Author’s note: Bill Epeards of Goshen, Ohio, has traveled the world and taken some legendary animals on some unbelievable hunts. A member of the PSE and Mossy Oak Pro Staffs, he works with Jimmy Houston Outdoors and is a member of a world champion archery target team. “I shot competition archery for a lot of years, but I got away from it,” Epeards reports. “Then I got with some other older fellows, and today we shoot the senior class of the Bowhunter Division of the IBO. We won the national championship for two consecutive years – 2008 and 2009 – came in second in 2010 and won 2011 and 2012.” Epeards also guides and hunts in the United States. This week Epeards shares with us some of his most-memorable bow hunts.
Question: Bill, who were you hunting with in Oklahoma?
Epeards: We were hunting out of Buffalo Creek Lodge that has property of over 6,000 acres in Oklahoma and Texas. On the first day of the hunt, I had my wife Shauna with me, and I was calling turkeys for her with a Quaker Boy Old Boss Hen and World Champ, which are diaphragm turkey calls. I was also filming the hunt. She killed her Rio Grande gobbler and finished her Grand Slam of turkeys with the bow. We were hunting from a tent-style blind, and the turkey came within 27 yards. Shauna shoots the PSE X-Force Axe 6, which has a short draw length and a lot of speed. It has great accuracy, and she really likes shooting this bow. She shoots about 43 pounds of draw weight and a Trophy Ridge Rocket broadhead. When the bird came within 27 yards, she drew, aimed and hit the bird right by his wing, once she released the arrow. The shot broke the bird down immediately. This Rio gobbler weighed 20 pounds and had 1-1/2-inch spurs.
The following day, I went out to take my turkey, and we put a Dave Smith turkey decoy out in front of my hub-style blind. These decoys are phenomenal and look almost like stuffed birds. We got footage of gobblers coming-in and mounting this decoy. On this particular hunt, a jake came-in and mounted the decoy, and a longbeard came in to the decoy and ran-off the jake. After he’d run-off the jake, he went into a full strut and presented the shot. I shot my PSE X-Force Axe 6 with a Trophy Ridge Rocket broadhead and released the arrow when the gobbler was at 26 yards. Once the tom took the arrow, he only ran about 30 yards and then fell-over dead. I really enjoy hunting turkeys with a bow, and if you’ve got a really good decoy, a little calling expertise and a tent-type blind, bagging that longbeard isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think it will be.
Learn bowhunting strategies in the new Kindle eBooks, “Jim Crumley’s Secrets of Bowhunting Deer” and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” by John E. Phillips. Go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the books, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Click here to check out John Phillips’ article archives, including more stories from Bill Epeards coming later this week.
Images courtesy John Phillips