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Why Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Shoots PSE Bows


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“I’m often asked why I’ve decided to become a PSE Pro Staffer,’ Ronnie Strickland says. “Most people don’t know that I was a salesman in a sporting goods store, long before I ever picked up a video camera. The first PSE bow I ever got, I think was a Mach 4. I kept noticing that Pete Shepley and PSE always seemed to be ahead of the curve for new innovations in bows. Back in the old days, we would continue to make adjustments to our arrows to try and make them lighter, because the bows just didn’t have the speed that they have today. Then suddenly, PSE came out with an overdraw bow, and we could shoot arrows 23, 24 and 25 inches long. Now, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the faster the arrow is flying, the better your chances are of hitting the target, even if you’ve misjudged the distance a little bit. But, Pete Shepley figured that out and came out with that series of Mach bows with overdraws, and that’s when my love affair with PSE really started. I felt like Pete Shepley was a hunter first, and an engineer second, and the combination of being both kept Pete and PSE in front of the pack.

“I always felt like my PSE bow was like the first Dodge truck I ever bought. I got way more for my money than I expected to get. The first PSE bows I bought were steady and fast, and they held together well. I always knew I got good value for the dollars I spent for a PSE bow. I normally won’t join anybody’s pro staff or endorse products. But, I’ve been using PSE bows forever, and I know I’ll continue to use them. Blake Shelby, the marketing director for PSE, got his first job out of college working for Mossy Oak. After Blake took his job with PSE, he’d call me, and I’d do some interviews with him. Finally, one day he said, ‘Cuz, you need to be on PSE’s Pro Staff.’ I said, ‘Sign me up; I’ve already got PSE bows and I know a lot about PSE from selling their bows many years ago and from shooting their bows.’ Being a PSE Pro Staffer is a good fit for me. Right now, I’m shooting the Brute X Deer Thug Single Cam Bow, which is new, and I have the bow set on 60 pounds. This bow comes fully loaded and ready to go and will be sold exclusively at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The bow sells for less than $500 and is complete with everything but the arrows. You get a sight, a quiver, a stabilizer, a wrist sling and a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest. I really like the single cam technology of this bow. For me, living in the South, bowhunting is about how close you can get to the deer and get off a shot, not about how far I can shoot accurately. So, I set my bow up to take a deer at 20 yards or less. I really like that smooth, quiet delivery of the arrow that I get from a single cam bow.”

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


If Your Bowhunting Video Doesn’t Have Quality Sound, the Video Won’t Be as Good – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“I have a sign in each of the edit rooms here at Mossy Oak that says, ‘If it doesn’t sound good, it doesn’t look good,’” Ronnie Strickland reports. “Many times when people want to video their hunts, they’re all consumed with the idea of getting the hunter taking the shot and the animal taking the arrow. The last thing they think about is the quality of the sound. But, I believe the sound is just as important, if not more important, than the video itself. If people will be talking in the video, you’ve either got to get within 2 feet of the person talking (if you have a built in mic), or you’ll have to invest in wireless mics. Notice I said the word, “mics,” plural instead of “a mic” singular. Many people concentrate so much on video and so little on audio that they don’t produce a good bowhunting video. Imagine going to a movie in a movie theater, and the movie has a bad, irritating sound. If you’ve ever been to a movie like this, you know you’ll have a tough time listening to what’s happening, even though you can see what’s happening.

“Video cameras have gotten so good and so simple, that I think I can train a monkey to shoot one. Everything is so automatic on today’s cameras that once you get the camera set up, all you have to do is push the button to shoot the video. The only way to make sure that you get good sound on your videos is to wear a set of headphones. If you’re touching the camera, and you can hear a scuffing sound every time you touch the camera, then you can fix that problem right then. If every time your hunter moves his head, you hear a scratching sound, then you’ve got to fix your wind screen, buy a wind screen or move the mic, so that when the hunter turns his head, he doesn’t brush the head of the mic.

