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.
“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.