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Author Topic: Question on locating birds  (Read 1753 times)

Offline RKeeper1

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Question on locating birds
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:40:09 AM »
Last year we went to a new area that we were told had turkeys. We went in the evening before to roost birds. I threw every locator call I had em em and got no response. As luck would have it, 2 geese came in to this big pond and started honking excitedly when they we're about to touch down. That right there got a gobble from a bird! I do have a good call on hand now to help locate. My question is have you guys known that there are birds in an area but they won't give up their location? Try to owl hoot em in the AM but what if that doesn't work either. Going to a new spot this season too that's pretty far away and don't want to waste my time if there are no birds but I also know they can be tight lipped to

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Offline LaLongbeard

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 10:56:15 AM »
If anybody had the sure way  to get a gobbler to answer eveytime he'd be a billionaire. To answer your question. Very rarely do birds gobble on the roost at dark, here in Louisiana and a lot of places I've hunted out of state. They do gobble in the morning a lot sometimes until the pressure gets bad. I scout the areas I intend to hunt and get an idea of how many gobblers are in an area. I start in early March and go as often as possible up until the opener. It's a lot of work some mornings are silent but it's the only way to know for sure what you have to work with.
As far as using locators in the morning...I don't. I let the gobbler gobble on his on or not. I've found over a lot of years if there gobbling on there own you can work them if there tight lipped that morning and somehow you get a shock gobble out of them maybe they'll answer a hen maybe not.
And we've all heard the "door slamming made em gobble bit" how many of those door slammed located Gobblers were called to the gun?
This applies to Easterns in the south. I've heard a lot of roost gobbling out west and some places farther North they gobble a lot Louisiana and Mississippi on public land not so much.
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Offline backforty

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 11:57:58 AM »
Might be productive to spend the first day scouting either by vehicle or on foot. I know it feels like a wasted day but it will pay off in the long run

Offline MK M GOBL

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 12:41:23 PM »
So my ritual goes like this, I spot from traveling around in truck first, then go to "locator" calls next (I have my favorites), from there boots on the ground. Pretty much my game plan, I do talk to locals when I travel and I have had some luck by asking the right people. I also look at maps and gps Mark the spots I want to go to for a look. Some of the same I do for spring at home but have been hunting the area for a long time and just need to keep up with what was planted grain wise, and how the spring is coming in. I'm scouting pretty much year round on the home farm.

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Offline TRG3

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 11:43:36 AM »
I've had very limited success with a coyote "yipper" in locating gobblers in late afternoon. Even if I know there are gobblers in a woods, they generally won't sound off in the late afternoon. Over the years, I've turkey hunted various locations often enough that I have a general idea where the flocks will roost, allowing me to show up on opening morning without specifically needing to scout. In addition, during the deer bow season I've listened to the noisy fly ups and turkey chatter that follows, further adding to my knowledge of their roosting habits. Also, while I've got an owl hooter, I prefer to just sit tight and let the gobbler(s) decide when to sound off.

Offline dirt road ninja

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2019, 12:13:21 PM »
I get on a high spot and listen. If I don’t hear anything I might hoot, but most of the time I’ll just sit till I feel like they are on the ground and go prospecting for a willing participate. If I know one is around or have a good suspicion one is close but quiet, I’ll hoot.

Online shaman

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 03:49:00 PM »
Here's a bunch of loose ideas.  Mind you, I've been on the same property since 2001, so I know where they are.  I just don't know from day to day if they'll gobble.

1)  You're lucky to get a gobbler gobbling at dusk.  Mine do when they're particularly horned up.  Most of the time, you have to be close enough to hear them flap. However, some nights they get to gobbling, and I've been hours after sunset and heard the gobblers setting each other off in the general neighborhood.  The next morning is usually extremely hot action.

2)  I've almost entirely given up on locator calls.  I'm way out in the country; the nearest house in most directions is over a mile away.  Still, I can hear a lot and so can the turkeys.  When I'm on the property, crows and owls will set them off, but so will the school bus, a car door, somebody rummaging through scrap metal.  We used to have a neighbor that had a donkey. That donkey kept the gobblers gobbling pretty well-- ditto for the pea fowl and guinea fowl and roosters. The trick is to be just patient enough to wait for the stray sound to set them off.

3)  Often times on days where it seems the gobs have all jumped in a hole and pulled the lid over the top, I'll notice crows going off, just before I see turkeys.  Crows hate turkeys for some reason and often kick up a fuss when they walk out into a pasture.

4)  I used proxies. After 19 seasons, I pretty well know where the birds are roosted, and I can make assumptions on things.  For instance, I've got a flock of hens that have roosted about 250 yards from the back of the house.  If I hear them flying up in the evening, I can usually surmise that the gobs over on Heartbreak Ridge  are going to be there in the morning. If the hens are wild on Heartbreak they'll be quiet at Virginia, etc. It ain't for sure, but it's a pretty good bet.

5) I have about 4 listening posts on my 200 acres.  I can go to one of those posts and cover maybe 50 acres at a time, listening for birds.  These posts are well enough away from the roosts that I won't bother the birds, but I can hear how active they are up to and through flydown.  If action at one listen post is dead, I'll go to another part of the farm.
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Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 08:53:52 AM »
We have had this discussion many times before.  Some of us swear by using locator calls,...and some of us despise them and those that use them.  (Disclaimer:  I am not trying to get into a pissin' match here,...just trying to help those who want to know about locating turkeys)

Simply put, the use of locators depends entirely on the circumstance.  If someone is restricted to 200 acres, there are few, if any, reasons to use a locator. 

