LATE MORNING BIRDS

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
JeffCoHunter
 
Posts: 19
Joined: April 28th, 2009, 12:31 pm

LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby JeffCoHunter » May 11th, 2009, 3:12 am

I hunt in PA and have talked to several good gobbler hunters who tell me that they do real well hunting birds late in the morning, say after 9:30 AM.  While I always hunt clear until noon when I can, I do not seem to do well on late morning birds.  I talk to some guys who say late morning is their favorite time to hunt.
 
My questions is: What kind of successful strategies to you guys use for late morning hunting?  I generally either stay set up in a location that I know they like to strut and/or feed in and do a little calling every 20 minutes or so with some decoys out or else I walk along calling every so often.  I figured I must be doing something wrong being that I cannot seem to generate that much action in late mornings.  In fact, although I stick with it until quitting time, my confidence is usually shot after 9:00 AM.
 
Thanks in advance for any help!
 
JeffCoHunter

PAridgebirds
 
Posts: 13
Joined: May 10th, 2009, 6:37 am

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby PAridgebirds » May 11th, 2009, 7:07 am

I hunt in PA as well, and late mornings have never payed off for me except for on Saturday, at 8:52. Usually after 7:30 or so it's downtime, and if I leave at 10 I'll see them in the fields at 11. So try to stay in the woods, and see where the birds go on the daily pattern. Turkey are very predictable in what they do day to day without much pressure. Less calling, more sitting is a plus. Another suggestion is if you are moving and calling, make sure you have a place to sit down and that you are stopped when you call! Don"t wanna have that big boy see you! Remember, when you call you are saying something in their "language", and telling them where you are. Not much calling is advised if you get a late morning response, mostly because he's probably hen-less.   GOOD LUCK!

User avatar
MAKEemQUIVER
 
Posts: 565
Joined: April 14th, 2008, 2:22 pm

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby MAKEemQUIVER » May 11th, 2009, 10:07 am

I agree with some of the people you have talked to, I'd bet that 80% of my birds have come late morning. Remember where you here birds on the roost and go back in that area late morning and you might find a tom by hisself that once had hens. Also you can go to areas where you know birds are hanging out and do some blind calling which you said you have been doing. One other thing that i do is i have a couple of places that i can see several fields and sometimes i will just sat around and glass and try to see where some birds are heading and get in front of them. Hope i helped and good luck.

mossbergboy
 
Posts: 65
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 11:38 am

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby mossbergboy » May 11th, 2009, 11:39 am

sit where you no they ll be and soft purrs,yelps,and clucks

User avatar
tracebusta32
 
Posts: 580
Joined: April 9th, 2008, 7:25 am

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby tracebusta32 » May 11th, 2009, 12:56 pm

Listen to them, late morning has been the ticket around these parts...between 9-12 there was some lonely gobblers out there.
 
Good luck
Malachi 4:5-6
My Brother: WMB

JeffCoHunter
 
Posts: 19
Joined: April 28th, 2009, 12:31 pm

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby JeffCoHunter » May 11th, 2009, 1:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback folks!
 
For those of you that do well in the late mornings, do you get a lot of birds coming in silent, or are they pretty vocal?
 
I am not much of a fan of running and gunning, mainly for the simple fact that I have had many encounters with gobblers, both long beards and jakes, that come in silent and I believe that if you are running and gunning, you give yourself no chance at these birds.  Also whether they are silently receptive to your calls or not, you end up spooking birds that see you unless they gobble in advance and you know that they are there.
 
Based on many of the above comments, and what others have told me, it seems I should continue my early morning approach of getting near strutting / feeding areas that they frequent when they come off of the roost and just sitting tight with a decoy or two and doing a little calling every 20 minutes or so.  I am just wondering if because I hear few birds gobbling in late morning if my odds of having birds come in silent probably increase later in the morning.
 
Thanks again for all of your help.

