How much to call?

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Bobbyparks » May 29th, 2010, 2:29 am

ORIGINAL: DeanoZ

Thanks Joe..appreciate the needed perspective...thats sorta what I've been doing.  I was getting the impression from Bobby's post that he may call low and slow initially and if he does not get an immediate response he throws out progressively louder sets one right after another?


DeanoZ

Thats pretty much it. Kind of depends and sometimes when if I'm moving and calling every 100 yards or so I may even start out loud just to keep the possibilty of shocking him into gobbling.

If it's a morning birds have seemed hot or if I've set up in a spot and doing timed sequencial calling I  start out fairly low to mid volume just in case ones moved in close. Then I make sure I can be heard. I usually only do 3-4 series of yelps though regardless of whether I'm moving or sitting. I use only pots and mostly boxes when I'm hunting and often will hit both right behind each other just in case theres a sound they need to hear on that day . 
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doepee
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby doepee » May 29th, 2010, 3:46 am

When you guys talk about a calling then waiting for 15 to 20 minutes ect. and then calling again. How much calling do you do on each one of those sets for instance yelp yelp yelp yelp yelp is that a set then you wait.. cut cut cut purr purr cut purr cut. How much calling is a set of calls and maybe what sequence. Would be interested in what you do for a set when you first call in the morning and thereafter.. I know this sounds alittle confusing just would like to know what you might call soft calling set and what you might call an aggressive calling set.. How long a set would last before you call again.. Thanks Jim

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Bobbyparks
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Bobbyparks » May 29th, 2010, 4:14 am

ORIGINAL: doepee

When you guys talk about a calling then waiting for 15 to 20 minutes ect. and then calling again. How much calling do you do on each one of those sets for instance yelp yelp yelp yelp yelp is that a set then you wait.. cut cut cut purr purr cut purr cut. How much calling is a set of calls and maybe what sequence. Would be interested in what you do for a set when you first call in the morning and thereafter.. I know this sounds alittle confusing just would like to know what you might call soft calling set and what you might call an aggressive calling set.. How long a set would last before you call again.. Thanks Jim




Jim,

I'll set up and call perodically here at home in the mornings if I think I'm for sure in a very good spot, birds have gotten quiet or in the afternoon when they're almost always quiet here. I do it in Texas in the mid afternoon as well but never out west where birds are generally more responsive. Easterns really are a different breed. I'd much rather chase and move with gobbling birds....but...you adat as needed

I can't wait 20 minutes between calling unless my hands are tied or I fall asleep so it's more like 10-15 although 15 is probably ideal.

If I'm actually working a bird depending on how he's acting etc I may do what I consider true soft calling which is just purrs and clucks and very soft short yelps.

To maybe revise what I said on the previous post, my first yelp might be slightly lower than mid level and then you can remove low out of it. When calling perodically when sititng in a spot or when I'm moving. The lowest I call then is a mid volume yelp at first and then crank it into louder yelps mixed with cutting and excited hen yelping. It's not true soft calling at all.

The idea is to be sure you're heard. No need to be too soft here in my opinion. Bottom line is I work the volume up pretty quickly, mix it up, probably don't call more than 20- 30 seconds at the very most but if he's within 250 yards, he likely heard me. It it's windy I wait for a lull. If he drifts closer between my next calling sequence my first mid volume yelps might make him gobble or may not. In the afternoon he''ll likely just show quietly.

There are exceptions as to when I might never go loud and thats if I was near a roost spot that I felt for sure they would be coming back to. Then it's nothing but true soft calling and patience.

Again I'm not saying this is how everyone should do it but I've killed turkeys like this consistently for years

I know none of us think or hunt exactly alike but this approach has definitely worked for me. On one hand there's the approach thats if generally speaking hens are quiet you should keep it low. This may very well be true....That said, I make sure I'm going to be heard and I'm the only loud mouth lonely hen in the woods
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DeanoZ
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby DeanoZ » May 29th, 2010, 7:30 pm

Good question, was wondering the same myself.  A series for me would usually last on the order or 30 seconds to a minute when I first started...but lately I find myself dragging them out...but mostly because I spend the first 30 seoncss trying to get the right pitch and sweet spot on the pot...my calls just did not sound right.  I'm guessing this is not ideal and I'm hopefull with some better calls and practice that will stop...but still would like to hear more from others on how long the run a series for?  BTW Bobby thanks for the feedback.
 
