Nebraskaland April 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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30 Nebraskaland • April 2019 Story by Ryan Sparks. Photos by Jeff Kurrus D edicated turkey hunters dream of completing a "grand slam," or killing a bird from each of the four subspecies of the North American turkey. To complete a grand slam, a hunter might travel from Alabama to Texas to South Dakota to Florida. As a teenager, while enjoying the developing turkey hunting in Nebraska, I dreamed about this turkey hunting adventure, but realized it would be a long time before I could roam the country in pursuit of turkeys. Instead, I devised a different challenge. I was already obsessively hunting turkeys with a bow and conventional shotgun, but when I spotted a used muzzleloading shotgun for sale, I had an idea. I realized that with Nebraska's three-bird limit I had the opportunity to hunt turkeys with a bow, muzzleloading shotgun, and conventional shotgun all in one season. I had no idea what an incredible experience it would be and how my adventures could help other hunters challenge themselves as well. Bows and Beards Bowhunting turkeys is more difficult than hunting them with a shotgun for two reasons. First, archery equipment limits a hunter's shooting range. Second, and most importantly, a bow must be drawn before shooting. A turkey's excellent eyesight is its principal defense. They can see almost as well as a hawk and don't have to shift their focus to see objects at different distances clearly. Everything within their field of view is always in focus. TURKEY TRIFECTA Nebraska has turkey hunting so good that hunters have the opportunity to harvest three birds with three different types of weapons.

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