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Author Topic: Couple Questions  (Read 743 times)

Offline Big Sky Tom

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Couple Questions
« on: January 11, 2020, 08:34:25 AM »
Three questions:

1. Let’s say you roost a bunch of birds the night before. When you setup in the morning where should you setup? How do you know where they’ll land? Where do you want to be relative to where they land?

2. I know some people say not to call to them on the roost. If you were to call to them on the roost what type of calling? Subtle purrs and a couple light yelps?

3. Once they get down what type of calls would you throw at them?

I know there are different opinions for answers to all of these. Just asking what works for you. If you would be so kind, walk me through how an ideal hunt would go after roosting birds the night prior. Thanks!


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Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 11:10:08 AM »
To answer your questions properly, a person could write an essay and not cover all of the possibilities.  There are many variables involved in any given situation,...subspecies hunted, habitat type, terrain, hunting pressure, etc..  Here are my "short version" generic answers to each of your questions.   

1.  Set-up:  Knowing the habits of the birds you are hunting is probably the key consideration here.  Turkeys are creatures of habit and will generally do the same thing every day.  Knowing where your turkeys are typically flying down, what they do, and where they head after flydown,...and then tailoring your set-up to put you in their path when they come off the roost will greatly improve your odds of success.  In summary, learn the habits of your turkeys and then hunt them based on those habits.

In terms of general set-up distance to your birds, a good rule of thumb is to get as close as you can (in the dark, if possible) without risking spooking your birds.  Depending on the terrain, that distance might be fifty yards or closer,...or it might be 150 yards or farther.  The bottom line is that each situation is different.

2.  Roost calling:   Personally, I believe too many hunters make the mistake of calling too early and too much to gobblers on the roost.  Gobblers will often start gobbling very early,...hens, not so much.  Hens generally will call very little, if at all, until right before they are going to fly down,...and that usually does not happen until it has lightened up enough for the turkeys to be able to see the ground below them.  In terms of roost calling, most hens will yelp and/or cluck softly on the roost,...so stick with those sounds,...and do them very sparingly and not too early. 

Important additional point on hunting birds on the roost:  Learn to use other sounds in addition to turkey vocalizations.  Imitating wing beats and feather adjustments of turkeys,...and especially the wing beats of turkeys flying down out of the roost is a killer strategy and will get you gobblers when just plain turkey calling will fail.

3.  Calling birds on the ground:  Generally speaking, start softly with yelps and clucks and judge the turkeys responses and "attitude".  More aggressive calling using yelp/cutt sequences may become necessary, but that is almost never a good way to start out the conversation.  Again, always add the natural sounds of "ground" turkeys,...wing beats/adjustments and leaf scratching,...to add realism.

As I stated, each of these factors,...and many others,...could be expanded on enough to fill a book, and the answers may vary a lot based on where each of us hunts.  I suspect that by the time everybody chimes in here, that may be the case.   

Offline Big Sky Tom

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 03:58:47 PM »
Thanks bud that’s exactly what I was looking for. I understand that these questions are very broad and there are many opinions about what works and lots of ways to skin a cat. Just looking for basic guidelines.

I’ve seen on shows where guys use a couple of turkey feathers to imitate wings beating. I was looking online and you can buy feathers or whole wings. What do you use? How do you use them?


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Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 06:24:47 PM »
I’ve seen on shows where guys use a couple of turkey feathers to imitate wings beating. I was looking online and you can buy feathers or whole wings. What do you use? How do you use them?

Some folks just use their cap or jacket to imitate wing beats by whapping them against something.  Others carry an actual turkey wing (cleaned, stretched, and dried) and use that.  Others use a turkey fan for the same purpose and also to act as a visual aid like using a decoy.  Of course, the use of either turkey part requires the acquisition of said part by some means prior to using it in the turkey woods.

However, some folks frown on others using a fan for any purpose while turkey hunting. There is some justification for that position in that certain types of uses of a fan are both unsafe and prey upon a gobbler's gullibility and willingness to approach a turkey fan without caution in some cases.

Personally, I believe the fan is the best imitator for producing "turkey noises" outside of calling, and is also the most versatile visual aid when used in lieu of another type of decoy.  Whether or not you choose to use one of the above over the others is really up to you and your personal set of "rules" in turkey hunting.

Regardless, whichever method you choose to go with, rest assured that their use in making noises turkeys make besides calling will quite often increase your success in having gobblers come to you.


