Crossbow gobbler down!
Been a darn tough year for me so far. Not much action, not much gobbling, thicker than heck, and frustration settling in. That changed in a hurry this morning.
Had a spot in Allegheny County where I was seeing a few nice longbeards before the season. Set a blind in preparation, but those high hopes quickly subsided when those birds disappeared right before the opener. I hunted there a few times and had a group of jakes in the area every time, but no longbeards. I had all but abandoned that place, but over the past few days, the longbeards made an appearance again. I managed to put eyes on them last night and knew my blind would be the center of activity come morning if I could get into it without busting anything out.
I made my way to the blind with no lights and was settled in at 4:45 for the long wait. No busted birds and the first gobble broke the morning stillness at 5:15. To my amazement, the bird was roosted in a tree only 15 yards to the right of my blind. My early arrival was worth it.
I elected not to call until the bird hit the ground. When snapping limbs and fluttering wingbeats sounded overhead, I waited and a gobble soon followed when he hit the ground about 50 yards from me. I had yet to make a call. A few soft clucks and two yelps, was all it took to have him hammer back and start strutting my way. I let him come with the crosshairs buried in his wing butt until he hit my decoy at ten yards. When enough pressure hit the trigger, the arrow found its mark and the gobbler instantly collapsed and it was soon over at 6:10.
No chasing necessary as the Black Eagle Executioner tipped with a Swhacker and lit by TenPoints Omni-Brite nock did its job.
I was shooting a CamX Chaos topped with Zeiss's brand new XB75 crossbow scope. The Zeiss is a premium crossbow scope worthy of a look by anyone that wants the best of the best in crossbow specific scopes.
This gobbler looks to be a 2 y/o with 3/4 inch spurs and a heavy 9 inch brush for a beard. His middle tail feathers were lost at some point with the replacements only about 5 inches long. Pretty happy with this bird at this point in the season. It has been tough but success is only made sweeter when it happens during years like this. Thanks for looking.