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Old October 26, 2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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Fall Gobblers What Am I Doing Wrong

I am hunting Vermont for fall Gobblers. I have a flock behind the house that I have been seeing on and off all summer. 3 days a week or better coming home from work I would see them in the feild directly behind the house.

They nest on the ridge directly above the feild and feed their way to the center and back. So when bow season came in for birds I figured I would give them a try. Took the box call out and sat one evening after work. Within a half hour I had three at 40 yards but no closer. My bow skills are not what they should be and I know a shot I wont make. I let them pass when I couldn't get them closer.

Two more times the exact same thing happened. No closer than 40 yards. Thing is they didn't spook or see me in my makeshift pine tree blind because they continued to feed.

I decided to switch up location on the feild edge for a closer shot. They came out in the same spot three times in a row after all. This time no dice.

Shotgun season is now in and I have repeated the same process. 40 yards wouldn't be an issue with the shotgun however no such luck. Last night I went into the next feild over and called from a distance. I got birds to the feild but at 100 plus yards. Again I know a shot I wont make therefore no trigger was pulled.

I am camo head to toe no orange in sight. (I am the only hunter so no fear of friendly fire) I am using Dead down wind the same stuff I use for dear and bear. I have switched up my call and cadance. I have used a decoy.

Bottom line is I just can't seem to get em close enough to shoot.

Anyone have any words of wisdom for this weekend? I am open to most anything short of shooting the ones I see on my drive to work from the truck window.

Regards, Vermonter
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:05 AM   #2
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Vermonter, try a "fighting" type call and some decoys, and if that don't work try the "key key run" it usually brings them running!

Oh yeah and your the first person from Vermont that I ever saw that COULDN'T SPELL FIELD correctly!!!!!!
Thanks for coming!
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:06 AM   #3
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I don't know what your tree line looks like around the field, but you might want to try a doing some stalking while they are far out and get into the position they retreat to.

p.s. scent spray in overrated in my opinion, i put all my camo in a bag with some dead leaves, pine needles, cedar branches, etc. and it works quite well

Last edited by ChasingWhitetail91; October 26, 2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Feild spelling???

Me spelll sometin wrng naww

That's funny.

Back on point I only have one decoy so possibly that could be an issue. Also to the poster who suggested stalking I have a tree line then a creek bottom. I could stalk the creek bottom but I would make a racket coming up out of it through the thick cover. I fear that if I attempted that I would scare them off in a hurry.

Regards, Vermonter
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Old October 26, 2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Classic fall turkey technique is to scatter the flock, then sit and call. They will be talking, trying to regroup.
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Old October 26, 2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Scattering the flock

I would love to use that however I never see the whole flock. Typically there are no birds in the feild lately until I call. Should I call, get birds in the feild, scatter and then re call?

Thanks, Vermonter
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Old October 26, 2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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I would watch where the birds retreat to towards the evening and try and have a blind set up for their morning return.
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Old October 26, 2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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All areas are different, but where I hunt turkeys travel on trails. Usually the trails are on steep hillsides and are old or active deer trails. Unless they are disturbed, turkeys are pretty religious about using these trails. The other thing is turkeys usually go to water before they roost. Look around for a spring.
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Old October 26, 2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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Early fall toms are hard to call if they are more than 1 1/2 year olds. Theyv'e hung out in their bachelor groups since last spring and have no desire to group with hens and young of the year.......yet. One reason they don't respond well to hen calls or assembly type calls. Toms yelp differently than hens, lower pitched and louder. Sounding like a tom will work better early in the fall than sounding like a hen....if you're after toms. Sounding like a contented feeding bird will draw a toms attention much quicker than a aggressive assembly call. Assembly types of calls tell the Toms somethings was up to spread the flock, thus the need to reassemble and they get nervous. Toms that were Jakes in the spring, still act like Jakes and are easily called using just about anything. Late fall and into the winter when flocks become more mixed, assembly and other calls work better on Toms since they now are naturally hangin' out with hens and young of the year. Early in the fall I tend to find where toms roost and focus my hunting on trying to catch them on their way to roost or immediately after fly-down. In the evening many times they are in a hurry to get to roost and are more vulnerable than at any other time....especially if you know where they are going.
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Old October 26, 2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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Vermonter, try a "fighting" type call and some decoys
This has been very successful for me in the past.