On the other hand, if you are hunting a much larger area on which you are not familiar,...and especially an area where turkeys might be widely scattered apart,...it is only logical to try to find a gobbler to hunt before you start hunting.  The easiest way to find that gobbler is to get him to gobble to let you know he is there.

The trick is to use the RIGHT locator call at the RIGHT time.  Do either of those two thing WRONG, and you are wasting your time.  Do them correctly and you will find gobblers to hunt wherever you go across the country,...at least I, and the others I hunt with, have.  It is all about understanding the instinctive behavior of gobblers/gobbling and what triggers that behavior.

And finally, there are ethics/courtesy concerns for those that use locator calls.  Running around the woods squawking on a locator in areas where other folks are already hunting will win you no friends in the turkey hunting community.



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Offline Bowguy

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2019, 03:48:07 PM »
We have had this discussion many times before.  Some of us swear by using locator calls,...and some of us despise them and those that use them.  (Disclaimer:  I am not trying to get into a pissin' match here,...just trying to help those who want to know about locating turkeys)

Simply put, the use of locators depends entirely on the circumstance.  If someone is restricted to 200 acres, there are few, if any, reasons to use a locator. 

On the other hand, if you are hunting a much larger area on which you are not familiar,...and especially an area where turkeys might be widely scattered apart,...it is only logical to try to find a gobbler to hunt before you start hunting.  The easiest way to find that gobbler is to get him to gobble to let you know he is there.

The trick is to use the RIGHT locator call at the RIGHT time.  Do either of those two thing WRONG, and you are wasting your time.  Do them correctly and you will find gobblers to hunt wherever you go across the country,...at least I, and the others I hunt with, have.  It is all about understanding the instinctive behavior of gobblers/gobbling and what triggers that behavior.

And finally, there are ethics/courtesy concerns for those that use locator calls.  Running around the woods squawking on a locator in areas where other folks are already hunting will win you no friends in the turkey hunting community.

I agree w everything said here. I actually started to post and decided to refrain since it has been so hashed out. I was telling a fellow just the other day a very big part of roosting is timing. Some days birds gobble slightly  earlier. Some nights they seem to gobble from a night roost later. There’s no exact science. It’s slmost a feel.  When one gobbles though others gobble. It’s not real long lived where I’m at. I bet if the right guys were there they’d gobble many if not most nights

Offline Greg Massey

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 12:56:09 AM »
I never run thru the woods screaming like a owl before daylight ... how many owl's have you heard on the ground hooting ... that's good way to give up your location in my opinion ... i just let nature wake the birds up .. now during the day sometimes i will use a crow call...

Offline Bowguy

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2019, 07:20:23 AM »
I never run thru the woods screaming like a owl before daylight ... how many owl's have you heard on the ground hooting ... that's good way to give up your location in my opinion ... i just let nature wake the birds up .. now during the day sometimes i will use a crow call...
I agree w this too. One thing I didn’t address is you say you’re worried bout going to a place w no birds. You need to find out before season. Not do all you locating the morning or night of.

Offline BTH

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 10:47:11 AM »
Started using a goose call a good while ago when the resident geese became a problem here in NC. It worked better than anything we had been using for years.
I do like donkeys nearby ....seems to work most of the time. I can count on one hand how many times a gobbler has shocked to my owl call. BUT the owls get fired up after it and then I go quiet......once in a while that works. I do like a wood duck call as well. A jake brake out on the hwy that carries over the river bottom gets good results too.
One thing I have had work over the past few years is a crow call when I first start hearing the "tweety" birds wake up when its still fairly dark. Once he gobbles I shut up until and try to pinpoint him when he free gobbles. It seems with more gobblers around the more they gobble at each other than anything else. Especially if you can get the boss killed quickly in the season.

After first light and throughout the day...the crow has worked for me just fine. Like the guy said above in the previous post. Crows hate turkeys. Cannot tell you how many times I have had a gobbler come in silent through the woods only to have 2-5 crows follow him in raising heck above him in the trees. Even had a dead one at the house in the backyard after hunt before I cleaned him up. Crows started going crazy when they found him.
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Offline ARjtk

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 11:31:32 AM »
Locating a gobbling bird in the evening can be difficult in many parts of the country. I use an owl call in the morning to keep tabs on a bird when I’m getting in position. I don’t make a turkey noise til I am in position to kill him. Once the morning gobbling has settled down all bets are off. I am doing any and everything to jerk a gobble out of one. If he’s not gobbling I’m not hunting him. I’ve killed several silent birds but it’s not my jam. I will walk over birds to get to one that is fired up

Offline trkehunr93

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 05:57:49 PM »
I'm on the fence with hooting, I feel like I'm just making the turkey give up his locale for another hunter or I'm just making noise because I don't feel they respond to a barred owl hoot like they did 25 years ago.  Thats my opinion and based off of the places I hunt.  I like to let the day come alive on its own most of the time. 

Offline owlhoot

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Re: Question on locating birds
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 07:51:33 PM »
I never run thru the woods screaming like a owl before daylight ... how many owl's have you heard on the ground hooting ... that's good way to give up your location in my opinion ... i just let nature wake the birds up .. now during the day sometimes i will use a crow call...
  Works for me for over 40 years. I have never climbed a tree to do it. Never running through the woods either. And i don't use no stinking calls. Voice only. Ive tried the crow calls and very rarely a response , your results may differ.