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Discussion in 'Turkey Hunters Forum' started by bill cooksey, Apr 29, 2016.
Well thought out - there's always a way!
I've done it more than once when it was very hot and I was a long way from the truck. Also done it when hunting with a partner and no way to know how long before we'd call it a day. I knew a few part-time turkey poachers back when I first started out, and they carried gallon zip-locs for that very purpose. Of course, fully dressing a bird in the field might or might not be legal in a given state, so I'd suggest checking regs before doing it.
2 box calls
scratch box with strikers
Thermacell (if there are bugs)
Handi-tool with knife
3 extra shells
5-7 lbs of toilet paper and handi-wipes (I had an incident occur which I would rather not discuss).
For my morning set-up, I might add 2 decoys and a shooting stick (which I generally leave at the car If I am going to run & gun).
I would say I am in line with the average guy, being 10-12 lbs for my vest, and another 8-10 lbs with decoys...
My weight didn't include binos since mine stay hung around my neck, but I'd guess mine would add a half pound to the weight. Instead of TP, I carry 3-4 paper towels in the left thigh pocket of my pants. My vest is always a few feet away when I need the paper.
I'm assuming your NOT gunning and running
In my 20 some odd years of turkey hunting in northeast Indiana I've never had a piece of private ground that I could "run and gun" on. Most everyone I know here has the same general type of ground, a 60ish acre chunk of ground that is 90%+ ag field. We just don't have the large timber or rolling terrain to support run and gun hunting. You pretty much have to pick a spot and setup. I've got an awesome farm that is right at 100 acres (huge by most hunters standards here) and then ground that I own that is 78 acres. The 100 acre chunk has 5 acres total of timber. Mine has 12 acres total of timber. Both are bordered by other small timber chunks that are broken up by ag fields. I have small 30-40 acre spots as well that have virtually no timber. I've never had a timber spot to hunt in this part of the state. There is literally no place to run and gun. You either sit your butt against a tree and hope that you are in right area, or take a blind and set up in a place that gives your decoys visibility. So I pack in a ton of stuff and just sit for the duration. It is not for everyone, but it is pretty much the way you have to hunt it. Most of my buddies have resorted to hunting this way as well.
Hat's off to you for making the best of what you have there. Don't think I could do it.
Well, if you are up for it, there is a ton of public timber here to run-n-gun on. Heck, everybody else does it.
I've been walked up on by other hunters more times than I can remember, usually in the morning when a hot gobbler is in front of me.
I generally carry all my gear in a large, quality duck decoy bag with nice belt/strap system. Most of my hunting area is 75% ag fields and 25% small woodlots. Most if my sets are on farm field edges therefore I use decoys and a tent most times. I don't leave tent setup as I never know where my next hunt will be. So I generally carry 1-3 decoys, small chair, tent, and gear bag. Here is my bag and about 23lbs of extra weight I carried out this morning
There are a couple public ground areas here that you can run and gun on. You have to enter a drawing to hunt them. Years ago I got drawn for one of them late in the season and still had a tag in my pocket, so I went. I went in with vest, shotgun, and one hen foamy deke. 2 hours into the hunt, I punched a tom that I kept leap frogging to get out in front of and I never even pulled the hen decoy out of my vest. It was actually a fun hunt and probably my favorite gun kill bird ever. I'd never stepped foot on the property before that morning and just went to a section that a buddy said "I see birds in that area so it might be worth a try." It was definitely a cool way to hunt them. There just are not many opportunities for that type of hunting here.