Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

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JPH
 
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Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby JPH » March 13th, 2009, 12:36 pm

This is against my better judgment, but I can't help myself.

I, JPH, enjoy stalking wild turkeys!


Yes that's right, I get great satisfaction out of trying to maneuver into shotgun range of a spring gobbler. In fact, I was once able to do so, without any real benefit from calling and killed one of the longest spurred toms of my hunting career.

Maybe I should back up and define "stalking" as I see it. I operate under the premise that almost any bird will respond to calling, if it is done from the right location. Subsequently, my hunts are often a continual attempt to find that perfect calling location. At times that location just happens to be quite close to where he already is. I would consider my attempts to get to that location without him (or his flock mates) seeing me to be "stalking". Furthermore, as I stated above, I once killed a tom during one of those quests for the sweet spot, before I actually found it. It was one of my greatest turkey hunting experiences. It required physical stamina, patience, and stealth. In fact, it required everything but calling.

Don't get me wrong, my "plan A" is almost always going to be a traditional "call into my set-up" type hunt. I am an above average caller and I am as lazy as the next guy. Stalking is hard work, and as often as not ends in sore legs, burning lungs and unfilled tags. But when that limbhanger plays coy and the conditions allow it (safety and express permission to hunt) I really enjoy a good stalk. 

I fully understand that there are a significant number of you who would never consider doing such a thing. To many of you this is all about calling and any hunt that does not rely solely on your skills as a caller is cheap. That's fine by me. Please continue on in peace my purist brothers. As for me, I will choose to avail myself of every opportunity to interact with and ultimately kill spring gobblers and love every minute of it.

Disclaimer: This post is NOT intended to cause division. It is simply another perspective on an issue that seems to elicit a lot of passion here. Nor is it an endorsement of unsafe behavior. No hunter should ever move in the turkey woods without a reasonable grasp of who is out there. While there are no guarantees, some properties and hunting situations allow slightly more aggressive hunting tactics.

deja vu
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby deja vu » March 13th, 2009, 12:49 pm

Just when the dirt starts to settle on the poor horses grave.... someone allways wants to dig him up and beat him one more time [8|]
"Old School Elitist"

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shaman
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby shaman » March 13th, 2009, 2:02 pm

I really wish you'd been able to restrain yourself.  I can see this going 12 pages in a hurry.

There is a huge difference between angling around to find the right spot to call a gob in and actually trying to stalk  into getting a shot.  The latter is a fool's errand.  The turkey's eyes are better than ours, and he can see us usually before we see him.  It also increases the chances of fratricide-- hunter on hunter shooting.

If you'd just used ANY other terminology, I could condone and applaud your post.  As it is, we're probably going to get a flame war going.  I've done end-arounds.  I've gone around obstacles. I've flanked, I've faded, I've doubled-back, but I don't stalk. I have also gone and crawled up the back side of  berm, and I've made a run through a cedar thicket to get closer.  But these were manuevers on turkeys I already had identified.  When you get to talking about stalking, the way the Hunter's Ed people talk about it, that's bad ju-ju. 

I know what you're talking about, and very little of what you're talking about actually means moving in on gob.  Around a gob?  Yes,  Finding a better place to set-up?  Yes.   Depending on the terrain, once you get inside 80 yards, it's usually a good idea to sit your butt down or get behind a tree and bring the gobbler the rest of the way to you.  It's the better way; it's the safer way.

Joe, this is like coming into work on Monday morning and crowing about how you had good time beating your wife over the weekend.  You know and she knows it was at gin rummy, but the folks at the water cooler don't. 
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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JPH
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby JPH » March 13th, 2009, 2:29 pm

ORIGINAL: shaman

Joe, this is like coming into work on Monday morning and crowing about how you had good time beating your wife over the weekend.  You know and she knows it was at gin rummy, but the folks at the water cooler don't. 


I love it shaman! Only you can make me laugh my ass off while you are giving me an internet wedgie!

Maybe my problem is that I am too far removed from conventional turkey hunting wisdom. I knew this post would not garner unanimous support, but I actually thought I might be in a large minority. What was I thinking?

I have, on many occasions, had gobblers refuse to respond until I was able to get inside 50 yards. Any way you cut it, that is stalking. I make no apology.

