t moving, just twitching, but there was no way these inexperienced Alaska girls were taking any chances! So we both ran out and each grabbed one leg, turned him upside down and stood on the neck, just in case! We were giggling and squealing. Normally on a hunt, we’d be hugging at this point but we couldn’t since we were holding up the turkey so we just head butted over top of the turkey and laughed about how Jayme scared the whole forest off with her yell.
I felt really proud that I went from Day 1 never having seen a turkey on my own, to day 3 harvesting one with my bow without a guide! I learned a lot in a short amount of time and got to spend some amazing time in the woods with girl friends. I will definitely be back to the lower 48 to try it again in the future!
*Joni Marie is owner of Rockstarlette Bowhunting and Full Curl Archery and has harvested a wide variety of big game animals with her bow.