The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 3, 2013, 10:38 AM   #1
ice9_us
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 101
First time turkey hunting

To use the word clueless would be a complement to my knowledge..
With that in mind... I am planning on going next week.. any tips
Or other things
would be great...

I am in decatue alabama will be hunting some wma close by..
Maybe warrior...

Anyone with tips on location would be great to..
Thanks
ice9_us is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2
OEF-Vet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2011
Location: Backwoods, PA
Posts: 284
Turkey are the single most difficult game to hunt I know of.

Walking out in the woods with a shotgun or bow with no idea of the roosting and feeding locations of the gaggle will be nearly impossible, though you could get lucky. In my experience calls only work for young male turkeys (Jakes), the mature birds (Toms) seem to ignore them but watch the Jake from a distance as he investigates. If you do manage to locate a gaggle they will always have at least 3 centuries watching over the area while the rest of them feed. If you can identify these centuries you can wait until they are all looking away to strike.

This fall I was still hunting with my bow after a nice buck I knew to frequently bed along an area where Hemlocks give way to hardwoods. I inadvertently snuck up on a gaggle of turkeys that feed in our hardwood flat at the top of the hill. In PA Whitetail archery and fall turkey overlap. I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try and take a turkey with my bow so I waited in the shadows of the Hemlock grove until a nice Tom came within 10 yards. I watched the as centuries turned their attention to some acorns hitting the ground cut loose by a grey squirrel. I just knew I had this nice Tom and excitedly started my draw, darn if one of those centuries didn’t make me. The whole gaggle simultaneously took off, some running and some flying. They made such a ruckus it sounded like a train wreck in the woods. All I have is the story as my quarry is still out there hopefully preparing to produce more turkey this spring. I never did get that buck either but I suspect the warning those turkey gave with all that commotion gave him plenty of warning to move on.
__________________
Jim

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton Jr
OEF-Vet is online now  
Old March 3, 2013, 12:54 PM   #3
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,930
Maybe the OP's 'T' is screwed up on his puter.

Not familiar with Bama's season's. Calling fellow TFL'er Bamaranger!

Will the birds be in their breeding season?
shortwave is offline  
Old March 3, 2013, 01:08 PM   #4
OEF-Vet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2011
Location: Backwoods, PA
Posts: 284
From the Official Web site of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Breeding seasons usually extend from late winter through mid-May, peaking in March and April.

http://outdooralabama.com/hunting/game/turkey/
__________________
Jim

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton Jr
OEF-Vet is online now  
Old March 3, 2013, 02:42 PM   #5
shortwave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Location: SOUTHEAST, OHIO
Posts: 5,930
Thanks OEF-Vet.

Quote:
I am planning on going next week.. any tips
Yep...your going to be busy. Patterning shotgun,scouting...learning to call.

Don't know what shotgun you'll be using but you need to pattern it out to about 40yds to see what turkey load/choke you should use. You want the most shot in the neck/head area you can get. Don't shoot turkey's in the body as their feathers acts as armor. Head and neck only.

You need to be scouting hard everyday trying to find out where your birds are roosting and their travel pattern after they fly down from roost in the morning. Especially if you have no experience in calling.

Then you better your chances of setting up to ambush rather then calling one in. Using a locator call such as an owl call in the morning and a crow call in the afternoon can really help in finding the birds. Also when you're roosting the birds, toms will gobble when they fly up on their roost and they will stay in that tree till morning unless something scares them off.

Learning to use a turkey call isn't hard but may take more then a week to do so. Turkey clucks and purrs don't take long to learn but experience will tell you whether to call softly or louder, little or alot. My suggestion for the short time-frame you're working with would be a nice box call or a slate call. Just make sure to keep them dry and practice.

After you've scouted and know where the Toms are roosting, the secret is to get into your stand well before daylight as close as you can to the roosting toms without spooking them. Remember, you have to call so the birds cannot be able to see your movement.
Find you a nice big tree to lean your back against. You'll blend in with the tree and this keeps someone from shooting you in the back. Take a nice cushion as you want to be comfortable.

Get settled in(again well before daylight) and give a few soft clucks, maybe a purr just to let the toms know where you're at. They may answer right then, they may not. If they answer let em be,don't call back. Remember, they're still up in the tree wanting you to come to him.... you want him to come to you.

After flydown (toms make a flydown call that sounds like an excited gobble)sometimes you can also hear their wings), which is usually between breaking daylight and 30mins after depending on the weather, start calling about every 15mins. Stay alert at all times as some toms come in and never make a sound. Also, I've had toms fly down and almost land on top of me. An amazing thing about a tom is he can be on a roost two ridges over and when you give him that first pre-light soft cluck/purr, he knows exactly where you are. Stay ready!

If you get one answering you, listen to which way he is heading from call to call. If he's heading away from you, chances are he may be henned up and your chances of calling him away from hens is remote. The only shot you have at that bird is trying to get ahead of him or hoping he breeds the birds he's with and comes back looking for you. Chances are there are other toms in your area that heard you call first thing that morning.

If you are calling and the tom is heading your way, you are either in his travel route or he is coming in to you. Either way, you don't need to call much anymore, he'll find you or pass by with hens. Get your gun up on your knee and be ready.

Wear camo from head to toe including gloves and face camo or head net. Do NOT make anymore movements then you have to. Turkeys have incredible eyesight and can see all away around their head with the exception of about a 20deg. angle directly behind their head. The slightest seen movement by the tom and you won't shoot him. If you have to move and gobbler's in sight, wait till he's behind a tree or thick brush.