PAridgebirds
 
Posts: 13
Joined: May 10th, 2009, 6:37 am

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby PAridgebirds » May 12th, 2009, 3:26 am

I think a big factor of if they are gobbling is whether they have hens or not. If the hens are on the nests then those old toms will be more likely to gobble, and head to a strut zone. Another is if they feel safe. They didn't grow old from being dumb. The big guy that I got came in SILENT in the late morning, so staying still and being comfortable are musts if you think you know where they're going. And lastly, weather could shut them up.

User avatar
shaman
 
Posts: 1015
Joined: June 30th, 2008, 12:35 am
Location: Neave, KY

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby shaman » May 19th, 2009, 5:36 am

I have gotten so that I hardly expect a bird to fly down to me off the roost anymore.  That single idea has probably done more to improve me as a turkey hunter as anything else I've done in the past 10 years.  A few years ago I thought I might be having trouble with my heart, and promised myself I'd stay away from the steep hills during turkey season.  I promised myself I'd go to the doctor immediately after season was over. The pain in my chest turned out to be a dislocated rib.  The pain in my left arm was a pinched nerve. My EKG was just fine. However, it got me to concentrate on the areas away from they turkeys' roosts which were well down hill from camp.  I stayed on fairly level ground.

I would stay up on top of the ridge and listen to flydown from a distance, and then I would wait to position myself to where I thought the turkeys would be coming later in the morning.  I ended up with two tags filled in the first week, despite sub-freezing temps, high winds and snow.   It made me a believer.  Now, I do about 80% of my early morning setups well away from the roosts, and my success has improved immensely.

In the old calculus, I would try and sneak into a roost at first light.  That roost might be down in the bottoms. It might be on the side of the ridge.  It was a 50-50 shot whether he'd fly down to my side of the roost tree to begin with.  If he had hens, those numbers went down further.  Assuming I guessed wrong, I was then chasing the turkeys and running up and down hills trying to get ahead of them.

In the new way of figuring, I wait well back from the roost, and position myself after flydown based on a guess which way they would be coming. In doing so, I could be more like 60-90% sure of their general direction.  I also found out that despite often going down hill in the mornings, the turkeys almost invariably came back up on top of the ridge before noon.

For the most part, clucking and purring is where it's at when it comes to late-morning calls.  However, I will also throw in an excited run of yelps and maybe cutt a few times.  It is something I frequently hear hens doing on their own-- the itch just seems to be too great and they got to let it out I guess.  To my way of thinking, that sets your hen apart from the rest-- it says that there is at least one hen that still is looking for hot turkey noogie, despite the late hour of the day.

Yes, gobblers are often times completely silent when they come in this time of day.  You have to be on your guard.  However, they will also cluck or occasionally yelp.  They're trying to figure out where you are. If I hear this, I go dead silent.  Just the rustle of leaves under my butt, as I bring my shotgun up, is sometimes enough to bring them in that last little bit.

Here's a trick I tried once that worked:  I had a gobbler coming in during the late morning.  The only way I knew he was there was I heard loud, deep cluck.  I was holed up in a fence line, and although I had a clear shot out the front and back, straight down the fenceline was too dense.  That gobbler hung up about 20 yards out with a bunch of cedars and big oak trunks blocking any chance of a shot.  I was sitting there for the longest time, clucking on a mouth call and rustling leaves with my right hand.  That gob wouldn't budge.

Then I got the idea of switching animals.  I started to bark like a chipmunk.  How many times have you been out bowhunting and heard what you just KNEW was a deer coming in, only to see a chimpmunk show up a few minutes later?  I figured turkeys must have the same problem.  I barked like a chipmunk, and the gobbler put down his guard and walked right past me, looking for the hen he figured that had wandered off.  Okay, so I blew the load into a tree trunk and muffed the shot, but the idea itself worked great.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
ImageImage

User avatar
Everyday Hunter
 
Posts: 578
Joined: April 2nd, 2009, 10:57 am

RE: LATE MORNING BIRDS

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 19th, 2009, 8:09 am

Good post, shaman. A lot to ponder.
ORIGINAL: shaman

I have gotten so that I hardly expect a bird to fly down to me off the roost anymore.

Me too, but that's what I had this year for my first tag. (Still haven't filled my second tag -- not many turkeys gobbling now. The bird I got on May 8 was the last one I heard gobble.)

