Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby swpatrkyhunter » February 15th, 2010, 11:30 am

LOL! Hey Bobby! I think that list applies to all of us. I know I can relate to just about every one. Except numbers 13 and 17. I would add.....
 1: Stayed with setups too long.
 2: Hunted an area that I did not scout well enough to know the terrain.
 3: Called too much.
 4: Did'nt call enough.
 5: Changed calls up to much.
The list can be quite extensive.
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby eggshell » February 15th, 2010, 11:43 am

wow Bobby I never done anything near as dumb as those.....hmmmm Image

At least I wouldn't admit it, well maybe, but I'd rather blame someone else or an act of know like God created turkeys smarter than us.

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Bobbyparks » February 15th, 2010, 11:49 am

ORIGINAL: eggshell

wow Bobby I never done anything near as dumb as those.....hmmmm Image

At least I wouldn't admit it, well maybe, but I'd rather blame someone else or an act of know like God created turkeys smarter than us.

Well...what can I say?..... I started out from day one hunting by myself and learning as I went.....Not only was I not smart enough to avoid all those kinds of mistakes....I'm not smart enought to not blab about all of em..[:)]l
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby eggshell » February 15th, 2010, 1:57 pm

Boobby Perks

I know what ya mean on the teaching yourself thing. Heck my grandfather thought he had an idiot for a grandson, that someone was pulling a cruel joke on. After all he had never seen a wild turkey on our land. When I started there was no mentors,period! So it was trial and error....lot's of error. The sad part is almost 40 years later I'm still repeating them. The greatest thing is there are so amny more birds that a mistake does not mean the end to a season. When I started season was 3 days long, that doesn't leave much room for errors.

I am getting concerned here in southern Ohio, we had over a foot of crusted snow on the ground before today and may have another foot by tomorrow. The birds will find it hard to get to food. I know they are tough, but I think we will lose some birds this winter.

Ok here's another mistake...don't sit at a tree with other trees or bushes closer than barrel length on either side. It takes a lot of movement to raise a gun and clear an obstacle. This cost me a nice long beard many years ago.

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Cut N Run » February 15th, 2010, 2:04 pm

I intentionally didn't tell all the classes in the school of hard knocks I went through. There are bunches.
I will say this though (from the voice of experience).  If you invite someone to come turkey hunting with you, either check out what they intend to wear first, or bring along some extra hunting duds in their size.
One of my very first turkey hunts I asked my neighbor along.  He showed up in one of those tan cotton hunting outfits, head to toe, with matching cap.  Trouble it that it was extremely faded and he sort of glowed in the dark. Luckily, they turkey spooked from him bobbing his head around to get a better look at the gobbler coming to my calls down the logging road, rather than being blinded from my buddy's LOUD clothes.
Another guy I invited along about 15 years ago told me that he had a camo cap he'd be wearing, so he didn't need the extra one I had.  The cap he was wearing was probably camo when he first got it...before he started wearing it while working in the sun all day at the farm.  Yep, he was in full lighthouse effect too. Had a longbeard gobbling on the limb within sight, until it got lighter out.  That bird shut up and flew the other way just as fast as his wings would carry him.
Lesson learned. 
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby mark hay » February 15th, 2010, 2:44 pm

First season at the Public Hunting Area ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Run 'n' Gun meant call alot , run alot ,,,,just see if you can cover 4000 acres in a week.
Windy day ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,don't know what to do ? run 'n' gun and call alot ,,,,,,,,,real loud!
Same day ,,,,thought I heard a HORRIBLE gobble in the wind ,,,,,,,,,eased toward where I thought the sound came from at a fast walk , out in a field. Seems like I read that young jakes sound horrible when they gobble .
 Stumbled into a foolproof set up ,,,,,,,,,,,,,stood still a few seconds , catching my breath ,,,,,made some kinda yelping noise .
 Heart rate and breathing go REDLINE as three jakes poke their heads up for a peek over the rise in the next field .
 Recall thinkin' ,,,,,,,,,Dang ! I was right ! ( ruined my first hat concerning turkeys )
 The jakes spread out like a charging cavalry . Struttin' every step ,,,coming hard .
 Everytime they stopped for inspection , I let 'em have a good long , loud dose of OBNOCTIOUS HEN . Well , jakes being jakes as they are , they come a runnin' .
 I eased back the hammer on my 20 ga topper ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and they stopped marchin' . OH CRAP! more callin,,,,give'em more hen dummy ,,,louder !
 They turned abruptly and slowly paraded into the woods , while I was tryin' to play hard to get by smokin' a good mouthcall .
 I had to stop for air ,,,,,,real bad !
 Some unknown hunter ,,,,,,and now my unknown HERO ,,, yelled at the top of his lungs , over the howlin' wind ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,THAT'S ENOUGH!!!!!
LESSON LEARNED ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I think[8|]

