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Old March 3, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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.

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton Jr
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