April 27: Sergeant Major First Class (ret) Joe Haynes

As told by Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

SITUATION: 28 April 2010, Kentucky, Clear, 37 degrees

Seek-out and harvest a Longbeard with archery tackle during the Kentucky season without being detected and without mission failure but when the shot doesn’t present itself, pull out the smoke pole!

With the days clicking off to the end of turkey season the birds tend to want to hang up or not respond well to decoys so it was time to bring out the equalizer, the Smoke Pole! Joe and I set out to harvest his second bird with archery tackle on a very crisp, cold, clear Kentucky morning. The gobblers were right were we had left them the night before and ripping off with every little sound that was made…you’ve gotta love those cool, crisp mornings!

It wasn’t long before the first tom pitched out and landed at 75 yards from our ambush site immediately going into semi-strut and walking ever so slowly into the kill sack. Another tom pitched in right behind him and we knew that the opportunity was just about to present itself. Closing the distance the weary birds started to move off to the flanks and out of effective bow range so the decision was made to change weapon systems and pick up the smoke pole.

Joe moved slowly; however the lead gobbler caught his movement and the jig was up. It was now or never so Joe drew a tight bead on the retreating gobbler and dropped him at 49 yards. Wow, what a shot!

Mission complete!
Until next time… waiting for helicopter extraction and follow-on orders.