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby shaman » February 19th, 2010, 2:37 am

Frankly, the forum doesn't have enough room.

There's very little I feel I do right in turkey hunting.  I don't think I'm an expert on the birds, I'm not that good a caller.  I know my own birds pretty well, but mostly they give me the slip and stand there laughing at me.  Wherever I have the barrel pointed, the gobbler always seems to show up somewhere else and usually it is from a quarter where I will have a devil of a time getting turned around.  I misjudge distances and time. I fall flat on my face when I'm trying to be sneaky. I miss easy shots. The list is endless. They say hunting turkeys under modern rules is the hardest game in North America.  I believe them.

You would be better off asking when have I gotten it right?  The answer would be seldom, and those rare times stand out like crystals of shining brilliance on the face of abject muck.  It is hard for me to reconcile those successes with the rest of my turkey hunting career. It is as though somebody else did them.

But that's not the point.  I got into this sport for a whole other reason.  It became clear early on that I was not going to be a great turkey hunter.  It took me several seasons before I could even blow a mouth call. It took me years to even get a bird into shooting range, and more to get a shot. I missed.  It took years before I had another shot. That was not the point.

There is a church up on a hill east of Downtown here in Cincinnati where every year the faithful come out on Good Friday and crawl up the stairs from Downtown to the top of Mount Adams  reciting the rosary.  All told you have to go up 150 steps.  Nobody keeps score.  Nobody hands out trophies. The only people that know how or why they did it are the people who do it.  Most of those people have no clue why I hunt turkeys, but I know why they go up those stairs. I am a turkey hunter.

KYHillChick had a music professor back in college that told her, "Anything worth doing is worth doing mediocre."   She never understood the prof.  It always stuck in her craw.  She told me and I understood right away. 

It is not like I gave up trying.  In fact, you can see a general progression over the years.  I have gotten better. In fact I am running out of room to hang turkey fans.  I have several in the freezer I am not going to get to for a while.   It is not like deer hunting for me.  I've gotten deer hunting down to where I can pretty much get a deer in the scope anytime I go out. Turkey hunting is and probably always going to be a supreme struggle for me.  Mastery is not even a pipe dream when it comes to turkeys, and I prefer it that way.  

I want something in this world that is always going to be a struggle for me, something that I can always be a rank beginner no matter how long I do it, and something that never gets routine and never gets boring.  I always want to have the turkeys laughing at me.  I want something that is ultimately futile and appears ultimately ridiculous in my life, and I want to practice it until I die.   I want to be a turkey hunter.
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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Fargohunt » February 19th, 2010, 6:08 am

Well I was wondering when one of you fellas were going to get philosophical in this thread.  Well sir, you did and you did a fine job.  You were able to capture the essense of this adventure we all pursue with accuracy, honestly, (though few would admit to it as opening as others, yours truly included), and a certain forthrightedness, that I appreciated.
Thanks! And keep that barrel pointed, he'll walk in front someday...yeah right![:D] 

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby dam3391 » February 19th, 2010, 8:25 am

These are some great stories fellas!  Hoosh I really like your mountain top gobbler, we have a few of those stubborn grandpa's in the mountainous regions of Vermont.

