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Author Topic: Evening hunting strategies  (Read 558 times)

Offline mcw3734

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Evening hunting strategies
« on: May 23, 2022, 12:28:43 AM »
For those of us in states where you can hunt all-day in the spring, what are your hunting strategies the last 2 hours before they fly up?  Do you feel birds respond differently compared to the rest of the afternoon? Besides waiting at a known roost site, of course, are there any techniques you find work best this time of day?

I hunt all day and cover a lot of ground on big parcels of public land. Admittedly, I find myself spending the last hour or so more focused on positioning myself to roost birds for the next morning. I also kinda assumed that unless you were already in their path, it would be tough to turn a bird that is likely focused on going someplace specific for fly-up. But I have nothing to base that belief on. Curious what works for others.

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2022, 09:10:58 AM »
I hunt all day and cover a lot of ground on big parcels of public land. Admittedly, I find myself spending the last hour or so more focused on positioning myself to roost birds for the next morning. I also kinda assumed that unless you were already in their path, it would be tough to turn a bird that is likely focused on going someplace specific for fly-up.

I think this is a good summary of my thoughts and experiences about hunting roost sites.  Although I have occasionally hunted roosts,...and that is primarily a "last resort" tactic for me,...that tactic is usually more of an "ambush" situation than a "turkey calling" situation.  I would much rather try to spend those precious minutes at fly-up trying to roost a gobbler(s) and formulating a plan of attack for the next morning.

Having said that, I have on occasion called gobblers in during those last couple of hours, and had those gobblers unexpectedly come in gobbling and strutting.  That has certainly been the exception rather than the rule, however.  As for calling tactics, I generally believe that turkeys are much less vocal on their way to the roost and, as a rule, I think it is best to be conservative with your calling. I can remember at few instances where gobblers really wanted some aggressive stuff right up until the last minutes before fly-up.   As is almost always the case when calling to a bird, you just have to hit the right button as to what they want to hear at any given time.


Offline Sasha and Abby

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2022, 10:28:29 AM »
Afternoon hunting for turkeys is too much like deer hunting.  I believe you bugger up more land doing this than morning hunting..

Offline Paulmyr

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2022, 08:53:48 PM »
My afternoon hunts are more for reconnaissance than any thing else. If I'm unfamiliar with the area, it's an attempt to get the lay of the land. I'll be looking for sign. I don't press anything and I call sparingly. I'll get in early and stay put until after what I presume is flyup time. It's more of an attempt to locate gobbler roosts and set something up for the mourning or future endeavors.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2022, 07:45:25 AM by Paulmyr »
Paul Myrdahl

Offline silvestris

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2022, 10:22:27 PM »
I don”t intentionally hunt known roosts in the late afternoon, but I will attempt to call him very softly and sparely.  They can and do hear very well and soft/spare calling will at times make them come and is less likely to cause him abandon his preferred roost site and frequently cause him to advertise on the limb.
“[T]he changing environment will someday be totally and irrevocably unsuitable for the wild turkey.  Unless mankind precedes the birds in extinction, we probably will not be hunting turkeys for too much longer.”  Ken Morgan, “Turkey Hunting, A One Man Game

Offline 3bailey3

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2022, 07:25:56 PM »
Hey Sil I thought you hunted the evenings like I do, I hunt every morning, go home right after lunch, take a nap and wake up to a cocktail, then I think about what's going on the next morning.

Offline g8rvet

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2022, 01:22:09 PM »
My afternoons are like Paul.  It is hunting because I have a gun but recon is the main order of business.  Soft, infrequent calling.  I usually sit in a good spot to listen about an hour or so before flyup.  I like to be sitting so I am making less noise to hear a flyup or gobble.
Psalms 118v24: This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Offline Marc

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2022, 09:36:45 AM »
I can hunt till 5:00 PM here...  Sunset is in the 7:30ish time...

Birds in the afternoon are different than in the morning.  It seems to me, that sometime about 3-4 PM they start to begin circling back towards the roost area, and I have a good chance of seeing birds in similar locations where I saw them around 8-10 AM in the morning.

Birds are a lot less vocal at this time, but if you can strike one up, you have a good chance at him.  I have also called in more boss hens later in the afternoon...  Maybe they don't like the idea of an intruder in or even near the roost areas???  But, if I get a hen to answer me in the afternoon, I will try and get her fired up, which often leads to a tom getting fired up and either following the hen he is with, or coming in to check out the commotion.
Did I do that?

Fly fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.

Offline Ranman

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2022, 11:59:37 AM »
My afternoon hunts mostly consists of setting up on open areas, soft calling and napping. I have woken up several times to a bird strutting around my decoy..

Offline Tail Feathers

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2022, 06:58:16 PM »
Hunting Rios in the evening can be a real good hunt.  Other types, I haven't had much luck in the evening.  But my Merriams experience is pretty limited.
Love to hunt the King of Spring!

Online Wvgobbler

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Re: Evening hunting strategies
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2022, 07:11:23 PM »
My experience has been different than most of the other posts… I buy my Virginia license every year because I only live 15 minutes away. The second half of the season your allowed to hunt all day…. In all honesty don’t know why but some of the best gobbling where I hunt is between 4 to 6pm… That’s some of the best hunting I’ve had. I get off at 3 so I’m able to get there before 4 and I’ve had some really good evening hunts. I’ve actually heard several where I hunt in WV gobble really good at 4 to 5:30 but your not allowed to hunt all day here. So I guess it really depends on where your at and I guess how much pressure has been on them but in my experience certain days they hammer in the evening and generally will come in every time…. I guess a turkey is a turkey and they do what they want when they want.