What am I doing wrong?

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
joey p
 
Posts: 31
Joined: April 10th, 2009, 4:35 am

What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 10th, 2009, 4:47 am

Hey guys.  I really like this forum, I've read it for several weeks now, but just decided to join.  I've been turkey hunting about 15 years now, but I've only managed 1 turkey (pathetic, I know.)  This year, I've got a new work schedule that starts at 11 a.m., so I have to ability to turkey hunt every single morning.  So, I really want to do it right, and try to kill one this year. 
 
My turkey hunting history can be summed up very simply.  Whatever I've needed a turkey to do, in order to kill him, he's ALWAYS done the exact opposite.  If I set up above him, he went down hill.  If I set up below him, he went uphill.  If I called a lot, he answered a lot, but never came.  If I called a little, he answered a little, but never came.  If he was in the field yesterday for 3 hours, and I went back tomorrow and set up in the field, he was in the woods.  The brush was too thick between us, and he stood at 30 yards gobbling for 2 hours.  2 longbeards answered my every call, came in at full strut, only to PANIC when they saw my 2 hen decoys, I rushed my shot, and hit a tree instead of the turkey.
 
These things have all happened to me.
 
I am starting to think my main problem is I don't scout enough.  I know from duck hunting, if you're not where the birds want to be, they ain't coming. Period. 
 
What I'm asking (in this long winded intro) is this: what is the number 1 mindset or mentality that you use to consistently kill turkeys.  I'm not really a green amature that doesn't know what end of the turkey call to blow, but obviously I'm not a successful turkey hunter.  (Even though I'm very successful at most other types of hunting.)
 
Thanks guys.

joey p
 
Posts: 31
Joined: April 10th, 2009, 4:35 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 10th, 2009, 4:52 am

I guess I should've provided a little more background info.  I've hunted public land, but I've shied away from that in recent years due to always running into other hunters.  I'm in Indiana, and now hunt private ground.  The property I'm hunting this year is about 400 acres of timber along a big creek.  I saw 1 hen there during deer season, so I know there are birds there.
 
Last year I was on some excellent property with at LEAST 4 different mature toms gobbling from the roost, but that property is about 2 hours away, so I'm trying to hunt closer to home this year, although I can still hunt there too.

Ozarks Hillbilly
 
Posts: 435
Joined: February 2nd, 2009, 7:13 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Ozarks Hillbilly » April 10th, 2009, 5:52 am

I am starting to think my main problem is I don't scout enough. I know from duck hunting, if you're not where the birds want to be, they ain't coming. Period.

 
Joey P I am inclined to agree with your statement. If you know your hunting area and the turkeys that live there the places they like to roost, feed and loaf. You have given yourself a huge leg up in calling in and killing a bird. If you can position yourself in a place that the turkey is already willing to go you have made your job that much easier.
 
Just keep a good postive attitude and try and learn something from all of your experiances good or bad. What worked what didn't and most of all have fun doing it.
These Ozark Mountains Ain't High But The Hollers Sure Are Deep

joey p
 
Posts: 31
Joined: April 10th, 2009, 4:35 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 10th, 2009, 6:00 am

Thanks Ozarks!!
 
When it comes to hunting, I'm a pretty high-octane kind of guy.  However, in the last few years, I've tried to take a more "leasurely" approach to turkeys.  As in, "I'm out here to enjoy the gobbling, the birds, the mushroom hunting, and the general atmosphere."  Seems I've gotten closer and had better chances by taking a more patient approach.

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paboxcall
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 12:40 pm

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby paboxcall » April 10th, 2009, 6:08 am

ORIGINAL: joey p

My turkey hunting history can be summed up very simply.  Whatever I've needed a turkey to do, in order to kill him, he's ALWAYS done the exact opposite.  If I set up above him, he went down hill.  If I set up below him, he went uphill.  If I called a lot, he answered a lot, but never came.  If I called a little, he answered a little, but never came.  If he was in the field yesterday for 3 hours, and I went back tomorrow and set up in the field, he was in the woods.  The brush was too thick between us, and he stood at 30 yards gobbling for 2 hours.  2 longbeards answered my every call, came in at full strut, only to PANIC when they saw my 2 hen decoys, I rushed my shot, and hit a tree instead of the turkey.

These things have all happened to me.


 
Me too.
 
And that's part of it, so don't get discouraged -- one day the universe will align properly and no matter what happens that turkey will come.  Sometimes you'll connect, others times they leave you with a dose of humility and a good story.
 
 
"So much of this business of hunting turkeys, you stupid it up right at the last.
You do everything right for an hour and a half, and then you sit down here
and there's nothing you can do about it, you made a mistake."
Tom Kelly, [i]Turkey Tales

swpatrkyhunter
 
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Joined: April 20th, 2008, 4:40 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby swpatrkyhunter » April 10th, 2009, 6:55 am

First off. Welcoma Joey to the forum!
 
