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SELFILMED’s Brett Bueltel – 2013 North Carolina bearded hen!

Young Hen

I made the 7 hour trip down from my Ohio home to meet up with my friends Forrest, Sarah, and Brad in North Carolina to do a little turkey hunting for a couple of days.  After every one of the SELFILMED crew (except for myself) had already tagged a turkey in NC during the first three days of the 2013 season, I was excited and thought for sure I’d be in for a good hunt.

Bearded Hen Approaches

Forrest and I woke up early and headed out to his property to get setup for the first morning.  We setup on the edge of a field with the blind tucked into the wood line with a whole flock of DSD decoys setup in front of us.  Several GoPro cameras were scattered around the decoys and within the blind to capture just about every angle we could think of.

 

View from the GoPro Hero 3 mounted to the riser with an Extreme Outdoor camera mount.
View from the GoPro Hero 3 mounted to the riser with an Extreme Outdoor camera mount.

Daybreak came and not a gobble was heard.  We saw a few birds and had a hen put on a show as she sized up the upright hen decoy.  We ended up moving to a different farm later that afternoon and again didn’t hear a bird gobble.

The next morning we made it to the property Sarah had killed her bird the opening weekend.  With thunderstorms in the forecast, we opted to set up in a big bottom field hoping the rain would bring the birds to the fields.  Sunrise came and yet again, we didn’t hear a single gobble.

Grim Reaper making impact!
Grim Reaper making impact!

Frustration was starting to set in when a little after 8:00 AM a gobbler opened up in one of the fields we had passed on the way down to the bottoms and he was hot!  We would call and he would gobble and gobble, but wouldn’t budge and eventually went quiet.

We waited for about an hour and a half before deciding to pack up all of our gear and head up towards the fields we had heard the bird gobbling earlier in the morning to set up again for the afternoon.  We setup the Double Bull Darkhorse in the edge of the wood line, setup our flock of DSD decoys (with an extra upright and feeding hen), and setup all of our 2nd angle GoPro cameras.

Bearded hen taking flight.

A couple of hours had passed and I pulled out my Dead End Game Calls Roadblock glass call and gave it a few clucks and yelps.  About 15 minutes had passed and I was playing on my phone as Forrest was fighting back the Z’s when we heard a loud cluck to our right.  We immediately snapped to attention and within seconds we see a bird with a beard pop out of the road 30 some yards away making a bee-line directly to our decoy setup.

Dead End Game Calls Roadblock glass call does the trick!
Dead End Game Calls Roadblock glass call does the trick!

Immediately thinking it was a Jake, I reached for my bow and turned on my riser mounted GoPro as the bird made it to only 12 yards away.  I drew back, settled the top pin on top of the birds drumsticks and released.  Thwack!

The bird tried to take off flying and made it just over the crest in the field out of sight, but you could see just the tips of the tail fan.  Excited to finally have my first bird of 2013 on the ground, I climbed out of the blind to retrieve my arrow and the bird.  I made it back to the blind and showed the bird to Forrest when he realized it was actually a bearded hen and not a Jake as we had thought!  In the heat of the moment, we saw the beard and snapped into kill mode.

Longbeard!
Longbeard!

In North Carolina (and many other states as well), any male or bearded turkey is legal to shoot during season.  We were able to capture the shot on 5 different camera angles, so stay tuned for the Hunt Vid to be posted on the SELFILMED website.  I may not have come back to Ohio with a set of spurs, but I had a great time with friends and was still able to come back with a longbeard!

 

Bird Stats:

  • Weight – 11 pounds, 12 ounces
  • Beard – 9.25″

 Brett’s Gear:

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NCBeardedHen

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