Half a Turkey Hunter?

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charlie elk
 
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Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby charlie elk » June 26th, 2014, 10:09 am

The quiet between seasons here is deafening... Time for some good natured controversy.

Warning - If your skin is thin beware. :lol:

If a turkey hunter does not hunt turkeys in the fall are they only a half a turkey hunter?
How can a hunter be turkey smart if they only hunt half time? and only that time when the turkey sounds off on a limb telling the world where he is?

After spending years as a spring only hunter, then a spring hunter and an opportunistic fall hunter and now a full turkey hunter who looks forward to each season with equal passion; I think in order to be full fledged turkey hunter you must hunt both seasons. OK some states don't have a fall season; so are these guys only half hunters? Well, yeah, they could point their favorite hunting vehicle in the direction of state that does. Right?

There a lot turkey skills learned in the fall that as a spring hunter I did not realize I was missing. When I spring only hunted and the birds were quiet I thought like most hunters the turkeys were not active, not interested and would not respond to calls or totally moved out of the area. Fall taught me this is not the case and how to hunt without a turkey sitting a limb advertising where he is.
Last edited by charlie elk on June 26th, 2014, 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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eggshell
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby eggshell » June 26th, 2014, 11:35 am

I know we have not always agreed Charlie, but I whole heartily agree with you on this. I was not a complete turkey hunter until I started regularly fall hunting. I learned so much during the fall encounters that my spring success rates went way up fast. I have killed several spring gobblers in inactive areas by picking up a subtle cluck or purr that I used to never tune into. It was all about gobbles. I learned the turkey dialect in the fall too, most spring hunters only know a small portion of how turkeys communicate. I would compare it to how we communicate to strangers (we use the least possible words) to how we communicate with intimate friends and family. However, a part of me relishes the fact that so many stay home in the fall....
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timbrhuntr
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby timbrhuntr » June 26th, 2014, 6:37 pm

eggshell wrote: However, a part of me relishes the fact that so many stay home in the fall....


;)

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allaboutshooting
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby allaboutshooting » June 27th, 2014, 4:31 am

I still remember my first fall hunt in Missouri with my friends Glynn Shubert and Bob Pals. Illinois DNR had made it known that a fall turkey hunting season would soon be approved and since none of us had hunted turkeys in the fall, we decided that we should travel to MO and give it a try. That was before the day of DVDs, the Internet and easily obtained hunting information to help you learn fall tactics. All we really knew was that you were "...supposed to find a flock, scatter it and then call them back..."

That sounded a little curious but we thought we'd give it a try. You can probably guess the rest of the story. We couldn't find a flock! It did howevr turn out to be a great trip. We enjoyed being in the turkey woods, discovered the joys of the Mark Twain National Forest, enjoyed meeting many folks in the area, had some great food and generally enjoyed the camaradarie of 3 hunters in the woods in the fall.

That trip was the beginning of my love for fall turkey hunting. As I learned more over the years fall hunting became more and more enjoyable. There is something magic about finding a flock of birds in the fall, scattering them and calling them back to the gun. It's can also be a very social occasion unlike spring turkey hunting. Many times our hunting party has lined a ridge in the hills of Southern Illinois and called in lonely birds from a flock that we've previously scattered.

Anyone who has not given fall hunting a try, really should. It's a whole different experience.

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

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ylpnfol
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby ylpnfol » June 28th, 2014, 9:31 pm

timbrhuntr wrote:
eggshell wrote: However, a part of me relishes the fact that so many stay home in the fall....


;)


Ditto, I hunted turkey's in fall for 7-8 years before I even tried the spring, I do think folks are missing a great time and a lot of opportunity to hear and be among the birds in the fall, there is so much to learn about vocabulary being around a roost full of chatty birds, I think a lot has to do with folks being fixated on big gobblers, and the gobbling itself, personally, I get the same rush talking with a 6 month old hen as I do a 4 yr old gobbler.....half a turkey hunter?? I don't know about that, to each his/ her own I say, plus I don't need anymore competition
David

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Cut N Run
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby Cut N Run » June 30th, 2014, 8:47 pm

No Fall season here. We had an experimental Fall season (January actually) in the five heaviest populated turkey counties here for a few years, but it got cancelled after 3 years. I hunted and had turkeys in range during a few days of those seasons, though I never shot anything. I had a pair of Jakes broadside at 20 yards one day, but I just watched them walk off and hoped our paths crossed again in a few springs. Killing hens was legal then, but that seemed like stealing egg layers from the flock and very short-sighted or counter-productive to me. Besides that, we only get two tags per year and I'm addicted to hunting longbeards in the Spring. If half a hunter is what you need to call me, so be it. I deer hunt in the Fall, but most of that time it is more like turkey scouting from a tree stand. I still watch, listen, and pay attention to any turkey movement in the surrounding woods. I always carry a turkey call to mimic the turkey calls I hear. I've Kee Kee'd up some hens before because I couldn't keep myself from trying.

I hate the long time between turkey seasons here. Eleven months is a mighty long wait. It is what it is. I'm not sure I'd know how to hunt turkeys without ticks, chiggers, and snakes. The time off gives me the opportunity to catch up on some things I neglect during the Spring turkey season. Plus, winter is my vacation time and I have tropical dive trips to take. I don't know any different, so I really don't feel like I'm missing anything. Come next Spring, I'll be hunting as hard as I know how and hoping to learn more each time I get the chance to go. Half a hunter is fine by me, because that's all I can legally do anyway. I'm the best half hunter I can be.

