Turkey hunters have a lot to be yelping about thanks to some innovative new gear!
I must admit, I'm on a winning streak when it comes to
killing spring gobblers with my bow.
My Moultrie game camera showed a flock of turkeys feeding
every morning and afternoon in my buckwheat plot. I knew I would have action. At 6:00 AM I heard my first gobble. I responded with a hen yelp on my
diaphragm mouth call (Knight and Hale Trashy Trina) and the tom fired
immediately. He was on the hook.
Moultrie Game Cam + Moultrie Mobile - showed this strut zone was very active
Once the big tom hit the field, he left his hens and ran straight
at my Jake - beating the hell out of it. My Summit 4-man Viper blind was set
up at the edge of my buckwheat plot. Because this blind can be turned
completely black inside, I was able to turn on my camera and get my bow ready with
the mature tom 8 yards away.
The Decoy stake could only take so much of a beating and
ended up pushing through the jake's back. This made the tom nervous and as he
walked away, I sent my arrow right through his back - cutting off his beard on
The hunt was over quick. As I sat there getting my gear together
a bigger gobbler showed up and beat up my now damaged jake. I could have
easily ended my (2-tag) season if New York allowed me to fill more than one tag
per day. Since they don't, I let the gobbler walk off. What a great morning.
I often think back to my early days of turkey bowhunting. It
took me ten years to kill my first turkey - a hen taken during a crisp fall
day. That was the year 2000, and now I fill my tag every year. So, what's
The answer is complicated. First, my calling is better. I no
longer walk around (like an idiot) yelping every 20 yards. I am very deliberate
and disciplined with my calling. I can't say I sound any better than I did back
then, it's more about timing and knowing when to call - not how to call.
Second, technology has allowed me to watch strut zones and
food plots to see bird activity long before the season opener. Tools like my
Moultrie game cameras hooked up to Moultrie Mobile have dramatically improved
my scouting with real-time intelligence. My cams go up 5-6 weeks before the
opener and combined with walking my farm listening to gobbles, I pretty much
have them nailed down before my first hunt.
Third, and most important, is the use of quality hunting
blinds and other turkey hunting gear. I have hunted out of dozens of blinds -
some I've loved and some I've disliked. This year I'm hunting from the new
Summit Viper 4-person blind and I love it.
So when you add up all these factors it's obvious that
turkey bowhunters have a lot to be yelping about when it comes to arrowing
Review - 2019 Summit Viper Blind
I love turkey hunting and because I bowhunt exclusively from
blinds I'm always looking for the perfect product.
When I think about all the blinds I've hunted from (Double
Bull, Primos, Ameristep, Muddy, and many others) there was always something I
didn't like. Many did not get dark enough, some of them had noisy fabric, many
of them had awful window configurations with those horrid inverted triangle designs,
and nearly all of them stuffed into tube that was 2x smaller than it should be
to fit your blind.
New this year, Summit Treestands has designed a new line of
hunting blinds and their flagship model (Viper 4-man) may be best one I've
tried to date. Here's why:
Windows - the blind has 270 degrees of windows which
summit calls TruView Windows. They work like a one-way mirror, hunter inside
blind can see out, but game can't see in. These windows contain Summit's Split
Silent Slide window system: Allows you to silently move TruView Mesh windows up
and down as well as black curtains which dramatically darken up your blind even
when it's backlit by strong Sunlight.
Door - Summit has designed a door called the Hush
Silent Hatch hinge door. It features a hinged door design with hook and loop
connections. It will stay closed with no hooks, or you have the option of using
the hooks if it's windy. When you leave the blind for an extended period,
there's also a zipper to secure the door.
Portability - Finally, someone has got the carry
system right!Â It's called the Snap Wrap carry system: You simply fold up the
blind and lay it on top of the Snap Wrap system. Then just wrap it around the
blind and latch to snap it shut. This provides secure, easy transport without
dropping F-bombs trying to stuff a big blind into a small bag. The Snap Wrap
also doubles as an in-blind organizer, so you can hang the Snap Wrap from the
support poles and use it's 5 large pockets for calls, phone, binos, rangefinder,
The blind comes in two camo options, Veil Camo (shown above)
and Realtree Edge. The Viper 4-person can fit three grown men comfortably or
four + if this includes kids. The blind hub and fabric is sturdy -much sturdier
than I've seen from any other hunting blind I've used before. It pops up crisp
and fast like most of the blinds do. From bag to pop up took about 90 seconds,
and 4 minutes if I include staking it down.