PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland’s Texas Gobbler with a Bow
Editor’s Note: Ronnie Strickland, known to most people in the outdoor industry as “Cuz,” is the senior vice president of Mossy Oak, and was one of the first outdoor videographers. Strickland enjoyed shooting tournament archery and also was an avid turkey and deer hunter. When Strickland first started hunting turkeys with a bow, the turkey decoy hadn’t been invented, portable blinds hadn’t come on the outdoor scene yet, and very-little information was available about turkey hunting with a bow. This week Strickland tells us about the first three turkeys he ever took with his bow.
According to Ronnie Strickland, “Twenty five years ago, not very-many people called or hunted Rio Grande turkeys. Often we at Mossy Oak would take customers, writers and friends out to Texas, because taking turkeys in Texas at that time was much easier than taking turkeys in Mississippi, my home state, and where Mossy Oak’s Headquarters was and still is located. Since the turkey hunting was easier in Texas, I made the decision to try and take one of those gobblers with my bow. By this time someone had made a fold-out blind that you could attach to your bow. It had a hole for the arrow to go through and another hole to enable you to see your sight. We’d planned to hunt for a couple of weeks. That way we could take one group of hunters to the airport, take a day off to clean-up the camp, get ready for the next group of hunters and then bring-in the second group. On that off-day, I decided to try and take a turkey with my bow. Besides, I’d just purchased my first expandable broadhead. I don’t remember the name of the company that made them back then, but I was excited about trying that broadhead out on this turkey.
“If you’ve ever hunted in Texas, you know you can see for a long way, much further than I could see in Mississippi. So, I watched this bird come-in from a long ways off. When the turkey wasn’t looking, I made my draw behind that little portable blind on the front of my bow. I made the shot when the turkey had his back to me, and I shot him in the middle of the back between the wings. The turkey never saw me. When the arrow hit the bird, he went down quickly. I didn’t have to chase him nearly as far as I did the New Zealand turkey. After taking that Rio Grande gobbler, I decided that I’d taken three turkeys with my bow, and that was all the turkeys I needed to take with my bow.
“Many outdoorsmen want to take deer with their bows. Next they want to take numbers of deer with their bows. Then they want to take big deer with their bows, and next bucks bigger than any bucks they’ve ever taken with their bows. At some point they’ll ask, ‘Okay, what’s next?’ For me, taking a turkey with a bow was a big challenge. I’d never done it before, and I didn’t know if I could. But after taking that third tom, a Rio Grande, I said to myself, ‘Okay, Cuz. You’ve taken three gobblers with your bow – an eastern, a New Zealand and a Rio Grande. That’s all you really need to take to know that you can do it.”
PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland Tells about an Outdoor Writer and His String Tracker for Turkey Hunting
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