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Rutting Buck

Need to know turkey hunting basics

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I am going to try turkey hunting this season and have applied for the permits. Can anyone explain the basics? Do I need a decoy? I have calls and have practiced with them for 6 months. I think I should be set up on field edges & clearings. Any info given is appreciated.

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Be patient. I am 63 and have not killed one yet. And my farm is loaded with them.

 

This was out my front window

 

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I've taken a few with the bow and some with gun, but moreso enjoy calling them in for others.

 

I don't usually hunt fields or open areas at all, but I'm hunting public lands and that's where everybody else is going.

 

Like any animal, I suggest you scout. Scouting is crucial to all hunting. The two most important places you need to find are where they roost and where they strut in the AM.

 

You don't need to be a world class caller by any means, but at minimum learn how to yelp, cackle and purr. Learn from actual audios of turkeys or hearing live turkeys if you can. Also learn what the calls mean.

 

If you can, roost the birds the night before you hunt. Go listen for them right before/at dark and you will hear them fly up sometimes they gobble. Now you know where he is.

 

Get in early! Get near him, but not on top of him.

 

Think about your scouting. Where is he probably headed? Did you hear hens when you roosted him? Are theynear him, etc?

 

Cut him off to where he's likely to go.

 

If you can, give him some soft tree yelps as the other birds wake up for the day. (just before pink light, some tweety birds will be awake and making noise way before turkeys, but a lot of the birds "wake up" around the same time. that's when you start)

 

If he can hear you, he might already be fired up. Your heart is probably pounding as his thunderous gobbles cut right thru you.

 

Now give him a fly-down cackle. This will drive him nuts most likely. He's probably coming. If he's answering everything you throw at him, keep talking, but not too too much, they pause everytime they gobble so you're really just slowing him down.

 

Kill him.

 

Easy right? Sure it is. ;)

 

Now just because you roost a bird, doesn't mean he's roasted. The rule in nature is, you (the hen) goes to him...That's why scouting is important and being setup somewhere he wants to go.

 

If you can't locate a bird the night before, or the first bird goes off without a boom. Most guys are lost. Not you, you scouted remember? Head to a known strut zone and call again.

 

Or you can walk a ridge and call, hoping for a response. As the season wears on, you'll probably pass 100 birds that won't answer anymore, but it's worth a shot. There are more sounds than just a yelp that will induce shock gobbles too. I'll let you look into that as turkey homework, and hopefully you won't use the same exact ones as me and the birds won't go call shy. LOL

 

That's the basics....really you could fill a lot of thick books with info on turkeys, but that will get you started at the most basic level.

 

Be careful (full camo, moving through the woods) I've had people stalk my calling.

 

Good luck!

 

-Matt

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That's actually a great tip too by Ruger270man.

 

Don't be discouraged if you don't hear birds. Some of the biggest toms I've called in, never made a peep. They are smarter than the young birds that gobble at everything.

 

If you think it's a good spot, do some calling...and more importanly, do some WAITING!

 

If you do all that, no reason you can't score a bird or more in your first season.

 

I remember taking my friend Jon for a turkey hunt... He had been trying for 3 or 5 years or something before, gave up....thought it was nearly impossible. he lucked into one bird but admitted he had no clue. He was hesitant to go with me, thought it was going to suck.

 

I took him out to a local WMA and he had a bird flopping 15 minutes after first legal shooting light. And that was after being cut off by a guy that chased us down the trail. LOL After he "screwed" us...I outsmarted him and outcalled him by going closer to where they go as the day wears on. So they bypassed him and came around to me. What can I say, I'm one sexy hen! lol

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Patience is the name of the game. Are you planning to hunt from a blind? Or run em and gun em? Or sit at the base of a tree? Many turkeys have been killed in different ways, but your approach will help determine you tactics.

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There is a lot of good advice from a lot of good hunters, so take some, but not all to heart. Best advice is to have fun because these birds can drive you absolutely crazy -- believe me! They mocked during the spring and fall seasons; however, it is fun calling them and getting a response. Good luck.:rock:

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Matty gave alot of good advice :thumb_up:

 

In most cases, The outcome of the hunt is usually decided before the first call is even made.......Set up wisely. Unfortunately it takes experience to recognize a good set up from a bad one.

Most guys hear a Gobbler and rush to set up on him...Take your time and 'feel' him out before you let him know where YOU are. He has all Day....You only have till Noon. Do it right the first time.

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The guy that posted above me there, I think he's killed one or two birds over the years. LOL

 

 

(HE'S A TURKEYS WORST NIGHTMARE!)

 

Let's just say, they don't call him GOBBLERgetter for nothing! If he talks turkey! LISTEN!

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I always set up with my back to a tree and a knee bent up to rest my gun on. If you're calling him in, you won't have a chance to raise your gun for a shot. Don't be discouraged if a tom comes from the side. He might cross in front of you or go behind your tree giving you a chance to reposition. Wait, wait, wait, like everyone has mentioned.

 

In the morning I usually use my crow caller to get a shock gobble. Doesn't always work, but it helps when you're sitting down in your spot so you have a better idea of where to face.

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Just when you want to move...stay another 15 min.

 

Probubly the best advise right here. More times than I will admit I stand up only to see him standing there 30yds away looking at me. If I had only waited another 10 minutes.

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I will be using a crossbow, I do not own a shotgun. I have 2 blinds and pan on using them, but am not opposed to sitting against a tree though. I mainly hunt private, but also will hunt public too (Whittingham, Clinton, and Ringwood).

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Rutting buck. If your not far from me you are more than welcome to tag along & we can try to get you a bird.

 

Now thats a great offer :thumb_up:

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Rutting buck. If your not far from me you are more than welcome to tag along & we can try to get you a bird.

 

Now your coookin with peanut oil :thumb_up:

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