How Important is Roosting?

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Crappiepro
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby Crappiepro » January 28th, 2011, 10:49 am

The other thing that I have learned not to do is hunt flydown all that aggressively anymore. I'm no longer expecting to have a gob pitch down off the roost and come right to me. The majority of my set-ups are now focused on middle-to-late morning.
ORIGINAL: shaman I agree with that 100%, To many times Ive set-up on roosted birds only to have them fly down and mill off and away. I dont hunt the roost but will hunt the start of their circle after fly down.

I have to admit that roosting is not a big part of the game for me.  On my 200 acres it's kind of a matter of they're either there. . . or they're over there. . . or . . . well, I guess they're not there.

The turkeys on my place have been roosting in roughly the same places since before I got there.  In fact, I talk to guys who used to hunt there when they were kids and they all talk about the same places. 

"Back there by the big oaks!"  or "Down in the holler there behind the tobacco barns."  "Down on Pity Creek."

The point is that turkeys have been roosting, feeding, and loafing in roughly the same spots for generations-- human and turkey. 

For me, it is not so much a question of where as when.  One of my turkey mentors talked about the 2 of 7 rule.  I lay it all on you and see if it fits:

"If you see a pattern to what them animals do, it'll pro'lly turn out to be that they do it 2 days out of 7."

That's about right.  If I find turkeys roosting in a particular spot on a  particular morning, I can't count on them to be back there the next night.   I can probably figure they'll be there again some time in the next week.  When?  That's the problem. 

Now.  2 out of 7 I've  got them licked.  I have them also licked  2 more days because they seem to want to roost on the opposite side of the same ridge about an equal number of times.  That makes 4 out of 7 for the same spot.    2 out of 7 they're almost sure to be roosting clean off the property somewhere, and I never do find them.    That leave only 1 day out of the week that is up for grabs.   I may find myself  going in for coffee at 9 or I may be into hot action until noon.

The other thing that I have learned not to do is hunt flydown all that aggressively anymore.  I'm no longer expecting to have a gob pitch down off the roost and come right to me.  The majority of my set-ups are now focused on middle-to-late morning. 

TeocTom
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby TeocTom » January 30th, 2011, 8:11 am

The place where I hunt there is a gobbler that for the past two years has roosted around the same location. However, the place where he likes to roost is very hard to work around due to terrain without being exposed, and you have to try and set up and catch him on the run.
Roosting him the night before may put me in better odds, however, he shock gobbles on his own first light to a group of owls that live in that area. Those owls do all the locating for me. So, roosting is not a high priority where I hunt.
Eric
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1Morgan
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby 1Morgan » January 31st, 2011, 11:10 pm

I have young children at home and like to see them to bed. I will go out in the mornings pre-season to locate multiple roost sights as there is more gobbling in the mornings here. I wil stick to those areas most of the season. If i'm hitting new property, I will try and roost them in the evening. I don't do it often. I'm more of a run-n-gunner. I like to hunt turkeys all day when I can. They are logging the main body of my lease now, so I'm going to have to do a bit more scouting this year to see where the birds have been pushed. Hopefully the loggers will finish quickly to let the woods calm down before the season starts. It's going to make my hunting completely different this year. Might need some decoys with the open areas now. I'll start a new thread on this.
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kygobbler
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby kygobbler » January 31st, 2011, 11:38 pm

Morgan, good luck with the loggers. Last year on opening mourning I got set up in my usual spot at my little honey hole. While the sun was starting to come I noticed that something wasn't right but wasn't quiet sure of what it was. When the sun finally did come up I noticed that the cider thicket that was suppost to be 20 yards behind me was almost gone and several other trees had disappeared also. The guy who owned the land decided to log majority of the property and the only time the loggers had time to do it was during turkey season. Needless to say, I ended up with tag soup last year and I hope you have better luck than I had. Good luck this spring.
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turkaholic
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby turkaholic » February 1st, 2011, 2:52 am

Roostin ain't Roastin, I've hunted easterns in the northeast for 24 years and have had some success roosting. It seems hit or miss. Many times I've roosted areas and was sure birds were there, and did not hear a thing. At first light the ridge was on fire with gobbling. Had I trusted my roosting experience the night before I would have been hunting a mile away. I still roost birds as much as I can, but some nights I need rest so I can keep up going every single day I can. I hunt in N.Y.often with thousands of acres of state land available, so roosting is important to locate, when they gobble. I have often wished I could wrap a gobble recorder off at a few locations for first light and check them later to see if there was any gobbles. A trail cam but only for sound. Hummmm
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Gobblerman
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby Gobblerman » February 1st, 2011, 5:37 am

Turkaholic, your point about gobblers sounding off more in the mornings is an excellent one to be made here, especially for the beginners.  Another of my turkey hunting axioms is, "just because you don't hear a gobbler somewhere in the evening, does not mean there are none there."  The early morning, first-light gobbling activity is much more reliable than evening, fly-up gobbling. 
 
Evening roosting can be hit or miss, depending on a lot of factors....subspecies, region, weather, etc.  Morning gobbling, on the other hand, is much more reliable, although not foolproof.  Evening roosting tactics, if used properly and successfully, give the hunter a head start for the next mornings hunt.  Not only that, but it also instills confidence and optimism, ingredients that can play a role in every hunters attitude after a long season, or a spell of bad luck.
 
In my travels, I have found few instances where gobblers could not be enticed to gobble on the evening roost by using a good locator call at the proper time.  Evening roosting doesn't always pay dividends, and sometimes it is not at all necessary.  Regardless, your point should definitely be reinforced that gobblers are much more inclined to gobble in the morning than in the evening,....and that a hunter should not abandon an area just because no gobbling was heard on the roost in the evening.  I will always give a good-looking area a shot at first light in the morning, even if no gobblers were heard there in the evening. 
 
...And I like the audio trail-cam idea!  You may be onto something there, turkaholic!
 
Jim
 
 

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kenturkey89
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby kenturkey89 » February 1st, 2011, 7:04 am

Well said, Jim.

On the farm I hunt, birds will sound off all morning long but when it comes to the evening roost, there may be 15-20 birds in different areas on the farm and I won't hardly hear a peep from any of them. That's why I always like to go out at dawn on the Saturday's leading up to opening weekend to see exactly where they've been sleeping all night. I have access to another farm that neighbors the one I hunt now so I will definitely try to get out in the mornings before season starts to see where they roost and some of the areas they like to fly down at.

I have another question though. I've heard stories of people going in extra early in the morning, well before sunrise and blowing an owl call or something to make sure the birds are still where they were when the person left the night before. Does this happen? Will turkeys gobble to, say an owl hoot or coyote howl, during the middle of the night?
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Treerooster
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby Treerooster » February 1st, 2011, 9:58 am

ORIGINAL: kenturkey89
I have another question though. I've heard stories of people going in extra early in the morning, well before sunrise and blowing an owl call or something to make sure the birds are still where they were when the person left the night before. Does this happen? Will turkeys gobble to, say an owl hoot or coyote howl, during the middle of the night?


At first you say extra early in the morning and then you say in the middle of the night. There is a difference.

I have never heard a turkey gobble in the middle of the night but I have not been out there at that time much. Been out in the middle of the night where I could hear a gobble, while camping, but not a whole lot to speak of.

I have heard turkeys gobble very early in the morning in what most would call dark and extra late in the evening and again what most would call dark. But it is rare and just because I did not hear a bird gobblle very early or very late I would not assume a bird was not there. Talking Merriams, Rios and Easterns.

IME though once a bird does start to gobble real early they tend to keep on gobbling and others may even join in. "Tend" being the key word there.

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: How Important is Roosting?

Postby Gobblerman » February 1st, 2011, 10:15 am

"I have another question though. I've heard stories of people going in extra early in the morning, well before sunrise and blowing an owl call or something to make sure the birds are still where they were when the person left the night before. Does this happen? Will turkeys gobble to, say an owl hoot or coyote howl, during the middle of the night?" [/quote]
 
I have had a few, but very few, people tell me they have had a gobbler respond to a locator in the middle of the night.  Whether or not it is a common occurrence in some parts of the country?,...well, I have no idea, but I would doubt it. 
 
In my experience, there is a direct correlation, however, to the amount of gobbling that goes on relative to the amount of dark/light at dawn and dusk.  Here in NM with the Merriams we hunt, the likelyhood of a gobbler responding to a locator call definitely changes under changing lightness/darkness conditions in both the evening and morning.  In the evening, our gobblers will start responding to locators about ten to fifteen minutes after sunset.  They will respond well for about fifteen minutes, and then they will taper back off.  After it reaches full darkness, it will be very difficult to get one to respond again.
 
In the morning, the reverse will kind-of happen,....no gobbling until some lightening of the eastern horizon, then some sporadic response to locators for a few minutes, then more reliable response until flydown, which here normally occurs about a half-hour before sunrise.  Once the birds hit the ground, there will generally be some gobbling for a few minutes,...and then, except under the most ideal conditions, gobbling will once again taper off. 
 
I have seen the same thing in other places with other subspecies, although the evening gobble has always been less reliable everywhere else I've hunted.  As has been stated, the morning gobble almost always occurs,...at least in the places I have been.
 
Jim
 
 

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