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Old 04-03-2013, 11:00   #1
BryanK
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Turkey tactics question

I've been turkey hunting this spot for a number of years with minor success (two hens). I consistently hear tom's gobble all morning from all around my set up, but I have never closed escrow with one. I am pretty limited in my location choices due to the hunter density in the area, so this is my preferred AO.

My question is, given the rudimentary layout of my site (attached), where would you set up? Right now I normally set up on the bottom right corner of the field pictured, or in the little patch of trees in the middle of the field.

I hear gobbling constantly between the river and the field, but due to a canal being 75yds into the woods between that river and field, I am pretty much stuck where I am due to the law (Cannot hunt or possess a firearm within 50 yds of the canal in either direction).

Any opinions or suggestions for this kind of situation would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:27   #2
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Team Sergeants Hunting Tips

Claymores are your best bet.

Either daisy chained or set out with a nail board as seen in the movie the Green Berets. Place them about 5m apart in an arch 20m in front facing the most likely avenue of approach. Shoot an azimuth to each claymore back to your position. Once in position and when the Tom has made his presence known shoot an azimuth to the gobble and then set off the corresponding claymore. Problem solved.

Claymores work equally as well when duck hunting, just float them on a piece of board facing the sky and place them in among your decoys. The ducks will have no idea it's a claymore until it's much too late.
Happy hunting!
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:42   #3
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Sounds good TS, but the last time I checked, buckshot wasn't an approved load in MD to hunt turkey with
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:16   #4
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I've only shot two toms (started last season), but both were called uphill, and I was literally invisible.

I'm thinking if you use the right call, it won't much matter, although that little patch of trees may be a suspicious-looking area to an old gobbler.

Get up on the hill (given there's toms in the area). They can hear you half a mile away. Take a slate and a ten-dollar push button yelper, and use 'em both at the same time-then get ready to melt turkey head.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty
I've only shot two toms (started last season), but both were called uphill, and I was literally invisible.
Like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luZklMqLgDs
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:55   #6
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lol Not far off.

Cedar ghillie suit, sitting with my back to a cedar bush.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:56   #7
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Remember-a deer looks at you and thinks you're a stump. A tom looks at a stump and thinks it's you.
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Old 04-03-2013, 13:31   #8
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Do you know where they roost at night?

If so, put yourself between the roost and the canal as close as possible to the roost. Call to them while they're in the tree, and they might/should come to you as soon as they land in the very early morning.

Are you using decoys?

They can help.
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Old 04-03-2013, 14:37   #9
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Thank you all for the advice. I'm eager to try the two calls at once plan. I also like the idea of hunting them from higher ground. The only issue with that is, at this particular spot the mountain is pretty bare, and there is a road at the base of the mountain which would be in the line of fire.

In reference to the scouting (locating roosts), the area is public land 3 1/2 hours away. Due to obligations I can't take any days off to scout at the time . I have used deke's in the past, but to no avail thus far. Thanks again for the replies everyone, and I look forward to any other tips you all have.
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Old 04-03-2013, 14:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanK View Post
Thank you all for the advice. I'm eager to try the two calls at once plan. I also like the idea of hunting them from higher ground. The only issue with that is, at this particular spot the mountain is pretty bare, and there is a road at the base of the mountain which would be in the line of fire.

In reference to the scouting (locating roosts), the area is public land 3 1/2 hours away. Due to obligations I can't take any days off to scout at the time . I have used deke's in the past, but to no avail thus far. Thanks again for the replies everyone, and I look forward to any other tips you all have.
If that's where you gotta hunt, forget scouting. Just sound off with a hoot owl call and crow call. If you get an answer, call him up. If not, he's not in your AO, anyway.
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Old 04-03-2013, 18:06   #11
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Can you take turkey with a crossbow?

TR
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Old 04-03-2013, 20:12   #12
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Killing turkeys in a crowd is pretty tough. I am blessed with living in the middle of some of the best turkey ground in the country. Here are some of the rules that have helped me:

1. Remember, hens go to toms. Toms don't go to hens. What you are doing is out of the ordinary for turkeys, so you have to make it easy for the tom. Otherwise, he either won't come, or a real hen will get there first.

