What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

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What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby jbhodj » May 5th, 2009, 11:47 am

I have noted in other posts here about my hunting this past weekend here in SC Iowa but a quick recap.

Saturday, arrive at timber, toms already fired up, and work into timber from CRP, but cannot move much closer for day break was upon us. We set up, quickly notice 2 hens, to our right, on the limb. Toms are gobbling to our left, we are pretty much on the same level as the birds on the hillside. To our surprise we had slipped really close to the hens and didnt bump them.

The 2 hens were pretty vocal, one in particular, yelping, clucking and purring from the roost. Toms responded to them. I decided to do a little tree calling, and set off the what I assume was the boss hen who responded to me each time I made a sound on my pot. I tried to keep my calling very sparse, and let the hens continue to vocalize. The hens stayed on the roost what seemed like forever and didnt actually fly down until around 7:00 AM on a gorgeous day. They flew down hill sort of right towards where the toms had been responding.

After they flew down we didnt hear squat, zip zero nadda for the longest time, I got antsy and made the move to an area that I thought they would be headed, but that hunt was cut short by a predator. (Another story in itself)

Next day, Sunday, we decided to arrive a little earlier, and try to set up a little closer to the toms. Sure enough, toms were almost in the same spot as previous day. We worked as close as we dared and set up a single deke in a little open area. Set up, and tree called. Got a response, waited, called again, another response, and yelped softly and continue to get a gobble. Heard the wings of a fly down, yelped, nothing, waited, waited, maybe 15 mins, called, nothing. We sat there for about a half an hour, maybe a little less, then a crow caws and then heard a the gobbles, walking away from us. I yelped a little more agressive this time and heard what I assume was the toms we set up on, working there way away from us. We circled trying to work in front of them, but didnt hear, see or get anything fired up later in the mourning. Its like they shut up and disappeared into the mists.

Let me point this out, I get antsy easy and I think I may need to practice more patience, but if I think the birds are moving away from me, I move. Also, maybe my calling is a little to agressive first thing after fly down or maybe not agressive enough. There were hens in the area, which we learned the day before.

I thought about busting the roosted birds up that evening, but I have never had the balls to try that tactic, but heard it can work SOMETIMES.

What would you do, how would you set up different, how would you adjust your calling?
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RE: What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby woodswise13 » May 6th, 2009, 6:25 am

When u set up the second day did u see them fly down??? what i would do is set up where they are heading watch where they fly down and set up close to that point.... and i personally would leave the decoy in my car but thats just me... good luck and keep us posted

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RE: What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby PAridgebirds » May 10th, 2009, 6:50 am

I agree, if you've called the birds then you probably don't want to take a decoy in, especially if you are that close, and in between hens and toms. Find their early morning strut zone, this is usually where the hens will come meet up with the big boys. Not a lot of calling (or any) is needed if you know the routine. I shot a long beard yesterday without calling once. Do your homework and it will pay off.

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RE: What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby JeffCoHunter » May 11th, 2009, 1:26 pm

Once again, I totally agree with PAridgebirds and think he stated it well.
Figure out where they are headed to strut off of the roost and set up there or on the travel route just bewond the fly down area. 
Scouting and patterning kills way more birds than good calling in my opinion.

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RE: What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby nhtrkybstr » May 11th, 2009, 2:16 pm

If the tom's are henned up, try a single hen decoy, and try to get the dominant hen fired up with some aggresive cutting and yelping. Get her mad enough, and she might come in, looking for a fight, thus bringing the tom with her. Best of luck!
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RE: What would you do? Between Hens and Toms On Roost

Postby Fan Club » May 12th, 2009, 3:05 am

> What would you do, how would you set up different, how would you adjust your calling? <

Your Day 1 setup was as close to perfect as it gets, right in between the gobblers and hens. My question is, why would you call at all? If you were so close you could see the birds, they could tell the calls came from the ground. Your tree calling made the hens suspicious as is evidenced by their "not flying down until 7:00 a.m. on a gorgeous day." When turkeys are relaxed on the roost, at flydown they basically just drop from the tree and expend very little energy. They then walk toward each other to congregate.
If they fly down and glide long distances, they are wary because of unatural calls made, decoys or movement they saw. In this case they were trying to avoid a competitive hen (you) and flew over to where the gobblers were. If you had remained quiet, there's a good chance they all would have flown down under their roost trees and met up right in front of your shotgun.
I'm not a big fan of tree calling or using decoys at the roost, there's just too much unatural data there for the turkeys to process. Once the birds hit the ground, fire up the calling and try and compete with the hens for the gobbler's attention. If you have an idea where the birds like to go after flydown, save the decoys for that location- either on a travel corridor or at a feeding area a/o strut zone.
Always remember, "Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand." You can't bring back a call once it has been emitted and you can't run out and grab that decoy if you suddenly wish it wasn't there.
Stay after them. As Ray Eye says, "The turkeys will teach you how to hunt 'em."
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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