Editor’s Note: Jeff Propst of northeast Missouri has been shooting a PSE bow since 2008. He was a factory rep for another bow manufacturer for many years. Propst recalls that after he left his previous archery provider, “A very, very close friend of mine, Mark Drury, suggested I try PSE bows. So, I got a PSE X-Force, started shooting it and fell in love with the bow.” Today, Propst shoots the PSE Dream Season DNA and prefers PSE bows, because they’re smooth, quiet, fast and accurate. He says, “With my bow, I’ve taken elk, whitetails, moose and turkeys.”
PSE’s Jeff Propst Takes a Spring Turkey with His Bow
Sometimes, food-plot preparation is the best scouting you can do, as I learned a few years ago. In Missouri, I was doing some pre-food plot work, checking to determine whether there was enough moisture in the soil to germinate seeds if we planted them. I looked-up from checking the dirt, and across the hollow was a big, cut soybean field from the previous year. A pair of gobblers were strutting their stuff for the invisible hens in the area. There was a little island of brush right in the middle of the soybean field. I quickly realized that brush created a perfect place to set-up a ground blind. Abandoning my soil-study project, I left the region to make a plan for the next day. That evening, I was pretty certain that the gobblers were going to fly-up and roost close to the field. I decided to set-up my blind and decoys early in the morning on that patch of brush.
By the time the sun rose the next day, I was hidden in my Ameristep Dream Season ground blind, watching a pair of faux turkeys, one Flambeau Master Series King Strut and a single hen decoy. At daylight, turkeys started gobbling close to my blind. I waited until the gobblers flew out of the tree and were on the ground before I started calling. The turkeys answered back and walked toward me. There was a little ridge between the turkeys and me, which meant I could see their tail feathers, but they couldn’t see my decoys. The turkeys made their way slowly around the ridge. Finally, I could see them – two gobblers following a hen. I watched the turkeys walk off to my right and out of sight. After just 30 minutes, the birds returned to the soybean field. This time, the turkeys came up to the crown of the little ridge of the field and finally saw my decoys. As soon as they spotted those decoys, they started heading right for me.
The show began. Handsome gobblers strutted in front of the gobbler decoy, as jealous hens ran around and around the hen decoy. I enjoyed their dance for a few moments before I picked the gobbler I wanted to take. A big tom was strutting straight toward me. I aimed a little bit to the left of his beard and somewhat low, below where the beard came out of the turkey’s chest. My Rage broadhead (http://www.ragebroadheads.com/) traveled all the way through him, coming out his neck. The gobbler took off running and disappeared behind that little ridge in the middle of the field. I waited a few minutes, walked over the ridge, nodded in the direction of the food plot that had started it all and retrieved my turkey.
PSE’s Jeff Propst Relives His and His Son’s Bowhunting Success in Iowa
Amazingly one instant can change an entire season of hard, unfruitful hunting. No one knows this better than my son, Chris, and me. Iowa’s deer population hadn’t been the most accommodating one year for Chris or myself. We’d been hunting hard with absolutely nothing to show for it. We had come up before the season, scouted the property that belongs to a friend of mine and put in some food plots. I’d hunted this land since 1994, so I knew the caliber of bucks there. But none seemed to want to play. To add to our frustration, we had seen a lot of big bucks and had several “almost” opportunities. However, we just couldn’t connect with a big buck. We’d been hunting at the peak of the rut, a time when the bucks should have been out in full-force, but they weren’t. Our buck sightings had steeply declined. The only reason we could come up with was that most bucks must already have found a doe to stay with for 2 or 3 days.
At about 10:30 am, I spotted a buck working a scrape about 150-yards away on the edge of a creek. As he was about to move, I grunted to him. I knew he heard the grunt call, because he lifted his head and turned in our direction. When the buck looked away, I soft grunted to him again, and he started walking to us. Since he was on the opposite side of the creek from our stands, he had to go down one side of the creek and up the other side to get to us. When the buck was out of sight, I stood-up, while Chris got the camera ready. As silently as possible, I retrieved my PSE bow from the hanger, clipped my mechanical release onto the string and waited on the buck that was still advancing our way.
When the buck was within 20 yards, he put his nose to the ground, attempting to pick-up the scent of the deer that had been calling to him. Not picking-up any scent, the buck immediately turned and walked straight away in the opposite direction. When he got about 30-yards from our tree, I played a soft grunt with my voice. The confused buck swung around and started walking straight back to us. Finally, when the buck went broadside, I came to full throttle with my PSE Dream Season X-Force (http://pse-archery.com/c/compound-bow), released the arrow and saw the Rage broadhead (www.ragebroadheads.com) go right behind the shoulder to double-lung the deer. The buck fell at 35 yards. When we found him, he was much larger than we expected – scoring 152 points. After the hunt was successfully completed, Chris and I both released a sigh of relief. We had hunted so hard. We had seen a large number of shooter bucks but just couldn’t get one within bow range. If you’ve ever had a season like that, you understand that feeling of joy and release that accompanies the conclusion of a hard hunt when you’ve finally taken a nice buck.
Our bowhunts started as two guys, a father and a son, with a camera and a bow. Now, we’re on television. Chris and I won the Dream Season hunt in 2008; we were “Team Missouri” at that time. We really enjoy bowhunting but we really treasure hunting together. I’m a very-lucky dad. Not only do I get to spend time hunting with my son, but it’s a shared passion, a shared love of the outdoors. And each year, we’re both like children on Christmas morning, waiting to see what Santa Claus will bring us that deer season.
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