Editor’s Note: We all want to learn how, where and when to take big deer with our bows, but bowhunting is more than just harvesting animals. Some of the greatest memories I’ve ever made have been while bowhunting with family and friends and remembering the crazy things that have happened then. Knowing how much time Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors spends bowhunting and working to improve habitat and food for deer, I felt confident he’d seen and participated in some of the funniest hunts ever. I asked Mark – who probably bleeds Mossy Oak – to tell us about some of his funniest bowhunts. Mark and his brother Terry Drury produce the TV shows “Wildlife Obsession,” “Dream Season,” “Bow Madness” and “Natural Born.”
Besides hunting deer and other big game animals with our bows, we also hunt turkeys with bows and shotguns. On this particular hunt, we had a world-renowned outdoor writer with us who is one of the greatest people in the world to hunt with and a real gentleman. We’ll give him a fictitious name and call him Bill to protect the guilty. Bill has one trait that makes him special and unique. He feels called by God to blow his homemade wingbone turkey call every time anyone else tries to call a turkey. That wingbone call really irritates me.
My friend Steve Stoltz and I were taking Bill on a turkey hunt, with Steve filming and me guiding. We couldn’t get a turkey to gobble, so we were using a technique known as cutting and running. If we didn’t hear a gobble within 5 to 10 minutes of calling, we’d move on to another spot and try again. Steve Stoltz is a World Champion turkey caller, and I also have won that. Steve would call first, and then I would use a different calling sequence to try and make a turkey gobble. After Steve and I both had called, Bill would pull out that wingbone and try to demonstrate he could call a turkey, even after Steve and I had failed to call in a bird. This happened at the first three or four places where we tried to locate a turkey.
Bill had a certain routine. When Steve and I called, he cupped his hands around his ears to try and hear a turkey gobble. Once Steve and I stopped calling, Bill paused like a baseball pitcher would before he’d throw and deliver the ball to the catcher. Bill would do hand positions and elbow cocks to get ready to blow the wingbone call three times before actually blowing the call. Once I recognized the windup Bill was making before blowing the wingbone call, I winked at Steve Stoltz. At the next stop, after Steve and I finished calling, Bill started his windup. Just as he brought that wingbone call to his mouth, I started calling softly and smiled at Steve. Bill had his back to us, so he couldn’t see what was happening. When Bill heard me calling softly, he put his wingbone down, cupped his ears with his hands and listened for a turkey to gobble. After about 30 seconds of listening, he picked up his wingbone call and started his windup sequence again. Just about the time he brought that wingbone to his mouth, Steve called softly. Again Bill put his wingbone down and cupped his hands to his ears to listen for a gobble. When he reached down to take out his wingbone once more, I announced, “Let’s go. There’s not a turkey here.” We returned to our truck and moved to another calling location. Then we went through the same routine of calling each time Bill picked up that wingbone call and prevented Bill from calling at every stop we made.
Finally, Bill got so mad that he turned to both of us and said, “Would you two let me call just one time?” Steve and I just broke out into the biggest laugh, and then Bill did too. He finally realized what we were doing. Steve and I had prevented him from calling for about an hour or two. But he was such a gentleman he wouldn’t say anything to us about calling when he was preparing to call, until he finally reached his breaking point. All three of us still laugh together, remembering that hunt.