My story starts my first year of turkey hunting (not so long ago...).  Got a new gun, a run of the mill store bought box call, and mouth call that I couldn't use to save my life.  My girlfriends son wanted to go as he had never been.  I thought this ought to be interesting two green horns and he can't even sit still during deer season, this oughta be good.

so i didn't roost any birds but I went into an area where I knew they had known to roost from some inside information.  I walked along the plowed corn piece and edge of the patch of woods I expected them to be in.  I setup just inside the woods and waited for daylight.  Just so you know I had only been about two other times and had no clue about anything at this point.  So we propped up in a pine stand against a couple of big 'ol white pines plenty wide enough to breakup out outlines.

Just after first light I do a couple of yelps. Nothing. A few more, and still nothing.  I know there are usually birds in this area.  I yelp really loud and the gobbler goes off!  We play back and forth mostly for my learning experience.

Lesson #1 - don't call too much while in roost!

So the bird stays in the tree for about an hour and half, gobbling away and not flying down.  Knew nothing of flow down cackling or wing drumming at this point, just squawking on a box! LOL.  He then stops gobbling and won't answer any more of my yelping.  After 2 hours of going nowhere I figure what the hell I will try to sound like an excited hen and cut a little bit.  So I begin with a set of aggressive cuts.  He fires right back at me and in my direction! (before he was sort of gobbling in all directions and mostly away from me).

Lesson #2 - you never know what type of calling is going to get a gobbler fired up.

He gets all fired up and I hear him fly down in my direction.  he's now gobbling on the ground and he is coming our direction!  I immediately shut up cuz someone told me not to call too much, but it was wicked hard not to!  I did a few clucks here and there to let him know I was still over here, and I then could see him strutting just outside gun range.

The piece that I failed to mention earlier in the story is that between our setup and the bird's roost was a small stream/creek about 8 to 10 feet wide.  On the other side of the creek was row of scrub brush.

That Tom danced back and forth just on the other side of the stream behind the brush about 40 to 50 yards out.  he just didn't appear to want to come any further?  What the hell he sounded interested?  He soon lost interest and went the other direction (which I later found out was his real strutting zone he liked to be in).  When he did not see the hen that was making the sound he just mozied on his way.

Lesson #3 and the hard lesson learned, is birds don't like to cross obstacles very often.  Don't get an obstacle like a stream and brush between you and the bird!

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RE: Tell Me Your Mistakes!

Postby Fan Club » February 24th, 2010, 3:55 pm

Here's another good one...never, EVER, hunt by the clock. What I mean by that is, if you have three hours to hunt, don't decide to do 3 one hour setups.

Case in point. I used to leave the Missouri lease at least one day each year to hunt with my brother-in-law at the local State Game Area, Rebel's Cove. Cove birds are notoriously tough...4,000 acres of wooded ridges...hard to tell where they roost or feed, impossible to pattern. I got to the Cove one year just before 11:00 am and you can only hunt Missouri until 1:00 pm. We decided to do 2 one hour setups. I know. [8|]

It was unseasonably hot for late April with temps in the 80s. The woods were extremely dry with no foliage, you could see for hundreds of yards and hear anything coming for just as far. We set up under his favorite oak near the point of a ridge in a brush blind, you could see the side of the next ridge in front and the side of the ridge to our rear. We have a calling routine we do on slate calls where we both gradually work up into a fuss with clucking then cutting and then we taper off and stop, keeping silent for 15 minutes and then repeat. Well, you can guess the rest. When it was noon, our first hour was up and having seen or heard nothing we decided to move. We both stood up at the same time to see a huge gobbler right in front of and 20 yards below us beat an unbelievably fast retreat back down the muddy ditch to my left. I would have bet the farm that nothing could have snuck in on us that we didn't see or hear...the leaves were so dry it was like walking on rice crispies. If we had only waited a few more minutes...

I made a post last year in a "Mistake" thread about deciding to move without thoroughly looking around first. My Dad is the King, three times when I have hunted with him over the years he hasn't looked behind him on his side of the tree and just stood up bumping an approaching gobbler when we decided to move. Guess I learned from the best.

DOH !  [:@]
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