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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, new to turkey hunting here. Have learned a lot from this site and have been applying it this past week in the field. Question: What to do about toms that don't come closer than 100 or 150 yards. Of three morning hunts this week I've seen plenty of turkey (jakes and mature) but none ever come close to me. I've tried with hen decoys, a jake decoy, and with no decoys. I'm hunting woods/field edges. I like to think they are entering the field opposite me because of my calling. They enter but eventually go back in the woods. I'm wondering if they are suspicious of my rookie calling techniques or my Flambaeu decoys? Admittedly, a couple of times I was probably busted by my own movement. This morning though, I was still, had the gun up, I was calling to a group of five big boys as they entered the field, they started strutting and I stopped calling. Three or four of them strutted and paced about 20 yards back and forth for about 3-4 minutes(?). They all casually wandered away despite my beginning to call again. Heading out tomorrow morning for more bewilderment. It seems I need that something extra to really make them come to me. But, WHAT IS IT?????? Help, my season ends Sunday. Thanks in advance.
 

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Put your decoys where you have been the whole time. Sneak to the other side of the field where they've been coming out. Call just enough till you know they're interested. Then wait with the gun at the ready, no more calling. They may come in silently, so keep your eyes peeled.

good luck
 

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I'd surmise you're probably calling to much and as a result, the birds are doing the "we'll let her come to us". I'd do like Freepop said and either move, or don't call as much. If you're still getting your feet wet with turkey calling, I'd probably air on less then more calling, and I think you'll be better off. Another thing to consider is, if they can see your dekes, and they can hear you calling, they are much more apt to hold tight and let you come to them. I'd lose the jake dekes, and run a single hen personally and probably try to get closer to where they are entering the field, assuming of course its not right near the roost.
 

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IF your a decent caller-I'd say just the opposite, I like to call extremely aggressive hen calling, get them excited and stirred up and if a hen or two are with them it might get them excited to check you out.

Also, I'd bet that there is a 1 or more hens in the woods by those big birds and that is the reason as well that they are not coming, hard to believe if 5 big boys are alone that you could not get them closer even if your calling isn't all good!

Lots to try: lose the decoy less calling, stepup the calling lose the decoy, get a Big Boy($$) decoy and get that out in the field 10 yards from you(send them runniing away from ya or toward ya!!), get a gobble call and give that a try, when you see them on the other side wear tennis-shoes and try to gun them down by sprinting across the field at them(recommend as last ditch effort), breeding hen/jake decoy setup, give a little movement to your decoys with a string(edit..read rule book first!!), the beauty of turkey hunting--all of the above work(except for running across field, that has never worked for me!) you just need to guess which one will work tomorrow:lol: Good Luck! Are we having fun yet....
 

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String on decoy is a no-no. In the rule books movement can only be by wind.
 

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Really?? Did not know that...weird waterfowl you can and turkey you can not!?
 

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From the MDNR, last sentence

Quote:
General Rules

Hunting Hours
It is unlawful to take or attempt to take a turkey except from 1/2 hour before local sunrise to 1/2 hour after local sunset during fall wild turkey seasons or 1/2 hour before local sunrise to 1/2 hour before local sunset during spring wild turkey seasons.

Bag Limit
In fall, the limit is one turkey (any sex) per licensed hunter.

In spring, the limit is one bearded turkey per licensed hunter. See diagram for beard location. It is unlawful to take or possess a turkey that does not have a beard.

During either season, it is unlawful to take or possess a turkey that you did not kill, use the tag of another, use a tag more than once, or allow another person to use your tag. Turkeys may not be taken while they are in a tree.

Hunting Methods
Hunters may use a bow and arrow, a firearm which fires a shotgun shell or a muzzleloading shotgun for turkey hunting. It is unlawful to use or carry any ammunition except shotgun shells loaded with No. 4 or smaller shot, or to use or carry loose shot larger than No. 4 for muzzleloading hunting. Archery hunters may hunt turkeys from an elevated stand or tree. A hunter using, or in possession of, a firearm may not hunt from an elevated stand or tree. Turkeys may be hunted with dogs during the fall season. Electronic recordings are illegal. Turkeys may not be taken while they are in a tree.

Authority to Hunt
A person shall not hunt wild turkeys in any area or during any hunt period other than the area and hunt period designated on their license.

Validating Kills
Immediately upon killing a turkey, a person shall validate their license by notching out the appropriate information as instructed on the license and securely attaching the license around a leg of the bird. A person shall not have in their possession or transport a turkey unless the validated license is attached to a leg of the bird.

Baiting Prohibited
It is unlawful to hunt for, take, or attempt to take wild turkeys over bait. For the purpose of this regulation, "bait" means a substance composed of grain, fruit, vegetables or other food placed to lure or entice wild turkeys. This does not apply to standing farm crops (normal agricultural practices) or other natural growing grains, fruits or vegetables.

License
The license is not valid unless signed by the successful applicant. Licenses cannot be altered or transferred.

