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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is only my 2nd year turkey hunting, and last year we just picked out a spot, sat down and tried calling some gobblers in. Didn't have that great of luck. I have been noticing on a lot of these hunting shows that they are mroe or less stalking the turkeys until they get within range, then setting up against a tree. What have your experiences been?
 

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Stalk, or sit and wait?
Yes :D
Both can work depends on the birds, terrain, wether, hunting pressure, how much land you have to hunt, etc etc. Might take a couple years but you'll get a feel for when you should do what.
 

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Definitely get in on em in the morning to 75 yards or so....If it's a sit and wait game...I'm headed to the truck.
 

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On the hunting shows they usually walk, stop, and then call. They do this until they get a response. When the toms are fired up and henless, this works great. I have foubnd the best way is to use the terrain and scouting to your advantage and set up on one of their travel routes and wait. Call here and there to let them know you are in the area. The more time you spend scouting and patterning gobbler movement the easier it is to narrow down the time slot to be in position. This has been a lethal technique for me!!
Good Luck!!!
 

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If you know there are turkeys in an area and are using a certain field, pasture, logging road than yes, set up and wait. Easterns seem to be pretty patternable and once you find their little hang out it's just a matter of being patient and being able to sit still long enough (they will show up).

Now if you are hunting Merriams or Rios than they act a little different. Still can pattern them but they tend to move a lot more. Spotting/glassing and setting up in front of them is the way to go.

Sometimes it's so easy and other times it's so hard.:banghead3

Good Luck!
 

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Butternut must be an old man because he shows much wisdom and what he said is very true! You can't believe everything you see on TV! No offense Butternut I'm 52 and what you said is right on!
 

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Mwakely thanks for the compliment. :)

I never get tired of chasing or talking turkeys. Learn something new each time out and the best teachers have been the old toms themselves. You know the ones I'm talking about (oh so close but ...)
 

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Patience is key and the most important part of turkey hunt'in.
Turkey hunting is a game of chess one minute and a free for all the next.

Here's a quick run down on the basics from an article I worked on last year, it'll git ya started.
Tho the best learning tool is to actually put in the time learning the ways of the birds. Like the guys already mentioned, the best teacher is the Turkey. :)

One more thing, walking and calling to find a hot bird is one thing, spotting and stalking a Turkey is next to impossible. There is no animal on Gods green earth that has the senses of a Wild Turkey in my opinion. Yes, it can be done, but, the guy that can successfully pull off that little miracle is a better hunter than I am. :)

Pre season scouting has always been the best way to ensure a successful hunt.
Here's a few things I've learned along the way.
Birds will pretty much use the same trees over and over again till disturbed. Look for the obvious signs. Gobblers will usually sleep in separate trees but still somewhat close to the hens.
Search for feathers, turkey dung, scratchings etc......you'll know the roost trees when you find them.
Tom Turkey droppings are shaped like a " J " and are about 2" long whereas hen droppings are round and circular in shape.
Birds also like to pitch down into fairly open areas in the hardwoods, so look for clear cuts with big trees nearby. Pines in high country and cottonwoods or big ,live or dead oaks with the large " open arm " type limbs in the low lying areas are a good bet in bird country.
Food and water play an important role in locating roosting trees so keep that in mind while scouting.

Look for scratchings and loose feathers which will tell you the way the birds are heading to their feeding areas or dusting bowls. The leaves will be kicked back in the opposite direction that they're going. A Gobbler track is about 4" long from the heel to the tip of the middle toe. Also, the tips of the feathers from a Gobbler are black. The tip of the hen's feathers have a lighter, brownish color.

An owl call or rooster pheasant cackle at night is a good roost locator.
Right at sun up, nothing beats a crow or pheasant cackle.
Midday calling I'll use all of the above. If all else fails, a loud sharp cluck every 20-25 seconds on your slate will usually entice a silent Tom into cutting loose.

Another good tactic to roost birds is to scan field edges an hour or so before dark. Birds are getting in one last snack and will be heading to bed soon. Watch where they go into the woods. The roost will more than likely be within 100 - 150 yards or so.

One tactic that works very well once you've located an active roosting site is to wait till the birds are roosted and take a loud noisy stroll right thru the middle of'em.
Bust the flock in all directions. The birds will roost alone and in unfamiliar trees.
Come morning they'll be ready to rejoin their friends after spending a long, lonely night.
Set up close to where you busted'em and at daylight start off with a few very soft tree yelps, followed by a fly down cackle.
No locators are needed in this situation, you already know that they are somewhere close.
Once down, a few soft cuts, clucks, and a purr or two for good measure will more often than not, put a bird in front of you.

Everybody likes to entice a Longbeard to cut loose with a thundering gobble, it's fun !
But, using a " hen " call before season is one of the worst mistakes a hunter can make. I hear this constantly at the various hunting shows and seminars I attend around the country each year.

Guys will locate pre season birds by yelping with their box, slate or mouth call.
NEVER use a yelp or hen call to locate a bird before season starts. A gobble call, owl hooter, crow, pheasant cackle, anything but a call imitating a hen will do the job without actually calling in a bird.
As a rule of thumb, a mature Tom will only be called in 2, maybe 3 times in it's life. If you locate with a hen call , he will answer and eventually come in to find no hen.
Strike one.
In my opinion, a Longbeard is the wariest of all critters, don't educate'em.

A few more rules I follow are that I never call from the road. This happens alot on state ground.
Alot of rookie hunters will call from the road. If this is happening in your hunting area, get out in the woods and call from different locations.
Location being the key word here and very important ,especially on hard hunted birds. While hunting, call from a location where a turkey hasn't been called to before. Cluck, cut and purr. Yelp sparingly and call softly.
Try something he isn't used to hearing alot.
Don't be afraid to try new things and be different than everyone else.
Use locators and calling techniques that are new to you, chances are that they're new to the turkey too. A wise old Turkey hunter from Ma. once told me that the bird is the one true judge of your calling. He also added that " Every deer thinks a man is a stump, every turkey thinks a stump is a man. " Words I live by in the Turkey woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, great info everybody! Thanks, and hopefully I will remember all this in a few weeks and it will pay off! :)
 

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depends o where u are but where i hunt we set up ambushes between their roosts and theyre food/gravel. good luck
 
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