September 6, 2006, 05:01 PM
I've gone turkey hunting before but not seriously. Is it worth calling or putting out decoys in the fall? I've heard they only work in the spring to lure the toms in looking for hens. Should I just hide and stay quiet? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. If it matters, I'll be hunting in the Catskills in New York. Thanks,
September 6, 2006, 08:27 PM
Decoys, yes, they can only help, not hurt.
Calling in the fall? Well, yes, but only if you know what you're doing. You need to know what calls to use and how to make them. You do NOT want to do any spring mating sounds, such as long, loud yelps, or cutting, or gobbles, obviously. But the assembly call, the kee kee run, purring, clucking, and light/low yelps are good. I wouldn't do the fly down cackle either because that works when toms are mating and listening to where hens fly down from. In the fall, they're just feeding, so they don't care too much where the others fly down from.
Click on the links here to hear a sound file:
Of those mentioned above, I would not do the assembly call unless you know how to make it sound distinct from a mating yelp. To be safe, stick with kee kee run, purring, clucking, and occasional soft yelping.
Turkey hunting in the fall is difficult because they usually flock in large groups, so (a) there aren't many strays, so you're out of luck unless you find that large group, and (b) when you do find it, or when they find you, you'll have several dozen pairs of eyes all looking around for movement - it's easy to get busted!
The best technique in the fall is, if you see a large flock, ignore every instinct you have, and immediately run toward it, screaming and yelling (or drive into the flock if driving, honking). This scares the bejeesus outta them, sending them every which way. Then immediately set up and being kee keeing and clucking. They'll look to re-assemble the flock, and may come to your calls.
September 6, 2006, 09:25 PM
I've seen a lot of turkeys here in the Catskills this year. While the turkeys are very vocal the problem with most hunters is that they call too loud and too often. Be patient ! Of course the most turkeys are seen on opening day of deer season !:D
September 6, 2006, 10:31 PM
Many states require shotguns for turkey. Seems like a foolish handicap to us in the West. I shoot turkeys at about 175 yards or so with my .223; no camo, decoys, or calling gear either.
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