“We use two different types of microphones when we’re filming. One mic is called a net mic, and it’s unidirectional, which means it picks up sounds from all directions. We have a 15 foot cord for it, so we can set it out on the ground. So, that’s one channel input that’s picking up great sounds, like a turkey gobbling or a deer walking through the leaves, or ducks quacking as they’re coming in over a beaver pond. Then, we put a wireless mic on the hunter himself, so he can talk during the hunt. The cameraman wears headphones, and I’ll put one of the headphones in my ear and the other headphone above my ear to enable me to still hear all the natural sounds. I’m convinced that to get really good audio, you’ve got to have a camera that has two mic inputs, so that you can hear the hunter and the viewer can hear everything else going on around the hunter.”

Tomorrow: Why Ronnie Strickland Shoots PSE Bows

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Learn How to Hide on the Hunt – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“Another big mistake that many people often make when taping a hunt is that the cameraman may not hide as well as he should,” Ronnie Strickland explains. “Hunting with a cameraman, means twice the amount of noise and twice the amount of scent, and you’re twice as likely to spook the game as you will be if you’re hunting by yourself. This reason, is why, when we’re hunting or filming, we cover everything but the camera lens with Mossy Oak camouflage. We even cover the tripod legs, and we take extra head nets and gloves with us to be prepared if someone loses one. We always try to take a stand in the shade, which is very important, because as I’ve mentioned, the only thing we don’t have covered with Mossy Oak is our camera lens. If the sun hits that camera lens and a deer or a turkey sees the reflection of the sun on the lens, that animal will spook and get out of there. But, there’s no way to cover up the camera lens or to camouflage it.

“When I say you need to hide better, many people think about camouflage and brushing up in front of themselves. But, if you’re hunting from a tree stand, back cover is often far more important than front cover. If you’re silhouetted in a tree stand, an animal can pick you out just as easily as if you’re walking the top of a ridge with no trees in front of you or behind you. I always carry bungee cords with me, pruners and a folding saw. Many times when I get into a tree, I’ll cut brush or limbs and bungee those limbs behind me to make sure I’ve got my silhouette covered behind me. Now, sometimes I may pick a tree to put my tree stand in that doesn’t have any cover. Then I’ll cut a few bushes or limbs, tie them onto a pull up rope and pull that brush up in a tree with me. You’ve got to break up that human silhouette, and the person shooting the video camera has to be hidden as well as the shooter, if not better. So, when you look at a potential ground blind site or tree stand site to video a hunt, before you ever set up, decide what you’ll have to do to make sure the animal can’t see you and make sure you can shoot the video you want to shoot.”

Tomorrow: Ronnie Strickland Says If Your Bowhunting Video Doesn’t Have Quality Sound, the Video Won’t Be as Good

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of your Hunt – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

According to Ronnie Strickland, “One of the biggest mistakes most people make when trying to film any hunt is they don’t shoot enough footage. Everyone has gotten really good at filming the animal on impact. But, they forget to tell the story of the hunt. I want to know who the hunter is, how he got to the hunt, where the hunt is taking place, what kind of equipment he’s using, how he’s getting into his stand or blind, and all the elements of the hunt, besides just the animal taking the arrow. The least expensive part of the hunt is pushing the record button on the camera. Most people tend to turn the video camera on just before the hunt’s about to end. If you follow TV ratings, on all the TV shows on all the outdoor channels, the shows that are rated unbelievably high, are shows like “The Deadliest Catch,” “Swamp People” and other shows that tell stories of adventure. All these shows have main characters, and the shows tell stories about these people. They don’t just show crabs coming out of a crab pot or an alligator getting shot. Therefore, I feel that the number one mistake that people make when they’re trying to film their hunts is that they don’t shoot enough video to properly tell the story.

“Remember, the video camera just replaces the pen and paper that most story tellers used for writing. So, the viewer, who has replaced the reader, wants you to tell him the story of the hunt as well as show him what it is like when the animal takes the arrow. An author, when he writes a great novel or a great story, paints visual images of the story unfolding in the reader’s mind. With a video camera, you don’t have to imagine how the story unfolds, as the story progresses. You should be able to visually see that story that you once only have imagined. One of the things that great story tellers do is that they answer all the questions that readers may ask before the reader has to ask the question. Oftentimes, we assume that the viewer of a video knows what we’re talking about in the video. However, you never want the viewer to have to assume where the story is taking place, why you’re at this particular place on that particular hunting site, why you’ve chosen the tree you’re hunting from, and where on the ground you’re hunting. You don’t want them to assume that you’ve scouted the area; you want to tell them that you’ve scouted the area, why you’ve picked that particular site, and why you have reason to believe that animal is there. Remember, once you shoot the deer or the turkey, the story is pretty much over. So, whether you’re shooting video for you and your family or friends, or you’re shooting it for YouTube, your own webpage or for a TV show, shoot enough footage to tell the story.”

