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I've Never Seen A Turkey


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#1 Honky Cat

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:45 PM

Seriously, I've seen them crossing the road when I'm driving or in a field. But, I have never seen a turkey in the woods. I don't have the first idea of where to go or what to do. Apparently they make themselves scarce around people and I have heard that they are hard to hunt. Should I even try?
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#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 04:29 PM

By all means run, run as fast as you can. Turkey hunting is the most addictive thing in hunting. You will end up out in the woods blowing on a piece of latex and rubbing two pieces of wood together or scratching on a piece of rock. You will also find yourself totally deprived of sleep because you get up in the middle of the night just to go out in the woods and literally stumble around just to hear a bird make the wierdest sound you have ever heard. Then the adrenelin starts to flow and may continue for several hours while you try to get one of those birds close enough for a shot. Plus you have to be ready to shoot before the bird can see you as they have the best eyesight of any animal I can think of and will disappear before you can even blink. Now to get serious. My son and I started about 10 years or so ago to hunt the spring gobbler. We had hunted fall turkeys before that but the difference is like night and day. It took us a couple of years on our own to be successful at calling a gobbler into our sights. We are both so addicted now that we just may be more interested in turkey hunting than deer hunting. Infact while we are deer hunting we are also on the lookout for turkeys and turkey sign. If you really want to know how to hunt em I would be willing to fill you in on a few tips but since there are more on this board that are equally addicted I'll let them chime in. One thing my dad always said was that if a turkey could smell as well as a deer we would never even see them. He also said a deer thinks every man or woman is a stump till it can tell otherwise but a turkey thinks every stump is a person till it can tell otherwise.
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#3 woodhick

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 04:30 PM

Absolutely!!!! Once you get the fever you will never be the same. And you know what they say experience is the best teacher so get out there and give it a shot.



#4 Spirithawk

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:41 PM

Turkey hunting is quite possibly the most fun a person can have in the woods. My advice is to go out of an eaving, just before sunset, then listen for turkey's to fly up on the roost. They make quite a racket and like ridges, particularly with green fields on top, and tall timber for roosting trees. They also tend to have favorite roosting areas. Once you find them, come season, get as close as you can to their roosts without spooking them. Silence is a must. Then right at dawn you should hear them gobble on the roost. Try a few low yelps and then sit quiet. With any luck one will fly down within range or close enough to call too. call sparingly, be ready with gun up, and keep your eyes open. Also, an easy method is to get yourself an owl hoot call and hit the woods just before daylight. As the sun comes up give it a few hoots. Gobblers will shock gobble to the sound. They will gobble at about any loud noise at times that doesn't spook them. That will help you locate gobblers. Then try to get within 100 yards, set up facing where you think he'll come from, and again, call sparingly. Be warned though. Wise old gobblers have a tendency to circle and come up behind you. If hunting fields decoys help but be careful how you set up if others are hunting near by. Some people will shoot at anything. They see the turkey, aka decoy, and not you in camo. Guess what happens next? Also, just talk to anyone you run into that turkey hunts. Turkey hunters love to talk turkey. Posted Image Posted Image Watch some hunting videos on tips too. There's bunches out there. Hope this helps, I'm sure other's will add more. Posted Image

#5 Honky Cat

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

Sounds like my wife would kill me if I started. With starting the new job in a week and not having any equipment for turkey hunting, I'll probably just scout around a bit. If I find some it'll be on and if not it'll wait till next season. The biggest question on my mind is: are they predictable? That was the hardest thing about deer hunting for me. Deer move so far at times that you can't figure on them being anywhere at a certain time. They might move on a certain trail three days in a row then they're gone for a week. If turkeys have a predicatble starting point that I just need stealth to get to then I will do fine. But if they just cruise all over and crash where ever they want, I won't try until I have more time.
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#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:13 PM

Sounds like my wife would kill me if I started. With starting the new job in a week and not having any equipment for turkey hunting, I'll probably just scout around a bit. If I find some it'll be on and if not it'll wait till next season. The biggest question on my mind is: are they predictable? That was the hardest thing about deer hunting for me. Deer move so far at times that you can't figure on them being anywhere at a certain time. They might move on a certain trail three days in a row then they're gone for a week. If turkeys have a predicatble starting point that I just need stealth to get to then I will do fine. But if they just cruise all over and crash where ever they want, I won't try until I have more time.



About all I can say is, if it were easy it wouldn't be as much fun. Posted Image

#7 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:35 PM

They are actually pretty predictable at least where they roost. That is unless they are disturbed. I hunt them in Kansas and PA. In Kansas they will roost in the same tree if not disturbed. Here in PA they might not use the same tree all the time but will be right nearby again unless disturbed. If disturbed they will be somewhere else come roost time. Gopbblers may also have a favorite strut zone that they will go to soon after flydown and is another good place to be before they get there. Of course sometimes you can read them like a book and another time they will do nothing according to the rules.
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#8 Honky Cat

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 07:04 AM

The field across the road from where I was deer hunting this year had about 45 turkeys in it at one time (my buddy was there to see it not me). I trust that he was counting accurately so that's where I'll start. Thanks for the intro.
Don't pray for a light load. Pray for a strong back.

#9 JameyK

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 07:08 AM

My first mornin I went out, stopped looked around and wonered if I was good enough to call one in. Well I blew on the locator and 8 gobblers sounded off. I just smiled and fell in love right there. Got a double my first day out. Man, your gonna love it!
Shootem in the face!!

#10 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:51 AM

Now for equipment. Turkeys in most states can only be hunted with a bow or shotgun especially in the spring. With a bow the best opportunity is from a blind because of the necessary movement involved. With a shotgun there is not so much movement involved to line up the shot. Believe me a gobbler will see any movement and will spook at anything suspicious. Spring turkey hunting is a short range affair so if you have to move do it when the turkeys head is behind a tree. Be as camoed up as possible as a turkey can see at least as good as a deer infact even better as it also has excellent color vision. Calls range from the mouth diaphragm to box and slate calls. Once you are truly hooked you have so much equipment you need a camo vest just to carry it all. Most times I carry an orange hat along in my vest just to wear if I am successful and have to carry a bird out over my shoulder. I own a whole bunch of shotguns but bought a specialized shotgun just for turkeys with a special very tight choke tube. I use #6 shot and 3 inch mag shells and about 40 yds is my max distance and head shots are the only ones I take. With a bow use very sharp broadheads as those feathers are very tough.
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Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#11 Spirithawk

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:36 PM

Jason and My turkey guns are Mossberg 835 3 1/2" mags loaded with Winchester Supremes in # 6 shot. It helps to be versatile with calls too. I prefer my vintage Lynch box call and two or three differant slate calls. I just can't get the hang of the mouth calls. Jason is quite good with them though and when turkeys are close the hands free vocalizations sure are a plus. Slate calls are pretty easy to learn to use and can produce a wide range of sounds. Read through the turkey forum on here. There's a lot of great tips. Don't fret if your calling isn't the best. Sometimes it's that off beat tone that brings them in. As I said before, just don't over do the calling. The most important rules of any hunting apply. Get out there, hunt safe, and have fun. And oh yeah, if you want a good look at an old turkey I can email you a pic of Paul. Sorry Paul, couldn't resist. You know your my best hunting buddy next to Jason.Posted Image




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