I set up 5 dekes on the edge of a large (180 acre) wheat field, with trees on 3 sides, and the birds (about 100 or so, mostly jakes and jennies supervised by about a dozen old hens) were loafing in the middle of it. In the chilly still afternoon air, their calls were carrying across the field clear as a bell, so I know they could hear my yelps..... sometimes a few would start my way, but then one of the older hens would herd them back to the middle of the field..... some of the jakes would start fighting, raising a pretty good racket, and when they did, all the other young birds would rush over to watch, and then beat the tar out of the loser of any fight, until one of the boss hens broke it up..... it reminded me of a middle school playground when the teachers had lost control..... so I started imitating the fighting birds. Bingo! We had about 5 dozen young birds comming on a dead run, with 2-3 hens trying in vain to herd them away from us...... they got within 30 yards and we let 'em have it.
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Old October 27, 2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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If you try to bust up the flock...make sure they scatter in all directions. Go to where you busted them up, wait 15 minutes, start calling like the dominate hen; or make kee kee runs. You probably need a mouth call to make kee kee runs of a lost young turkey. Most turkey flocks travel in a big circle...daily. Go to food sources...and try to head-off the flock. If you see an undisturbed flock nearby, make kee kee runs, and one young turkey might think that you are lost, so he feels sorry for you, and he just might break-off from the flock, and head towards your direction --- or the dominate hen --- just might bring the whole flock in. If not... observe the general direction of the feeding flock --- and try to head them off.

Last edited by Erno86; October 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old October 28, 2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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First off, forget the Dead Down Wind, as they won't be bothered by your smell. My favorite way to hunt fall turkeys is to scatter them as they fly up to roost (shooting a few times helps with the scatter) then get there the next day before daybreak and call them back. As said above, it is better to scatter them than to scare them all off in the same direction. This is one of the reasons I like to scatter them at fly-up time, as it is easier to get in among them if at least some of them are already in the treetops. I have just done this with groups of hens and their same-year offspring, but I think the tactic is sound for gobbler groups, the difference being that fall gobblers are harder to call because they are less eager to regroup than family groups.
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Old October 29, 2012, 10:53 AM   #13
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Go deer hunting. The turkeys will line up and walk 20 yards away from your stand!
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Old November 1, 2012, 11:07 PM   #14
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fall gobblers

If you are truely hunting "gobblers only" (mature males) in the fall, you are in a tough contest, and an elite "specialty". Turkey hunting master Ben Rogers Lee thought gobblers only in the fall was some of the toughest huntng there was. Ben Lee wrote some great articles on fall gobbers and a search in our new and modern digital age might turn up some results.

You seem to have one of the major issues solved, finding birds.

Fall gobblers are not particularly social nor easily called up. They like their own kind (other gobblers) this tme of year and are not seeking female/hen "entertainmemt". They typically form small bachelor groups and might respond (not necessarliy answer) to limited coarse gobbler yelps and clucks if they believe you are part of their gang.

Turkeys in the open are often a pain. If they do not see the source of the calling (another turkey) they just will not go there. Try some gobbler decoys (if legal) and limit your calling and be sure to mimic gobblers, and not young birds or hens.

Now, if your are hunting fall "turkeys"(hens or gobblers) busting flocks and kee-kee calls are correct and effective.

Finally , while hen turkeys "nest" in the spring to produce offspring, turkeys in general "roost" ( in trees) in the evenings and I suspect is what you are describing in the ridges. And........turkeys cannot smell..........praise God, or we might not ever kill one. So you can nix the scent.
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