2. I kill most of my turkeys laying on my belly. Usually, I have crawled at least 50 yards to get to the spot. Seldom do I get a gobbler that just decides to come over on his own accord, and when I do, its often because I am set up near a field the gobblers like to strut in.

3. Turkeys are perfect sentries. Awesome eyesight and hearing. Full camo, including face, hands and gun.

4. I have never really had luck with decoys. My experience has been that when the toms see the decoy, they instantly stop and strut, and before they get close enough for a shot, another hen shows up (remember, we have a lot of turkeys in Missouri). If you are going to use one, try to set it up so the tom will come closer, not stop out of range.

5. Use a locator call-I grew up turkey hunting, and can do a really good owl call with my mouth. Owl, crow, or woodpecker all work well. Gobble calls work, but be careful using them in the woods with unknown hunters.

6. Stalking---By far the best way to kill one, as long as you aren't inadvertantly crawling up to another hunter. If you can stalk, do it. Remember that, at your first call, the tom has heard you and knows where you are to about 20 meters of accuracy, so get as close as you can without spooking the bird before hitting your call.

7. Terrain---here in southern Missouri, gobblers will come to a call uphill, but seldom down. I have never figured it out, but I'm sure it makes good sense to turkeys.

8. Calling---I have best luck with a raspy, high pitched call. But it is handy to have at least two calls, each with different tones. Just like a 21 year old guy, toms are more likely to come around if there are more than one chick. Also, call sparingly. Additionally, dont worry so much about sounding perfect. Hens don't sound perfect. A good combination is a good sounding mouth call and a really raspy peg-and-slate call. On tough birds, start with the mouth call, then join in with the peg-and-slate.

9. The hunt-once a tom answers you, he is interested. Doesn't mean he will come in. Normally, his gobble would cause the hen to come to him. Call sparingly. Carefully change angles if he doesn't come.

10. If you are hunting deciduous timber, the leaves on the forest floor make a bunch of noise (oak, hickory, etc). Turkeys are used to hearing that noise; its natural. Use it to your advantage. If a turkey is getting close, slow down on the calling, and start scratching the leaves aggressively (like a turkey scratching for acorns). The bird will hear it from a long distance, and it works really, really well. Additionally, when birds have hung up on me, I have had a friend stay in a spot, gotten up and walked away loudly, kicking leaves and calling as I walked away. Sometimes (not always) the toms have come running.

11. Again, hunting pressured birds is tough. Even here, where we have tons of turkeys (I hear 3-4 from my front porch during spring) hunters will scare gobblers and "educate" them. Hunting a smart bird like this is really tough, and it happens a lot more when you have a high hunter density. Personally, the only luck I have had on the smart birds is stalking. Some become so call-shy they will shut up and go away after only a couple of calls.

12. Late birds--often, toms will find a hen early, go breed, then come come back about 9-10 o'clock or later and look for another hen. If you have time, and the birds shut up, hang out for an hour or two. These late gobblers are more aggressive, easier to kill, and many hunters have left the woods.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigepo View Post
Killing turkeys in a crowd is pretty tough. I am blessed with living in the middle of some of the best turkey ground in the country. Here are some of the rules that have helped me:

1. Remember, hens go to toms. Toms don't go to hens. What you are doing is out of the ordinary for turkeys, so you have to make it easy for the tom. Otherwise, he either won't come, or a real hen will get there first.

2. I kill most of my turkeys laying on my belly. Usually, I have crawled at least 50 yards to get to the spot. Seldom do I get a gobbler that just decides to come over on his own accord, and when I do, its often because I am set up near a field the gobblers like to strut in.

3. Turkeys are perfect sentries. Awesome eyesight and hearing. Full camo, including face, hands and gun.

4. I have never really had luck with decoys. My experience has been that when the toms see the decoy, they instantly stop and strut, and before they get close enough for a shot, another hen shows up (remember, we have a lot of turkeys in Missouri). If you are going to use one, try to set it up so the tom will come closer, not stop out of range.