If your argument against this behavior is based on safety, I will accept that. I will also enjoy justifying the action in situations where it is reasonable (and it sometimes is).

If your argument against it is biased on ethical grounds, then we simply have to agree to disagree. In another place, with a different track record we could have a great conversation about this. But T&TH has a bad recent history in this area and I have no desire to add it it.

deja vu, this is a place to come and speak civilly about turkeys and turkey hunting. There is nothing inflammatory in my OP. If nothing else, it is a chance to begin anew and prove to ourselves that we can be tolerant and civil.

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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby Limbhanger150 » March 13th, 2009, 2:43 pm

               I used to have this argument with one of my old turkey hunting mentors (who has since passed away). I always asked him what was the difference between the "Loop Around" or "End Around" and stalking? He always said it was more a matter of safety than an unfair tactic. He said that moving to better calling position usually is done with a sense of urgency, unlike an actual stalk. You are not slinking from tree to tree and belly crawling. You are, most of the time, avoiding the line of sight of the gobbler and hot stepping it to a better location. You are in a hurry to get somewhere, not in predator mode. He said that it is easier to distinguish (not mistaking the hunter for game) a steady moving hunter than a stalking hunter. That was even before the outstanding camo of today. He got a little upset at one of the other young hunters who shot at a tom while walkiing back to camp. He topped a little rise and there was several birds just out the line sight. When they started to flush he pulled a shot off. The ole man said that there could have been someone set up in the bushes or it is a risky shot for wounding a bird.
 
              Anyway, I was always taught certain things but I have also seen the sport evolve to the point that some of the old ways dont hold much water. One thing I do know, public land is scary enough to hunt without having to worry about a few "ninjas" coming out of nowhere. Safety is a big concern of mine especially on public land. Even private land has no gaurantees that someone won't crash the set-up. More and more turkey hunters every year make it important to have safe tactics.
 
                       In the words of Forrest Gump "Thats all I got to say about that".

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silvestris
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby silvestris » March 13th, 2009, 3:26 pm

I think I will refrain.
Why be good when you can B-Mobile or Spin & Strut.

StevePA
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby StevePA » March 13th, 2009, 3:51 pm

Me too........for now
turkeykiller

deja vu
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby deja vu » March 13th, 2009, 4:01 pm

JPH, we have beat this thing to death over the past month or so ... ya..da..ya..da...ya..da No one is ever gonna convince you of anything you don`t agree with... so it ain`t worth the effort to type a reply
 
But T&TH has a bad recent history in this area and I have no desire to add it it.

Then why do ya?????
"Old School Elitist"

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JPH
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby JPH » March 13th, 2009, 4:17 pm

deja vu, I have been away from this forum for more than the past month because of the very tone which you are expressing here.

I am only back at the request of people high within T&TH in hopes that we can discuss these things with a renewed commitment to civility.

I opened with "This is against my better judgment..." in jest. I had no intention of opening scabs or causing you any grief. My intent was to open a fresh discussion of the topic without the previous baggage. It is, IMO, a valid topic of discussion among modern turkey hunters. Who knows, maybe there are other hunters who feel as I do and would like to share tips on stalking when the conditions warrant. 

Bottom line deja vu, if this sort of discussion cannot take place here without being nasty, then this forum is the wrong place for one of us.

StevePA
 
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RE: Confessions of a Turkey Stalker

Postby StevePA » March 13th, 2009, 4:23 pm

ORIGINAL: JPH

deja vu, I have been away from this forum for more than the past month because of the very tone which you are expressing here.

I am only back at the request of people high within T&TH in hopes that we can discuss these things with a renewed commitment to civility.

I opened with "This is against my better judgment..." in jest. I had no intention of opening scabs or causing you any grief. My intent was to open a fresh discussion of the topic without the previous baggage. It is, IMO, a valid topic of discussion among modern turkey hunters. Who knows, maybe there are other hunters who feel as I do and would like to share tips on stalking when the conditions warrant. 

Bottom line deja vu, if this sort of discussion cannot take place here without being nasty, then this forum is the wrong place for one of us.

 
Sounds like bait to me....btw...I think stalking is BS and way to easy to do....Dang it!!!...I wasnt gonna enter this topic!....oops...my bad...I started the last one!
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