Snowbird: Bowhunting Turkeys in Illinois

Despite the unseasonable weather and snowy conditions, Clinton Fawcett kicked off opening day bowhunting turkeys in Illinois. And even though the morning seemed more like a cold day in November, Clinton was rewarded for persistence. He shares his story here…
We started off the opener with 26 degrees and 25 mph winds, gusting to 40. On top of that, it’s snowing. Not the ideal conditions for hunting turkeys in my book, but I had been running 4 Stealth Cams in time lapse mode on the farm and knew the birds were there. When I checked my cameras on Saturday it was very evident that all the turkeys were still together and only using one part of the farm. The cameras showed that after flying down off of the roost the birds would cut across a skinny ridge field between 7:15-7:45 in the morning. That pretty much settled the question of where we were heading on opening morning.
bowhunting turkeys in illinois - clinton-turkey
The snow wasn’t enough to keep Clinton out of the woods on the opener of the Illinois turkey season.
Opening morning came and my buddy, Chase, and I headed in with all our gear to the spot we had chosen and got set up. The first hour was uneventful, but around 7am it started snowing really hard and was blowing 25 mph. It was hardly what typically experienced while bowhunting turkeys in Illinois in the spring. We were both freezing, and with the thought of better weather on Tuesday, we decide we weren’t going to suffer much longer. We made the plan to stick it out until 7:30 based on the camera info, even though we both thought it was pointless with the conditions. However, at 7:15 two hens, three jakes and a gobbler stepped out into the clover and ran each other around for a bit. 
The big gobbler eventually ended up in the field with Clinton as it came to check out the sounds of his calls. The bird made its way up to the HS Strut jake decoy to scrap it out with the intruder. When the bird gave me a facing shot, I let the arrow go. The bird went just 35 yards and piled up. There’s nothing like blood trailing your opening day turkey in the fresh snow.
A big congrats to Clinton on his opening day bird taken while bowhunting turkeys in Illinois. 

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