New Week, new setup, new strategy

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DeanoZ
 
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New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby DeanoZ » May 14th, 2010, 9:00 am

Well fellas the I'm closing the chapter on that one tom I'd been after...for now he lives to see another season, unless someone else manages to drop him before June 1st.  Today was the last day to hunt that zone and unfortunately I only managed to get out Monday and Tuesday and saw no sign of him or any other bird.  I did manage to pull a permit for the last two weeks of the season in a different zone and decided to do some scouting yesterday.  I had map spotted the only piece of high ground in the area and as we approached it a hen was on the side of the road feeding...so good sign already.  I quickly stopped, grabbed my crow call and headed for the woods...found a few clearings and some scratchings and since it looked liek the hen came from that direction I decided I will setup there come Monday morning.  So I left the spot hopped in my truck and decided to drive up the road towards the area I last saw the hen head...figured they must be roosting nearby since it was close to sunset.  So I make it 100 yards down the road, look to my left and right there on someones front lawn is the hen, followed by another hen, a jake and a monster Tom!!!  He was bigger than the one I'd been after and he was in full strut...nice long beard that just about touched the ground and a snood that draped at least 3-4 inches.  I was stoked, not just because I found a Tom, but because I looked at a map and using what little knowledge I have of turkeys and deducing on Map where they might be hanging out...and I was close...a couple hundred meters off.  Appears though they are roosting behind this house which boarders public land on both sides.  So my plan is to head back there tonight , one more time and scout out a another spot on the back side of the house which is closer to where they are roosting.  Even though the hen crossed the road and came from the other side of it where I have my setup, I'm not convinced the Gob will do the same...so this is insurance.  The setup is in the woods so I was debating whether or not to use decoys...am thinking since I'm in the woods and hidden better than a field edge as well as being this late in the season, its best to go without decoys.  he did not get that big by being dumb, so i don't want to give him a reason to spook.  Any additional thoughts are appreciated.

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1Morgan
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby 1Morgan » May 14th, 2010, 11:52 am

The one thing I have to ask is...why did the hen cross the road?

Sorry, I had to do it. Good luck in the new location, you've earned any bird ya can get. Maybe yoos need a little more Jersey in ya callin'!!
South Carolina Low Country

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JPH
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby JPH » May 14th, 2010, 12:22 pm

A couple of random thoughts re. late season. Take them for what they are worth.

1. Late season gobblers can be lukewarm. In my opinion they are less likely to cover great distances or obstacles to get to you.
2. Late season foliage allows you to get much closer to a gobbler on the roost without being seen.
3. Points 1 and 2 point to their own conclusion.
4. When hunting thick cover decoys are minimally effective at best and counterproductive at worst.
5. I'd still pack a single hen in my vest, just in case you come to a nice opening. Leave the complex decoy set-ups in the car.
6. Late season is one of those times when I will back off on my calling. In fact, I'd rather get danger close before making a sound.
7. Drop anything you don't need or that might make noise. I'll even wrap my pants tight into my boots so that they don't slap branches as I move.
8. And as always, it's about location, location, location.

GOOD LUCK! I can't wait to hear your report.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 14th, 2010, 12:29 pm

ORIGINAL: JPH

1. Late season gobblers can be lukewarm. In my opinion they are less likely to cover great distances or obstacles to get to you.

True, in my experience. On Wednesday I watched a gobbler follow four hens around a field (posted land) for an hour without showing any romantic interest in them. He never fanned out once. He just stayed with them and acted just like they did. Yesterday (different area) I called in three hens, and then a gobbler came up from the bottom and followed them. "Lukewarm" is a good word to describe their sexual drive at this time.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby DeanoZ » May 14th, 2010, 3:37 pm

Joe/Steve,

wow...you gave me more to think about!  Makes sense that they aren't going to venture far and calling should be soft and kept to a minimum.  Unfortunately because they roost so close to that posted land I can't get danger close...I'm quite certain the residents of that posted property would freak...but at some point I do plan to talk to them and see if they will grant me access at least through their yard to get to the other side of where they are roosting.  I can't say for sure the Tom is crossing the road, but I do know the jake and hen are...I drove by there today and like clock work @ about 1815 I first saw the hen cross, then the jake....no sign of the Gob  but I did not stick around to find out, lest I spook them.  So for now I'm goign to stick with the setup I got...and if it looks like their hanging I'll try to move around them.  I will NOT use the deke, but I'll bring it.

