View Full Version : Shooting turkeys out of their roost?

March 9, 2001, 01:03 PM
Is it legal where you live (assuming it's done at dusk or dawn and not violating daylight issues)
Would you do it if it was legal?
What do you think about the ethics of this practice?
What if you're "meat hunting"?
I just noticed that my state doesn't have a law against this, and I'm interested how others feel about it.

March 9, 2001, 01:57 PM
hunting no!
survival yes!
I also think it is ok for farmers to kill them off when they have crop damage if the wildlife agency's are un willing to have them removed.

I cant see a day in our future that it will be (please read this correctly)necessary for people to hunt for survival.it would take a major break down of society to do that.i think hunting nowadays is truly a sport and one I love and encourage upon others.

Besides ,I have been told that people are the tastiest game of all and there are a lot more people on my "to eat list"
when it gets to that point ;):):):):)

Art Eatman
March 9, 2001, 08:00 PM
Strikes me as not very fair-chase, not sporting. Ergo, to me, unethical.

After all: You locate a roosting tree. You sneak up the next morning, early; at first legal shooting light you turn loose with a shotgun...Big deal. :(

Part of the deal for a turkey, given the small amount of meat, is the effort and skill you exert to win over his highly develped survival instincts. You win, you brag. :)


March 9, 2001, 08:09 PM
Got to agree with Art on this. I can't think of a reason to do it.

Also, seems that I recall "old timers" teaching me that shooting turkeys off the roost causes said turkeys to permanently relocate to more friendly environs. Don't know if this is true, but it makes sense.


March 10, 2001, 09:21 AM
100 years ago in the south they used to trench hunt turkey.
dig a long straight trench, sprinkle corn in iy and sit on one end. when 5-6 birds would get in the hunter(?) would let loose w/ a couple of BBLS. not very sporting, but, they wernt measuring spurs and beards.
take it or leave it there was no conception of fair and their still isnt. just because you call in a bird w/ a box or slate then shoot him from 40 yards w/ a $1000 SG doesnt make it more FAIR. your still shooting a dumb bird and eating him. how is that fair.
hell 25 years ago people used to cut holes the size of a baseball in a milk jug and put feed inside it and tie a little bell on a string to the handle. the bell would be silent as long as it lay on the ground. the turkey would come up and stick its head in the hole and eat. not being able to back its head out it would raise up and get the jug stuck on its head while the little bell would be ringing to let you know you caught one. if it was a hen or a small jake you'd pull it out and let it go. if it was a big tom, he became dinner.
times change, thats all.

Art Eatman
March 10, 2001, 01:01 PM
Whoa up, XXSUPO! Easy, there, big fella! :)

Sure, times change. That's why we have no end to discussions of ethics. Sometimes the discussions are worthwhile and clarifying; sometimes they are no more than mental masturbation. Here, we try to avoid the latter...

My grandfather told of he and his brothers taking the family shotgun and sneaking around until they found several doves in a line on a treelimb. One shot could bring down several birds. This was around 1890, and shotgun shells cost a nickel each. Sport or fair chase? No; food.

All of us who hunt know that we can eat all the quail and turkey we want, just by buying it at the grocery store. We know we aren't required to eat venison or dove from any dietary need. With this in mind, we work up "ethics", "fair chase", and other handicaps which in a sense offset modern technology and make us more able to relate to the difficulties of our ancestors of hundreds or thousands of years ago. "Skillet shots" take little talent.

One way of thinking about this whole issue might be that you give the animal every possible chance to escape, but win out over him, anyway.

It ain't simple; it ain't easy. "Ethics is what makes you do right when nobody's looking."

My $0.02, Art

P.S. Skillet shots can be fun and tummy-filling; they shouldn't be a way of life. :)

March 10, 2001, 01:30 PM
Shooting game for sport and shooting for meat is two different things.or is it?

when we go out to Wyoming it is a very common practice for us campers and hunters to get a quick kill for "camp meat" for our long stay.(we usually go for about 2-3 weeks.)Sometimes we have to use less than non- sporting means to do this.does this make it wrong?not to us!

all of us in our group loath and detest any poachers who kill just for the sake of killing or spotlighting for trophies or for profit.there is a line you cross when you kill game that may or may not be legal but I guess each individual will have to assess his or her responsibility about these practices.its amazing to me that in the 1700 and 1800 people were free to hunt without big brother watching over us but times have changed.

use comman sence.

i know one fellow that on the last day of the season if he has not had any luck harvesting a animal will shoot a bird off the roost just so he does not miss out on the last opprotunity of the year to get wild bird.i dont condone or condeem him for this practice because wild game is hard to buy at krogers..:):):):)

March 10, 2001, 02:16 PM
my land, my deer, my birds.
i dont want to pay thousands of dollars a year in taxs on a peice of property to then be told how i can/cannot get the game on it to the table or be told that i can just "buy it at the store".
it's mine, get it.

Art Eatman
March 10, 2001, 08:07 PM
"my land, my deer, my birds." XXSUPO, I understand your feelings about it, but you're standing out there pretty much alone. That idea left town the best part of a hundred years ago.