Now. About your problem.  You need to examine a few things about the hunts!
 
Scouting is VERY important. Knowing the lay of the land and where birds might hang up can help you more than you know. How close are you getting to the roost in the morning?  From what you wrote about how where ever you approach from they head in the opposite direction tells me one of two things, Eatheir your getting to close and they see you. Or your calling to much right off the bat. Find out EXACTLY where these birds are roosting the night before. Not just the Toms, but also any hens that might be roosting in the same area. If one sees you coming in then that bird could alert the others or drag them away. Think about your approach in the morning. Remember, when on the roost they can see for hundresd of yards depending on how open the area is. Think about your setup! A bad setup can make for a frustrating hunt. This is where knowing the lay of the land comes in. Setup in an area where you can keep yourself hidin but still have a clear veiw and good shooting lanes. If your decoys seem to spook the birds. Leave them at home! And remember. Sometimes they will just be difficult! That is the nature of that Turkey. They will do whatever they want to with no reason at times just because.Don't lose your confidance. Sounds like you got a nice area to hunt in there. Just do your homework and get to know the land your hunting.
 
Good Luck!
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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allaboutshooting
 
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Joined: April 8th, 2008, 11:47 am
Location: Southern Illinois, U.S.A.

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby allaboutshooting » April 10th, 2009, 7:48 am

Hey Joe,

It's good to see you here. I'm glad you've joined the group and we look forward to hearing more from you.

I have only one recommendation and that is that you consider reading an article. http://www.turkeyandturkeyhunting.com/article/endofseason/

It's really all about self-satisfaction and not putting too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect hunt. I would not let the "Roar of the Crowd" get in the way your personal enjoyment.

Please let me know if I can be of help.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

joey p
 
Posts: 31
Joined: April 10th, 2009, 4:35 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 10th, 2009, 7:55 am

Thanks a lot, swpa!!  You are thinking along the same lines that I am.  I realize a couple mistakes, just in talking to you guys and my uncle, who has killed a lot more turks than me.  I don't ever roost birds the night before.  Usually because my hunting area was a couple hours away, it made it hard to get there to roost after work.  I've always had a good general idea of where the birds would be, and relied more on crow calling them in the morning to find their specific roost.  I called a bird in off the roost last year.  I got him so close to me that I could hear him spitting.  But, I chose a very poor setup in the dark.  It put the bird behind some THICK multi-flora rose bushes.  And although he was within 50 yards of me, I NEVER saw him.  Sucker gobbled to me for almost an hour, before a hen finally slipped up out of the creek bottom and joined him.  Game over!![:'(]
 
Later that same day, I called in 2 longbeards.  I again chose a setup that was less than ideal.  When they popped up over a small rise that was about 30 yards away, they were behind a huge oak tree.  As soon as they stepped out, they started alarm putting, and walking away.  I rushed the shot, and hit a sapling instead.  I assumed it was my decoys that scared them, but it could have been something else. 
 
Had another bird days later on a different part of the property.  I got in real close on the roost.  There was a tractor trail through the timber that allowed me to do that.  He flew down into the valley (I was above him) and never would crest the hill to come to me.  (I even called in 2 hens that checked out my decoys.)  But, ole long-spurs just kept gobbling on the hillside in the sun.  There was no way to setup below him, as that valley floor was wide open river bottom, and he could have totally seen you down there.
 
Anyway, I'm rambling on, just throwing out stories of what I've done, so guys could make an educated guess as to the mistakes I'm making.
 
Thanks again!!!

joey p
 
Posts: 31
Joined: April 10th, 2009, 4:35 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 10th, 2009, 8:02 am

Clark, thanks.  That article was great.  You might like to know, the one turkey I've killed was in Marshall Co., IL.  Up north of Peoria.  That bird was litereally trying to mount my hen decoy when I pulled the trigger.  I've also hunted turkeys in Adams Co., and well as Bond Co. down south.  Now I'm in Indiana, and we have great turkey hunting too.  Good luck to you this season!!

Ozarks Hillbilly
 
Posts: 435
Joined: February 2nd, 2009, 7:13 am

RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Ozarks Hillbilly » April 10th, 2009, 9:21 am

joey from your stories sounds like you have just had a few bad set ups and some turkeys just being turkeys. The old gobbler on the hillside was just being a turkey and wanting you to come over to his party instead of him coming to yours no matter how sweet a invitation you where sending him. I have used hen decoys a little over the years and have never used one of the full strut decoys. But I have had them screw up far more hunts than they have ever helped with but thats just my experience with them. Good luck to you this spring and remember patience and perseverance.
These Ozark Mountains Ain't High But The Hollers Sure Are Deep

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