Decoys
Mechanical, electronic or live decoys are prohibited. Mechanical decoy means any device that by design or construction uses motion as a visual stimulus to attract a wild turkey, except a wind sock or similar decoy body anchored at a fixed point into the ground and whose only motion is derived exclusively by power of the natural wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks a bunch for the advice. The terrain where I'm at has hills and valleys. Today, I was on flat ground in some brush. Overlooking a flat field with flat woods where the turkeys came out from. Should I set up on the side of a hill or valley that is opposite the woods? Any advantage? Keep the advice coming, I'll be checking here again before I roost for the night.
 

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75north - I have been having the same problem for the last couple times out with the wife. They hang up about 150 yrds and stay there. There are a couple of hens with them but just can't seem to get them to come to my single hen. I try not to call to much but last night it was getting late so I thought that I would try a little more aggresive calling and it definitely perked there interest but still nothing happen so I am going to call the adjoining land owner and see if I can set up on the other side of the field. I would like to see the wife get a bird that would be sweet.
 

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Top of the hill or slightly over the top, opposite from where you expect the turkeys to come from. Once they get within 75 yards or so quit calling. You want the tom to think, where in heck did she go? Make your last call some excited cackling so he thinks she's hot. He might become worried that someone else stole her and come looking.
 

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If you can get the hen talking, imitate her to a "T". You may be able to rattle her feathers and come in, dragging a tom behind her. Ask me how I know ;)
 

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One more thing, at night I rarely call. Daybreak and 10-noon are much better for calling, especially agressively. Mostly I just sit like I'm deer hunting between where they roost and where they've spent there day. I've taken a few without ever calling, especially some smart old one's.
 

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If you know where they roost....Get as close to where you think it is....100-150 yards and look for them in the trees on the roost...(get in the woods early) and set up some hens...loose the jake......and wait for them to fly down.....then start with some light calling.....some soft pures....just to let them know you are there......and see what happens.....they might be locked on hens that you are never seeing (you will have a hard time competing with them)......like someone else said you might be able to get her pissed off enough to where she will come over and the toms might follow...either way I would get closer to where you have been seeing them.....good luck and welcome to chasing turkeys...........Mack
 

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this has helped me in the pass face your decoys away from them and pointing to you. most toms will want to face the decoy and if it is facing away they will need to come in to inspect
 

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All of it sounds like good advice.....just thought I'd share some of my experience this week.

We did get a gobbler this morning (mihunter) but it was a non-conventional hunt. We found the birds gobbling good on the roost, but had hens roosted with them and away they went. Had some other birds gobble intermittently through the mid-morning, but couldn't get them to come in. Finally, we stumbled upon 2 jakes and 3 longbeards and still couldn't get them interested in a call. Finally, decided to try and get in front of them and beat them to where they were going. We got set up, put out some deke's and did just some soft clucking and purrs. Worked out perfectly and Lonnie shot one of the longbeards at 20 yards. Seemed odd that they weren't terribly interested in the calls even though they were all alone (without hens). Hopefully, they'll be a little more call friendly next week when my hunt starts!

Chris
 

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You don't have to call very much before a turkey can lock on to your position within a couple of feet. One other trick to try is call enough to get a response or two. Then move 50-70 yards towards the turkey. Put your calls away and get your gun ready.

Rememeber too that a turkey's best defense is his eyes. When he moves through the woods he will stay mostly on ridges. The will also follow well worn deer trails, logging roads and other easy routes.

I set my decoys off to the side now so he is looking away from me.

Another thing to remember, especially on birds that've been called to, is that many times they will come in silent. Always be ready.

Best of luck
 

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Okay one more tip and this has gotten some of my best birds.

Turkeys fly down between 6-6:30. They group up, feed and breed, then the hens move off to tend their nest and/or lay an egg. If you don't get a bird in by 8 or so you might as well each bruch, that you've packed the previous night. By 10:30 most of the hens will be moving away or gone. You should be set up along a field edge (a known strutting area is best) in a very comfortable spot with a decoy or two out front. You've been up quite a while so let yourself nap off/on. Call very sparingly, every 20 minutes to 45 minutes. It takes patience and you have to be comfortable but this method does work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello all that have been replying or reading this thread. I got out before sun up and unlike yesterday, I heard gobblers all over. I set up and basically saw nothing. I purposely had no decoys today. I was hidden in a stretch of trees that separates two fields where I've seen turkeys all along. I didn't call as much and never heard a reply immediately after my calling. Occasionally, off in the distance, a gobble. Each field has rises and falls so maybe they were there silently and I couldn't see them??? Upon my exiting the field my back was to, I found the answer. As I approach the opposite end of the field I come over a hilltop and look down and scatter a dozen birds with my presence. As I stand there still, watching them run into the brush, I mutter a few choice words and recall bigrackmack's words..."welcome to chasing turkeys..." Ha! I may try again tomorrow or Sunday. GRRRRRRR!
 

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Well....you used the wrong technique today...aggessive calling and more decoys I'm sure would have worked today!!:D
 
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