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Friday Evening
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Saturday Evening
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Live Hunt Details

Michael Middleton
      Casey Morris
      David Simmons

Cotulla, TX 

    March 31 - April 1, 2001

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Friday Evening

We left Houston before noon on Friday so we could get to the Cotulla farm before dark and hopefully put the birds to bed.  We arrived at 4:30 and immediately drove out to "The Point" to set up my recurve model GH500 I.C.E. Blind 150 yards south of a group of five live oaks that Casey and I had identified as a roosting tree on our scouting trip three weeks ago.  Click on photo below for short video clip.Video

We also set up my "flock" (2 hens and a jake) of inflatable decoys.  This was the first time I had used the Sceery decoys, and I was quite impressed at their life-like characteristics.   Click on Photo for video clipVideo

After setting up the blind, we put the decoys inside the I.C.E. Blind, leaving the stakes for easy setup on Saturday morning.  We quickly drove back up the creek to the north to set up the other I.C.E. Blind, this one a Predator Deception standard T5 model that we had borrowed from Kevin "Outbreaker" Johnson.  We hadn't seen much sign on our previous trip other than near "The Point," but we had jumped a nesting hen just to the north on the creek and figured this to be the next-most-likely place to see birds. 

We only had two I.C.E. Blinds, so we elected to set up a Swivel Limb in the Live Oak on the corner of the creek at the edge of "The Pear Patch."  This was the same tree from which Casey had arrowed a hog in January, and also from where I was able to video a nice eight pointer during the doe only season in February. 

After setting up each of the stand locations, we decided to return to "The Point" with David's longbow, both to see if we could roost a gobbler and hopefully get David a shot at a hog with his longbow.  All three of us fit comfortably inside the Brush Country Camouflaged blind.  Things were relatively quiet, other than Casey's incessant chatter, until we spotted turkeys walking toward the creek about 200 yards south of our position.  It appeared to be four hens, and they quickly worked their way up the road toward us.  David whispered that he thought he had seen five birds, but it appeared that there were only four, and all were hens. 

As I was filming out the window of the blind, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see Casey's finger pointing out the other window to my right.  A quick check revealed a nice, mature tom in the brush!  I focused my camera on the bird and watched as he came in. Click on photo below for video clip.Video

I know David must have been tempted to loose an arrow when the bird came into a clearing 20 yards from us, but the season was still a night away!  The hens walked toward the creek and entered the brush about 20 yards north of the blind.  The tom followed slowly behind.  We had decided that we didn't want to educate the birds, so we didn't do any calling, nor did we set up the decoys.  The hens re-appeared 20 yards south of the blind, again followed by the gobbler, and worked their way slowly to the live oak. 

We watched as each of the hens flew up, one at a time, to their respective roosting branches.  A few moments later, the big tom joined his harem. 

We waited until it was completely dark, and then slipped out of the I.C.E. Blind, lifting the back side of the blind and exiting from the bottom so as not to disturb the birds on their roost.  We walked quietly back to the truck and then celebrated the fact that we had successfully roosted the birds!  After a quick meal at Pepper's Grill in "downtown" Cotulla, we returned to the farm and spent much of the evening riding around searching for hogs and spotlighting varmints, but careful not to disturb our turkeys. 

Shining with a spotlight on the north field, we spotted a lone coyote sixty yards away.  Casey put the red lens on the beam, while David quickly grabbed his bow and began stalking toward the dog.  The coyote's attention was kept occupied by Casey blowing on a wounded rabbit call, while David maneuvered into position for a possible shot.  Finally, with the dog walking back and forth, he began trotting downwind of David.  Before he could get into position to get wind of David, David drew back his Hoyt Havoc and sent a three-bladed Spitfire through the yote!  The surprised dog circled quickly in an attempt to high-tail it out of the area, nearly running over David as he dash within 10 feet of the somewhat concerned archer!  With the spotlight, we followed the coyote until he crashed into the ground, expiring in less than 75 yards!