Sunday, May 23, 2010

Media Event

I recently returned from a pretty cool trip to Oregon. First stop was the Chevalier home office in Lake Oswego. It sunny and 70 degrees as usual. I no longer believe all that "it rains in Oregon all the time" crap.

Next stop was a bow geeks delight. A media event on behalf of Nikon Sport Optics at the Bowtech Archery plant in Eugene. First off, we toured the manufacturing side of things and their fully stocked pro shop, then I gave the media a run down on the latest cool products from Nikon.

Next, following a quick lunch, I tagged along as Mark Melotik from Archery Business and Bowhunting World magazines built his own Bowtech Destroyer. And he was heading out in the next couple of days to try and take an Oregon turkey with it. It was a great event made even cooler for the writers who got to assembly their own bows.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I haven’t blogged in a long time. There is a good reason behind my procrastination. I wanted to keep my pride. However, as a bowhunter there is no such thing as pride.

I missed a turkey with my bow….four times.

There I said it.

It all started on a cold and rainy morning in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There were three of us in a Double Bull ground blind. On a normal day, this would be the Cadillac of ground blinds, complete with room to stretch out and relax. Let’s do the quick math: three people, two bows and one blind. They say two is company and three is a crowd, and I will have to agree with that.

So there sat myself, Kelly (Chevalier’s Media Buyer) and our guide in extremely close quarters. Since we weren’t strangers, Kelly and I had no problem snuggling up to one another, but I think our guide was erring on the side of caution. He was probably thinking, “What the heck did I get myself into?”

The gobblers were talking on this wet and soggy morning. We decided that whoever had the best shot opportunity would take it. With the morning excitement we played turkey twister as we opened blind windows, moved bodies and at one point Kelly ended up drawing on a turkey with my bow and her arrow knocked.

With no shot, there was a calm after the turkey twister storm. When out of nowhere I could hear a tom drumming. It was foggy and I couldn’t see him, but I knew he was coming. Like a ghost, he appeared 40 yards in front of me. We coaxed him in at about 25 yards. I calmed myself, placed my 20-yard pin on him and let my arrow fly. THWACK!

He puffed up, tumbled and ran away. SWEET! My first turkey EVER! Kelly and I high-fived while our guide went to check for a blood trail. That excitement was short lived as I watched him pull my arrow (actually it was Kelly’s) out of the tree that was directly behind the Tom. Dang it.

On the last evening, the three of us were packed like sardines in the blind, but at this point our guide got comfortable with us in close quarters. We sat up on a ledge that overlooked Sturgis. It was a nice warm gorgeous evening and we were ready for some action!

Not long we had several toms strutting, spitting and drumming for us. Two toms came into our decoy set up. They both were standing at 20 yards, not a care in the world. Focused, I set my 20-yard pin and let an arrow fly.


Shaken up I looked at my guide, “What do I do?” He silently handed me another arrow. Barely able to sit still, I knocked my arrow, told myself to relax and shot again.

Nothing. Well, crap.

He handed me another arrow. “Take your time,” he said. I drew back and focused. Never have I gone from excited to nervous to pissed off in less than two minutes. I settled my pin and released.


I signaled for another arrow. I hope I never hear these words from my guide again, “You are out of arrows.”

Remember the MBBA (Muddy Broadhead Bowhunter Association)? You are looking at the 2010 President.If you are ever at the Turkey Track Club in the Black Hills of South Dakota, look at the camp log. It has every hunter listed from the past 30 years or so with their camp notes. You will see mine on the 2010 log: Shannon Salyer – Miss 4x-Bow