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Old March 3, 2013, 02:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Posts: 5,970
Thanks OEF-Vet.

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.
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