First ever turking hunt this spring...Excited...

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunters Forum' started by Easterncanadafowler, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Easterncanadafowler

    Easterncanadafowler Senior Refuge Member

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    I have Never hunted turkeys and know nothing about it.There seems to be several around my buddies area in Maine and ive seen them and so i got my permit to take my shotgun down there .I live 6 hrs away and in Canada and we have no turkey hunting yet.I plan to go down this spring the day before I hunt and do what I can to see if i can bag one.

    What tips can you give a first timer.I shoot a 3.5 extrema 12 gauge.
     
  2. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    Will you be hunting public or private land?
     
  3. Easterncanadafowler

    Easterncanadafowler Senior Refuge Member

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    Private , near a field bordered by woods and it is fairly hilly and many lakes in that area. My buddy's dad hunts big game but is getting me permission to hunt turkeys on someone property, Neithe of my friends down there hunt Turkeys.I am going at it cold and no time to scout or pattern the birds like i would waterfowl.Whole new deal for me and i'm 54 yo
     
  4. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Don't over-call and don't move. An old tom's eyesight is so good, he can see what you're thinking, and into the future. You'd do better on private land. Bring a jake decoy, whether you use it or not, bring one. And don't go stomping around the woods behind a turkey fan thinking you're a damn turkey whisperer, especially on public land. A slate or box call will be your most forgiving friend. I prefer a slate if using hand operated calls. Purrs and clucks are your friend. Just like high-ball calling for ducks is over-used, so are long, strung out kee-kee runs. Old toms know that game, and it's tough to beat them at it. Patience kills a whole bunch of turkeys.
     
  5. Easterncanadafowler

    Easterncanadafowler Senior Refuge Member

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    How and what do you scout for ??
     
  6. stevena198301

    stevena198301 Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Well, if I were to go in blind, the first morning, going off what you have said of the terrain, I'd get in a field near one of those hills QUIETLY. More than likely, there is a bird, or birds, roosted on the hillside, overlooking the field. Usually half to 3/4 ways up. I'd set up 10 yards in the woodline, and listen. Don't call. Don't move. Just listen. When that magic time comes, you're listening for the birds to wake up. Yelps, clucks, gobbles (oh, the magical sound of a spring gobble). They make all these noises on the tree. After good daylight, if there is a tom and hens there, they will typically fly down close to that field, and he'll do his, um, business with them. If you're lucky enough to have strategically placed yourself in his path, it'll be easy pickings when he walks by. If not, don't freak out. Once he's finished with the ladies, he can be coaxed back to you with some soft calling. If he won't come, but is responding to you (gobbling/drumming), calling more aggressively can work sometimes. But sometimes, birds just hang up outside of range and won't get closer, no matter what. That's why they call it hunting. If you find yourself in that scenario, come back the next morning, and set up where you can get a shot at him from where he stood yesterday, and stay quiet. Chances are, that's his hill, and he will be back tomorrow, if you don't spook him. When you are turkey hunting, you are doing the exact opposite if how it's naturally done... In nature, a turkey gobbles, and the ladies come running. In hunting, you're trying to get a male turkey, who's used to having the ladies come to him, get mad/curious/horny enough to come looking for you. On a side note, if you have a dominate bird in the field who won't come to you, but is vocalizing back and forth with you, keep an eye out for another tom to come strolling along from behind you. He'll be a satellite gobbler. A tom that stays near the dominate tom, but has had his azz beat too many times to try and coax that hen to him. He'll sneak in all quiet, and try and get a piece.

    Now, with all that being said (and not answering your question on how to scout for them), scouting for them, for me, means looking for scat (male turkey scat and female turkey scat look different enough for even a novice to know the difference), looking for places they have been kicking over leaves/ground for food, and looking for dusting spots (turkey "bathe" by dusting off in a dry patch of dirt, causing a dust cloud). Look for a bare "bowl" spot on the ground with lots of fresh dust. This may not be so big that far up north. I don't know if they get lice and the sort up there, with the cold. That's all "turkey sign". Terrain is key as well. Turkey like to stay concealed. They are near bottom of the food chain. They will use ridges a lot though. Especially for strut zones.

    Turkey are a master of stealth in the woods, to be such a big dumb bird. But there are more turkey hanging out in the woods than in the fields here most times.
     
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  7. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

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    Unless you are rich, single and have unlimited vacation time, don't go. Did I mention single?
     
  8. SB2MAG

    SB2MAG Elite Refuge Member

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    Can we get some more details about the hunt. Dates, how many days, which State, your equipment, are you going to use decoys?

    Are you planning to wait for a giant Tom (if it doesn’t have at least a 10” beard it’s not worth it) to walk into your decoys and beat the decoys before you shoot like the retards on TV or the first legal turkey?

    Personally, I always shoot the first legal turkey. I’ve shot well over 200 turkeys and each one is a trophy to me. I’d rather eat them then worry about the size of the spurs or beard.

    I like size 4s for spring hunting and pattern my gun at fifty yards.

    Personally I scout and then scout some more. Figure out where they roost, feed, travel and loaf then plan accordingly. Plus don’t be afraid to hunt all day. I’ve called in/shot turkey from 1 min after shooting time started to 1 min before sunset and at all hours in between. I like to scout. Then sit and read a book all day if I have a good spot.
     
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  9. rambo7

    rambo7 New Member

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    I've hunted turkeys in a few different states. Some states you can hunt all day. In Illinois we can only hunt till 1:00. Make sure you know your hunting hours. If you get to you hunting spot early enough you can listen to hear any gobbles right before dark. It will at least give you a starting point. Also, just because you don't hear a gobble don't mean a bird is not around. Like others have said turkeys having amazing eyesight. Patience is the key MOST times.
     
  10. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    1. Calling. Learn to make a yelp for private land birds it’s all you really need. I prefer a mouth call (diaphragm call) as you don’t need to move to make any sounds. Volume can be controlled by opening or closing your mouth.

    2. Full camo head, face, hands.

    3. Try to roost a bird the night before. In fact, consistently roosting birds every night is a key to good results. If you can get an idea of a tree the bird is in it will allow you to sneak in the following morning in the dark and try to get within 200 yards of the roosted bird. This increases the chances the bird will come to you first. Sit up against a tree that is wider than your shoulders. It will keep a bird for being able to outline you.

    4. Don’t call too much. (What the heck does that mean?) Don’t call until after you have heard a roosted bird gobble a few times. Then make some yelps (like just three ‘Yelp,Yelp, Yelp’, stop. If the bird gobbles in response, don’t call again until he has gobbled 3-5 more times. If a bird doesn’t respond to your first three yelps, wait 5-10 minutes then do three more yelps. Repeat this until you get a gobble. Then only Yelp based upon the number of gobbles.

    Once the gobbles start getting closer. Stop calling. Never call again.

    5. Don’t over call.

    6. Don’t over call.

    7. After bird starts getting closer to you by sound of gobbles, put your call away.

    8. Don’t over call.

    9. Sweet Jesus, don’t over call.
     

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