NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

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turkey junky
 
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NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby turkey junky » April 17th, 2012, 11:43 am

hey all happy that turkey season is now in full swing across the country except for all you poor souls up in the north east!!! but any way i have been dieing to ask some turkey hunting celebrities on there feelings of todays new age turkey hunters VS the old school turkey hunters...

the main & biggest difference i see in todays new age turkey hunters VS the old schoolers is the lack for the need to try & keep there turkey hunting spots/areas secret??? the old school turkey hunters i knew/know have perfected the art of not giving away there secret hunting spots... wear as todays hunters dont think twice B4 naming a state county & the exact peace of public land the hunt or have tagged a bird on??? the old school hunters i know & my-self also feel that naming the exact peace of public land in any state you hunt is highly diss-respectfull to any of the other hunters that share that peace of public land with you or after you & or the guy giving away hunting spots....

the next big difference is all the new age extra realistic decoys & house size pop up blinds... there are a lot of new age turkey hunters that feel that that is the only way to hunt turkeys in a pop up blind & have a 85-130$$$ decoy out in front of you
wear as just about 10-12 yrs ago most hunters would of never thought/felt that that was the way to hunt turkeys a few mite have been doing such but not a size able number of hunters like today... its nothing to drive around turkey country in many states & seen pop up blinds dot n agg fields all over the place...

also lots of new age turkey hunters have adopted the QDMA mentality when it comes to turkey hunting... like they will not shoot jakes only mature gobblers that work to a call... i remember when i started hunting turkey you went out into the turkey woods to hunt a turkey not just a mature tom... but man times have changed in my short turkey hunting yrs...

tex3012
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby tex3012 » April 17th, 2012, 12:56 pm

i agree with everyone your saying but the whole turkey decoy/blind thing.. the technology and design of those "zink and dsd" decoys and "advanced" blinds were not available "back then".. so who knows if they would have been used or not..
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scott ellis1974
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby scott ellis1974 » April 17th, 2012, 1:36 pm

First off thanks for your post. I think we need to guideline that "ethics" is not what is in question here. It's more of the modern day "methods" that should be talked about.

I do not find a gentlemen telling someone a spot on a map where he can get on a bird or using a pop up blind with decoys or shooting a jake unethical. Just simply personal preference. I do not shoot jakes and have been that way since I shot my first turkey, which was a jake 27 years ago. How do you fault someone for only wanting to harvest a mature bird? Most I know pride themselves in letting the juveniles grow one more year so that they may have a shot at a gobbling, full fan strutter the next. But If someone wants to harvest a jake and it is legal, then more power to them.

I personally dont mind helping folks kill turkeys by telling them a spot where I have gotten on birds. I hunt public and private land all over the place and I dont need some "secret" spot to successfully bag a bird. If someone is where I want to hunt, I'll just find turkeys elsewhere. I do it year in and year out.

I am also not an advocate of pop up blinds and rarely use a decoy, but that doesnt mean they dont successfully harvest turkeys. To the folks that do use them regularly, more power to them. I would rather sit against the base of a tree just me and my camo, decoyless, and set up where the gobbler has to come close enough to see the hen he is hearing and then, BOOM it's too late for him. Set up is key in my world.

These are my thoughts. Thanks for sharing.


SE

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turkey junky
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby turkey junky » April 17th, 2012, 6:38 pm

folks have been using stuffed decoys for over 10-12 yrs so they were around... as was custum maid double bull pop up blinds i have a gary clancy book about hunting wild turkey and he has a pic of a pop up blind maid by double bull back in 1996 they really took off come 2000 its 2012 now thats 12 yrs already...

my point was that old school turkey hunters didnt give away spots & would rather pull a tooth then relocate to another woods once they found a gobbler... i think that has alot to do with the numbers of turkeys back then or lack there of... but still there are folks make n web sites advertiseing public land hunting spots & that is un called for... it just puts un needed pressure on public lands & wrecks it for every body... your prefernce shouldnt interfear with other hunters that you share land with public private or lease... i mainly hunt public land i only hunt 1 state 5 days a yr that is private & thats only because it is tradition in my family to do so for the past 27-28 yrs...

CarrieZ
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby CarrieZ » April 19th, 2012, 11:22 am

Great article but I'm not so sure I agree with your stance on sharing location information.

As a writer I consistently say "I saw a buck on this portion of public hunting land" or "I caught great walleyes on this body of water".
I hunted and took two turkeys about 10 years ago. Last year was my first time getting back into the sport.
Someone posted on my facebook wall, the google GPS coordinates to a field where they consistently saw turkeys and thought I would appreciate the tip.

