Tips on hunting without roosting.

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NYSuperSportsman
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby NYSuperSportsman » March 23rd, 2010, 4:27 am

Yeah I dont roost birds at night anymore either. If you just get out a handfull of mornings before the season starts, you can find the roosting areas. They tend to gobble more in the AM and you can pattern what they normally do in the AM which is when you will be hunting them anyways. I have found preseason morning scouting much more helpful than roosting in the evening. Good luck!!

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby DeanoZ » March 28th, 2010, 10:27 am

ORIGINAL: Gobblerman

Allegan, I gather from your post that you are unable to roost birds in the evening only.  Being in the woods at daybreak (morning), if you can do it, is almost always the key to finding gobblers.  I have said this many times before, and I will say it again, spring gobbler hunting is about locating gobbling turkeys....and that occurs by hearing them gobble most of the time.  When are they most likely to gobble, either on their own or from someone using a locator call?...During the first hour of daylight. 

Assuming you are hunting a sizeable tract of public land, get where you can hear as far as possible at first light and be very quiet and listen for a while.  If there are gobblers in the vicinity, they will most likely start gobbling a short while before sunrise.  But if you have not heard one or more gobblers within thirty minutes before sunrise, then use a locator call....a really loud, obnoxious crow call usually works just fine.  Give a couple of really loud quick blasts on the call....not too long because gobblers that respond will come back right on top of the call....so if you call too long, you might not hear them over your calling.  Don't overdo the locator calling.  Most often, any responsive gobbler in the area will fire back on the first locator call. 

If on the first locator series, you don't get a response, wait 15 to 30 seconds and do it again. Always be still and listen quietly after you use the locator!  Often you will hear birds that are just at the edge of hearing, and if you are noisy, or shuffle around, or have the vehicle running, or any other such nonsense, you will miss long-distance gobbles. 

If you do not get a gobble response after the second locator series, and if you have the option, move on.  If you are hunting a large area with a good road system, then jump in your vehicle and drive down the road another half mile, or to another good listening vantage. 

Repeat this process as many times as you can, on as many mornings as you can, and in as many different good listening spots as you can, and you will find the gobblers if they are there to be found!

Jim


Jim thanks for that advise, this will be my second season turkey hunting and trying to locate these rascals has been a challenge for me and roosting them is not practical for me because of my work schedule, not to mention I'm not sure I've been doing it right to begin with...so perhaps you could explain the proper technique for roosting birds as well?  Also as a point of clarification is the above advice what you do pre-season to locate the birds or does it apply in season as well?  You mentioned using a locator call if you don't hear any gobbles 30 minute prior to sunrise...so I'm assuming if its still not light out its OK to hit the crow call 30 minutes prior to sunrise if I've not heard anything?  In season would you use a turkey call vice a locator?  I'm really just tryign to find a good strategy going into this next season as last season was a total bust.  I focused on areas where I had seen turkey or sign of turkey and sat in those spots at first light.  Since many preach not to move because if the sign is there they will follow, I did just that and always stayed in my spot.  Needless to say the birds never came.  So it seems you are suggesting if after the 2nd locator series you still don't get a response its time to move on?  Again appreciate the insight, I think in lieu of my last season its time to try something different.

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby Gobblerman » March 29th, 2010, 10:41 am

Deanoz,...first of all, let me state that the tactics I use are not infallible, but using them is the best way I have found to locate gobblers to hunt.  They work great in some places and situations, and not so great in others.  Some places they work well both in the evening and in the morning, but they have invariably worked to some degree in the morning pretty much everywhere I have hunted.  If you do not know a specific place that has gobblers where you are planning on hunting each morning, I absolutely, without hesitation, encourage you and everybody else here that does not already use similar roosting tactics, to do this. 
 
First of all, the locator calls you use need to be loud, whether they be crow, owl, gobble, peacock, predator,...or whatever.  The more loud and obnoxious they are, the better.  I always tell people to try finding gobblers with locators both in the evening and in the morning, especially if they are hunting an area they are not familiar with.  In the evening, my experience suggests that gobblers will be most likely to gobble on the roost from just a few minutes after they have flown up and for the next fifteen to twenty minutes or so after that.  The closer it gets to full darkness, the less likely they are to respond, I have found.  Evening roost gobbling is much less reliable, though, than morning roost gobbling.  I have hunted places where evening roost gobbling ranged from none at all to being almost as sure a thing as morning gobbling.  You just have to find out for yourself.
 
I have never hunted anywhere that gobblers would not respond to locators in the morning.  Some places, birds will gobble very early,....just when the first hints of morning are apparent on the eastern horizon.  Some places, it seems that they are reluctant to gobble until it is fairly light.  One thing is sure, you want to be out in the woods at first light....not sunrise, but at the first hint of morning.  You have to get a feel for the birds wherever you hunt and learn when to anticipate they will be gobbling.  This is somewhat important, because if you start too early, you may pass by birds that will start gobbling a little later, and if you are too late, they may be on the ground and shut up before you get to them. 
 