5. Use a locator call-I grew up turkey hunting, and can do a really good owl call with my mouth. Owl, crow, or woodpecker all work well. Gobble calls work, but be careful using them in the woods with unknown hunters.

6. Stalking---By far the best way to kill one, as long as you aren't inadvertantly crawling up to another hunter. If you can stalk, do it. Remember that, at your first call, the tom has heard you and knows where you are to about 20 meters of accuracy, so get as close as you can without spooking the bird before hitting your call.

7. Terrain---here in southern Missouri, gobblers will come to a call uphill, but seldom down. I have never figured it out, but I'm sure it makes good sense to turkeys.

8. Calling---I have best luck with a raspy, high pitched call. But it is handy to have at least two calls, each with different tones. Just like a 21 year old guy, toms are more likely to come around if there are more than one chick. Also, call sparingly. Additionally, dont worry so much about sounding perfect. Hens don't sound perfect. A good combination is a good sounding mouth call and a really raspy peg-and-slate call. On tough birds, start with the mouth call, then join in with the peg-and-slate.

9. The hunt-once a tom answers you, he is interested. Doesn't mean he will come in. Normally, his gobble would cause the hen to come to him. Call sparingly. Carefully change angles if he doesn't come.

10. If you are hunting deciduous timber, the leaves on the forest floor make a bunch of noise (oak, hickory, etc). Turkeys are used to hearing that noise; its natural. Use it to your advantage. If a turkey is getting close, slow down on the calling, and start scratching the leaves aggressively (like a turkey scratching for acorns). The bird will hear it from a long distance, and it works really, really well. Additionally, when birds have hung up on me, I have had a friend stay in a spot, gotten up and walked away loudly, kicking leaves and calling as I walked away. Sometimes (not always) the toms have come running.

11. Again, hunting pressured birds is tough. Even here, where we have tons of turkeys (I hear 3-4 from my front porch during spring) hunters will scare gobblers and "educate" them. Hunting a smart bird like this is really tough, and it happens a lot more when you have a high hunter density. Personally, the only luck I have had on the smart birds is stalking. Some become so call-shy they will shut up and go away after only a couple of calls.

12. Late birds--often, toms will find a hen early, go breed, then come come back about 9-10 o'clock or later and look for another hen. If you have time, and the birds shut up, hang out for an hour or two. These late gobblers are more aggressive, easier to kill, and many hunters have left the woods.

Hope this helps.
Good stuff.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:13   #14
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Can you take turkey with a crossbow?

TR
You can in AR...

Turkey Hunting Regulations - Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

http://www.agfc.com/hunting/Pages/Hu...onsTurkey.aspx

Turkey Hunting Regulations. Only shotguns (10 gauge and smaller) and archery equipment (including crossbows) may be used to hunt turkey. Shot larger than ...

Snip
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:39   #15
BryanK
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Can you take turkey with a crossbow?

TR
Yes, however I currently do not own one. I can see where not alerting the critters (or other hunters) for future hunts would be beneficial, but for the added expense it doesn't seem worth it. I'm patterned out to 60 yds with the 870 3 1/2" mag, and my visibility in the direction of where the birds sound off from is only about 40-50 yds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigepo View Post

Entire post
I just learned a lot, thank you! I did not know that hens move to toms. I always thought it was the other way around. It would explain the fact that when I get a tom to sound off within 100 yards or so (the forest is dense in the woods to the right and rear of the field, so visibility is limited) they seem to shut up and disappear into thin air.

Stalking would be a good bet for the reasons you stated, so I'm giving that a shot this upcoming season. Hunter density in this particular spot normally isn't terrible so long as I get there first, so stalking would definitely be an option. To address #12, I always hunt as late as possible due to the distance I have to travel to get there. I have to make it worth it!

I have also noticed the same thing you mentioned about the birds sounding off again roughly between 9 and 10. Actually, I tend to hear them more during that time period than any other time before noon (which marks the end of the legal hunting time during the spring season here).

Thanks again for the tips; I will make good use of them in a couple of weeks!
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