The whole point of public land is just that - it's public. Anyone has the right to hunt there and "keeping it secret" negates the whole point of public hunting land.
Public hunting land is always a high pressure environment and the idea that I post "I saw 30 toms strutting in Allenton Marsh this morning" will suddenly cause an influx of turkey hunters and ruin the whole place is a somewhat unreasonable statement.

I personally appreciate when someone is willing to share information with me. I'm more than willing to put in the time and the effort to find my own prey but there are times when a little help might just be what I need for a successful hunt.

As far as old timers go, I've heard many stories where they'd be happy to help a new hunter or an inexperienced hunter out by taking them along. (I am in Wisconsin though and my personal experience with other states like Michigan - the culture is much, much different.)

These old timers did not necessarily advertising where exactly the turkeys were, and yes I wholeheartedly agree this could be due to amount of available birds back then compared to now.

Anyhow, good topic and good luck this season.
:)

Myakka Chuck
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby Myakka Chuck » April 20th, 2012, 1:02 am

I don't think the question should be old vs new practices (not ethics) as it is hard hunters who put in the time and effort vs those who want to go the easy route. I hunt for the challenge of it (as well as the fun, the communing with nature and my God, friendship and comaraderie, and not the least, the delicious reward at the dinner table). I have put it long hours, year after year, learning how to be a good turkey hunter. I've had some great help from a few personal mentors (thank you Keith P., Bill D., Keith A.) but I've also read almost everything I could get my hands on, spent long days in the field, traveled long distances to hunt birds in new and exciting places, and generally worked my butt off getting to this point. I am more than willing to offer advice and assistance to those who ask for it, and I've made a point of passing on what I know to young hunters who were willing to listen.

but I do not feel obliged to advise, assist, help, coddle, or grant approval to those who just want to go out and kill a bird without learning the skills, practice patience, or even show common courtesy to those with whom they share the field. I could cite many examples but anyone who has hunted long enough either on public land or private land that is shared with non-family members probably knows what I'm talking about.

OK, here's one pet peeve, mentioned by turkey junky at the outset of this thread: pop-up blinds. To me, the most difficult aspect of turkey hunting is being still or moving so slowly that a bird looking at you doesn't bolt right away. I've been busted sooooo many times by birds that came up behind or, more often, to the one side or the other, that I really started to get angry with myself about it. Usually, it was due to mosquitos (thank goodness for ThermaCells), but sometimes it was just me adjusting my aching butt (a friend showed me how to camo paint & tape a low-slung beach chair until the Everest turkey lounger came out, my skinny, meatless rear end can now sit for hours, and that is bona fide turkey tip for you beginners out there). Nevertheless, I never considered putting up a pop-up because to me that is taking the easy way out, the exceptions being if you're taking [u]young[u] children (by 12 a kid should be able to sit still for at least 30-45 minutes), the disabled, and probably bow hunters (although I have seen bow hunters take birds without a tent). Yes, "tent" because that is what a pop-up blind is, it is a room with a view (actually several views if you want). I have been to a famous TX ranch quite a few times and got to know a father/son/grandson group who went there every year. Every year they would tag out, often by the first or second morning of a 2 1/2 day hunt. I marveled at their success until I found out that they always used a tent blind. I ask you, what is the challenge in sitting in a tent with a guide doing all the caling for you using a stuffed hen mount decoy? Heck, the funnest, most exciting part of turkey hunting (and duck, elk, coyote, etc) is calling, getting a response, and having a conversation with a wild critter. My opinion of those northeasterners come to the southwest was knocked down quite a few pegs after that. Not that I am above using a blind, I just prefer to build it myself out of branches, leaves, and palmetto fronds (I live in the south), or whatever cover is available in the area (I've turkey hunted in 9 states - not that many compared to some - making use of what I could find to make blinds).

The love of the challenge is why I generally choose to let jakes walk. To me, shooting a jake is like shooting a yearling forker buck. They are too "stupid" ie, inexperienced, to know better than to come running at every hen call. I have been surrounded by as many as 14 jakes, practically being stepped on, enjoying their curiousity and excitement, but chose not to shoot because I wanted to match my skill against a worthy, experienced opponent - a longbeard. BTW, that particular incident occurred while my then 12-year old nephew and I hugged a giant oak with nothing to separate us from the birds but air and a few blades of gress. My heart was pounding and my nephew was dang near vibrating as these were the first turkeys he'd seen up close, but he held tight, even whispering "why don't you shot one?" without spooking a single jake.

