Nebraska opener: 1st of the season - 1st with a crossbow - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Nebraska opener: 1st of the season - 1st with a crossbow



Today was the Nebraska archery opener and, after getting my first bird with a recurve in Montana this past Fall, I wanted to go for another first and score one with my Parker Tornado F4 crossbow. I ended up bagging this Tom a little after 1PM after a slow, quiet morning.

I made the hilarious mistake of laying down in the blind for a quick nap after lunch that ended up being a *really quick* nap. 10 minutes into my snooze I awoke to the sound of this 27 pound bully beating the snot out of my Avian-X half-strut Jake like a speed bag. Got in the chair as fast as I could, put the crosshairs just to the side of his beard on a quartering angle and let one go at about 9 yards.

The spurs were a pedestrian 1", but the beard measured a solid 10.5", and after having him weighed at the taxidermist, this one is officially my new biggest bird.

This had to be angriest, toughest turkey I've ever seen, with the most shocking will to fight. The instant that the 125 gr. Slick Trick smacked trough his vitals, he staggered backward for a second, collected himself...and went back to continue beating on the decoy until he slumped on top of it dead, slithering to the ground!


This is exactly how he curled up and died. You can see the blood trail from where he stumbled and traveled back to continue the fight. He left quite a mess on the deke:










While it looked like it was going to be a fruitless day when the birds came off the roost in the wrong direction and were silent once landed, sticking with it into the afternoon paid off nicely. I love having the early archery split out here, even though it takes non-resident tag fees to take advantage.
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Last edited by Six-Gun; 03-30-2019 at 09:42 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:07 PM
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Wow! Congrats!! Pretty cool hunt! On my bucket list to go out of state to someplace that has an early turkey season.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Congrats!! Pretty cool hunt! On my bucket list to go out of state to someplace that has an early turkey season.
Thanks!

Unless you're going for a Grand Slam, Nebraska would be an excellent choice. I say that because most of the state has hybrid birds that are genetically mixed with multiple subspecies (lots of Rio/Eastern hybrids near me, as is the one I bagged) and won't count toward a proper Slam, but the success rates here are off the charts. Last season, I want to say that statewide hunter success was right around 65%.

While this hunt was on a 10-acre private farm, I've killed the vast majority of my birds here on public. Hardly anyone archery hunts turkey on public out this way, and you can have a LOT of space to yourself this time of year. With a season start date for archery (good for both crossbows and vertical bows) during the last week of March, I know guys who have called in birds over a good bit of snow before other states are even close to starting.
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Last edited by Six-Gun; 03-29-2019 at 10:46 PM.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 02:42 AM
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Thats an awesome bird. Congrats. I really want to get back to NE soon. We loved it when we were out there. I really wanna get back and try my luck on public land. When we were there we saw a ton of birds. Good job on your bird.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 04:58 AM
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Nice bird congrats!!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 07:37 AM
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Nice work, have to hit Nebraska some time...
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 08:00 AM
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Cool story !!

I am always amazed at how many of the "mixed" birds there are between about Grand Island and Lincoln …………..that end of the state. And what's cool is, you'll see a field with 3 strutters and one looks like an Eastern, one looks like a Merriam's and one looks like a Rio.
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Last edited by Strut10; 03-26-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thats an awesome bird. Congrats. I really want to get back to NE soon. We loved it when we were out there. I really wanna get back and try my luck on public land. When we were there we saw a ton of birds. Good job on your bird.
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Nice work, have to hit Nebraska some time...
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Cool story !!

I am always amazed at how many of the "mixed" birds there are between about Grand Island and Lincoln …………..that end of the state. And what's cool is, you'll see a field with 3 strutters and one looks like an Eastern, one looks like a Merriam's and one looks like a Rio.
Thanks again, guys! As a Philly transplant who knew nothing of the Midwest world, I was scared to death of how "Podunk" this stretch of the country is. Of course, that feature is exactly what makes Nebraska amazing for outdoorsmen. While 90% of the of the state is private, the public lands (state management areas and leased CRP lands) are extremely well managed. You get 3 spring gobblers in this state and I filled all 3 tags last season on public land (2 on opening day). As Strut10 can attest, it doesn't hurt that the hybrid birds out here - showing any number of features from multiple subspecies - are all very unique and grow huge.

The left and center fans in this pic are NE hybrids. The bird on the left was shot last season and shows primarily Rio Grande plumage. The bird in the center was shot the year prior very close to the area as the one on the left, yet shows mostly Merriam's plumage. The one on the right is a pure Merriam's shot in Montana (note the faint copper colored band in the black part of the fan).

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Last edited by Six-Gun; 03-29-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 01:24 PM
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Awesome, congrats.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 03:27 PM
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Congrats Six-Gun great way to start the season. I used to hunt Rio's in Kansas in the early 90's, I think now Kansas has a lot of Rio/Eastern hybrids but is still predominantly Rio's.

The older I get the better I was.
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