What am I doing wrong?

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby JPH » April 10th, 2009, 9:40 am

ORIGINAL: joey p

I know from duck hunting, if you're not where the birds want to be, they ain't coming. Period. 

That is the key, in my opinion. Nothing makes you look more like a great caller than calling from a place the birds already want to go.

I have learned where they want to be by being mobile and, at times, following the birds all over the places I hunt. Eventually the pattern starts to show.

My advice would be to lace your boots up tight, lighten the load and spend some time trying to move with, and eventually in front of those birds.

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby shaman » April 10th, 2009, 2:50 pm

ORIGINAL: joey p

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.

#1 mindset:  Be where there are turkeys-- believe me it helps a lot.

#2 mindset:  Be like that wise old bird, the owl. He may be the stupidest bird in the woods, but he has the reputation for being wise.  The reason?  His calls are sparse and he asks questions:  Who?   Who? If you can get where the turkeys are, and give a little bit of calling to get them interested, the gobblers will eventually come to check you out.  If you're a loud boisterous dip, the turkeys will figure out you are a bad fake and give you a wide berth.  Woodsmanship will beat out calling nearly every time.    A little cluck now and again  (Where are you?) is sometimes all you need.
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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby swpatrkyhunter » April 10th, 2009, 5:09 pm

Well Joey, seems like you are getting a pretty good idea about where things may have been going wrong for you. From your last couple posts it sounds like your setups are causing you some issues. When you find yourself in that situation again where after it gets daylight you realize you made a poor judgement in where to setup look around and get a good look from your seated position for a spot that may be more well suited and when you find one go over to it before you leave the area and sit down and see what kind of setup spot it might be in relation to the turkey movement. I think you'll do fine this year weather you get a bird or not your getting lessons from the best teachers out there! The Turkeys themselves.   Good luck!
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby mark hay » April 11th, 2009, 1:47 am

good morning JOEY,
you are not alone in this delimma . if all the hunters on this forum were to tell all the stories of hunts gone wrong , there would be no room for the threads of congratulations .
 you've already been given sound advice from some of the best , and i really don't think i can improve what they have said .
 but many times WE pick up tidbits here and there to help us along .
in an attempt to also be of help i'll throw in some thoughts of my own .
are you tree yelping or calling to the birds while they are still in the trees?
  slow down a little ,,,keep quiet ,,,wait on better light and pick your set up spot when you can see the woods floor . many times i'll wait for the birds to get established on the ground before i give a call . if it's a quiet morning , no wind or rain , call lightly , softly . sparingly . too much or too loud will often times hang up the bird .
 my personal success improved after i changed my mindset from ''i must kill a turkey '' to ''I MUST WORK THE BIRD TO ME ''.
 it's sort of like the old saying '' you can't work if you don't eat'',,,''you can't eat if you don't work''.
 fooling tom to enter your 40 yard bubble, by picking the right setup and CONVINCING calls . once this is accomplished , the KILLING or shooting part becomes much simpler.
welcome to the T&TH forum ,,,good hunting . stay with us and askin' questions.
  ''old school turkey tactics''

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 11th, 2009, 4:07 am

In the last couple seasons, I've stopped tree calling to toms alltogether.  I will occasionally crow at them, to keep tabs as I set up.  But, I think that with them usually having hens on the roost, it seems the hens will always try to lead him away from an "unknown" hen.  Therefore, I think it hurts me if I hen call to a roosted tom.  Besides that, they gobble on their own for a long time on the roost anyway.  I would guess between 15-30 minutes before they fly down.  I just try to listen and sneak in silent.
Last year I had something funny happen.  There is an old open pasture at the top of a ridge.  It's dotted with cedars.  It was about mid morning.  Before I exited the timber into the open, I gave a rowdy crow call.  Got a gobble on the other side of the crown of the pasture, down into the timber a little ways.  I slipped around the perimiter, and crawled up the 4 wheeler trail.  I sat under a cedar, and yelped a little.  GOBBBBBBLLLLEEE!!!! Just right below me in the woods, probably 50 yards or less.  And then, it sounded like you were walking through a turkey calling convention.  This old hen was MAD!!!  She sounded like a jackhammer!!!  So, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I threw the book at her.  Yelps, cutts, cackles, fighting purrs, you name it.  She answered me, until I was about to pass out from blowing my mouth call.  All the while, ole longbeard must've gobbled 100 times, but that old hen WOULD NOT let him come up the hill.  I still laugh thinking about that story!![:D]

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby joey p » April 11th, 2009, 4:13 am


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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Fan Club » April 11th, 2009, 4:30 am

If you never saw that gobbler, there's a good chance he had even more hens with him. I've had irked hens come right up in my face looking for a fight or circling my decoys...all while the tom continues to gobble while getting farther away, led by another hen. It's not always the boss hen that confronts you and toms often give "courtesy" gobbles to join the party when they are headed in another direction.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby hoosierhunter » April 14th, 2009, 4:45 am

Well Joey,  there you have it. Some of the best advice to be found anywhere, from some of the best turkey hunters anywhere. There is still a lot of good advice out there, but you have your plate full now, and besides, its more fun to learn from your own experiences than from what you read or hear. Some of the best advice I've ever heard given on a forum is as follows, the only absolute about turkey hunting is, there is no absolutes about turkey hunting ! Sit down wrong , and your beat ! Enjoy yourself, enjoy your hunt, and enjoy the turkeys, and please enjoy the wonderful serenity that comes from watching life bloom in the spring. 

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby mossbergboy » April 27th, 2009, 4:25 pm

your not the only one i have only been on one turkey hunt that went just as planned

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RE: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Gobbleking57 » May 4th, 2009, 2:56 pm

Hoosier said it best.There are no absolutes in turkey hunting.I had a good example of that this past weekend. I heard zero gobbling at daylight. So I just set up with some decoys on a foodplot near where I had heard gobbling in the past on high ground. I had a buddy on the other side of the bottom from me and we were communicating by text.I soft called for about an hour and no response.My buddy told me he was headed my way to sit with me on my set-up. As he got near me he decided to play and started cutting on a pot to see if I would answer. He was about 75 yds down a hill from me. I knew it was him but I played along and started cutting back on a crystal pot.After about 3 sessions of cuts I texted him and said good try, come on up.No sooner than I set my phone down and I looked up I had two red heads coming straight at me. Caught me totally off guard coming in silent. About the time they were getting to my decoys my buddy pops over the top of the hill and they were gone in a flash. I guess the cutting game is what it took to get em in but the timing sucked.
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