Offline EZ

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 07:15:56 AM »
As Gobblenut said, lots of variables. In general terms, if I roosted birds and know exactly where they are, I'm going to be in early and close. Close as in when they hit the ground they are in or nearly in range. Personally, I have never used a wing and really have no use for one.

Offline Sir-diealot

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 07:13:12 PM »
I like to do scratch in the leaves when I do a fly down cackle, beat the hat like a wing or whatever you are using and then in some leaves go scratch-scratch pause scratch-scratch pause scratch-scratch I have had 3 come to my blind that way 2 touching the blind on either side of me and the third I heard his wing brushing the backpack that I left a foot or two behind the blind.
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Online Greg Massey

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 11:05:26 PM »
Always remember it helps to scout and figure out as much as you can about the birds your hunting from a distance , before season opens. Look for easy access points to were the birds are feeding. lot of the times they will leave the roost and head to the creek bottom or swamps, grass pastures etc. Like others have said practice calling and learning the cadence of running your calls .. patience will take you a long way in killing your spring gobbler.. So scout and pattern those birds if you can before spring season opens. Just don't over pressure your birds before season. The reason i don't like to hunt to close to the roost is, i don't want to take a chance spooking my birds off the property and on to someone else. By not bumping the roost area's , I've had birds roost in the same area and tree's for years. The older turkey's bring the younger turkey's to these same roost trees. Don't think gobblers don't communicate to each other during the season because they do... that's the reason you have more gobbling on some morning than others... It's all about yourself and the birds calling to each other during the spring and your trying to reversed mother nature by becoming the hen ...

Offline LaLongbeard

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 11:35:45 AM »
1. If you know which direction they flew up from, that is usually the direction they fly down to. If they see or hear anything they feel is a threat they will fly down in another direction, turkeys always leave themselves an option of escape. If you can get to 30 or so yards of were you saw them fly up, without spooking them, you’d be in a good spot.
2. There’s a reason “some people” say not to call to them on the roost. Also there are a couple hundred questions you’d have to answer for me to advise how to call. Example is it a single Gobbler? Are there hens close to him, were are the hens in relation to your position, are there multiple Gobblers etc.etc.
3. See answer #2
 
If your new to turkey hunting I’d suggest reading books, you can read 5 books, the right ones, and be at least a couple years ahead of someone relying on Utube or hunting forums. Example I could tell you 100 Turkey stories and you’d only know what worked that day in that particular situation and you’d only get what little info I explained. Most videos and “hunting stories “ are for entertainment not instruction.
Read Jim Spencer’s “Turkey hunting digest” not thumb through it read every page, then you will have at least a base to work from. Everything in Turkey hunting is an ongoing learning  process. All the decoys, fanning, strutter decoys, long range shells etc. are just attempts to short cut the learning process. If it was easy it wouldn’t be fun.
If you make everything easy how do you know when your good at anything?

Offline dirt road ninja

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 08:14:41 PM »
Calling on the roost, imho is a bad idea most of the time. If you want to hear him gobble 250 times, keep calling to him on the limb. That most of the time does two things -1. Attracts other hunters to him 2. Keeps him in the tree longer and that lets hens get between you and him. No reason to do it most of the time, in fact I try not to call until I feel like I’m in a good place to kill him. Now days if I do call knowing they are on the limb I will gobble at him.

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 10:17:50 AM »
The reason i don't like to hunt to close to the roost is, i don't want to take a chance spooking my birds off the property and on to someone else. By not bumping the roost area's , I've had birds roost in the same area and tree's for years.

While I agree that, if you are confined to a small property to hunt, and you are lucky enough to have birds roosting on your place, it might be wise not to overhunt a roost, my experience has been that turkeys are pretty hard to stop from using a habitual roost site.  I can cite quite a few examples of turkey roosts I have hunted over the years where the birds just kept going back to that roost over and over again, regardless of the fact we were hunting it regularly.  Sometimes, even in places where they have a lot of options, they are just determined to roost in a certain spot for whatever reason.  ...Beats me...


Offline Aurora Wild

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2020, 01:29:44 PM »
I have a different perspective than some of the other responders.  In answer to your first question,  where am I going to set up,  where I can.  I hunt a lot of smaller properties and quite often the birds I hunt are not roosted on the property I am hunting.  So I set up in areas that have sign, scratching and strut zone.
I do call to a bird on the roost. I call softly at first, and get progressively louder until i get a response. Once he knows where i am i clam up until he hits the ground. Bear in mind,  I may be 500 or more yard from the roost.
Once he hits the ground I will call aggressively for a couple minutes,  then cut off the calling and listen.  Sometimes they storm right in,  other times not,  but they always do come eventually.  Remember this. It may be several hours later after the hens have go e to nest, but he knows where you are, and barring catastrophe, he will come.  It's a matter of will you still be there waiting.

