Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. Turkey dogging brings a whole new dimension to turkey hunting. It has challenges all its own.
dewey wrote:I have no idea how hunting turkeys with dogs works so if you could tell me how it works it might also be a good learning experience for other hunters. I mean do you try to flush turkeys like you would pheasants?
Just for the record Tom Carpenter's piece in the T&TH fall edition does not reflect the practice or attitudes of turkey doggers. I might have more to say on that article later.
I set about training Vic to understand the different birds and techniques needed to hunt each one. My previous post of pictures could lead one to think we killed those birds opportunistically as they flushed. That is not the case. When Vic and I go pheasant hunting we are targeting only pheasants, if a turkey were to "flush" I would not shoot it then nor would I shoot a grouse or hun. I believe this would confuse his species specific training.
When it comes to turkey Vic and I practice the traditional flush/breakup/callback strategy. Vic ranges out about 200 yards searching for turkeys. When he finds them, he should independently charge, scatter the flock and bark. We are working on the bark part. Usually I hear and/or see the cackling flock, a truly inspirational sight and sound.
I move to break location to gather up Vic and settle into a setup for callback.
Looks something like this.
His lead is tied to something so that at point of shot he is kept behind the gun.
As the turkeys approach, Vic usually picks them up first and rigidly points while laying, in the direction of the approaching birds. It is my job to get the turkeys in range to close the deal. There is point when Vic's vibrations of excitement will rattle the leaves or something giving the turkeys a heads up. The heads up is my que if they are in range the deal is sealed and Vic is released.
So he can enjoy the smell of success!
This post might have made all of this sound really easy, trust me, it is not easier hunting with a turkey dog. The added complexities and companionship make it all the worthwhile and rewarding.
As any experienced fall hunter will attest you can put a lot boot miles on finding fall turkeys they are wide ranging.
Come on fall. In the meantime we turkey hunters are reduced to this--
Well not all the time, its August time for scouting and field training.