Busting Birds Off Roost?

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Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby hootowl » February 2nd, 2013, 10:29 pm

I was reading on another site and it said if you Bust Birds off the Roost, That you need to leave the Area and try and Locate another Bird? I do not have that option, The woods I hunt is about 45 acer's, So I have to stay and maybe wait till it calms down and relocate in the woods. I busted Birds off the Roost last year several times, But I learned each time, I was useing a Locator call and they never answerd, so I thought it was good to Go, (Not). This year I am going to leave the Locator call in the vest and stand at the truck and wait for the to make Gobbles on there own, or listin for other sounds? I am really new to Turkey hunting this being my 3 year, and I killed a Tom My 1st year, and then last year nothing? But I Love getting afetr them, And if all else fails I can always find some Mushrooms????

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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby ticklishtompro » February 2nd, 2013, 10:57 pm

Even if you bust birds off the roost, it doesn't mean the game is over. We have bumped birds off the roost, got set up, and killed a bird within a half hour. Was it the bird we bumped? Don't know for sure, but that was the direction the bird flew and that was where he came from. If you are setting up on a spot where the birds want to be they will come there. They just need to settle down a bit. After it gets completely light, do a flydown cackle and even some wing flapping(hand or hat against the leg works) and then do some assembly yelps.
Birds get bumped off the roost all the time, not just from humans. It could be a coyote or something else. If it is still kind of dark, I don't think they necessarily know what it was that bumped them but they just got nervous and flew away from it.

Good Luck to you.
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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby Treerooster » February 2nd, 2013, 11:29 pm

ticklishtompro gave you some great advice.

Be sure the turkeys can't see you approach your hunting spot. Either on foot or when you drive up too.

No need to dump the locator call though. A locator can be a good call to have at times.

I like to let the birds gobble on their own at dawn. If I don't hear anything by the time I am sure I should have, then I may try a locator. One thing you need to realize about locators, if you get an answer back you have some good info to go on, if you hear nothing you know nothing. The place could be devoid of turkeys or there could be some birds that are there that just didn't answer your locator.

A locator can be used during the day also to locate or if you have been calling to a gobbler and he has quit responding for quite a while. Before you move and as a last resort you can try your locator to see if the gobbler is still there. If he responds you have just avoided bumping him. If nothing...well than you didn't lose anything anyways.

Use your locator judiciously as turkeys can get used to them and quit responding after a while.
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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby charlie elk » February 3rd, 2013, 11:09 am

Good advice from tickles and tree.
I'll just add that there are times, particularly on small properties the leaf cover is not full enough to mask a hunter's approach and setup. As counter intuitive as it sounds, in these situations it may be better to wait until the birds fly down and then sneak in to setup. Anyone who has sat in an elevated deer stand knows how much easier it is and how much more you can see verses when you are on the ground. Same thing with a roosted turkey.
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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » February 3rd, 2013, 8:35 pm

I hunt a lot of small wood lots, 20 acers or less. One thing you need to know is where the birds, especially the hens like to visit when they come off the roost. Don't try to get to close to the roosted birds if possible, and get in there early, pitch dark is best. If you can't get in there in the dark wait on the edge of the woods quietly until they fly down and then set up on them and work them. The better you know the lay of the land and where the birds work it the better your going to do.

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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby Cut N Run » February 5th, 2013, 8:18 am

You got some great suggestions here. I used to hunt a small place with very little cover to hide in. The best way I found to get a crack at 'em was to find which way the turkeys left the property towards heavier cover and set up as close to there as possible. I had limited directions to shoot, but one or two good shooting lanes beat not getting any chance at them. I also started going in the woods extra early, taking my time, and keeping as far from the roost as possible. If you have a regular path where you enter the woods towards where you intend to set up, throw the sticks & limbs out of your way before the season to help minimize unnecessary sounds.

I hope this helps & good luck this Spring.

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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » February 5th, 2013, 3:20 pm

If your woods is thick, more times than not the birds will use deer trails in and out, and will roost not far off them 50/60 yards into the woods. Use those deer trails to get in, in the dark and move like a deer would, don't go bustin through the woods. Pay good attention to the moon, you can move a lot easier on dark nights, NO FLASHLIGHTS. I've walked in and set up beneath the tree that birds were roosted in already, stay quiet until they are on the ground, if I'm real close to roosted birds I don't tree talk. If there is a lot of under growth in the woods, you move like a snail until you get set up. The turkeys are used to deer walking in on their trails, the sound of something walking in the dark won't bother them, and you can get really close if you watch what your doing.

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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby shaman » February 5th, 2013, 3:48 pm

Bumping birds off the roost can be a positive thing. If you knock them off the roost, just sit down and start calling, you're working a fall-like scenario. The birds have scattered and their instincts tell them to reassemble. If you're there in the middle of it all, chances are the turkeys will reform their flock on you.

But let's say you knock a bunch of hens off the roost and they fly off into the murk of dawn and don't return. That still may not be a problem. There are often gobblers out there that are expecting those hens to sound off. If you sit down near the roost and start calling, you very well may get an enthusiastic response from a neighboring gobbler.
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Re: Busting Birds Off Roost?

Postby Fan Club » February 18th, 2013, 4:42 pm

There are no absolutes in turkey hunting and the advice you got elsewhere fits into that category. If you bump birds, just continue to hunt as you normally would as others have correctly noted.

I once bumped a hen off the roost by getting too close and then was spotted moving after daybreak. She sailed out of the woods and over 200 yards out into a pasture. I figured I had nothing to lose so I made some soft tree calls on a slate. A gobbler erupted on the roost about 35 yards away and was evidently comforted that another hen was still around. When he flew down he just dropped over the fence into the edge of the pasture. I was able to crawl from my tree to the fence and stand up behind another tree. The gobbler was only about 30 yards away. When the real hen called to him from afar, he raised his head and I put him down.

Bird bumped from the roost. Dead gobbler. All in about a 10 minute span.
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