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2020, 02:14:54 PM »
I have a different perspective than some of the other responders.  In answer to your first question,  where am I going to set up,  where I can.  I hunt a lot of smaller properties and quite often the birds I hunt are not roosted on the property I am hunting.  So I set up in areas that have sign, scratching and strut zone.
I do call to a bird on the roost. I call softly at first, and get progressively louder until i get a response. Once he knows where i am i clam up until he hits the ground. Bear in mind,  I may be 500 or more yard from the roost.
Once he hits the ground I will call aggressively for a couple minutes,  then cut off the calling and listen.  Sometimes they storm right in,  other times not,  but they always do come eventually.  Remember this. It may be several hours later after the hens have go e to nest, but he knows where you are, and barring catastrophe, he will come.  It's a matter of will you still be there waiting.
 

Good point made, Aurora.  Your circumstance would be one where the minimal-roost-calling strategy often espoused by experienced turkey hunters might not apply,...or might even be counterproductive to success.  If I can't get closer than several hundred yards from the roost, I too would be laying on the calling heavy.  In those situations you have to convince a gobbler that it is worth his time to come that far to pay a visit.

On the other hand, I also believe your assessment that a gobbler will eventually come under those circumstances is a bit optimistic.  Yes, they may come,...but you could very well sit there waiting all day long hoping a gobbler that is long gone,...or otherwise has no intention of coming to take a look,...will show up.  Sometimes it is best to cut your losses and move on looking for another bird rather than hope against hope that a gobbler that is hundreds of yards away will suddenly decide to head your way.

Now, if you have no other options,...sure, you gotta play the hand you're dealt.  But that sitting and waiting game for a potentially phantom gobbler to appear takes more patience than this old boy has. 

Offline Aurora Wild

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2020, 02:55:19 PM »
I have a different perspective than some of the other responders.  In answer to your first question,  where am I going to set up,  where I can.  I hunt a lot of smaller properties and quite often the birds I hunt are not roosted on the property I am hunting.  So I set up in areas that have sign, scratching and strut zone.
I do call to a bird on the roost. I call softly at first, and get progressively louder until i get a response. Once he knows where i am i clam up until he hits the ground. Bear in mind,  I may be 500 or more yard from the roost.
Once he hits the ground I will call aggressively for a couple minutes,  then cut off the calling and listen.  Sometimes they storm right in,  other times not,  but they always do come eventually.  Remember this. It may be several hours later after the hens have go e to nest, but he knows where you are, and barring catastrophe, he will come.  It's a matter of will you still be there waiting.
 

Good point made, Aurora.  Your circumstance would be one where the minimal-roost-calling strategy often espoused by experienced turkey hunters might not apply,...or might even be counterproductive to success.  If I can't get closer than several hundred yards from the roost, I too would be laying on the calling heavy.  In those situations you have to convince a gobbler that it is worth his time to come that far to pay a visit.

On the other hand, I also believe your assessment that a gobbler will eventually come under those circumstances is a bit optimistic.  Yes, they may come,...but you could very well sit there waiting all day long hoping a gobbler that is long gone,...or otherwise has no intention of coming to take a look,...will show up.  Sometimes it is best to cut your losses and move on looking for another bird rather than hope against hope that a gobbler that is hundreds of yards away will suddenly decide to head your way.

Now, if you have no other options,...sure, you gotta play the hand you're dealt.  But that sitting and waiting game for a potentially phantom gobbler to appear takes more patience than this old boy has.

Hey Gobblenut,

You are correct that I may be painting a very optimistic picture, but I guess my point is, that patience kills turkeys.  Sometimes I cant wait out a bird,  have to work, etc.  Sometimes I have tabs on other birds, and will cut and run. But,  those times I have committed to wait out a bird, calling occasionally throughout the wait, have a high ratio of success.

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: Couple Questions
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2020, 09:07:14 AM »
...those times I have committed to wait out a bird, calling occasionally throughout the wait, have a high ratio of success.

Good to know for future situations like you describe.  I hope I don't have to resort to that, but at least you're success in waiting them out will be in the back of my mind if and when it happens.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have the patience that you apparently do.  Fortunately, on the other hand, almost all of my turkey hunting has been under circumstances that I had plenty of options to seek out other gobblers.