Hunting or ambushing

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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cmblackmon1
 
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Hunting or ambushing

Postby cmblackmon1 » April 10th, 2010, 2:01 am

Need some insight. I have several old toms on our farm that just get harder to kill each year. There really call shy and tight beaked most of the day. I have been as close as 70 yds. to one on the roost and with soft calls and purring he flew down to a strut zone and held up there gobbling at every call I gave him, which wasn't alot. Iv called up real hens while hunting this bird and he still wouldn't come in. Iv tryed him late in the season, late in the day, I'm out of options. What can I do short of ambushing him at a place I know he will be? And is that still turkey hunting?
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JeffCrez
 
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Location: Hudson Valley NY

RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby JeffCrez » April 10th, 2010, 4:44 am

cmblackmom1, I totally agree with jdbell91. It's not only turkey hunting but taking things to a higher level. The three and four yr olds got that old for a reason. They are cautious loners that have survived long enough to not be easily fooled like many hormone pumped two yr olds. These are birds that many hunters don't even know are there I'm sure. Taking one probably requires a combination of superior woodsmanship, extreme persistence and maybe some totally unusual tactics. Check out the most recent issue of Turkey & Turkey Hunting. There is an interesting piece on a tactic called "taking it away from him" page 26. A good example of creative tactics in the turkey woods. Good Luck!
"Fall hunting is maneuvers, Spring hunting is war".......Tom Kelly

swpatrkyhunter
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby swpatrkyhunter » April 10th, 2010, 5:51 am

Hi camblackmon1 !
  
     Personaly i would not call it ambushing at all! You did your homework, tried calling him to the gun. Now it's time to put what you have learned about him to good use! There are some who argue that it wouls be ambushing. Which they are entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong it may be. They are old toms for the reasons your not getting them! Conventional sit down calling is not working, So. Like the article in this months "turkey and turkey hunting" magazine on thinking like a turkey says, Think as that bird does, go where he will be and use his own way of thinking against him. If your worried about what some on here might think about you takeing one of those birds without calling him in,DON"T. It's your hunt! Not anyone else's. If it's more of a personal thing for you and you would like to figure a way to get the birds to come in to your calling. Go to where you you know they will be. And watch them for a couple minutes. They might be tough but they still need to breed and be social, so watch and listen to see what is differant from wjat you do. This could also help you down the road with any other stubborn old toms you may come across.  Good Luck!
If it gobbles,runs on gas, or is married to you it will give you trouble!

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mark hay
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby mark hay » April 10th, 2010, 7:59 am

ORIGINAL: cmblackmon1

Need some insight. I have several old toms on our farm that just get harder to kill each year. There really call shy and tight beaked most of the day. I have been as close as 70 yds. to one on the roost and with soft calls and purring he flew down to a strut zone and held up there gobbling at every call I gave him, which wasn't alot. Iv called up real hens while hunting this bird and he still wouldn't come in. Iv tryed him late in the season, late in the day, I'm out of options. What can I do short of ambushing him at a place I know he will be? And is that still turkey hunting?

 
If you can get within 100 yards or so , while he is still in the tree do it . But I will recommend you get an earlier than usual start . Take your sweet time going in. Pick and choose each step , go around brush that will make noise against your clothing . Don't allow any sound to reach the gobbler .
 Let him hit the ground and do a mock stretch 'n'flap , followed immediately by some three or four stroke scratching in the leaf litter,,,,,,,,,,,,,in turkey fashion .No calling .
 I'd bet he will sneak in . All you can do is make sure you are good and comfortable before you do the flap , and leaf scratching.
 Might take him a few minutes to reach you,,,,,,,,,,,,might be couple hours . He doesn't know if it's a hen or an intruding jake .
 
Turkeys don't call all day every day . But they do walk and scratch most of every day . That sound of a turkey walking and /or scratching is heard daily by the turkeys.
 This is not a sure thing ,,,,,,,,,,,there are no sure things in turkey hunting.

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shaman
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby shaman » April 10th, 2010, 11:23 am

Let me lend my support here for what some folks call ambushing.  I see no sin  in being in the right place at the right time and taking a bird with little or no calling.  If you have a mature gobbler patterned to the point where you can make a commitment to stake out a spot and it pays off, you're at very least the equal of a fellow who calls a foolish 2 year old right off the roost.

A lot of my hunting, especially the first week of season is not much more than that.  I know where the flocks are going to be day to day on my place.  I've been at this game on the same 200 acres for now 8 seasons. I'd be a dolt not to take advantage of that knowledge or to try to treat each morning like it was a fresh start.  Yes, I call, but mostly I'm working the same birds going to the same spots that their great-grandfathers were going to when I moved in.

One word of advice: if you plan on doing this, arrive a lot earlier than you might otherwise plan.  I mean a LOT earlier.  You pattern the bird so that you know he comes  at 2 PM.  You think Noon might be a good idea-- make it 10.  Seriously.  One thing I've found is that  birds will hang out in the same area and appear at different times while loitering close by.  Your 2 O Clock Charlie might really be 8, 10:30, Noon, Two and Four O'Clock Charlie. You just don't see him those other times.

One other thing:  be careful devoting too much time to hunting The Great White Whale.  I did one year and I came away with nothing to show for it except one blown shot.  Meanwhile I nearly ended up in the hospital with the bad bronchitis I caught staking this guy out.  I missed him, because I was too weak to hold the gun steady when he finally did give me a shot. 
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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cmblackmon1
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby cmblackmon1 » April 14th, 2010, 9:25 pm

Thanks for all you tips. I'll let y'all know around
May 1st if I was able to take this true trophy.
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WyoHunter
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby WyoHunter » April 24th, 2010, 11:48 am

Maybe if you're a purist you might not shoot a bird if he doesn't come to your calling but if he won't come to me I'm going to go to him. As said in previous posts putting yourself into position to take a mature gobbler is using woodmanship, knowing his habits and using your stalking ability to close the deal. That gobbler has the best eyes and ears in the woods so be thankful his nose isn't any better than ours!
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble! Springtime serenade for us Turkey Hunters!

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cmblackmon1
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby cmblackmon1 » April 30th, 2010, 11:43 pm

Well, seasons over and I'm sad to say I gess he will die of old age. I set up on him one evening at one of his roost trees hoping to get luckey and try ambushing him. One hour before dark I heard a hen cluck down below me in the field so I new there was turkeys close. With 30 min. to go before dark I clucked one time softley and he returned with a gobble less than 100 yds. away. I shut up and within a few minutes a hen followed by the old Tom poped up about 70 yds. straight in front of me. I never moved, knowing I had plenty of time and green trees between us. The hen kept coming on a string and the Tom just stood there looking with his head streached out as to say "not tonight". The hen came within 20 yds. as the Tom did an about face and left the way he came. Oh well maybe next year.
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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby Cut N Run » May 1st, 2010, 4:45 am

Since you know where one of his favorite strut zones is, could you have set up within range of there to try to get him?  It is a lot easier to call a gobbler to a place he already wants to come to.
 
 If there is too little cover around that zone, start building a small brush blind at the base of a tree close to there now, since the season is over. Add to it little by little throughout the year so it does not cause them to be alarmed. Continue to add brush in late winter & early Spring next year to build up what the winter pushed down.  Make sure the blind is situated so that the sun will be at your back in the mornings so your movements & outline will be hidden by shade.  It is some trouble to do, but it will give you a better chance at him.
 
Jim
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eggshell
 
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RE: Hunting or ambushing

Postby eggshell » May 1st, 2010, 8:10 am

One other thing:  be careful devoting too much time to hunting The Great White Whale.

The shaman speaks wise words of truth that all pilgrims should heed or learn by boiling tags in chicken broth for your turkey dinner.

I will never again devote a season to one gobbler, grudges leave more men broken and if completed prove to be an empty vessel. So many more things are out there to enjoy. I say pay him a visit from time to time and if you can kill him, put a patch on your vest and if you can't enjoy the fruits of other quest.


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