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After being hit, the tom went down for a few seconds and then managed to take off flying out into the hay field. At that point in time, I thought the arrow was hanging out of him and was very disappointed....and worse, it was on his right side which was the side I shot at. I watched as he slowly lost altitude, landing about 60 yds away along the edge of the field. I tried to make a mental note of the exact spot and assumed I would be trying to run down an injured bird. I wasn't sure if one should wait before pursuing, as is done when shooting a deer. I took a couple of minutes to gather my thoughts while I cocked and loaded another arrow in my crossbow.
Time to go find the turkey. I headed to the last known point where I saw him go down.
I found him right where I saw him go down. Plenty of blood on the ground but no arrow. The turkey's subsequent moving around during the last minute before I shot wasn't confirmed with my range finder. When all was said and done, the arrow hit about 1" low. When I got back to my blind and grabbed my range finder, I found I was 5 yds short off on my range estimation.
I gave my wife a call and asked her to drive out to the field in my pickup. In the mean time, I started looking for my arrow, retracing my steps between the blind and the turkey's final position. Did I mention I apparently suck at finding lost arrows? When Donna showed up, she found it in about 3 minutes. Where was it? The arrow punched clean through the big tom and was very close to where I had shot him. We found out later that what I had mistakenly thought was my arrow hanging out of the right side of the bird was most likely his right leg, which I had broken at the hip joint. The poor guy couldn't retract his right side landing gear during his last flight trying to escape.
He had a solid color 8" beard. I'm guessing he was a 2 year old bird based on beard length and that his spurs measured 3/4" long. He was in great shape. After we cleaned out his crop, it was obvious he was having no problem finding ample food. There must have been at least two cups of seeds and greens in there. I teased Donna, after she started cleaning out the crop, that I had provided her with a free ranging 100% organic turkey, complete with stuffing, and she was removing the stuffing! What kind of deal is that? <grin>
The gizzard revealed the telltale deadly footprint of the the Slick Trick's fixed blades. That big X on that half of the gizzard is from the broadhead. The big guy dressed out at 15 pounds without including the giblet's. Meat damage? Not much in my opinion. As I indicated, I broke the hip joint which resulted in some blood trauma but the drum stick was in good shape. The breast was untouched too.
Here is a pic of my CAMX crossbow, taken early this year shortly after receiving it. I had a chance a couple of years ago to shoot a CAMX which belongs to Mack, my brother-in-law that lives in Michigan. After shooting his, which was a great experience, I did some research on CAMX and decided that was the bow I wanted for hunting. With Minnesota recently passing their 60+ age exception for using a crossbow during archery season, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one....so I did this spring as mentioned on the previous page. It has a good quality 4 power crossbow optic on it with reticle marks for shooting well past 50 yds. I consider my max range to be 40 yds at this point in time. With the 35 yd hit on the turkey, I'm confident I could do 40 yds on a deer or turkey with solid shot placement to ensure a humane kill. I'll practice more this coming summer to make sure it can happen.
More Fall Turkey