charlie elk wrote:In my humble opinion preconceived notions can be a turkey hunter's biggest obstacle to success. These prevent us from listening and feeling what the turkeys are telling us. Interpreting what is going on with turkeys is more like an art form than anything rules can be assigned to.
I agree with this 100%. I know I am guilty of it and I think every hunter is too. I don't think it is possible NOT to have preconceived notions. However, the ability to think objectively, to be able to step away from what you do and think from a totally impartial view, is a big asset IMO. Think outside YOUR
box in other words.
charlie elk wrote:
Have you tried audio baiting turkeys? I wrote about this here- http://www.charlieelk.com/2013/how-to-legally-bait-wild-turkeys/
Seems like the Shaman land is tailor made for this, just sit on your deck with a cup and call away... Then walk out the next morning to work the gob you "parked."
Perhaps treerooster will take time here and share his experience with this strategy. He had never killed a turkey on his WI land until he audio baited the evening before.
I actually was successful twice on my place in Wis using this method. The first time I called in a couple of jakes and elected not to shoot them. Turkeys roost on the edge of my place but they fly up from the neighboring field and usually fly down to it in the morning.
The second time I tried this I had a bird gobbling so hot on the roost I couldn't believe it. I was even giggling a little bit.
The gobbler roosted within 5 yards of the border on my place. But he knew a hot hen was around and he flew down to my side 10 minutes after shooting light the next morning. Pretty early in the late season and thick dark woods. I just made a couple of clucks and yelps and shot him at 15 yards. It was so thick I didn't even see him until about 18 yards but he was a drummin'.
charlie elk wrote:In my opinion whether or not turkeys vocalize on any particular day has more to do with their changing flock structure than any outside influences.
I think turkeys are influenced by a lot of things. Weather can do it, flock structure as Charlie says and also population dynamics which is a part of flock structure I guess. I am thinking flock structure changes with the seasons (winter, breeding, brood rearing etc.) and pop dynamics can change year to year (good hatch vs poor hatch and age/sex ratios, numbers of birds etc.).
Another influence on turkeys is recent events. Predator interaction (human & wild), other turkey interaction (a 2 year old just got beat up), food availability etc. Once I was zeroing in on a gobbler and I knew he had a hen with him in the morning. One afternoon I found a hen that had been hit by a vehicle in the area very recently. That gobbler was a sucker to call up the next morning...right close to where the hen got hit. Many events (most that we never know about) can influence turkey behavior IMO.
When I go to call to turkeys I am just flying by the seat of my pants. I try to figure out the mood the birds are in and what is going on at the moment
, I am really only guessing, but the more experience I gain and the more observations I can make, the more I am making educated
Shaman I hesitated answering this post because you and I have VERY different situations. I hunt several areas that I am somewhat familiar with but they are public areas and are mostly measured in square miles...not acres. I never scout other than maybe the evening before an opening day. I do hunt some areas repeatedly so I am familiar with the land, but I never really know the turkey situation until I get there to hunt.
Here are some situations you mentioned in this post and how I might approach them.
On a roosted gobbler I am going to try and get within 60 to 70 yards if I possibly can otherwise I will get as close as the cover allows. If there are hens with him (usually the case) I will try to strike up a conversation with one of them...while they are in the trees. If I can't do that I want to be the first hen on the ground and try to get the gobbler or a hen to come join me. If I think the gobbler is alone I will play off his mood. I still may try to beat him to the ground though, it just depends. To just call subdued to a gobbler with hens is like throwing in the towel to me. Almost as if I am just sitting there hoping
they come my way.
I don't believe a turkey (any turkey) has a day that it is unreceptive to calling. There may be some situations that I can't call up a turkey, but I wouldn't think the situation would last the whole day. If I call to turkeys and am unsuccessful (and that happens a lot) I figure I just wasn't calling the right way. That may mean loudness, the call I am using, what calls I make, or how excited/subdued I make them. I think any turkey can be called up any day of the year if I just use the right type of calling. Maybe I am wrong but if there are a few days a year a turkey can't be called up, those days are extremely rare IMO.