Tomorrow: PSE Pro Staffer Ronnie Strickland Explains You Need to Learn How to Hide

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


How to Shoot Better Hunting Videos – Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland


Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland - Senior VP of Mossy Oak

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland – Senior VP of Mossy Oak


Editor’s Note:
Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak and a member of PSE’s Pro Staff, has not only taken turkeys with a bow, but he’s filmed many other hunters taking turkeys with their bows for the Mossy Oak TV shows. Strickland is in charge of Mossy Oak Video Production and TV shows and has trained most of the Mossy Oak cameramen and producers. When you’re considering filming a bowhunt for turkey, Strickland knows all the mistakes that most people make, because he’d made those same mistakes. For 43 years, Strickland has had a camera in his hands almost every time he’s been in the woods.

“The first video camera that was ever available for sale, a buddy of mine bought, and we put camouflage on it,” Ronnie Strickland remembers. “We took that video camera out and immediately tried to film turkey hunts with it. I had filmed all of Will Primros’ first videos, starting in 1985, and that’s about when I started getting paid to film. I don’t do much filming anymore. Cameras today are much smaller, lighter and have little bitty buttons to push, unlike the old camera that I used with big buttons. Now, I have a crew of 8 guys who are filming for all the TV shows that we do here at Mossy Oak Productions. At any one time, there will be 5 cameramen on the road filming. There’s no way that one person can shoot all the videos we need. I still have a tiny, little camera that I can hold in my hand with 2 HD cards that can shoot 8 hours of footage. It also has a lot of zoom and is very small and very lightweight. The quality of this camera is outstanding. The first camera I ever had, had tubes in it. Before you could use the camera, you would have to let it warm up.

Today you can film bowhunts for turkey or deer much quicker and better, with video cameras now, than you could with the video cameras I had when I first started. Back then, a good cameraman was not only judged on his ability to shoot good video, but also on how strong he was. Counting the batteries, the camera and the tripod, a cameraman back in the 1980s might be carrying 50 pounds of gear. Not only did he have to be able to pick up that weight and carry it, but he had to take it across mountains and hills and through creeks and swamps and up rocky terrain, following a bowhunter, chasing a turkey. But, with all the improvements with video equipment, you may have to carry 5 pounds of equipment, and you may be able to put that equipment in your pocket, except for the tripod and the camera arm. Even though our equipment is so much better, lighter and easier to hunt with today, I feel that many of the same mistakes are being made that we made shooting bowhunting turkey video many years ago. In an effort to help you shoot better bowhunting videos, this week I’ll try to give you some tips that I’ve learned and taught to our videographers here at Mossy Oak Productions.”

Tomorrow: PSE Pro Staffer Ronnie Strickland Says Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of Bowhunting Turkeys with Your Video

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Ronnie Strickland Names the Stuff You Need to Take a Turkey with Your PSE Bow


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

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.

Later on in Ronnie Strickland’s career, ground blinds and decoys had been invented. He went to Ohio to film a fellow taking a turkey. Well, we’ll let Ronnie Strickland tell what happened. “This guy had one of those new-fangled ground blinds at that time that totally hid the bowhunter and the cameraman. He also had decoys, and I had my video camera. I never will forget this hunt that was more like a deer hunt than a turkey hunt. My kind of turkey hunting always had been to cut and run, get close to the turkeys and then try and trick them into coming to me by sounding like a hen who seriously wanted a date. We set that blind up, put those decoys out and waited on the side of a field. My hunter said, ‘If they don’t fly here from the roost, they’ll come here in a little while, and I’ll be able to shoot them.’ I was sitting in that blind thinking this is deer hunting, not really turkey hunting.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

“Hours went by before we finally spotted a turkey. When the turkeys finally showed-up, they made their way over to the decoys. I had a port in the blind to video out of, and he had a window where he could shoot. The turkeys came in, and the gobblers started strutting around the decoys. The hunter waited for 5 or 6 minutes, before he took the shoot. I guess he was waiting on that turkey to get in just the right position, before he released the arrow. Those turkeys never knew we were in the same world with them. My hunter had a big mechanical broadhead, and he had his bow set on 50 pounds. The hunter took the shot when the bird was 5-feet from the blind. I decided right then and there that if your goal was to take a turkey with a bow, this ground blind stuff was the way to do it – unless you wanted the ultimate challenge – taking an eastern gobbler without a blind. The hardest part of taking a turkey with a bow is being able to draw without the turkey seeing you.

PSE Brute X Deer Thug Edition Compound Bow

PSE Brute X Deer Thug Edition Compound Bow

“One of the problems that PSE has eliminated with all the company’s new bows is holding heavy poundage, while you’re waiting on a turkey to get into a place where you can get the shot. I really like my PSE Deer Thug bow. Not only is it easy to draw and most importantly quiet to draw, but it’s also easy to hold and shoots like a rocket. By using the new PSE bows, I know that bagging a gobbler with a bow and arrow is much-more efficient today than it was 35-years ago when I got bit by the hunting-turkeys-with-a-bow bug.”

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland Tells about an Outdoor Writer and His String Tracker for Turkey Hunting


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

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.

“I was taking an outdoor writer with me on a bowhunt for turkeys and planning to film him,” Ronnie Strickland remembers. “He had one of those new (at that time) string trackers. So-many turkeys were getting away from bowhunters that someone came-up with the idea of developing a string tracker. A ball of string was attached to the hunter’s bow, and the string coming from it was attached to the hunter’s arrow. Then when the hunter shot the arrow, the string came-out of its holder on the bow, and once the arrow hit the turkey, the string would go into the turkey too. Wherever that turkey went, the string would go with him. Then the bowhunter would have a trail (the string) to follow to find the turkey. This idea was considered really cool back then. Many bowhunters had the string trackers installed on their bows and really liked them, at least for a couple of years.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

“On this trip, we’d called-up several turkeys, but the toms had spotted this outdoor writer every time he’d drawn his bow. So, I kept calling and moving, trying to get my writer in a good place where he could take a turkey. Because we didn’t have blinds back then, I’d cut a bunch of mesquite bushes and carried them around with me. Then wherever we stopped, I could create a make-shift blind to break-up the silhouette of my hunter and keep the turkey from seeing him as easily. Finally, after the fourth time of setting-up to try and take a turkey with his bow, my hunter was able to get to full draw without the turkey seeing him. Because we’d been walking through a lot of brush, the string on the string tracker had tangled-up, and neither one of us noticed it. So, when my bowhunter shot, this big knot came-out with the string. The arrow went about 10 feet, stopped and fell to the ground. That turkey didn’t know what was happening, but he knew there was nothing happening that would be good for him. The gobbler left instantly. I never will forget what that outdoor writer said to me. ‘Cuz, do you think you can call him back?’ I laughed and said, ‘Yeah, I can call him back – may be next year or the year after.’ That poor outdoor writer never did get to shoot a turkey with his bow. But that’s one hunt I’ll never forget.”

Tomorrow: Ronnie Strickland Names the Stuff You Need to Take a Turkey with Your PSE Bow

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland’s Texas Gobbler with a Bow


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

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.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

“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

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Tells about His New Zealand Gobbler with His Bow


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

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.

“Toxey Haas, the creator of Mossy Oak, famed outdoor writer, Jim Casada, and I went to New Zealand to hunt turkeys,” Ronnie Strickland recalls. “I found that those turkeys over in New Zealand weren’t quite as sharp as our birds over here in America. I didn’t spend but one day taking a New Zealand gobbler. The New Zealand gobblers were very flock-oriented and gobbled a lot to a call. But they wouldn’t come-in, because they were always flocked-up. About the only way we found to take these birds was to try and determine which way the flock was going. Then we’d get ahead of the flock and find an ambush point, where we could get-off a shot when the turkeys came back. The turkeys in New Zealand didn’t have any predators – not even snakes or fire ants. So, you could crawl-around and attempt to maneuver yourself to get a shot without worrying about what was going to bite you, stick you or sting you.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

“When I spotted the turkeys, they were on top of a hill feeding in the same place where a herd of sheep were. The turkeys were moving from left to right, east to west. Once I determined the direction the flock was going, I started moving with them, out-of-sight of the birds. Finally, I came to a big mound of dirt I could hide behind, peek-over the mound and eyeball the turkeys. As the turkeys started coming by the mound, I noticed there was one big gobbler strutting in the back of the flock. When the gobbler got within 20 yards, I was able to make the draw and take him. I noticed right away that these turkeys weren’t nearly as spooky as the national-forest turkeys I’d hunted in Adams County, Mississippi.

“Once my gobbler took the arrow, he flopped, fluttered and rolled-down the hill. Back then I still could chase a gobbler after I shot him. And, on this hunt, that’s exactly what I had to do. I hadn’t brought my arrow with the fishhook on the shaft with me on this hunt. I did bring a really-big broadhead, however, and I got a complete pass-through. As that turkey rolled down the hill, I was running as hard as I could to catch up to him for about 100 yards. Luckily, I caught up to him, before he rolled-over the edge of the big mountain where he was.”

Tomorrow: PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland’s Texas Gobbler with a Bow

To learn more about PSE’s top-quality bows and hunting accessories, click here.


Back in the Day When Bowhunting for Turkeys Was Tough with PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie Strickland


Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

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.

“Back in the day, taking a turkey with a bow just flew all over me, like it did other bowhunters,” Ronnie Strickland explains. “There’s just something deep inside of you that says, ‘You’ve got to take a turkey with a bow.’ Thirty five years ago when I made the decision that my life wouldn’t be complete until I’d taken a turkey with a bow, we didn’t have all the sophisticated equipment we have today. I read something that someone wrote about Ben Rodgers Lee, the five-time World Turkey Calling Champion from Coffeeville, Alabama, about putting fish hooks on arrows to keep the arrows from going all the way through the turkey. Back then the idea was to knock the turkey down with the power of the arrow and then keep the broadhead inside the turkey to make the bird’s running-off difficult. Back then, we didn’t have portable pop-up blinds, or anything else that makes turkey hunting with a bow easier today. I found out right quick that taking a turkey with a bow wasn’t nearly as big a deal as being able to draw the bow without the turkey’s seeing you. Back then I learned a whole lot more about how well a turkey could see than I’d ever known before. I’d think the turkey wasn’t looking at me and start to draw my bow, and the gobbler instantly would vanish. To pull a bow back in the old days wasn’t an easy task. I was shooting a 75-pound bow with round wheels, and today I shoot a PSE Turkey Thug with 55 to 60 pounds that’s faster and much-more accurate than my old 75-pound bow was.

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland

“The first turkey I ever hunted with a bow was in the Homochitto National Forest near my home back then in Natchez, Mississippi. At that time, plenty of people were hunting turkeys, and I was hunting on public lands. I hunted for 2-weeks before I was finally able to take a jake with my bow. I was as proud of that jake as I would have been with a 30-pound gobbler that had a 15-inch beard and 4-inch spurs. I was hunting on a creek bank where I found two huge water oak trees that had grown together. By hiding behind those two trees, I could draw my bow and then shoot the gobbler when he walked in front of me. I think a lot about that first turkey when I’m out calling and filming for other people. Today bowhunters have these nice pop-up blinds that totally conceal the hunter and the cameraman, they’ve got attractive decoys, they can draw whenever they want to, and the turkey’s not going to see them. Everything changes for the better. But after I’d taken three turkeys with my bow, with no blind and no decoys, I felt like I’d had enough of that. I didn’t have to do it again, because I’d already done it.”

Tomorrow: PSE’s Pro Staff Member Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland Tells about His New Zealand Gobbler with His Bow

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