Beginner with a bow

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
Gunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: April 3rd, 2010, 12:49 pm

Beginner with a bow

Postby Gunn » May 5th, 2010, 8:27 am

First off I would like to say hello to everyone.  You all seem very helpful and ready to aid the newcomer.
 
I have been reading the forums and articles and want some more advice.  Here is my situation.  I am hunting in Massachusetts where an FID card is needed to touch, posses, or look at a firearm.  Thus, I will be bowhunting out of a blind.  I have been granted definite access to a corn field of about 20 acres.  The owner of the farm has a total of 500 acres in different locations.  I am currently trying to confirm that I can have access to all of the fields. 
 
Here are my issues: 
 
1 - I have no experience
2 - I live 2 hours away from the location and transportation can be tough, possible rain on Saturday!
3 - I dont know where to focus the hunting.
 
My solutions so far are:
 
1 -  To hunt out of a blind which will give me more room to move and make errors, to stick with just three calls that are hard to mess up (yelp, cluck, purr).
2 -  Get in early in the morning and owl call to locate.  I am going to try and get access to the rest of the 500 acres.  Still deciding on hunting in the rain.
3 -  Focus on the 20 acres I have access to which is corn field in between a road and a creek entirely lined with trees, then look at the pastures with less water access. 
 
Any advice?  How should I use those three calls?  Where should I set up my three decoys, two hens and a jake?  How do I even start owl calling, walk the entire property an hour or so before sunrise?  Should I just focus on the 20 acre plot now or try and cover as much area with the owl call?  If it is going to rain should I bail?  I only have weekends as of now.
 
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks again!
 
Andrew

User avatar
DeanoZ
 
Posts: 291
Joined: January 14th, 2009, 9:47 am

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2010, 11:12 am

Welcome to the forums Gunn, got a great group of fellas here who are all to willing to help.  I'm a bit of a newbie to Turkey hunting as well, so i can give you some advice and perspective from that standpoint and let the pros and verterans here discuss the finer points.  As for where to start, half of the battle is locating them and since your two hours away from your property its probably unlikely you get an opportunity to roost the birds the night before.  Having said that i think you overlooked a very important piece of intel you can use to help locate them sooner...the farmer!  If he's actively farming that land he'll know where the turkeys are, so just ask him where he's seen them recently and at what time of the day.  If he's seen them in an area within the first hour or two of sunrise and sunset, its a good bet their roosting near by then its just a matter of putting your self within 100-200 yards of that area and wait for flydown.  If the farmer does not offer you any intel, all is not lost..but since your bowhunting from a blind its going to make things a little harder.  To make it easier on yourself, grab a topo of the area and find the highest point on the property and if there is water running nearby so much the better.  From that highest vantage point use your locator call about a half hour to 45 min before sunrise...really when first light is just breaking.  Give a few hoots on the Owl call and listen.  if you get a response, don't call again...just try to close the distance from where you thought you heard it...setup camp...and wait for flydown.  If you don't get a response, get back in your truck (or walk) another 1/4 to half mile and hit the locator call again.  Once its sun-up put the Owl call away and just use the crow call.  keep moving around the property until you get a response...and if its farm land I'm assuming there are two tracks all over the place you can drive from one field to the other?  This will be key for you since your lugging in a bow and blind and will help you quickly survey the property and hopefully get setup on a bird quickly.

As for the calling...here is where most make their mistake (myself included).  best thing I can tell you is keep it simple and less is more.  Stick to the 3 calls, but really all you need is to be able to cluck and purr.  Some soft yelping can help, but only if nothing else is working.  Once they fly down or its sunrise a few soft clucks, some purring, and ground scratching goes a long way.  Only need to do it about once every hour..and only if your not getting a response.  Trust me they will hear your calls.

I'll let the other fellas chime in here...they are infinitely wiser than me when it comes to this subject.

Good Luck and keep us posted on how it goes!

Gunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: April 3rd, 2010, 12:49 pm

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby Gunn » May 5th, 2010, 12:47 pm

That is the excellent info I need! 
 
There is a large creek that runs through the eastern side of the property.  On that side there are several cut corn fields.  Then the land is divided by a road and some houses.  One of the pastures where they have been in years past is to the west of the road and is about a hill.  I will start there and work my way around on foot.
 
I think I can move pretty fast on foot and am used to backpacking with heavy gear.
 
Also, I just spoke with the landowners wife who gave me all kinds of tips about where to go on the land, she informed me that I may see one other hunter too.  Very nice lady.
 
Keep the ideas and info coming and thanks again!

User avatar
DeanoZ
 
Posts: 291
Joined: January 14th, 2009, 9:47 am

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby DeanoZ » May 5th, 2010, 4:03 pm

Awesome, well sounds a lot like the property I hunt now...lots of cut fields with a strip of woods holding a stream.  Guarantee if that's the only strip of woods in the immediate area they are probably roosting there...find the highest point along that strip of woods and start there...look for tallest trees in that area and then look for feathers and bird droppings, that's a sure sign of a roosting spot...good luck and keep us posted.

arrowsonly
 
Posts: 158
Joined: May 9th, 2008, 5:47 am

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby arrowsonly » May 6th, 2010, 4:45 am

Gunn,

I have hunted this way since 1996! All of the information so far is true but time in the woods is most important. Try to find a strut zone would be one suggestion also. This time of the season the hens are nesting & the toms will be traveling from say 9am to 4pm looking for love. Be careful with all the decoys & keep them close to your blind 5/7 yards, If you can let the other hunter know you are there I have been stalked more than once. Sit as long as you can and "see with your ears" close your eyes and just listen, the birds will not be very vocal.

If you can shoot your bow from inside the blind, and get a comfy chair. Some help from a friend with all your stuff or a way to haul it would also help. I use a bike & trailer but a wheelbarrow works well on dirt roads & game trails...

Good Luck
look em' in the eye before you give em' the shaft...
be a man hunt public land...

Gunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: April 3rd, 2010, 12:49 pm

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby Gunn » May 6th, 2010, 5:42 am

Thanks again.
 
This is the exact info I am looking for! 
 
I am going out Saturday and Sunday for the first time.  Saturday should have T showers.  I will hunt regardless in the morning and do some scouting after noon.  Then on Sunday I hope to have a better idea of where they will be.
 
I am spot on with the bow between 10 and 20 yards.  Should I stick with this or try and get enough time in with the bow to extend my range?  Last thing I want is wounded game.

MassGobblers
 
Posts: 3
Joined: April 17th, 2010, 12:06 pm

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby MassGobblers » May 6th, 2010, 1:57 pm

hey there!! As a fellow Mass Turkey hunter just remember no Sunday hunting. You said you were going out both Sat and Sunday. I hunt in Western MA and bowhunt as well...!  Good luck!

Gunn
 
Posts: 4
Joined: April 3rd, 2010, 12:49 pm

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby Gunn » May 6th, 2010, 5:09 pm

Geez I thought that was only in Maine. Stinking Puritans.
 
Thanks for the info. I'll let you know how it goes.   

Catguy
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 4:20 pm

RE: Beginner with a bow

Postby Catguy » May 12th, 2010, 4:26 pm

Hi Gunn and MassGobblers,

Also a bowhunter from Western Mass, though just starting out... at this point I'm reluctant to call myself a "hunter" and am more apt to describe my actions as "taking my bow for a walk in the woods!" Any luck so far? Located a gobbler last night; hoping to get out this Saturday to see if I can make some progress. Certainly isn't as easy as Youtube makes it out to be! :)


Return to Strategies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests