Brooding for Bear And Talkin’ Turkey

April is just around the bend and thoughts have been burning toward  Spring Hunts these days… and all the hunting magazines help fan the flame with big Toms and Bruins gracing their covers. As I poured over the latest tips and techniques in the Outdoor Life I realized I’d better get my equipment out and go over the things I felt needed tweaked or fixed from last year. So often I get all my archery tackle ready but forget about the decoys and hunting blinds, and find myself fighting some defects that have occurred from the last time they were used.

I’m still trying to figure out a good system for the windows on the blind. Velcro really drives me crazy! No matter how hard you try to quietly RRRIIIPPPP velcro,  it  is what it is!









I have never trusted the shoot through screens so we usually have to do some adjusting to the windows and the noise this creates makes me more than cringe. I’m thinking this might be the year to be more trusting and try shooting through the screens. I would love to hear from anyone who has had experience with shooting through the “shoot through” screens on their hunting blind…

My dad’s 2013 Turkey









Last year was the first year I tried hunting with decoys I had doctored up with the wing and tail  feathers from turkey shot the previous year. I feel it did make the decoys more effective, but there were problems with the method I used to attach the wings and tail, so I’m thinking these will need some overhauling also… again if anyone has a neat trick for attaching wing and tail feathers let me know!


My regrets over last spring bear season were that I never got out once for a hunt, and really would like to remedy that this Spring. I usually put in for a draw unit and if I don’t draw the tag, I don’t go bear hunting… but this past elk hunting season I saw more bear than I’ve ever seen in previous years, and during my spring turkey hunt I had a mama bear with one little cub come within 30 yards of my blind… this got me pumped up to get a bear tag this spring. This year I think I’ll just hunt a general bear unit.

Mama & baby bear 5Mama Bear






Mama bear swam across the river leaving baby on my side bawling! Mama and baby carried on for 40 minutes before baby finally crossed the river to mama!… very nerve racking as all I had was a flimsy blind and a bow if mama decided I was a threat…











Mama and two cubs we saw while elk hunting in September










Our son Todd had a great spot and stalk hunt last year in a general bear unit, taking a awesome boar that was much bigger than  your typical Idaho black bear


Bring on the Spring hunts!… and good luck to y’all in the 2014 hunting season!



13 Responses to “Brooding for Bear And Talkin’ Turkey”

  1. Phillip on February 13th, 2014 12:22 pm

    I am not the world expert on bowhunting, but in my limited experience (with my own blinds), I have had really bad luck with the shoot-through screens. Even at 20 yards, I’m seeing deflections. At 40 yards (admittedly, a long shot), it’s enough to miss the whole target.

    I’ve quit using the shoot-through, and now I just leave the window open when I’m hunting. If you sit back, wear camo or dark colors, and be a little still, you’re pretty much out of sight of most critters… even sharp-eyed turkeys.

  2. Suzee on February 18th, 2014 10:52 pm

    Phillip… Sorry I have taken so long to respond to your comment… We were gone for several days and I didn’t have access to a computer. Thanks for sharing your experiences with shooting through screens…as you mentioned I also have had pretty good results with sitting back and wearing black when turkey hunting in a blind with the windows screens open. Turkey don’t seem to be bothered by the”black hole”. But I’ve wondered how many Whitetail deer have been spooked by the black hole a blind window leaves when it isn’t screened. I read an article in Outdoor Life that mentioned Whitetail deer don’t like the glaring black hole that an unscreened blind window leaves… just wondered if you’ve found this to be the case when you’ve hunted whitetail from a blind?
    I also read that mechanical blades don’t work at all if you try to shoot them through the screen. I wonder if chisel points would also be more likely to deflect. I use a fixed blade broadhead with no chisel point… so wonder if they might work. I guess to really know I’ll just have to practice shooting through the screen!
    You also brought out a good point that longer distance shots would be affected even more if the arrow is deflected at all.
    Thanks for your input… as always it is helpful!

  3. Phillip on February 27th, 2014 3:02 pm

    No problem, Sue. We’re all pretty busy.

    As far as whitetails and “the black hole”, I have found that if I leave the blind set up for a few days, the deer here don’t pay much attention. I’ve had them walk right by at stabbing range without a second look. But I think deer everywhere are a little different, and if you’re hunting public land it’s probably not a great idea to set a blind and leave it for more than a day or so.

    I shoot Slick Trick broadheads, fixed blade and chisel point. I only tried a few (less than 10) shots and even at 20 yards I was seeing some deflection. Anything less than dead on is too much for me, so I just eliminated the screen. Your mileage may vary. I’ve got friends who swear by the shoot-through screen…

  4. Suzee on March 2nd, 2014 8:45 pm

    Thanks Phillip… I always value your input from your own personal experiences! It’s very interesting to me that in your experiences the deer have paid no mind to the blind… there’s nothing like seeing it first hand! I wish I could say I’ve observed the reaction of deer to the blind in the area where we hunt… but that’s just the problem…. As of yet we haven’t seen any deer… I don’t know if they are seeing us before we see them. It is so thick in trees and brush where we hunt that we only have a narrow window that extends out about 80 yards long by maybe 20 yards wide. I would question whether there are any deer in that area, but we’ve seen plenty of evidence that they pass through there and when still hunting that area we’ve had them come running in, so fast we didn’t have time to react! It seemed like an ideal place to set up a blind for my 84 year old Dad so he could get an opportunity… but after sitting a total of over 100 hours in this spot the past two years we’ve yet to see a deer… so in my mind i guess I have begun to question if the deer are scared away by the blind.
    I appreciate your feeling that any deflection in arrow flight is not worth the risk… I am thinking i will continue to be one of those skeptics about shooting through screens!

  5. Scott on March 10th, 2014 5:24 pm

    It was cold over the weekend but almost 70 degrees today! It’s that time of the year for the grass to start getting green, the crappie to start biting, and most importantly THE TURKEYS TO START GOBBLING.

    I have hunted turkeys for years but this will be my first with a bow and I am a little leery about the shoot through screens.

  6. Suzee on March 12th, 2014 9:39 pm

    Good to hear from you Scott!… wish you the best with your turkey hunts this spring! I’ve been trying to arrow a turkey for three years now… came close last year…shot too low both opportunities and missed. The more I think about shooting through the screens, I don’t think I’ll try it.

  7. Peter on April 22nd, 2014 6:30 am

    Beautiful turkey! I can imagine that being so close to the cub with no real effective weapons must have been a scary experience.

  8. Dan on April 27th, 2014 1:11 pm

    Glad that mama bear didn’t attack you, would be pity to see orphaned cubs

  9. Robert Jenkins on May 11th, 2014 11:10 pm

    Yeah seems that it was almost a close encounter with “mama bear”. Have you ever had other such close encounters before?

    I hear black bears can run as fast as 25 miles per hour, is this true?

  10. Jason on May 15th, 2014 5:18 pm

    I’ve had a similar experience near my house in NW Florida. Didn’t even know we had bears as we live 500 yards from the beach. Surprised a mamma bear and her cub getting into the trash. I was faster to the door thankfully.

  11. Billy on May 19th, 2014 2:12 pm

    Glad everything turned out okay with mama bear. I always have bear spray on me, but thank goodness I’ve never had to use it.

  12. Suzee on May 19th, 2014 9:57 pm

    Appreciate all the recent comments… I’ve been away from the computer for a while so didn’t see them until now!
    Jason, I can imagine what a shock it would be to see a bear so close to the beach in Florida! … and Billy, I always carry bear spray with me after this experience!

  13. Jess | Aoudad Sheep Hunting on July 11th, 2014 8:57 pm

    Very interesting article! I also enjoyed reading the comments. You will never really grow tired of hearing the experiences of people who share your interest.

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