Ad valorem land taxes? I wound up paying $34 an acre per year in just school taxes, on land my grandfather had bought for $25 per each! Which is why I moved to where my paid-for 400 acres costs me less than a grand a year in rent to the government...

You may not like paying the taxes yet not having total freedom on your land--but few others like the idea, and total freedom has always been a myth. Until you can change the way government finances the things we all say we want, we're stuck with both ad valorem taxes and a State Game Department.

Live with it. :)


March 12, 2001, 04:16 PM
Taxes? How'd we get on that? Anyway, any more opinions? Myself, I hold by the same opinion as gunmart's friend. All season long I hunt ethically and even spurn decoys (can someone please explain the ethical difference between baiting an animal with sex as opposed to food?) When the end of the season comes, I don't want a hole in my freezer. Sure it isn't hunting, but is meat, same as Mr Perdue's roasters. A turkey just got shot instead of having it's neck wrung. (How do they kill commercial turkeys anyway?)

March 12, 2001, 04:43 PM
How do they kill commercial turkeys anyway

on my friends farm we used to catch them in the pen,
hold the wing tips and feet,
stretch the neck across the block between 2 nails,
and deploy the axe.

(the head mounted processor is not required for basic run and flap control)

i think in factory production they zap them


March 13, 2001, 12:42 PM
I tend to see hunting in two different lights-
1. hunting for sport-this is where ethics belong
2. Hunting for meat. Take a good look at the commercial meat industry (or read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"-even though he was a damn communist!) Not much difference between legal baiting and a guy with a knife or sledgehammer in the stalls. Sure, I don't have to kill the turkey, I can go buy beef that another guy killed. No moral dilemma there. For me, hunting for meat means, if it's legal, I'll do it.

Michael Priddy
March 14, 2001, 10:52 PM
I have the price to get in this game. 2 cents. For me, a meat hunter, the hunt is 90% and the kill is 10% and the family dinner is the other 10% I build memories for the days when I will no longer be able to hunt. Going to the "grocery store" has no long lasting memories. I did not get a turkey last season because 1: I was lazy 2: It was a cold and rainy April 3: I just did hunt hard enough. However, I have one of my best memories ever for turkey hunting. It was cold, drizzling rainy morning and I had already spooked one tom. I was walking out with a poncho on, my gear bag in one had and my 870 in the other. I decided to get out of the road and walk along one of my fields to call over in the wooded hollow to see if I could raise a goggle. After a few calls and no answer, I let my attention wonder. After a few more steps, I looked up the edge in front of me and there stood a big tom. He took to flight and cleared the field, road and landed in the woods on the other side of the road. It was a beautiful sight seeing him against the gray morning sky. I will remember that bird the rest of my life. I don't think shooting ducks on the water, quail on the ground, a turkey on the roost or especially a turkey standing with a jug on it head will be something that will satisfy me later in life. BUT, if a family need the meat to eat, I would not care if you used steel traps. If you don't need the meat to feed your family, be a sportsman in taking game. You will enjoy the those hunts for years. :D Michael

March 15, 2001, 11:08 AM
That my parents still love to tell after 35 years.

When I was a small boy, we lived in the South Texas town of Hebbronville. Some friends invited us to go out with them to "spotlight" rabbits. I was riding in the back of a pickup truck, traveling across the pasture while the older folks (teenagers and parents) shone a light ahead of the truck and took shots at cottontails with a .22 rifle.

My mother was a bit worried about how her fair-haired boy was going to respond to the killing of "the Easter Bunny".

I assuaged her fears when one teenage girl had great difficulty hitting anything, and after watching her fire away at several bunnies without result I finally lost my cool as only a 4 year old can. I yelled at the top of my lungs:

"She can't hit anything! Run over 'em!"

Art Eatman
March 15, 2001, 03:58 PM
LOL! Thanks, Bud1. I'd completely forgotten that bit from "the good ol' daze". My grandfather had a 1935 Dodge, with the headlight above the fender. Like sitting in a saddle; perfect for bunny-shooting!

"D, Art

March 15, 2001, 07:01 PM
I've been on both sides of this fence.

Now, I mostly want a good hunt, whether I score or not. It is nice to bring home food that's not pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormone, though...

If it ever comes down to my family or friends going hungry, all bets are off. Until that time, I'll do my best to stay somewhat "sporting". :D

March 18, 2001, 01:22 AM
A more important reason not to shoot roosting birds is that it has a much greater impact on their breeding cycles.
After a days foraging for food, the turkeys need time to breed and to roost. Breeding can often occur during normal roosting periods. Disturbing birds during roosting can have adverse effects on turkey populations.

On a slightly different issue, we also have set times for shooting birds and game animals. The set times ensure that animals are not doubly stressed from predation in the night as well as the day.


March 19, 2001, 04:08 PM
"my land, my deer, my birds."

Well....not quite. The land might be yours (actually, it's your lending agencies' property unless you have it paid off.) But as for the wildlife that moves on and off of your land, or even lives there, is not yours to do with as you see fit. Those aren't your deer or birds by any means. That's why we have hunting seasons and other rules regarding wildlife. Try poaching on your land and see what the game warden decides to do.