Jim
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charlie elk
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby charlie elk » July 1st, 2014, 9:24 pm

Cut N Run wrote:Half a hunter is fine by me, because that's all I can legally do anyway. I'm the best half hunter I can be.

I have a lot of respect for a man who is comfortable in his own skin.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » July 2nd, 2014, 12:20 pm

For true serious turkey hunters, the fall seasons are a whole new ball game in turkey hunting. For the guys that have never tried it, it's worth giving it a try sometime in your turkey hunting life. True some states allow it and some don't, but if your close to a state that does, it's worth the effort to give it a try. If you prefer to only shoot gobblers, then if forces you to learn all the voices gobblers use. There are a ton of sounds that gobblers make that you hardly ever get the chance to hear in the spring, and learning those calls/sounds will improve your spring hunting a lot. You will learn all the soft sounds gobblers make that you don't pay attention to in the spring. The fall seasons are a great time to introduce young hunters to turkey hunting, a lot of the states allow you to take either sex in the fall, which is great for young hunter just learning, and calling in the fall is much more easier for young hunters that haven't learned how to adjust the volume of their calling. Birds in the fall talk a lot more then they do in the spring, so over calling isn't a problem as it can be in the spring. IMO the fall seasons are the best to teach the young hunters how to call and how often, and you don't need to sound all that good to work fall birds, it's a great chance for young hunters to learn their calling tactics. and improve their own calling to be able to maybe get a good chance at calling a bird in by themselves. Fall seasons in some states also allow the use of dogs, which again opens a new door to your hunting tactics and different styles of hunting. For the guys that don't have a lot of time to hunt. it's a great way to help you out.
WillowRidgeCalls
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Gopherlongbeards
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby Gopherlongbeards » July 3rd, 2014, 8:38 pm

A lot of good points of view here expressed by all. In my experience northern hunters tend to be more interested/involved in the fall season than southern hunters. That seems to hold true here as well. Maybe this is due to access, although plenty of southern states also have fall seasons. I would echo the comments of many others here: if you enjoy spring hunting, and your state or a nearby state offers a fall season, give it a try. It is absolutely as much fun as spring turkey hunting, although the learning curve can be a bit steeper. Like anything else you get out what you put into it. If you don't consider a hunt successful unless a bird is flopping by the end of it, you might struggle to make it to the top of the curve. Don't get me wrong, experienced fall hunters put plenty of birds on the ground, but it takes some time to get the hang of it. Fall is a great change of pace. Seasons are long, hunting pressure is light, and the entire experience is just enjoyable. Place I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole in the spring because of all the hunter traffic are all mine for months on end in the fall.

I also agree that fall hunting will absolutely make you a more complete and effective spring turkey hunter. You'll learn to talk with turkeys, instead of call to them. Play on their different emotions and see how effective pecking order tactics can be. It's a useful bag of tricks to have in your back pocket for pressured, henned up, or otherwise quiet birds in the spring. To me, fall turkey hunting is real turkey hunting, while spring hunting is taking advantage of the birds behavior during a special (predictable) season of the year. I don't mean this in a negative manner at all, I just mean turkeys act more "normal" (for a turkey) during the fall season. The spring is when they are different.

Ok, time for an attempt at an analogy, stay with me here :D

Turkey hunting is like bass fishing. Spring turkey hunting is like fishing bass off their beds in the spring. Both animals change their behaviors in a predictable way (turkeys by gobbling more, and showing interest in hens; bass by bedding in the shallows where they are easily observed) that make them more conspicuous and vulnerable to hunters/fishermen employing certain tactics. I don't mean to imply that hunting turkey in the spring is any easier than the rest of the year, because it isn't. It's simply different. As spring turns to summer both turkeys and bass get back to more "normal" modes of behavior. Bass fishermen know this, and change their tactics accordingly. They know the spring is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their quarry of choice, enjoyable yes, but hardly the only time to catch a bass. Most turkey hunters on the other hand, don't really pay much attention to "normal" turkey behavior. If toms aren't gobbling to hen calls the hunt is over for that year, simple as that. When in actuality turkeys are social birds, and in a lot of cases respond even better to calling in the fall, especially as they form large wintering flocks. You just have to talk with them. A bit of a stretch yes, but you see where I'm going with this.

We aren't really talking drastic changes in tactics either. Yes, breaking up flocks and calling them back in can be very effective (try it in the spring even, it works then as well), but it certainly isn't the only way to hunt turkeys in the fall. I prefer to hunt them similar to the way I do in the spring. Run and Gun through the fall woods calling and listening for a response. Fall hunts are just as fun and exciting as the spring. Last December we had a group of a dozen longbeards and super jakes so riled up on the roost they were chain gobbling for 20 minutes before flydown like it was mid April, despite the -20F temps and 8" of fresh snow on the ground.

timbrhuntr
 
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Re: Half a Turkey Hunter?

Postby timbrhuntr » July 4th, 2014, 9:17 am

While I agree that turkey hunting in the fall is great fun and you can hear some awesome vocalizations from large turkey flocks I have to totally disagree that it is harder than in the spring. I for one am glad that very few hunters specifically go after turkeys like they do in the spring. If they did I doubt many would be left for spring. Where I hunt in Michigan you can shoot multiple birds in the fall. For this reason and the fact that they are so predictable I do not shoot toms or jakes now in the fall. I alone could easily kill multiple toms and jakes in the fall in just a couple hunts ! :(


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