ORIGINAL: doepee

When you guys talk about a calling then waiting for 15 to 20 minutes ect. and then calling again. How much calling do you do on each one of those sets for instance yelp yelp yelp yelp yelp is that a set then you wait.. cut cut cut purr purr cut purr cut. How much calling is a set of calls and maybe what sequence. Would be interested in what you do for a set when you first call in the morning and thereafter.. I know this sounds alittle confusing just would like to know what you might call soft calling set and what you might call an aggressive calling set.. How long a set would last before you call again.. Thanks Jim

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mark hay
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby mark hay » May 30th, 2010, 3:53 am

Most of my experience is with pressured birds . The pressure begins in early to mid March .Season opens the 3rd Monday of April. City dwellers and travellers will come into the hunting area to watch , call and so many times go out into the woods and call up birds to video . What we don't know is just how many times they fail to actually SEE the birds they BOOGERED by not being able to remain STILL in their set up .What I do know is they come from other parts of the state to do this on an area they do not hunt , so they won't educate the birds they want to kill .Also I suspect that they enter the woods with the idea in their head ,,''IT AIN'T HUNTIN' SEASON YET ,,,,WHY BOTHER WITH STEALTH?'' May be I'm wrong on that ,,,,but someone will have to correct me with proof .
 With all that being said , and accepting the fact they are Easterns , the majority of my tag filling hunts have been when I used very faint calls . The series were short . 3-5 yelps , preceeded by a couple soft whines . Or , just faint purrs and clucks. Or some 4 strokin' with the wing as the first call , wait a minute or two and cluck softly .
 
 Each season ,for me , has revealed just how little we actually comprehend and believe , and remember about the hearing ability of the wild turkey .
 For example : How many times have we eased into the woods a hundred yards or so , and then make a few calls . Nothing responds . We wait a minute or maybe five minutes , and hit another call , or repeat the first call . Nothing . We move on another 100-150 yards and repeat the scenario .
  Unless you or I are treading softly in a well used two-track , or going through cedars where the majority of the ground is covered with moss we are being heard move by the birds . Face it , dry hardwood leaves are unforgiving . The unseen twigs and sticks under the leaves are even worse . Oh , we can reduce the noise by slowing down to a crawl , set our toes down first , and not brushing against briars , bushes and stuff . But any sound at all is heard by the bird . The brushing of the pants legs is unforgiving by any critter .
 Twice this spring I deliberately took my time and eased into an area of ridges where a known smart allec gobbler resides . I covered approx. 400 yards to my set up . I didn't make any call as I moved . It is a gamble to do this in some places , but I had good ground cover , and moved slowly with several pauses . My idea is that they hear me walking , and being the spooky birds they are , they will GO AWAY from my noise .
 Once I reached my desired set up , I just got still and quiet . My plan was to wait 30-45 minutes without any call or movement . On both occasions the gobbler began to gobble on his own . I'm convinced he heard me walking on my way in an simply avoided me by going away , yet listening intently to my movement . After it got quiet and I didn't make any calls , like I have so many times and have witnessed so many others do the same , I think he felt safe to broadcast his desires for a girl and took up gobbling .
 He was no less than 250 yards from me when he began to gobble . No I haven't killed him either . No complaints . He's a good teacher .
 I can't say for sure , but , I believe he is the bird I hunted last season , ''HEAD OF THE HOLLER TOM''. This bird has the exact same characteristics as the one in the same area last year .
 I followed his gobbles one Saturday morning this season . I was at the head of the holler  while one of my boys was a good distance down the holler . Just like the hands on a reliable clock , the tom gobbled from the break ridge . He then flew about 300 yards across the big holler to the other side and resumed gobbling . From there he went east to some private land . I returned to my truck and drove around the holler and cut the distance by two 3rds . When I shut the truck off , he was gobbling strong . Then I could hear my son calling from over on the other side of the big holler . Then I hear some yelp yelp yelp yelp yelp closer to the gobbler . Each time the bird would gobble , that hunter would respond with the same identical series of yelps. Actually there were 3 hunters spread out out over about 100 yards and they would take turns yelping in the same fashion after the tom would gobble . Tom finally went away and the hunters got in their trucks and left .
 
 They hear us . They hear the calls . They learn faster than hunters , and have a better memory.
 In spite of them hearing us , we at times , make a series of hot yelps and some cutting and get a gobbler fired up . But of all those fired up gobblers from such tactics how many actually died ? Or , did they hang up and eventually go away ?
 
 I'm convinced . If there is a gobbling bird on the next ridge over , and you can hear him clearly , to the point you know when he is facing you or facing away , he can hear your leaf scratching and the faintest purr you can produce on a pot call,,,,,,,,,,,,,and your movement . Once we make contact with a bird we would do well to move , if necessary , and make our movement SOUNDS  part of our calling .

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JPH
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby JPH » May 30th, 2010, 7:53 am

ORIGINAL: doepee

When you guys talk about a calling then waiting for 15 to 20 minutes ect. and then calling again. How much calling do you do on each one of those sets for instance yelp yelp yelp yelp yelp is that a set then you wait.. cut cut cut purr purr cut purr cut. How much calling is a set of calls and maybe what sequence. Would be interested in what you do for a set when you first call in the morning and thereafter.. I know this sounds alittle confusing just would like to know what you might call soft calling set and what you might call an aggressive calling set.. How long a set would last before you call again.. Thanks Jim

 
John Madden wrote a book, "One Knee Equals Two Feet", about 25 years ago. In the book he described every position on a football team and what he thought it took in order to be great. being a linebacker in high school, I enjoyed his take on that position better than any other. In that chapter he explained that as he interviewed linbackers across the NFL, he found that the better a linebacker a guy was, the harder it was for him to explain what he did when the ball was snapped. he said the good ones would tell you exactly what they were looking at and where they moved on the field in response. The great ones just shrugged and said they didn't really know why they did what they did, they just felt the paly and flowed to the ball.
 
I suspect great turkey hunters are much the same. It seems to me that we have several great turkey hunters here really trying to offer an answer to a great question, but I can tell they are not really comfortable with the answer they are giving. They want to help, they really do. They also want to be truthful. The problem is, the really honest answer might come off as rude. I think the honest answer is that they just have a sense for how to work birds on a given day and thay really cannot express it in terms on minutes or numbers of sets. For these guys, it just flows.
 
I am not a great turkey hunter. There are many days where I find myself looking at my watch to see when I should call again or counting how many yelps I put in a series. Those are usually the days in which I leave empty handed. Not that that is a bad thing. Those are the days where I learn, even without knowing I am learning.
 
But every so often I have a great day. On those days brother gobbler and I have a connection. On those days I would be hard pressed to tell you how long I waited between calls, how long I called in a series or even how long I've been in the woods. Those days are a gift.
 
I have a hunch that some of the guys offering advice here spend most of their hunting time having great days because they are great turkey hunters. unfortunately, greatness is hard to pass on. It is a gift and it is a thing earned.
 
If there were a shortcut to greatness, we'd all be there.

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mark hay
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby mark hay » May 30th, 2010, 8:13 am

I agree with that JP.
 
 There are times in the woods ,that, like here in front of the c'puter , my mind seems to be in a fog . Systematic thoughts are hard to come by at times . Days in the woods with the brain fog are generally void of action .
 
 As for the good days , I'm generally alone and don't feel compelled to ''MAKE IT HAPPEN'',,,,which doesn't always make it happen anyway .

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 30th, 2010, 9:01 am

Deano, one of the biggest problems with newer hunters is exactly what your doing. People know what a turkey call should sound like and they figure that it needs to sound exactly right everytime they play it. You'll start calling and if that didn't sound right they wait a min or two then they try it again and again, and again, until they hit the sound they want or the sweet spot. The probllem is now they've hit 25-40 yelps in a 10 min period trying to find that perfect sound. We've all done it at one time or another, and there is nothing wrong with a long series of yelping, IF it is done in the right cadence. CADENCE is everything in turkey calling. I don't care how bad that call sounds or how perfect it sounds, if your calling isn't in the right cadence all your doing is educating the turkley's, and even after you find that sweet spot on the call you can't get that turkey to answer or he'll answer as he's going the other way. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad sounding turkey call, it can be as sweet as any hen you've ever heard or it can sound like an old rusty screen door, but if your cadence isn't right you've just blew your setup. It makes no differance if your using yelps, cutts, clucks purrs, they all have a certain cadence in calling. You could use a rusty nail on the back of an old plate and call a bird in if your cadence is correct. Never, Never run the same series of calls one after another, even though it may sound perfect to you, you might just as well plug the neon flashing arrow HUNTER sign in. We've all heard it, Yelp Yelp Yelp Cutt Cutt Purr then 5 min to a half hour later Yelp Yelp Yelp Cutt Cutt Purr, even we know then it's a hunter and not a bird, and they are a lot wiser then we are to turkey sounnds. There really is no given time period between calls on how often you should call or on how long you should call, some hens never shut up and some may only call a couple of times all morning? I try not to be the first bird calling in the morning, even though I have a new call in my vest, and have been practicing my calls all winter, I sound perfact can't wait to call, DON"T, let the birds start before you even touch a call, you have to feel them out. Birds have a pecking order and they follow it, your old hen will always start off and then the woods will come alive with birds talking on the roost. That's why you can be set up and you hear a bird fly down but it never said a word on the roost, that's because it's not the dom bird and it knows that if it sounds off it may catch heck from the old hen in the flock. The tom's are the same way, you'll hear one bird start off gobbling them the rest start gobbling around the woods, dominance has it's order and they follow it.
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Gobblerman
 
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RE: How much to call?

Postby Gobblerman » May 30th, 2010, 3:38 pm

This has been a great thread, and there have been a lot of fantastic posts made here on the subject.  ....Very enjoyable reading!
 
One of the things I have found most fascinating about turkey hunting, and spring gobbler hunting in particular, is that it is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle.  I have hunted gobblers long enough to have a pretty good idea what all the pieces are, but when they are all lying there on the table scattered about, it sometimes takes me a while to figure out what order they need to be assembled in.  Indeed, with each gobbler we hunt, we assume we have all of the pieces of the complete puzzle at our disposal,...it is sometimes...no, often.... just difficult to put them in order. 
 
Experience in turkey hunting is equivalent to having an old, familiar puzzle that you have worked before.  Conversely, being inexperienced is like having all the pieces of a puzzle thrown out in front of you without a picture of the puzzle there to look at.
 
The puzzle foundation,...the border....is the easy part.  The edges are square and we can pick them out and gather them all up for assembly.  The fundamentals of turkey hunting,...calling, woodsmanship, scouting, roosting, etc.....are like the border of the puzzle.  They are defined components that are pretty easy to identify and sort out.  To be successful in finishing the puzzle, though, a person must "fit" all the rest of the parts together inside the border.  There are easy puzzles with a few big pieces,....and there are really hard puzzles with a lot of little pieces.  The more you work jigsaw puzzles, in general, the better you become at them.  You learn to pick out the border, sort the inside pieces for similar characteristics, and look for unique features on individual pieces that give them away. 
 
Such is the case, too, with turkey hunting. If you grab the right puzzle...that is, encounter the right gobbler (an anxious two-year-old, for instance)....it is like grabbing a puzzle with big, easy pieces.  If you choose the wrong gobbler to hunt, it can be like grabbing that 1000-piecer off the shelf.  Sure, you might be able to eventually put it together, but do you have enough time and patience to work it?  ...And even if you do, you might get to the end and find out there are a couple of pieces missing!
 
The point is that those of us that have worked a bunch of puzzles have learned something about doing it,....and those that haven't must go through the learning process.  You have to learn what all the pieces are,... starting with the borders,... and then sort through the harder middle pieces and figure out how they go together.  
 
Calling is one of the borders, but all of the combinations of calls and calling techniques are like the more complex, interior pieces of the puzzle.   They are not as easy to pick out, and they can be assembled in more than one order,.... but if you force one piece in where it is not supposed to be, you have screwed up the entire puzzle.  It is best to learn not to force any of the pieces!
 
(Gee,....I think I'll let some of you guys tell me what the heck I'm talking about with this post?!!....I must be in one of my "philosophical" moods!)  [:)]
 
Jim  

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RE: How much to call?

Postby rmh181 » May 30th, 2010, 3:51 pm

Hey all-I'm relatively new to this particular forum, been spending my years on the PA hunting forum, but I'm tagged out w/ bird #2 and itchin' to talk w/ others about a sport I love so much.

Some good pts in this thread, in my OP I think "Jim" has hit it right. For new guys, there is absolutely NO substitute for experience, yr after yr w/ chasing spring turkeys. That's the bad part, there's no quick "fix" to mastering turkeys, it simply takes time and a lot of "work". The good part is, you asking questions, spending time in the woods, doing research, watching videos, practicing calling, talking w/ friends who turkey hunt, etc is EXACTLY what will make you a better turkey hunter in the long run. If you are willing to put in the time and put your head behind it, you WILL be a better turkey hunter. Anyone can get lucky and kill a bird, but those "guys" you know that kill birds yr after yr and drive you crazy.....we've done exactly what you are doing now and have done it for yrs.

A question was raised about how much, or what type of calling to do when just randomly "spot" calling. I agree w/ others on some pts, but to me the MOST important thing is, where are you sitting? Why are you there thinking about spot calling? Is this is a known strutt zone to you? Is this a known roost area where you heard birds earlier in the am? Is this a field edge where you know birds like to hang out sometimes? Or did you just come across a spot where you need a break and want to sit down and try it out?

By far and away, when I blind call, 99 times out of 100, my behind is parked in an area where I know birds like to hang out, where I've seen birds hang out over the yrs, a known strutt zone, where I know birds were roosted that am or before, etc. If you just walk and find a spot randomly, the blind calling in my OP is gonna be WAY less successful consistently. Blind call where you know birds were, have been, like to be, period. Those areas will only be known to you, if you put in the time, yr after yr.

As for how much to call, what type of call. I agree w/ others, start soft w/ some clucks and purrs, maybe a short yelp. And slowly work your way up, maybe every 10-15 minutes. Birds rarely call and call and call for 30 minutes or more. They call for a bit, then typically quiet down. Then they call a bit, then quiet bit down, etc. Acting like real birds is the pt.

Like any hunting, there's no sure way to do anything. Deer, turkeys, elk, etc will all react differently to calls, setups, decoys, etc and being at the right place at the right time w/ the right animal, can make all the difference. That can be the really frustrating/tough thing w/ spring turkeys. TIME in the woods, the failures and successes will help you know when to do what and be more successful. Even when you do 100% of it right, sometimes the birds just won't work. And sometimes when you do everything wrong, they come right in. The key is learning, thru trial/error when to do what. You guys will get it, just keep at it, keep screwing up, keep asking questions, keep researching, keep practicing your calls, etc and it will come. Never, EVER give up. If you want it bad enough it'll come. It took me 4 yrs to kill my first Tom on public ground, and I killed it in the last 15 minutes, on the last day of the season on my way back to the truck. I learned right then in there, you've got to keep getting after it, thru the pain, exhaustion, frustration, bugs, whatever....Never, EVER give up and it will happen. Best of luck to all of you!

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