New Factor to Success

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TurkeyIt’s bittersweet when your turkey season comes to an end so soon.  My new turkey vest was only in use for about an hour and half when my season very abruptly came to end; my new boots had only covered a few hundred yards before the season was over; and the tripod I bought for this season didn’t even make it out to the field with me before my 2015 turkey season came to a close.  It was an awesome feeling to have my tag filled, but at the same time I was loathing the fact that Michigan only allows us to kill one turkey per spring.  I was ecstatic that I had killed my biggest bird yet, but I was disappointed that my season had ended so abruptly.

In the days since I killed this bird, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on what was different about this season – why did it end so soon?  And the reason my season ended so early centers around two main factors – Jeff’s scouting that morning was essential to the success, and the other factor involved something that I normally don’t exude very often: confidence.

Normally, I would have to be talked into a shot at that range, or I would have put off the shot until another day, in the hopes that a different opportunity would present itself.  But in this particular moment, after watching this beautiful tom parade around in the early greenery of spring for nearly an hour, there was no way I was going to let him walk away.  It was a feeling I don’t experience very often in the woods, but it felt damn good.  I knew the gun was capable of the shot – we had patterned it before at 60 yds – and I just knew – and I mean knew – that I could make the shot.  It was an experience of a different sort for me, and I’m not sure Jeff knew how to handle it.  It was definitely out of character, but it paid big dividends at the end of the day.  Now, some have already asked, “Why would you take a 70 yd shot?”, or “I would never take a 70 yd shot.”  And to them I would say that is a personal decision.  I’m not comfortable taking an archery shot at a whitetail over 40 yds, and I’ve stuck to that conviction – but I’m not going to fault someone who takes a longer shot, if they feel they are comfortable with a shot at that range.  In this particular instance, I knew my equipment, I knew what I was personally capable of, and there’s meat in the freezer to prove it.  I am by no means, though, condoning taking any shot that comes along either.  But if you’ve practice and practiced with your equipment, and your comfortable with the shot, I say go for it.  We miss 100% of shots we don’t take, so I see no reason not to take a shot your confident with.

There’s a part of me who still wishes I could hunt, who wishes I had a tag left and could give it another go.  But for once in my hunting life, I’m tagged out early, my best turkey fan is currently drying in the garage, and I’m happy my season went the way it did.  I’m happy I went with my gut, displayed a little confidence, and put my biggest bird on the ground.  Because knowing your equipment, having the confidence to use it, and actually being successful with it, is one of the best things about hunting.

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