ORIGINAL: shaman
A few years ago I thought I might be having trouble with my heart, and promised myself I'd stay away from the steep hills during turkey season.  I promised myself I'd go to the doctor immediately after season was over. The pain in my chest turned out to be a dislocated rib.  The pain in my left arm was a pinched nerve. My EKG was just fine. However, it got me to concentrate on the areas away from they turkeys' roosts which were well down hill from camp.  I stayed on fairly level ground.

Must have been a scare. But in a way, it pays to get old. We're forced to slow down.

ORIGINAL: shaman

I would stay up on top of the ridge and listen to flydown from a distance...

I've never found that to be possible. When I've seen/heard turkeys fly down, they're not very loud. Usually, they just set their wings and glide 20-60 yards. If they're much over 125 yards away from me, I probably won't hear them. Maybe the hills where I live are bigger. From the bottom of the valley behind my house to the top of the hill is probably 3/4 of a mile.

ORIGINAL: shaman
... and then I would wait to position myself to where I thought the turkeys would be coming later in the morning.
I ended up with two tags filled in the first week, despite sub-freezing temps, high winds and snow.   It made me a believer.  Now, I do about 80% of my early morning setups well away from the roosts, and my success has improved immensely.

Cold, wind, rain, snow -- turkeys can be killed no matter what. But, I guess I'm going the opposite direction. I try to get as close as possible, as early as possible.

ORIGINAL: shaman
In the old calculus, I would try and sneak into a roost at first light.  That roost might be down in the bottoms. It might be on the side of the ridge.  It was a 50-50 shot whether he'd fly down to my side of the roost tree to begin with.  If he had hens, those numbers went down further.  Assuming I guessed wrong, I was then chasing the turkeys and running up and down hills trying to get ahead of them.

In the new way of figuring, I wait well back from the roost, and position myself after flydown based on a guess which way they would be coming. In doing so, I could be more like 60-90% sure of their general direction.  I also found out that despite often going down hill in the mornings, the turkeys almost invariably came back up on top of the ridge before noon.

I wish that were my experience. As big as the woods are here, I can rarely figure out where they will go, or when they will come back.

ORIGINAL: shaman
For the most part, clucking and purring is where it's at when it comes to late-morning calls.  However, I will also throw in an excited run of yelps and maybe cutt a few times.  It is something I frequently hear hens doing on their own-- the itch just seems to be too great and they got to let it out I guess.  To my way of thinking, that sets your hen apart from the rest-- it says that there is at least one hen that still is looking for hot turkey noogie, despite the late hour of the day.

That's exactly my approach late in the morning and when I don't hear a gobbler early.

ORIGINAL: shaman

Yes, gobblers are often times completely silent when they come in this time of day.  You have to be on your guard.  However, they will also cluck or occasionally yelp.  They're trying to figure out where you are. If I hear this, I go dead silent.  Just the rustle of leaves under my butt, as I bring my shotgun up, is sometimes enough to bring them in that last little bit.

Right on. We shouldn't think gobblers aren't active just because we don't hear them.

ORIGINAL: shaman

Here's a trick I tried once that worked:  I had a gobbler coming in during the late morning.  The only way I knew he was there was I heard loud, deep cluck.  I was holed up in a fence line, and although I had a clear shot out the front and back, straight down the fenceline was too dense.  That gobbler hung up about 20 yards out with a bunch of cedars and big oak trunks blocking any chance of a shot.  I was sitting there for the longest time, clucking on a mouth call and rustling leaves with my right hand.  That gob wouldn't budge.

Then I got the idea of switching animals.  I started to bark like a chipmunk.  How many times have you been out bowhunting and heard what you just KNEW was a deer coming in, only to see a chimpmunk show up a few minutes later?  I figured turkeys must have the same problem.  I barked like a chipmunk, and the gobbler put down his guard and walked right past me, looking for the hen he figured that had wandered off.  Okay, so I blew the load into a tree trunk and muffed the shot, but the idea itself worked great.

Great story. Always something new to learn. Become the woods.

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.


Return to Strategies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests