Right time to run n' gun /move?

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DeanoZ
 
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Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby DeanoZ » May 25th, 2010, 5:48 am

Just curious on the opinions, why, and the right way to do it.  In my limited experience (and I qualify that by saying I only did it once and probably need to do it more) I will run n gun under 3 circumstances:

1. If I'm in a location that I've either roosted birds the night before or know they are in the immediate area, I will only get up and move if by 0900 I've not seen or heard a peep

2. If I'm going into an area cold from the start, I'll move and call to try and locate birds

3. In order to move around on a bird that is either moving away from me or headed in a different direction from my setup...quite frankly this has not happened to me yet

So assuming number 1 or 2 have occurred and your ready to move, what is your approach to running and gunning...do you still hunt your way through the area, stopping and calling every so often?  Do you move quickly through an area, without regard to stealth and call evry so often?  Do you get in a vehicle and move on to another area?

I'm going to an area tomorrow for possibly my last hunt of the season.  Its not a foreign area to me, but I have not scouted it at all this season.  I have an idea where the birds are based on observations from last year, but do not have a setup in mind per say to sit in tomorrow morning.  My plan was to walk the two track that runs through the area at first light and do some calling and hopefully get a response.  If after going through that area I'm unsuccessful, i was going to get in the truck and hit another area with the same approach.  Any thoughts are much appreciated.

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » May 25th, 2010, 8:06 am

Sounds like a good plan [;)].
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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby Gobblerman » May 25th, 2010, 8:32 am

I define "running and gunning" as moving along and calling in an effort to locate a responsive gobbler.  Except for early morning roost situations, that is almost exclusively how I hunt, but that is based on several things:  1) is the area I have to hunt conducive to that approach,...that is, it is large enough and/or the terrain such that it might be an effective tactic; 2) do I think the odds of finding a responsive gobbler are better by R&G than taking the "sit and wait" approach in a given location; and 3) am I hunting an area that using R&G is not likely to negatively affect somebody else's hunting.  Admittedly, I am not a "sit and wait" sort of turkey hunter, so I am apt to move along if there are no responsive birds nearby.  That's more a function of my turkey hunting history probably more than anything else. 
 
So, you ask,....how would I approach your situation?  If I thought R&G would be effective, and there was room to give it a shot, that's what I would do.  I would take my best guess as to where I might hear a gobbler at daylight and go there first.  I would try to work any gobblers I heard.  If I didn't hear any birds, I would start a systematic "covering" of the area I had to hunt at that location...perhaps using locator calls in conjunction with turkey calls as I moved along.  If there are roadless areas, or otherwise some areas that are, for whatever reason, less likely to have had significant hunting pressure, I would head for those places. 
 
I always carry binoculars, and if I see I am approaching an area that is open enough to see well, I will carefully approach and then glass the area for birds.  Some places, this is a very effective method for locating turkeys,...some places, not so much.
 
If I covered one area without success, I would pack it up and move to the next location and repeat the process,...once again, always paying attention to indicators of the presence of other hunters at each place.  If somebody's there, move on to the next spot until you find another one you have to yourself and repeat the covering process.  If at some point, you find a location that has good turkey sign and looks like a spot you might set up for a while and call, try that if it suits you.
 
Calling suggestions (based, once again, on my past history):  When running and gunning, my goal is to get turkeys, and preferrably a gobbler, to respond to my calls.  If you are moving along, you are constantly moving into earshot of new country.  I always call relatively softly to start with, although I find that I rarely get a response to that except for when I am initially starting R&G at a spot.  I will start with a few clucks, or clucks and yelps at soft to moderate levels.  If I get no response, I will ramp up to a series of louder yelps, and/or some cutting and yelping.  Finally, if no response, I will go to a full-blown, very loud and agressive cutting and yelping sequence.  Often, this will get a response from distant birds. 
 
One final point I think is pretty important in regards to calling....just my opinion, for what it's worth.  A really good, loud, agressive "cutt" is sometimes hard for some folks to master, and it can be an extremely effective call if done realistically.  As turkey hunters, all of us should learn what cutting sounds like and then find a call that we can make the sound with,... with realism.  I really do believe that it does make a difference, especially as a "running and gunning" tool.
 
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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby Cut N Run » May 25th, 2010, 8:43 am

ORIGINAL: Gobblerman

I define "running and gunning" as moving along and calling in an effort to locate a responsive gobbler.  Except for early morning roost situations, that is almost exclusively how I hunt, but that is based on several things:  1) is the area I have to hunt conducive to that approach,...that is, it is large enough and/or the terrain such that it might be an effective tactic; 2) do I think the odds of finding a responsive gobbler are better by R&G than taking the "sit and wait" approach in a given location; and 3) am I hunting an area that using R&G is not likely to negatively affect somebody else's hunting.  Admittedly, I am not a "sit and wait" sort of turkey hunter, so I am apt to move along if there are no responsive birds nearby.  That's more a function of my turkey hunting history probably more than anything else. 

So, you ask,....how would I approach your situation?  If I thought R&G would be effective, and there was room to give it a shot, that's what I would do.  I would take my best guess as to where I might hear a gobbler at daylight and go there first.  I would try to work any gobblers I heard.  If I didn't hear any birds, I would start a systematic "covering" of the area I had to hunt at that location...perhaps using locator calls in conjunction with turkey calls as I moved along.  If there are roadless areas, or otherwise some areas that are, for whatever reason, less likely to have had significant hunting pressure, I would head for those places. 

I always carry binoculars, and if I see I am approaching an area that is open enough to see well, I will carefully approach and then glass the area for birds.  Some places, this is a very effective method for locating turkeys,...some places, not so much.

If I covered one area without success, I would pack it up and move to the next location and repeat the process,...once again, always paying attention to indicators of the presence of other hunters at each place.  If somebody's there, move on to the next spot until you find another one you have to yourself and repeat the covering process.  If at some point, you find a location that has good turkey sign and looks like a spot you might set up for a while and call, try that if it suits you.

Calling suggestions (based, once again, on my past history):  When running and gunning, my goal is to get turkeys, and preferrably a gobbler, to respond to my calls.  If you are moving along, you are constantly moving into earshot of new country.  I always call relatively softly to start with, although I find that I rarely get a response to that except for when I am initially starting R&G at a spot.  I will start with a few clucks, or clucks and yelps at soft to moderate levels.  If I get no response, I will ramp up to a series of louder yelps, and/or some cutting and yelping.  Finally, if no response, I will go to a full-blown, very loud and agressive cutting and yelping sequence.  Often, this will get a response from distant birds. 

One final point I think is pretty important in regards to calling....just my opinion, for what it's worth.  A really good, loud, agressive "cutt" is sometimes hard for some folks to master, and it can be an extremely effective call if done realistically.  As turkey hunters, all of us should learn what cutting sounds like and then find a call that we can make the sound with,... with realism.  I really do believe that it does make a difference, especially as a "running and gunning" tool.

Jim


Great advice, Jim.  That's another one of those print it out & keep it in your turkey hunting notebook kind of posts.

I probably don't run & gun as much as you do, but my lease is limited in size.  That loud, aggressive cutting is an attention grabber for sure.
 
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eggshell
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby eggshell » May 25th, 2010, 10:21 am

I agree with big bad terminator Jim. However one component of his R&G is "an area without other hunters.....a statement like that instantly tells you the writer lives and hunts west of the Mississippi River, LOL 

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby DeanoZ » May 25th, 2010, 10:57 am

Awesome Jim, great feedback and it sounds like my plan is somewhat in sync with how you R&G.  Ok a couple more questions for you...

with regards to moving you mentioned the following...

If I didn't hear any birds, I would start a systematic "covering" of the area I had to hunt at that location...perhaps using locator calls in conjunction with turkey calls as I moved along.  If there are roadless areas, or otherwise some areas that are, for whatever reason, less likely to have had significant hunting pressure, I would head for those places.


Specifically how do you move?  I know this sounds obvious but to me its not...are you still hunting through the area like you would for deer...is it more a casual walk, stop, call, listen approach...or are you moving quickly from location to location without regard to significant noise and movement?


Regarding calling you mentioned the following...

I always call relatively softly to start with, although I find that I rarely get a response to that except for when I am initially starting R&G at a spot.  I will start with a few clucks, or clucks and yelps at soft to moderate levels.  If I get no response, I will ramp up to a series of louder yelps, and/or some cutting and yelping.  Finally, if no response, I will go to a full-blown, very loud and agressive cutting and yelping sequence.  Often, this will get a response from distant birds.


My question is how long do you wait in between successively louder/ ramped up calls before beginning the next one...are we talking seconds or minutes or hours before you take it up to the next level?  Am assuming you'll go through each successively louder sequence in one spot before moving on to the next location?

Jim (CnR) is right...this out to be a sticky thread!  Mark, Joe, Bobby...would be interested to hear yours (and anyone elses) take on this as well.

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JPH
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby JPH » May 25th, 2010, 11:11 am

Ah the old "run-n-gun"! Anyone who has conversed with me here could guess that I'd have a few thoughts on the topic. You already have a solid plan and you've already gotten awesome advice, but I'll toss my two cents in because I can't help myself.

First of all I think there are several essential elements to being successful as a mobile turkey hunter:
- You should have an intimate knowledge of the property you are hunting. I try to learn every roost, strut zone, loafing area, hang up, food source, trail, ditch, creek and thorn bush.
- You MUST strive to be in good physical condition. This is a year round venture!
- You should pack light. I use a single shot shotgun and my vest is less than 10 lbs. fully loaded. Everything is tied down so that it does not rattle and my footwear is lightweight and waterproof.
- You MUST make every effort to know who else might be hunting out there as well. I am lucky because I hunt on private land that is well marked, but this does not guarantee that I won't run into a poacher. Think defensively!

My personal approach?

Unless I have a bird roosted or have scouted a strut zone, I tend to move. However, I hunt small parcels so I cannot afford to "cut-n-run" as seen on TV. My largest turkey hunting property is 300 acres. If I walked along at a steady pace, calling every 100-200 yards, I'd be through most of the places I hunt in 20 minutes.

If I do not have a bird roosted from the night before, I will often make my way to a centrally located "listening" post. Once they start gobbling I will take off after them. This is the one time that I will throw stealth to the wind. As long as I can avoid roost areas, I will just move. I don't run but I'll scoot right along. From that point it is simply a matter of trying to position myself in a spot where I think he will be easy to call after fly down. How close to get or when I should quit moving is really its own topic.

If I have entered into an exchange with a bird on the ground, my first choice will always be to sight tight and call him to me. Unfortunately they often have a mind of their own. If they throw courtesy gobbles over their shoulder as they walk away I'll often begin to do what I call "hook and move". Just like a boxer throwing jabs and circling an opponent looking for an opening, I will try to call just enough to keep him talking and look for the calling location that will give me a better shot at bringing him into gun range. I try to be very sneaky when I do this, but on occasion I will see an opening and make a dash for it.

There will always be those days when nothing will answer. My answer is to slip as quietly as possible through the property, glassing ahead and listening to everything. From time to time this will allow me to see a gobbler before he sees me. If so I'll try to slip into a position that lets me work him. If not, rather than calling randomly, I will stop occasionally and actually set up and call blindly for 20 minutes to an hour before moving to the next spot.

As you can see, all of my mobile strategies are dependent on a detailed knowledge of the land but they allow me to move around in a small area.

Hope this helps. If nothing else, it felt good to share it. Thanks!

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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby Gobblerman » May 25th, 2010, 12:02 pm

"Specifically how do you move?"
 
As a general statement, I move "deliberately but carefully".  Specifically, however, this depends on where I am hunting and my evaluation of the merits of being slow and precise,...as compared to moving quickly and covering lots of ground.  In some places turkey densities are great enough that moving haphazardly and rapidly greatly increases your chance of being "busted" by turkeys (or other wildlife), resulting in every critter in the country being put on high alert.  In other places, there are fewer turkeys and they are spread much further apart,...and it is necessary to cover lots of ground to locate them.  You must make an evaluation on which approach is best based on where you are hunting. If in doubt, take the slow and precise approach. 
 
"My question is how long do you wait in between successively louder/ ramped up calls before beginning the next one..."
 
Once again, my basic plan is to find a gobbler (or group of turkeys) that will respond to my calling, so I don't wait any longer than I think it would take them to naturally respond to calling they hear in the distance.  That response usually occurs quite quickly, in my experience, if they are going to respond at all.  Therefore, I do not wait long between the levels of calling. 
 
I might make the first soft/medium clucks and yelps (in a sequence totaling maybe five to ten seconds), listen for 15 to 30 seconds, and then move into the next level of calling....medium to loud cutts and yelps (in a sequence of about 5 seconds).  ....then wait the same amount of time and then hit them with the agressive stuff...cutts and yelps for maybe five seconds, a pause to see if there is a response, then another cutt and yelp sequence of maybe ten to fifteen seconds...another pause, and then another one.   
 
Another important point to be made is not calling too long, especially on the first loud, agressive call sequences.  Why?...because gobblers will often respond very quickly,... right on top of your calling as soon as they hear it.  If you make your first loud calls too long, a gobbler may respond and not be heard because you are still in the midst of calling to him.  Make your first agressive calls short and sweet...then stop and listen carefully for a response.  If there is none, on the next series, step up the volume and length of the calling again....then stop and listen carefully again.  Repeat the agressive stuff at least one more time.  At times, I have had gobblers be silent until the third or fourth agressive cutting and yelping sequence....and then all of a sudden come alive.  Same with hens. 
 
(As a sidenote, when using locators, you should keep your calls very short (but loud), too, because gobblers will often come back right on top of them, as well.)
 
All of my suggestions come with the disclaimer that they are based mostly on my experience in the areas I have hunted,....and may not work worth a darn where you are at,...or where any of the rest of the folks here hunt.  Heck, sometimes they don't work worth a hoot right here in my own neck of the woods!!
 
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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby JPH » May 25th, 2010, 2:12 pm

Jim, have you ever been published? 

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RE: Right time to run n' gun /move?

Postby Gobblerman » May 25th, 2010, 5:13 pm

Ummmm, ...Joe,...is that a trick question?!   Actually, I've heard it before....and it's always followed with..."Well, don't give up your day job!!"  [:)]
Honestly, I do contribute to a small in-state publication here in New Mexico,....but they only accept my articles because I do it for free, I think!
 
I could ask the same question to you and several others on here, as well.  How about you?....and others on here?
 
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