Afternoon Turkey Hunting Pays Off for Swisher

I kicked off my 2018 turkey hunting season bowhunting for a turkey that would quickly become known as The Nemesis. I cut feathers on him on opening weekend. It was a heartbreaker hunt where everything went perfect, up until the moment I dropped the string. I hunted this bird sparingly with my bow over the next couple weeks to keep the pressure light and hopefully avoid pushing him off the small tract of land he was calling home.

Here’s the video from my opening weekend turkey hunting mishap…

I had several close calls and a few woulda-coulda-shoulda type hunts, but the bird was playing hardball. He was decoy shy, call shy and blind shy. He began to avoid coming within bow range of any tactic I tried on him. And while I was really hoping to kill this bird with my bow, I knew it was time to pull out the shotgun when I caught him roosting across on the neighbors side of the property line. He was starting to slip away. It was only a matter of time before my neighbor caught on to this bird’s transition and made plans to kill the gobbler for himself. I knew I needed to kill the Nemesis the next time I caught him on my property. It was at this time I decided an afternoon turkey hunting ambush with my shotgun would be the tactic to employ.

I had plenty of trail cam photos showing this bird crossing one of my food plots in the afternoon on his way back to roost. It was a pretty consistent pattern he had developed, so I made the move to get in early and catch him on his was back to roost. Regardless of whether he tried to skirt my setup, with my Mossberg in my lap, I would have the reach to make the deal happen.

turkey hunting on trail cam
The Nemesis had a pretty consistent pattern when returning to the roost in the afternoon.

On the day I decided to make my move, I slipped back to where the action would unfold mid-afternoon with the hopes of the Nemesis strolling through within the next couple hours of my sit. I settled in, got comfortable, and laid my head back for a little afternoon nap.

Just 30 minutes later, I heard what I thought I was a hen yelping, fairly close. I looked up to see several birds slipping through the timber across the food plot. Leading the way, the Nemesis. He was on a path that would bring him well within gun range.

I eased my gun up to my knee as the Nemesis made his way in my direction. As in recent weeks, the Nemesis was very cautious on his approach. And as if on cue, his sixth sense kicked in when he stepped into the food plot. Unfortunately for him, he was already in range of my Mossberg. When he turned to walk away, I put the bead on the base of his neck and squeezed the trigger, dropping the Nemesis in his tracks.

turkey hunting - Bro-TN-Bird
Brodie with the Nemesis.

The Nemesis was down. It was bittersweet to walk up to a bird that had given me so much mileage over the last few weeks. My wife would be glad he was dead so I could focus on more important things once again.

Walking out with the Nemesis over my shoulder felt good – a feeling that never gets old when turkey hunting in the spring.

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