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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April 2019 • Nebraskaland 31 With such a good sense of sight they can notice the slightest motion. To hide the movement of drawing, archery hunters use natural blinds constructed of branches, brush, and grass or manufactured "pop-up" blinds – so named because they unfold and set up quickly. At the time, I used a pop-up blind for its convenience, but I now enjoy making impromptu natural blinds and trying to draw when the bird is looking the other direction. The other major difference between archery and shotgun hunting is that archery season opens earlier, when birds are less aggressive and sometimes grouped in large flocks. As males become more aggressive, they will part ways, and flocks become smaller. This makes calling more effective later in the season because it's easier to call in a single turkey than an entire flock. When turkeys are grouped together, it's a better strategy to make soft calls to entice hens or set up along known travel routes. As with all hunting, no two situations are the same, but it's a good idea to start slow and soft and gradually increase the volume and aggression of your calling. To prepare for my opening morning of archery season, I hiked up a grassy fence line to the top of a hill that overlooked a field where I had seen turkeys feeding the previous week. As the sun inched downward, a group of birds made their way into the field. One by one they took flight and roosted in a group of cottonwood trees for the night. I knew the next morning they would glide down the opposite side of the creek and begin their day in the field below. Well before sunrise, I stood atop the same hill and listened as several hens yelped from their roost and two toms Because turkeys have such keen eyesight, archery hunting for these birds can be quite difficult.

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