Very important: DO NOT WEAR RED,BLUE or WHITE

Many may disagree but if I'm hunting public land, I never use a gobble call. Don't like being all camo'd out and being the one hunted.

More hunters are accidently(and I use that word loosely) shot turkey hunting then any other hunting.

I carry a florescent turkey tote for packing gobbler out of the woods. Again, don't wanna be an accident.

Running and gunning during mid morning to afternoon is sneaking from spot to spot using locator/turkey calls, getting a tom to answer then sneaking as close as you can and sitting down trying to call him the rest of the way in.
Obviously, knowing your terrain to use hills to stay hidden is important.

Good Luck...
... and let us know about your hunt.

Last edited by shortwave; March 3, 2013 at 02:48 PM.
shortwave is offline  
Old March 4, 2013, 09:02 PM   #6
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,326
seasons

Alabama's "south" zone opens 15March and will run till the end of April. The rest of the state opens 31March (I think) which is unfortunately Easter Sunday this year. Hmmmm?

I have not made a south zone hunt in 3-4 years, since gasoline prices went ballistic. When I did, I hit Sam MurpHy WMA. But driving back and forth to scout, and then to hunt when it opened, got to expensive. They also clearcut my favorite area, which was a real heartbreaker. (this on Murphy)

Black Warrior is an absolutely huge area. What little time I spent on it was in an area known as Penitentry (?) Mtn, near Moulton. Much of that area got logged as well, and its been years since I've been in there too. If you like to hoof it, the Sipsey Wilderness Area is a major chunk of no vehicle real estate.
I would not walk into Sipsey w/o prior knoweledge of where some birds would be on it.

I'm not sure if Black Warrior is in the the south zone that opens early, but I will check, if somebody else doesn't advise prior.

My single best piece of advice is ,if at all possible, to find some turkeys in advance, by driving about and glassing, checking ROW's, private pasture that may abutt the public land, and food plots.

Heard my first gobble of spring this past Sat AM, about 0800.
bamaranger is offline  
Old March 5, 2013, 05:37 AM   #7
ice9_us
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 101
warrior

Warrior is close to me..been scouting deer and pigs.. so I know the area
Fairly well.. I will have to check this one out..
Thanks
ice9_us is offline  
Old March 6, 2013, 02:17 PM   #8
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,888
I hunt GA WMAs I prefer to wait until the 2 nd half of the season most hunters have stopped hunting and are fishing by then I walk logging roads listening for gobblers. I then Set up and call them in. It is a lot easier after the other hunters are no longer constantly calling. Later in the season most of the hens are on a nest and the mature gobblers will come to your call much easier. Only the young birds will come early because the older birds keep their flock together. He won't leave 5-6 birds chasing after 1. Later when lonely he will
jmr40 is offline  
Old March 6, 2013, 02:55 PM   #9
OEF-Vet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2011
Location: Backwoods, PA
Posts: 284
jmr40

Quote:
Later in the season most of the hens are on a nest and the mature gobblers will come to your call much easier. Only the young birds will come early because the older birds keep their flock together. He won't leave 5-6 birds chasing after 1. Later when lonely he will.
That make a lot of sense and would explain why
Quote:
in my experience calls only work for young male turkeys (Jakes), the mature birds (Toms) seem to ignore them but watch the Jake from a distance as he investigates.
as I hunt early in the season. I'm just itching to get out in the woods by the time spring gobbler opens here in PA, April 27-May 31, 2013.
__________________
Jim

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton Jr
OEF-Vet is online now  
Old March 6, 2013, 09:18 PM   #10
Hillshooter
Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2009
Posts: 24
In 35 years of hunting turkeys, I can say one thing--they are unpredictable. I could write a full novel about craziness, successes, failures, and everything in between. Just be safe and enjoy yourself. The experience and "know-how" will come with time. Here's my two biggest tips for a newbie in the world of turkey hunting:

1) Don't go out and spend a gazillion dollars on a bunch of equipment that the "experts" say you must have. When it comes down to it, a cheap outfit of camouflage from Walmart (including a cheap face net), a comfortable pair of boots, one or two good calls, and a shotgun is all you need. I don't care if you have the absolute best camo out there, if you don't stay still and motionless, it doesn't matter. Turkeys see you. They usually tolerate your presence as long as you remain completely motionless.

2) DO NOT try to stalk a turkey, and DO NOT shoot at movement. Be sure of your target. And watch for fools who might try to stalk or shoot you.

Some people go decades before they ever bag their first turkey. Then others luck up and kill their first bird just as soon as they step out of their truck. Just enjoy yourself. Enjoy the springtime woods. And be safe.
Hillshooter is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 10:10 PM   #11
Prof Young
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2007
Posts: 642
Go for it.

Turkey hunting is great fun. I got a nice jake my very first time out. Did some calling, fell asleep under a tree and the gobbling jakes woke me up. Very first day I ever turkey hunted. The next year I hunted nine days and never got a shot. Still loved it. Once I called to a bird for three hours, before I saw him, but he was coming in that whole time. Part of the secret is to not over call. Normally the hens move to the toms, but you are tying to get the toms to come to you . . . the hen. Get a good "ground seat" as you want to be comfortable while you wait.
Live well, be safe
Prof Young
Prof Young is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.23169 seconds with 9 queries