Not that I will never shoot a jake. My home club is very difficult to hunt due to its small size, shape, on site competition and hunting pressure on adjoining property. It is so difficult that those of us who hunt it regularly and have hunted in many other areas consider a jake on our land to be equal in difficulty to mature birds taken in areas with more land to work and more birds to shoot. Nonetheless, I will usually wait until the very end of the season to kill a jake, hoping for a longbeard instead. But by the endof the season, I have patterned those jakes in such a low impact manner that they will still flydown to me on the last morning of their lives. And boy are those young birds tender!

Decoys have come a long way since I began my relatively short big game career (I was primarily a wingshooter until about the time I hit the Big 4-0). Back then, even a so-so looking deek would fool a horny tom. My first longbeard was killed after he sprinted up to my jake/hen setup and faced off with that fake jake. But as time went on, I noticed it was harder and harder to get mature birds to approach a decoy if it had more than just a few seconds to see it before I shot it. So I began to get better looking deeks but their effectiveness didn't last long, so I started setting them, and myself, in spots where the approaching tom couldn't see the deek until he was in shooting range, which often meant I couldn't see him until he saw the deek (unless I was really crafty). Then I encountered some field birds who wouldn't come close enough without seeing that henny penny who was seductively sirening him, so I got an A-Way Skinz and that worked for a while but the Skinz wore a bit getting pulled in and out of my vest, so I've gone back to only using a deek when absolutely necessary. I want that gobbler to come find ME and it usually works. Using decoys is a bit like using drugs: the more you use them, the less effective they become, and you have to escalate to a more potent solution until you OD on deeks. to me, ODing on deeks is carrying 1-3 large lumpy bags filled with beautiful and expensive mounts or facsimiles thereof, putting them 20 yards in front of you and thinking that your calling skill is what killed the tom you carry out, along with those lumpy deek bags. One of my buddies killed a long-spurred 4 year old on opening day with 3 $100+ decoys. Truth is he is an excellent caller of any game, but that morning he was in the hot spot with a hot lonely gobbler roosted all by himself. My dead grandmother could have killed that bird.

And finally, the question that started this rant: do you share your secret spots? That goes back to my first point of earning your spurs, so to speak. If you put in the time in the field to scout, learn the territory, and finally kill a bird on public land (or even private land shared with non-family members), then you have spent a significant portion of your life you can never get back just to take home a wild turkey (or deer, elk, whatever). If some short timer looking for an easy way to get his kill without putting much effort into it comes asking for your advice as to where to go, it seems cheap to just give that info to someone who doesn't really respect the effort it takes to glean it from the woods and critters. I have been on both sides of that equation and I understand why those who know can be reluctant to "spread the wealth".

OK, I've lost my last 2 paragraphs twice by accidentally hitting the wrong button and it is now very late and I'm going to cash in. I had written an example about hunting a WMA and finally getting a bird, and the difficulty in getting hints about where to go, and becoming one of the "club" after I finally killed a bird, but let me just say this in closing. If you work to learn the territory, respect others in the field, and show the experienced guys that you're not just looking for a quick easy kill, you are far more apt to get the advice you seek than if you just set your popup in the middle of the same field somebody else is already hunting.

Scott, I think you are extremely generous to share such hard won information with complete strangers. Maybe there are more birds where you hunt, maybe you have more places to go than most, or maybe you're just a nice guy. Considering how helpful you've been on this forum, I'm going with the latter.

Guess TJ hit a nerve with his post. Don't worry, pal, you are not alone.

Goodnight everybody,
MC

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scott ellis1974
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby scott ellis1974 » April 20th, 2012, 6:56 am

Just for clarification, I do not post up turkey secrets on the internet and blather to the masses about where they should hunt. But if someone comes to me and is genuine and need a general direction to start I do not mind helping out. It's that simple, I guess I'm just a nice guy.

BUT,to add to this I have enough confidence in my abilities to know I can find plenty of birds on public ground and to go in behind people and harvest the birds that are still there, that most hunters could not. (not trying to sound pompus or arrogant, just stating my opinion) I honestly get my kicks out of hunting what I call "rank" gobblers that have been chased all season long. I love the challenge. It is NO secret the kamikazee two year olds and the "easy" birds will be harvested, for the most part, early in the season before the consistent hunting pressure sets in.......

se

CarrieZ
 
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Re: NEW AGE TURKEY HUNTING ETHICS

Postby CarrieZ » April 20th, 2012, 7:48 am

Myakka Chuck wrote:
"but I do not feel obliged to advise, assist, help, coddle, or grant approval to those who just want to go out and kill a bird without learning the skills, practice patience, or even show common courtesy to those with whom they share the field."

Couldn't agree more, that's what hired turkey guides are for! (And some "hunting tv shows" too LOL)


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