Turkey dogging

Discuss turkey hunting's "second season" here
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kygobbler
 
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Turkey dogging

Postby kygobbler » September 21st, 2012, 10:12 am

After seeing the success that some of the forum members are having with turkey dogs it has sparked my interest on giving it a try. I am wondering if some of you can give some tips on making a good turkey dog. One of the main things that Im concerned about is how to get the dog to come back to you after he flushes the birds and not chasing them into the wild blue? Another is how to get them to bark when they do scatter the flock?

Im missing the "old" days of hunting with dogs and am wanting to get back in it. The main thing holding me back is our, KY, fall hunting season. The season for shotguns is only 1 week in October and 1 week in December. Due to this I can not justify to myself on getting a dog strictly to turkey hunt but after doing a little research I've found that the TN county just 20 minutes from me has a longer season and able to kill 6 birds in the fall. If I can find a place to hunt down there then I can justify it.

So if you all can give out some suggestions I would appreciate it or maybe suggest some good books that would help.
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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: Turkey dogging

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » September 21st, 2012, 2:14 pm

There are some good books out there on turkey hunting with dogs. One of the best places to get info is turkeydog.org. Jon Fries and Parker Whedon go into training dogs for turkeys and what kind of dogs work best for turkeys. Some dogs bark at a flush and some don't, some dogs will lay still beside you and some want to just jump at the birds as they get close to you. There is good reading material that you can get from there also, as well as info from other members. Another good guy to get a hold of other than the ones we have here, is Marlin Watkins, he hunts with dogs quite a bit and trains them.
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charlie elk
 
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Re: Turkey dogging

Postby charlie elk » September 22nd, 2012, 9:59 am

kygobbler wrote:One of the main things that Im concerned about is how to get the dog to come back to you after he flushes the birds and not chasing them into the wild blue?
This is where good obedience training pays dividends, all dogs should be trained to stop what they are doing and return their masters on command. However, in reality this can take awhile during times of high excitement. After the flush it remains his job to make sure any stragglers are flushed out. Turkeys hold remarkably tight even with a lot of pressure put on them. After the area is turkey free I whistle Vic back for the setup.
Vic with 2012 fall turkey.jpg
He has learned to come back for setup because sometimes good things happen. There are more turkeys singing away while this picture was being taken. Vic want to go get em scattered again.
Vic with 2012 fall turkey.jpg (89.71 KiB) Viewed 1059 times

kygobbler wrote:Another is how to get them to bark when they do scatter the flock?

Steve Hickoff has explained to me barking at the breakup is a bonus, your dog will either do it or he won't, it is something that develops. Vic is not yet barking at the break but he is only 18 months and several turkey doggers have told me usually about age 3 years they will start barking. Currently I rely on hearing the turkeys, they make a lot of noise, wings, cackles and putting; truly a beautiful sound. I have also received a lot advice on how to encourage Vic to bark but none of it has worked for him.
kygobbler wrote:The main thing holding me back is our, KY, fall hunting season. The season for shotguns is only 1 week in October and 1 week in December. Due to this I can not justify to myself on getting a dog strictly to turkey hunt

I too shared this concern as I thought about getting a turkey dog. My fear was WI would change the fall deal by limiting the time or placing a very low limit on turkeys about time my dog would be trained up for turkey only. With this in mind I decided I would attempt to train Vic on multiple species so every time he flushed game I yell the name of the game at him hoping he would make the connection and be able to hunt different things on command. So far so good, last year Vic was 9 months old at the beginning of the season and it was a very good year. Here viewtopic.php?f=31&t=15691 I posted pics demonstrating Vic's versatility. He hunted them on command, we'd get out of the truck and I say "turkeys, go find turkeys" or "pheasants, go find pheasants" and he did.
kygobbler wrote:So if you all can give out some suggestions I would appreciate it or maybe suggest some good books that would help.

Steve Hickoff's book Hunting the Fall and Winter Flocks is excellent it covers fall hunting with and without a dog.
Jon Fries has an excellent website devoted to turkey dogging http://www.turkeydog.org if you join his American Wild Turkey Hunting Dog Association he will send you a booklet with dog selection, training and hunting tips written by several of the turkey dogger greats.
later,
charlie
If you agree with me call it fact; if you disagree - call it my opinion.
After all - we are talking turkey.

charlie elk
 
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Re: Turkey dogging

Postby charlie elk » September 22nd, 2012, 10:04 am

Oh, I forgot to mention, last year was my first year turkey dogging, Vic is the first turkey dog I have trained and even though training is progressing nicely I do not consider myself a turkey dogging expert. Throughout my life I have trained a lot of different dogs for many purposes.
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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kygobbler
 
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Re: Turkey dogging

Postby kygobbler » September 23rd, 2012, 9:56 am

charlie elk wrote:Steve Hickoff's book Hunting the Fall and Winter Flocks is excellent it covers fall hunting with and without a dog.


Charlie, I tried googling the book and I keep coming up with "Fall and Winter Turkey Hunters Handbook" is this the same book? If not I will try again.


WillowRidgeCalls wrote: Another good guy to get a hold of other than the ones we have here, is Marlin Watkins, he hunts with dogs quite a bit and trains them.



Scott, I've never heard of Mr. Watkins does he have a web site or a way I maight be able to pick his brain a little?

Correct me if Im wrong in my thinking of training but wouldn't it be similiar to training a dog to hunt qual but without the pointing? If so Im not going to be completely lost, if not I see a lot of reading about to happen.

Scott and Charlie thank you both for the info.
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charlie elk
 
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Re: Turkey dogging

Postby charlie elk » September 23rd, 2012, 8:57 pm

kygobbler wrote:Charlie, I tried googling the book and I keep coming up with "Fall and Winter Turkey Hunters Handbook" is this the same book? If not I will try again.

Yes that is the one I did not type the title accurately, :oops: sorry.

kygobbler wrote: it be similiar to training a dog to hunt qual but without the pointing?

Yes, many turkey doggers feel a "renegade" pointer has many of the qualities of a good turkey dog. If you decide on a pointing breed you'll have to train them not to point at turkeys. If you have trained dogs you'll do fine training a turkey dog there are some special skills the dog will need to acquire specifically for turkeys; like sitting still during call back and ranging out 100-200 yds while remembering he is hunting with you and not for himself.
During the summer I worked teaching Vic to sneak. This is like a forward heel which allows him to pick up scent and lead me stealthily closer to the turkeys. On the command "sneak" Vic will crouch while tip toeing 5-10 feet ahead of me allowing us to close the distance on the turkeys prior to break up.
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: Turkey dogging

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » September 23rd, 2012, 10:24 pm

Marlin Watkins is a very well known call maker and turkeydog hunter, and is full of info on both.
http://www.turkeydog.org/morgan.html
All his contact info in on the bottom of the page
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