If all else fails I'll take Morgan1's advice and throw a few Joisey Yelps their way... yo, yo, yo, lol!!!

Thanks fellas, i really would not have thought about some of this stuff without your help!

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JPH
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby JPH » May 14th, 2010, 3:57 pm

If you cannot set-up on his roost, I have another suggestion.

Maybe you can put yourself in a good position to follow him once he comes down. This means staying well concealed, moving in the shadows and using locater calls to keep him talking. Eventually you might be able to slip into his inner circle and start calling softly.

NOTE: I trust that you will use extreme caution and maintain situational awareness, Deano. To any new hunters (or seasoned ones for that matter), moving on a vocal turkey can attract other hunters. Every move you make must be done with an eye for danger. If there is even the slightest hint that you and another hunter are sharing the same area BACK OFF!

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby DeanoZ » May 14th, 2010, 5:02 pm

ORIGINAL: JPH

If you cannot set-up on his roost, I have another suggestion.

Maybe you can put yourself in a good position to follow him once he comes down. This means staying well concealed, moving in the shadows and using locater calls to keep him talking. Eventually you might be able to slip into his inner circle and start calling softly.

NOTE: I trust that you will use extreme caution and maintain situational awareness, Deano. To any new hunters (or seasoned ones for that matter), moving on a vocal turkey can attract other hunters. Every move you make must be done with an eye for danger. If there is even the slightest hint that you and another hunter are sharing the same area BACK OFF!


Joe your right this one could be dangerous and in NJ its technically stalking which is against the law.  Part of the problem is I'm not familiar with the area, and shame on me for not taking the time earlier to do just that.  What your suggesting though would make perfect sense and if this were not Jersey I would do just that.  I may just still try to move a bit closer tot he road...but again I have to account for safety and the law in doing so, and it has to be the right circumstances...i.e. no other hunters in the woods.

I've included a snapshot below of the area and my stand so you can what I mean, but suffice it to say, until i find a way to get behind his house without having to go through his yard, I'm somewhat relegated to the other side of the road.  The blue circle is my setup, the yellow circle is where I believe they are roosting, the red arrows are the direction i believe thy are traveling, and the red box is posted property, also a strut zone for the Tom.

It's a great idea though Joe and I like your outside the box thinking!


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JPH
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby JPH » May 15th, 2010, 2:15 am

Ah, the S-word.
 
Let me just say that you are 100% correct in NOT following my advice above. Not only because of NJ law but because of your own assessment of the safety situation in the area you hunt.
 
I think i'll quit there.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby DeanoZ » May 15th, 2010, 5:06 am

ORIGINAL: JPH

Ah, the S-word.

Let me just say that you are 100% correct in NOT following my advice above. Not only because of NJ law but because of your own assessment of the safety situation in the area you hunt.

I think i'll quit there.


I think we can be safe and still follow part of your advice.  Perhaps starting a bit closer to the road and being able to find a good vantage point where I can observe makes sense.  Throw out a few well placed calls, and then make a stealthy purposeful retreat further back towards my setup...give them the appearance that a hen is there and moving away, kind of like a delay and defend tactic.   That might just drive him nuts enough to get him back towards my setup...hmmm. If that does not work then when my hunt is over I will find a good way to get behind the posted land (without trespassing) and find a setup closer to the other side of the roost site for the following days hunt.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: New Week, new setup, new strategy

Postby DeanoZ » May 17th, 2010, 5:09 am

So this morning I slipped into the setup I had talked about...did not hear a peep so about a half hour after sunrise I gave out a couple soft yelps and clucks (made the assumption they were on teh ground already), no response.  Waited a about a half hour, and got a little louder, threw in some scratching...no response...another half hour later and every 15 minutes after that, i got more aggressive did so me cuts and louder yelps to see if that might fire them up...still nothing.  I heard some crows going of in the distance and focused my attention in that direction, but the crow calls got softer and further away as time went on.  By about 0730 it was the staus quo, so I did a little running and gunning, not a peep.  So that was the morning at this new spot, somewhat of a disappointment, but I did manage to find a well worn trail that brought me around the piece of posted property and to the back side of his field.  The trail was so well worn in fact that at the end of it was a make shift blind which had obviously been hunted out of recently...so apparently I'm not the only one whose tried to hunt this bird and come up short, lol [8|]  I plan to hunt that spot tomorrow...we are expecting rain so I'm expecting him to hand in that field...additionally, I want to see exactly where he roosts and where he pitches down...I know I'm close in that spot.  hoping for a different result tomorrow.


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