noon hour strategy

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noon hour strategy

Postby gooseberry » April 4th, 2013, 5:34 pm

I guess the prime time for hunting is from daylight to about 10 AM if I'm correct. Does calling strategy change from 10 AM to noon, which is all the longer we can hunt for the first half of the season here in PA?

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby 1Morgan » April 4th, 2013, 6:34 pm

Turkeys are not deer. They move all day long. Hunt as long as you can. I killed one at 10:45 and one at 3pm this year. Watched 2 others die at 9am and 1pm on the same day. I you can only hunt until 12, use every minute. My calling never changes too much during the day. I cycle through aggressive and soft calling all the time. I have space to move and run and gun. I like to see and hear them do their thing, I will only stay in a spot for 40mins-1hour before moving. The gobbler dictates call changes for me.
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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby Treerooster » April 4th, 2013, 8:00 pm

Most places I hunt I can hunt all day.

I do think turkeys tend to have a lull during the day sometime between about 1:00 and 4:00 pm. I have seen flocks on several occasions just hanging out under the shade of a tree at that time. I have even seen a couple of birds sleeping during that time of day.

That said turkeys can be active at any time of day but if I am going to stop hunting during the day it is usually at the times above.

Actually, after 9:00 or 10:00 am can be a great time to strike a gobbler that has just lost his hens when the right phase of the breeding season is in. I tend to move a bit more after 9 or 10 in the morning trolling for a gobbler if I have nothing going and I am hunting a large area.

If I was on a small tract I might go to a known strut zone or an area that I have seen a lot of turkey activity and call for a while.

As far as calling, I try to locate most of my turkeys with turkey calls. I mix it up a lot, sometimes just yelping sometimes cutting. Sometimes soft and sometimes aggressive. Depends on the mood I think the birds might be in and weather and such. If I stay in one spot for a while I tend to call soft at first and then possibly get more aggressive as time goes on, but not always.
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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » April 4th, 2013, 8:17 pm

At flydown I'll use quite a bit of aggessive calling, cackles, fighting purrs, excited yelps, loud calls. An hour after flydown, I'll tone my calling down to soft calls, yelps, clucks, purrs, with a few loud cutts added in with them. After about 9-ish I'll switch to a bit louder calls with a mix of soft calls, assembly calls, loud yelps, cutts, as most of the birds are headed back into the thicker cover. Late morning I go back to what I used at flydown with more aggessive calling, still using a mix of calls, but most are louder calls, a lone hen wants company and isn't real quiet about getting some.

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby Cut N Run » April 4th, 2013, 9:33 pm

I've killed some of my bigger gobblers in the late morning. Usually, if they're out on their own cruising around and gobbling, those can be quite callable and great gobblers to work. Like treerooster said, by late morning their hens may have gone to the nest and the gobblers are out looking for some action.

Lots of times the breeze will have picked up later in the morning versus what it was at fly down time and you can strike willing gobblers with series of cutts to help locate the gobblers. I have seen & killed gobblers moving on logging roads between strut zones as they were trying to cover as much territory as they could to advertize themselves to any available hens. Be ready to shoot if you're locating birds by cutting, because they can cover ground fast and be on you in a big hurry.

Sometimes, other hunters may have already pulled up stakes and quit hunting by 10 AM or so because the gobblers may be following hens early and have no need to call to others. If those hens head to their nests and leave the gobbler lonely, you can often have him to work without much competition from other hunters later in the day. Late mornings are my favorite time to hunt because gobblers will probably be moving around more then, than earlier when they have hens to keep them busy.

Good luck.

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby Gopherlongbeards » April 5th, 2013, 1:14 pm

I agree with everything said about late morning/early afternoon hunting. Might be the best time of day to find a cooperative bird. Early morning on the roost is the best time to hear gobbling, Mid day is the best time to kill one. I'd say probably half of the birds I've been involved with have taken a dirt nap between 10 and 2.

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby Fan Club » April 5th, 2013, 1:22 pm

gooseberry wrote:I guess the prime time for hunting is from daylight to about 10 AM if I'm correct.

As the other posters have noted, that's not really "correct."

The first hour of daylight is prime time if you want to hear gobbles, but when it comes to hunting you are competing against real hens for your gobbler's affection in the early hours. I've tagged the vast majority of my birds between 9 am and 1 pm after the hens have gone to nest and the toms find themselves alone.
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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby shaman » April 5th, 2013, 2:43 pm

Usually, anywhere from 10-11 AM, I will stop hunting and go in and grab either a second breakfast or lunch and then go out and hunt the afternoon. My main tactic is to go hang out somewhere that I have previously scouted and know that gobblers frequent at this time of day. One example is a barn that turkeys use for dusting. Another is a peninsula filled with oak trees that has a small island of blackberry bushes and locust trees about 30 yards off the end of its point.

Another tactic is to just go somewhere like the tip of a finger ridge and set-up. Every 15 minutes or so I cut loose with a short run of loud yelping or cackling, and just let the gob know I'm out there. The trick is having the volume to carry a long distance. I have had gobs come from over 300 yards out to visit. It may take them all afternoon to get there, but sooner or later they do. If you can get one good gobble out of them at noontime, you'll probably see them by dinner.

Here's one such encounter:
The Son of Natural

Here's another:

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby gooseberry » April 6th, 2013, 6:12 am

Thanks, All. I've been studying your replies and learning. A guy, who is my first teacher, kindly has been showing me a little each year. He always leaves the woods by 10 AM. I never understood why when you can hunt until noon.

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Re: noon hour strategy

Postby Duke0002 » April 6th, 2013, 11:56 am

Fan Club wrote:
gooseberry wrote:I guess the prime time for hunting is from daylight to about 10 AM if I'm correct.

I've tagged the vast majority of my birds between 9 am and 1 pm after the hens have gone to nest and the toms find themselves alone.

Ditto. For me, 9 to noon is prime time for fields and field edge tree/brush lines. I think they like to bug when the sun warms the fields.

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