The tactics I use are the same, both evening and morning.  I prefer to drive and roost, if it is feasible.  You can cover ground much more quickly.  Obviously, that is not always possible, and if it is not, then I want to make my roosting plans according to how much country I will be able to hear into from where I am.  Factors such as wind an loud background noise will not only effect your ability to hear gobbling in the distance, but it can also deter gobblers from gobbling at all.  Too much noise in the background will often "burn" gobblers and make them shut up.  Same with too much use of a locator call.  Bottom line....choose your location and use of a locator carefully.  This is another thing you will learn over time.
 
In the evening, I begin my use of the locator about ten minutes after the sun sets....just about when things start to get that hazy look as the light starts to fade.  As I stated before, you want things to be as quiet as possible.  If you are driving, stop and turn off the motor.  Tell whoever is with you to be quiet and still.  Blow the locator quickly and loudly....with a crow call, I will give it two loud blasts.  Listen carefully....most of the time, a responsive gobbler will gobble back to the call immediately.  If I do not hear a response, I will wait no more than thirty seconds and do it again.  On occasion, you will get a gobble on the second series, but not on the first....but they most often will gobble on the first effort. 
 
If I don't hear a gobble (and often even if I do and have marked the bird), I will quickly get on down the road to the next spot and repeat the process.   Generally, your "window of opportunity" for roosting in the evening is going to be a half-hour, at best, so you don't want to piddle around.  Cover as much country as you can.  If you are hunting a defined tract of property, try to cover as much of it as possible.  I always want to know what my prospects and choices are for the next morning.  On public ground, I will often make my choice of where I am going to hunt based on the number of birds heard in a given spot and what I think the odds are that I will have that location to myself. 
 
Morning roosting, assuming you do not already have gobblers located, is a repeat of this same process.  Start somewhere at first light and go for it.  Very often, if there are many gobblers around, you will hear them in places that you may have tried the evening before, or on other occasions.  Just because you do not hear gobblers in the evening someplace does not mean there are none there.  They are much more likely to gobble in the morning than in the evening.  Many times I have heard one or more birds in the morning that did not make a peep the evening before.  Morning roosting is more reliable, and that window of time for it is generally a bit longer....perhaps forty-five minutes or an hour.....or even longer on those mornings when the gobblers are in a good mood. 
 
I am quite confident in saying that using morning roosting tactics, whether you use a locator or just go out and listen for birds, is the best way to find gobblers to hunt.  Anybody that doesn't do this is truly missing out on one of the finer aspects of spring gobbler chasing.  You won't always kill those birds that you hear at first light until later in the morning...but you will definitely know that they are there!
 
Jim
 
 
 
 

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby DeanoZ » March 30th, 2010, 9:55 am

Jim,

thank you so much for the feedback...this is great!  So "roosting" a bird is basically trying to locate it on the roost?  For some reason I had this picture in my mind of locating a bird on the ground in the evening and trying to get it to fly up and roost...you can imagine how foolish I feel now, lol.  This makes a lot more sense now.  Like I said I don't do any roosting in the evening, but at least now if I need to I understand how it works.  One more question, now once you've located a bird and decide thats the spot you want to hunt the next morning, how close will you setup?  I know there are variables to that, such as the cover and concealment between you and the bird, but generally speaking?

Dean

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby Gobblerman » March 30th, 2010, 12:30 pm

Hey, Dean,....don't feel foolish at all.  That just goes to show all of us that have been doing this for years that there are terms we take for granted that are not at all clear to those that may just be getting into this game.  No telling how many words we use that newbies don't know what the heck we are talking about!  In fact, I am sure there are terms that us old-timers use that mean different things in different parts of the country.  Perhaps we should start a "definitions" thread for learning turkey terminology!
 
You should start a new thread on your question about setting up, so that we don't start mixing topics.  (I guess I actually reversed the topic of this thread...sorry!)
 
Jim

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Tips on hunting without roosting.

Postby DeanoZ » March 31st, 2010, 3:37 am

ORIGINAL: Gobblerman

Hey, Dean,....don't feel foolish at all.  That just goes to show all of us that have been doing this for years that there are terms we take for granted that are not at all clear to those that may just be getting into this game.  No telling how many words we use that newbies don't know what the heck we are talking about!  In fact, I am sure there are terms that us old-timers use that mean different things in different parts of the country.  Perhaps we should start a "definitions" thread for learning turkey terminology!

You should start a new thread on your question about setting up, so that we don't start mixing topics.  (I guess I actually reversed the topic of this thread...sorry!)

Jim


Jim will do, and your right...don't want to hijack the thread.  Your idea to start a "Turkey Terminology" thread is a good one...as admitted before, I am a neophyte in this sport so it would really be useful.  Thanks again for the help...and Alleghan sorry I hijacked the thread.

Dean

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