Is there a better way?

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icdedturkes
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby icdedturkes » January 27th, 2014, 10:06 am

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."

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I would do this before opening day when I did not travel right up until opener after I noticed a trend.. We have small parcels to hunt alot of 20s and 40s.. There are times when you simply give up on a gobbling turkey, small parcels and property lines dictate it.. Alot of times you could come back the next day at the same time and find the gobbler in the same spot and have the same battle.. Than alot of times it may be the 2nd, 3rd, 4th day etc.. You move in to work that bird and he is standing exactly where you had yelped at him in the days proceeding..

Alot of guys are digging through the closet looking for a miracle call in these situations but i wanna sound like the same stubborn hen..

icdedturkes
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby icdedturkes » January 27th, 2014, 10:11 am

timbrhuntr wrote:The other thing about carrying all these calls and using different ones and switching calls etc. I bought into this when I first started and bought a bunch of different calls. I found after a while I stopped carrying most of them. I now carry one box and one pot and a few mouth calls. I have found that every year one of the mouth calls seems to be of a sound they want and I will basically use that call from Florida to NM and it seems to work on birds everywhere I hunt.


This is me too.. Most days I leave the truck with 2 mouth calls that are identical a tube call and a crow call if I am going to blind call I will slip a pot into a cargo pocket.. I have confidence that any bird in the woods that is callable on that day will come to these calls.. I practice to be more versatile on less..

The mouth call I carry I can yelp clean, all back end rasp or from a good high to a rollover to as much rasp as I want on the back.. It will call loud and will call extremely soft.. I got blasted on a board a few years back for saying this, but I think guys buy and carry all these calls for different sounds and pitches but in reality a good call is capable of all of them its a matter of sitting down and learning how to get it out of the call.

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Treerooster
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby Treerooster » January 27th, 2014, 11:58 am

shaman wrote:
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.


That was how I learned. That was how I did it for 20-some years. Then I popped a rib one spring doing chores around camp before season. I decided that it was not a good idea to go chasing the turkeys up and down the ridges and I resolved to stay on top and take it easy. I had good luck with it-- much better than I had in the past, and stuck with that strategy. In the past, I almost never had a gob come to me at flydown. However, hanging well back and uphill from the roost has improved my success. Since I changed strategies, I've actually had better luck at flydown. The gobs seem more eager to accept a new hen in the woods if she seems a bit farther away. It also gives me room to relocate and close the distance. If I start out at Venue A and B and C are closer to the roost, I've had luck by starting at A, simulating a flydown there, and when the gob starts honoring my calls, I relocate to B. If he passes me up, I go to C and he turns around and he may come back my way. The nice thing about these knife-edge ridges is I can drop down the back side of the ridge and move while still being invisible to gobblers on the other side. This sounds like a lot of moving around for an old fat man, but we're talking 500 yards max and there are pastures and old truck tracks, and this dance may be played out over 3 hours. Overall it has improved my luck over the old way of starting at the bottom of the hill near the roost trees, and then clomping around going uphill all morning.


If I can get in tight on a bird in the morning (60 to 70 yards) my success on working a roosted gobbler is over 50%...as long as I don't muck it up. Stealth is one important aspect and that brings up something that may have not been discussed in this thread. When talking about setting up on turkeys I think the noise we make can be a negative factor in whether or not birds come in. Especially on pressured birds. Turkeys have some pretty good ears to go along with their eyes and making unnatural noises when setting up may cause the birds to become reluctant to go to an area.



shaman wrote:You also have to remember the 200 acre limitation. If you are going to be playing the same flocks every time you go out, you have to be a bit more subtle. This is much more of a chess game. What you are calling "throwing in the towel" is strategy. That gob knows there is a flock of lonely hens up on top of the ridge. He'll eventually get done with his hens and be wanting some action. Along about 9 or 10, I'll throw out a few yelps and possibly a cutt or two and now he's ready. I'm not saying this is the right way, but it is the way I've adopted that seems to get birds.


When the season or hunt gets down to the wire and what I have tried has not worked, then it is time for me to think of using a different strategy.


One other thing Shaman. I went back and skimmed over this thread. You always talk about calling to the gobbler, do you ever call to the hens to get them to come in?
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby timbrhuntr » January 27th, 2014, 1:40 pm

I would say for the past 5 years since I got to where I feel semi-comfortable with the mouth call it is the only call I use all season and all conditions. You are right that with some manipulation you can really change up the noises that come out of it. I learned this mostly on 2 hunts where I had epic battles with two boss hens. One went on for a good hour where I imitated everything she threw at me .And she did it all from yelp, to cuts, to peeps, to whistles,to purrs, to some noises I am not sure what you call them. I then started to use her tactics on other hunts and couldn't believe how well they could work to stir up the turkeys in the area. I really wish I could have recorded her calling. Also if there is one thing I have learned aside from the calling from this, it is that all turkeys love to see a good fight and will come from all around to be a spectator and cheer it on.

As far as noise in the woods I try to walk like a deer would in the dark. I figure that birds on the limb hear lots of animals walking around under them and deer bedding under them. It seems to work also as I have sat directly under roost trees several time and had birds fly down right next to me.

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shaman
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby shaman » January 27th, 2014, 3:30 pm


One other thing Shaman. I went back and skimmed over this thread. You always talk about calling to the gobbler, do you ever call to the hens to get them to come in?


Yes, frequently. In fact I would say I'm a better hen caller than a gobbler caller. I frequently get hens to come in, and I've had hens peck at my boot laces. I'm a big guy ( think John Wayne-type proportions) and pussy-footing is not my strongest suit. Therefore, I like to get somewhere early rather than trample through the woods sounding like a heard of elephants.
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ylpnfol
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby ylpnfol » January 27th, 2014, 9:16 pm

[quote="Treerooster"][quote="shaman"][quote]


If I can get in tight on a bird in the morning (60 to 70 yards) my success on working a roosted gobbler is over 50%...as long as I don't muck it up. Stealth is one important aspect and that brings up something that may have not been discussed in this thread. When talking about setting up on turkeys I think the noise we make can be a negative factor in whether or not birds come in. Especially on pressured birds. Turkeys have some pretty good ears to go along with their eyes and making unnatural noises when setting up may cause the birds to become reluctant to go to an area.





I agree with getting as tight as possible on roosted birds, not so much on the noise factor, as long as there aren't any " unnatural " sounds made, then a turkey will pay you no mind, as long as they don't see you, a man walking in the woods sounds a lot like a turkey, I have actually walked in tight to a gobbling bird on the roost, setup, never made a call, he flew down and walked right to me, I have always thought he heard me walk up, and thought I was a hen, of course I can't be certain.....oops, I didn't see the " unnatural " sounds in your post, so I reckon maybe we're on the same page.....
David

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Cut N Run
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby Cut N Run » January 28th, 2014, 9:58 pm

I've got to where I gravitate to high spots for the simple reason that it is easier to hear and tell which direction a gobbler is from you. It is also easier to be heard from higher ground, though high ground is more affected by winds. I found that dropping just below the ridge top to set up can give the advantage of surprise because the gobbler can't see over the crest of the ridge. By the time he can, he's already in range and preparing to die, if he knows it or not.

I carry a long box for the heavy lifting of distance calling, one slate, one glass pot, and a few mouth calls. Sometimes, I can finish the job with just one of those calls and I never use the others. Sometimes, I use all of them for one kill. From year to year I play favorites and lean on one type of call, even though I practice on every one of 'em throughout the year.


And now for something completely different; Shaman, when was the last time you tried hunting a strange piece of land? I used to hunt my old lease almost exclusively for 13 years. I learned almost every rock, tree, and creek on it. My knowledge of the land and how the turkeys used it made it easier for me to tag out, because I already knew where the birds were likely to go about the time they did. I got in a rut and became lazy because I wasn't being forced to hunt on the instincts I'd taken so many years to develop.

Then, a few days before turkey season started two years ago, I lost hunting access to that land. I realized that I had hunted that land so exclusively that I didn't have a clue where else to hunt. I bumped around hunting on properties that had more hunters than they had turkeys. I also discovered that somebody on one of the neighboring farms was baiting and artificially pulling turkeys away from places I had seen them a few weeks before the season. I stumbled and bumbled around aimlessly because I'd put all my eggs in one basket and when that basket was taken away, I got shut out, even though I hunted more days that season than I had in the previous 3 turkey seasons. I didn't tag a single bird for the first time in 2 decades. It was very humbling and even more annoying.

