Finally located them!!!

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
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DeanoZ
 
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Finally located them!!!

Postby DeanoZ » April 20th, 2010, 5:45 am

Scouted a piece this morning where I had previously seen a flock while deer hunting.  This being my second season, and me being a newbie, I've not been terribly successful with locating birds.  So my approach this year was to hit the locator calls at first light, keep moving and cover as much ground as possible until I get a response. .. l did that for about an hour and had no response..other than the crows!!!  They were cawing a lot, which I thought was great, let them do the work for me.  Although I did not get a response, my sense was they were there and just being tight lipped.  Decided then to get in the ruck and drive a half mile away to some other fields...this is all on public land mind you.  As I go by one field low and behold, I see a couple of hens...I stop, glass for the gob, but didn't see one so I continued on to the next field, didn't spot any thing there, and headed back towards the field with the hens.  When I came upon them, the Gob finally appeared...he was beautiful, what a sight to behold.  He was strutting and all over one hen, the other two hens looked like they moved on behind the hill.
Gents for me this was like a gift...aside from one singular sighting (and attempt to roost) that was the only bird I saw last season.  Now I've seen a flock and hopefully what will be a place to setup.  Having said that I do have some questions.  Opening day is 26 April, is it reasonable to expect they will be in that area again a week from now?  They were in the field around 0745 this morning...is it safe to say they were probably roosting near by?  I did no want to disturb them so I did not hang around to do a post mortum on the area and look for tracks and sign that may tell me where they are coming from, but plan to go back mid day another time and look around.  My sense is they may have come in from another field a quarter mile away...that being the case should I set up inside the woods between the two fields or should I set my hen deke where I saw them and wait for them to come into that field?  Should I hit the locator call at first light from that spot just to make sure they are still in the area...and since they don't seem to be responding to the crow calls should I try a Peacock?  Sorry for all the questions fellas, but any help is much appreciated.  Thanks fellas...I'm stoked!!!

Fargohunt
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby Fargohunt » April 20th, 2010, 6:41 am

Dean,
 
Congrats--this as you know is at least 1/2 the battle.  I would say that at this point, it IS very likely, though never guaranteed they will roost very close by--but having said, can you get there soon to watch the areas to see if they are out in the fields just before they fly back up to roost.  I did this last night and found two flocks do precisely this--assuring me the roost position.
 
If you can it might also be good to scout the woods, but until after 12:00 or so so as not to disturb them...move very slow, glass and check sign, but don't spend too much time there as you don't need to see them for them to see you.  I would think that if you saw them at 7:45 they would have roosted near by and not likely been 1/4 mile away.  I think you are correct about a set up location between the fields and in the woods.  Pick out a good spot where you believe the birds will get an early peek at your decs, but no further than 25 yds away from you.  Try also to setup in the shade for the am hunt as the sun will often give your presence away.
 
I try to avoid using a locator call...if they are within 3-400 yds and the am is fairly quiet without too much wind you'll hear them if they are there.  All the better I believe if they sound off naturally.  If you feel compelled to use a locator try a goose call--a lot of birds respond well to those.
 
Never apologise for questions--that's what this forum is all about learning!  Kepp us updated!  Scott

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby DeanoZ » April 20th, 2010, 9:36 am

Fargo, thanks for the advice...my thoughts were along the same line as yours.  My plan was to set up in the woods about 10-15 yrds inside them oriented towards the field I saw them and wait for them to fly down or come from behind out into the field.  Not crazy about having my back to them though if the do come from behind me in the woods.  As for the locator calls, I had actually thought about a peacock.  Reason being, the crows were cawing, as were geese and I did not hear one shock gobble in response to them.  Also there are yutes in the area so i thought using a yute call would be counter productive.  That would leave me with the option of a woodpecker call or a Peacock...there are woodpeckers there as well so i figured go with something the hardly (if ever) hear.  My intention was to only use the locator if I don't hear anything when I get to my spot and its almost sunrise.

I can go back mid day to scout for more sign, but not until Saturday...where I work and where I hunt are an hour apart so its not someplace I can go on my lunch break.  I can definitely go at the end of the day and try to roost them/locate them again.

I'll keep ya'll posted, but this is exciting stuff for me...uncharted waters so to speak!!!  Thanks again for the advice and feedback!  Keep it coming!

JeffCrez
 
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Location: Hudson Valley NY

RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby JeffCrez » April 20th, 2010, 12:40 pm

DeanoZ, You mentioned that this is all stateland where you are seeing birds from the Rd. I'm not sure what state you are in but keep in mind that other hunters have probably seen them also. You may have company the first morning so be especially carefull where you position yourself and the decoys. As far as locator calls, you should not need them to locate gobblers prior to season. Just get out there well before daylight and listen. Don't move around the woods blowing locator calls, you will only spook the birds. They gobble on the roost pretty much every morning. Try to get to the highest listening point. If the wind isn't strong you can hear a gobbler from way off. If this is stateland, I would be more intent on those birds furthest from the road. You will have less interference from the road hunters. This time of year, gobblers tend to roost in the same general area each night. If you've seen hens, there is no doubt that there are gobblers near. Try to listen to which way they go at flydown. That's the general area where you want to be set up opening morning. Good Luck and think safety!
"Fall hunting is maneuvers, Spring hunting is war".......Tom Kelly

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby DeanoZ » April 21st, 2010, 4:00 am

Hey Jeff!  Yes, this is in fact public land, and your points are well taken and something I have considered as well.  I suspect I won't be the only one there either, although its wishful thinking, lol.  My plan is to get there well before first light, position the decoy and slip into my spot before first light.
The property is not that big but spread out, and yesterday I covered most of it without hearing anything on the roost.  In so much as I'd love to find a spot more off the road and beaten path, those were the areas i first went to yesterday morning and did not hear a sound.  That's when i figured as a last ditch effort, to go to the two fields closer to the road, and wha-lah..there they were.  I suspect this spot I will hear something and sense that's where they were roosting given the time I saw them.  So I won't use the locator unless its well after fly down time and I don't hear or see anything.
To be perfectly honest, I'm just happy I was able to locate them...if I get a crack at them come opening day that will be the icing on the cake, and lord help me if I actually take one, I'll be too excited to think straight!!!!

dworz
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby dworz » April 21st, 2010, 8:45 pm

DeanoZ,
I wish you well, you sound as if you are fired up! Iam thinking the same as some this being State land there might be others so be very Careful. Like me State land is all i have and i usally rin into someone first light. I try an positon myself to where were not shooting at each other. Those Birds should be there come opening day unless someone has bumped them one to many times, again State Land you have some people who think they own it them selfs. Hang in there and be ready for the long sit if needed, If they are there they will come, Place your decoys to where they will see them soon after fly down and the Games on. You should here them if they are on the roost as they will be Cackling and such. Good Luck, and aim straight.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby DeanoZ » April 23rd, 2010, 3:32 am

dworz thanks for the advice, well taken.  Well I went to my spot last night, saw them and roosted them!  That is the first time I've roosted birds (successfully)!!  So now I know the tree their roosting in, so come Monday morning I'm hoping it all comes together.  Have not seen another soul out there so I'm hopeful the company is minimal.  These birds have been silent...not a peep out of them from the time I saw them, until fly up...not even a cackle.  Funny though, just before flyup a curious deer came out and he and the gob were sizing each other up...was quite a show, lol.  Now as for the set up here is my question:  The treeline they are in s a thin strip of woods where a stream runs through it.  Jutting from the treeline is a strip of overgrown scrub and small trees.  Was thinking of setting up in that scrub which is about 50-75 yrds from the roost site, with the deke in the field about 20 yrds out from me, perpendicular to the tree line?  Or should I set up in the tree line they are roosting in?  Was also thinking a few soft tree yelps befor fly down just to let them know the deke is there.  Now the only two things that can put a kink in this plan are 1) another hunter comes in, but I plan to get there real early and 2) Its supposed to rain, not sure how hard but I plan on bringin a pop up blind if it looks steady.  i'm guessing for them if its raining and not a down pour, its business as usual?

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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » April 23rd, 2010, 10:00 am

If your only 50-75 yds off the roost I'm not sure I'd do any tree talk at all. I would let them fly down before you start any calling, keep it soft and light. I don't tree call if I'm closer than 100 yds, it's to easy for them to pin point you.
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dam3391
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby dam3391 » April 23rd, 2010, 10:39 am

DeanoZ,  I would heed Willow's advice greatly.  Birds can tell sounds coming from the ground as opposed to a tree when you're in that tight.  Take this with a grain of salt because your state is different than mine, but I have not had good luck positioning decoy's on public land where the gobbler can see them from his roost.

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DeanoZ
 
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RE: Finally located them!!!

Postby DeanoZ » April 24th, 2010, 4:02 am

OK all thanks for the advice.  I've posted a pic of the spot for some perspective.  The arrow indicates the roost location, the circled spot is the hedge row the jutts out from the tree line in an easterly fashion.  My plan was to position myself in that hedge row oriented in a southerly direction towards the field with the deke about 20 yrds in front of me.  This being public land I'll probably only get one crack at this so I want to ensure I position myself apporiately and not risk scaring them off the roost or have them fly off in the opposite direction come fly down.  I do plan to get in there early, well before first light to avoid the birds seeing me and also becuase it will probably rain and I'll need to set up a blind.  I honestly don't know how the birds will react to any calling.  In the times I've been hunting this area they have been tight lipped.  So I will take your advice and not give a call until flydown..and only if he does not see my deke or choses to ingnore it and head off the other way.  I also have the option of setting up on the other side of the hedge row and the first time I saw this flock they had traversed the other side of the hedge row  (not sure if they pitched down there) and traveled in a northeasterly direction hugging the treeline around until the crossed the road and continued in a northeasterly fashion.  Like I said I don't think I'll get but one shot at this so I'm open to suggestions on where I should set up. Thanks for you advice fellas, its greatly appreciated

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