The next year (Last year), I managed to score a new place to hunt and spent some free time learning the new woods when the leaves were off the trees. I tagged out last year on two different places that I'd never killed turkeys before. I also called in a nice double bearded gobbler for my best friend, who had never killed a double bearded bird in his 25 years of turkey hunting multiple states. Having my hand forced to go out and learn new places to hunt helped bring my confidence back and brought back the versatility that I'd developed before I ever set foot on that lease.

Now, don't get me wrong, hunting that lease was some of the best years I ever spent in the woods and it helped me get on top of my turkey hunting game. It was almost too easy at times, because I knew where to go and when to be there. I knew that letting a smaller gobbler walk probably meant that I'd see him the next spring when he was bigger, smarter, and more of a challenge to tag. I didn't get pressured to take the next gobbler I saw because there was minimal hunting pressure on the surrounding lands. Our lease had ideal habitat, with killer food plots that didn't get hunted over. It also had ideal roosting cover, and sanctuary where the birds didn't get disturbed.

Go find yourself a new piece of land out of your comfort zone and mix it up, where you have to work harder to tag a gobbler and see if it doesn't become rewarding in more ways than just notching a tag. I wish you good luck and a successful, & safe season this year.

Jim
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shaman
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby shaman » January 29th, 2014, 6:36 am

See? Everyone says the shaman is a shut-in. He needs to get out more!

On the other hand, I have to say following the same bunch of turkeys every year has its rewards. Over time I get to see the same patterns out of multiple generations of birds as they interact with the landscape. As a result there are timeless characters in my woods. There's MIster Moto, The Virginia Creeper, Silent Bob and the Two Jakes, The Garbage Pit Bandit-- different birds over the years, but nearly identical behaviors.


Ooops! Gotta run. More later.
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shaman
 
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Re: Is there a better way?

Postby shaman » February 2nd, 2014, 8:29 am

Well, I see that "Ooops" lasted a bit longer than expected. Somebody pulled a cable in the back of the computer room at work and . . . I didn't have to spend any all-nighters, but my boss did and one contractor went 48 hours without sleep. However, yelping about the day job is not what we're here for, so I will attempt to pick up where I left off.

Back when I got these 200 acres, I was not really thinking about turkey hunting. My major motivation was deer hunting and camping, and then (just after 9/11) as a possible refuge should there be a SHTF situation. However, on the first visit, we had a hen and poults cross the road in front of us. I knew we were onto something. Now, going into my 13th season on the place, I can tell you that this has been a terrific windfall. Our 200 acres holds several year-round flocks.

As a guy who spent a decade looking for his first shot at a gobbler, I can say that having a situation where hens are roosting 200 yards from the back of the house is a distinct advantage. Up until I started hunting this property, my view of turkeys was limited to a series of unrelated shapshots scattered over 20 years. Being on the property helped me to sort it all out. For instance, I now realize that the absolute hands-down best time to hunt turkeys in my area would usually be late March-- well before season, and just as the late-winter super flock breaks up. As the spring opener starts, the gobblers are usually in their latency phase and are extremely hard to call off the roost. My hunting experience down near the Tennessee line indicates to me that the seasons are timed for better hunting conditions somewhat to the south of us. It is funny, because when I used to hunt Ohio, everyone claimed the season started too late up there. I try to be out and about the last part of March. By law, I can't call, but I can watch. By the Yute Opener, the next weekend, the farm has gone to sleep, and we do not start to find gobblers receptive to calls until we start seeing lone hens in the field at mid-day.

I can also say without reservation that warm weather seems to do more to buoy a gobbler's spirits than anything else. In agreement with the dewpoint theory, in the few years it has happened, an unseasonably warm dry spell has caused the gobblers to be receptive. Other than that, it is crapshoot. I have seen gobblers come to calls at 25F and wind or 70F and rain-- normally without rhyme or reason. In general, when I start hearing a lot of shotguns going off, I know I will probably see a gobbler. Also, when I get do get a shooting opportunity, there is usually more than one gobbler in play.

I've got to run out on you again-- this time to get ready for granddaughter Mooselette's 2nd birthday party. She is getting a plush turkey and a turkey picture book along with her own tent and a camp chair. You can see where this is going ;) She already has camo clothes, calls and a 20-gauge shotgun.
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