Where would you go?

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
Posts: 36
Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 5:29 am

RE: Where would you go?

Postby natman » May 22nd, 2011, 1:50 am

It's tempting to hunt the field because you can see them so well. The problem is that they can see well too and the tom expects the hen to come to him. He knows he's visible and can't figure out why the hen is not forthcoming. That makes him hangup out of shotgun range.

I prefer to hunt in the woods in a spot where it's easy for the tom to come just a little bit inside. Then by the time he can expect to see the hen he hears, he's in easy shotgun range.

User avatar
Fan Club
Posts: 1387
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 5:24 am
Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

RE: Where would you go?

Postby Fan Club » May 23rd, 2011, 1:57 am

ORIGINAL: Virginia Boy
Here's a question for some of you long time turkey hunters that has been puzzling this newbie for years. I've been trained that if you have this type of parcel - you must hunt the fields. And that's what we've been doing. So... what does everyone think? Thanks in advance.

I'd say that's some questionable training there. Often times folks have early success hunting a certain way and get locked into that routine. You should never limit your options when it comes to turkey hunting. The turkeys don't limit theirs, they are totally unpredictable, and it enables them to survive.
Some great advice so far. One of the oldest sayings in turkey hunting is, "You can't make the birds go where they don't want to be." Absolutely true. Some days they just don't want to be in the fields- if it's too windy, too hot, the vegatation is too wet, etc. Their food sources change over the course of the season and that influences their movement. Even when they do hit the fields they usually have preferred patterns and travel routes. In one very large field I hunt, the birds prefer to move through a long saddle with a rise on each side until they reach the middle of the field. They evidently feel safer from predators not being seen for great distances.
Switch up the way you hunt and you'll be more successful.
<-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <-  <- 
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

User avatar
scott ellis1974
Posts: 42
Joined: December 14th, 2011, 4:26 am

Re: Where would you go?

Postby scott ellis1974 » December 26th, 2011, 8:52 pm

How many gobblers, how many hens? Have you used a full strut decoy in the field? Another tactic would be to set up in the woods out of the turkeys plain view of sight and stage a fight. Fighting purrs, mixed with gobbling and the most important factor is a turkey wing. Use it to simulate the flogging that occurs when to birds are engaged in a battle by slapping it on your arm.


Posts: 81
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 4:28 pm

Re: Where would you go?

Postby heinzc » December 27th, 2011, 11:00 pm

Just a thought. You mentioned in your post that "we've" been doing this. If you have more than one hunter, post a shooter (not a peep out of this guy no matter what) in the woods closer to the birds, and have a caller on the field edge. I have done this on several occasions and it has worked.
Prov. 3:5,6

User avatar
Posts: 1070
Joined: June 30th, 2008, 12:35 am
Location: Neave, KY

Re: Where would you go?

Postby shaman » January 7th, 2012, 10:29 am

Let me go against the grain here. I have a plot that is a mix of fields and woods. While I have hunted the deep woods and the fields about equally, I have to say my best success has been on the edged of things-- where fields and woods mix. Let me describe some of my best venues and you'll see what I mean:

#1: The Honey Hole: An old dead oak in treeline along road out of use for 80 years. The road follows the top of a narrow N/S ridge. The treeline is about 10 yards wide between two narrow pastures. The turkeys roost on both sides of the ridge. Honey hole overlooks the ends of two narrow pastures, the entrance of the old road into the woods, the entrance of the road into a disused pasture reverting to cedar thicket, and a steep sided pasture that the turkeys use to sun themselves on cold days.

#2 Broken Corners: This is actually a complex of hunting venues. The major feature is a saddle along a E/W ridge running between camp and a place called Gobbler's Knob. At the center of the saddle is an old barn overlooking a small food plot and an exposed hillside that is a late morning-to-late-afternoon strut zone. At the top of the hill called Gobbler's Knob is a loafing area. After it warms up a little the birds like to dust themselves inside the barn. All told, there are probably 10 good setups within 200 yards of the barn.

#3 Garbage Pit: There is a small sinkhole where the previous owners put trash. To the south is a finger ridge . To the north is an open pasture with a small island of blackberries. To the West is the end of a narrow pasture. A small oak/hickory grove sits at the point.

#4 Campground: A big oak grove with the family campground at the center. The old road mentioned in #1 meets another abandoned track The one old road crosses a saddle formed by two small hollows cutting into a knife-edge ridge. The other road runs down the edge of a pasture on one side and down the edge of a ravine on the other. Turkey are in and out of the campground from just after flydown to late in the day.

The point here is that most of our best hunting is where something meets something meets something running along something. A bunch of things come together and that's where the turkeys are. Usually it's woods meeting open field with something like a fence line, or a protected end of a pasture or a fenceline or an old road thrown in for good measure. You can usually measure the success of our spots by counting the number of things that intersect. Yes, I and the others have taken turkeys in the middle of the woods, but the natural tendency of the turkeys seems to be to naturally go towards these meeting of things.

One other thing about field edges vs. deep woods worth remembering: If you are down-sun from a turkey out in a field and you are behind a moderate amount of cover, that turkey cannot see past the bright sunlit grass or bushes into the deep shadow behind. A turkey's eye construction just can't do it. When you're up-sun from the turkey, he may be able to pick out your silhouette, but he has to have his eyes in the shade before that becomes a factor. In the woods, where the lighting is more even, the turkey has a distinct advantage over being able to pick you out.

Now I have been accused of being an ambusher, which some folks claim is a dastardly low form of turkey hunter. I have to admit that I rely less on calling than location, but I still do a fair amount of conservative calling. The point is that after a decade of being with these birds I pretty well know where they are going to roost, loaf, feed, etc. All I have to do is be in one of the better places at the right time and most of the work gets done for me. I don't have to call as much. I can stay well back from the roost, because I know there is a good chance, they will be by my way sooner or later.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY

Posts: 27
Joined: December 23rd, 2011, 8:07 pm

Re: Where would you go?

Postby Struttinhusker » January 8th, 2012, 2:37 pm

The past few years I have hunted one small area on my property more than any other; it is just the kind of spot shaman just described and it is a spot where I have been consistently successful. To the west is a dense timber on the other side of a barbed wire fence and to the east is open pasture. To both the north and south are strips of timber that slope downward toward more pasture. It is a transition area more open than the timber and more dense than the pasture and a little higher than the ground on three sides. There are corn and soybean fields in the general area.

The turkeys sometimes roost close by and sometimes farther away, but most days there will be turkeys that travel through that spot. They have come from all directions and at different times of the day - but they come. I have hunted in other spots close by but without as much success. So I have parked a ground blind and become more of a sit-and-wait hunter. My calling is the same no matter where I am so my success leads me to the conclusion that being in that spot is way more than half the battle. Lest you think this makes for boredom or complacency, the unpredictable gobblers still make it more than challenging enough for me.

User avatar
Posts: 140
Joined: April 16th, 2008, 8:43 am

Re: Where would you go?

Postby Gobblernut » January 12th, 2012, 4:29 pm

One thing is for certain we will all make more bad decisions than good ones but thats what makes it such a great sport. One thing is for certain you can't kill them sittin on the couch. :)

You can't kill'em sittin on the couch!!!!

User avatar
turkey junky
Posts: 745
Joined: June 25th, 2011, 4:46 pm
Location: I.G.H. MINNESOTA

Re: Where would you go?

Postby turkey junky » January 18th, 2012, 3:19 pm

for me im with shaman ive had some luck in the deep woods but much much more working field edge terrains in differnt states... my father was allways the woods hunter & preached that the woods is wear the turkeys want 2 be & that is true they also like to be out in the open fields pick n food & strut n there stuff so its a prefence of wear you like to hunt & also let the birds dictate wear you hunt that helps!

i have found it much more productive to set up shop on the edge of a crop field wear some fingers/stripes of woods extend or lead from the deep woods to the open field sometimes there are field/log n roads or trails leading into the woods from the fields & they are a killer set up turkeys use them trails also!!! i also hunt in some extreamly steep hill/coulee country in SE MN & out west & another thing i like to do is set up near a open crop field edge & back up to a steep bluff/coulee/hill that i think a turkey would rather not climb up & try to work him in that way he has to come out in front of me instead of sneaking in from behind i guess the key is use the terrain to ur advantage...

even on the hunts in the woods that i have had success on i killed the birds in open clearings in the deep woods? i havent had great success in the woods & truthfully i really dont like to hunt the big woods i find it way way more frustrating to do so? the simple fact that the woods is basically all the same & i cant really narrow down a specific area turkey will likely be hanging out by looking at the woods in person & on maps & so on... if im out in the fields im useing my eyes to see wear turkeys like to be then i move over there & set up shop & repeat the process i set up look & listen & try to figure out why the turkeys want to be wear they are... i cant use my eyes verry much in the deep woods... you do have more room for movement in the woods be it moveing on a gobbleing turkey or moveing to a new set up or just scratching ur nose then you do smack dab out in the middle of a fence line or lone tree out in middle of a field but good camo & sit n still will kill you turkeys in the woods or in fields... i also dont use decoys that much so thats not why i prefer the edge over the woods...

in states like florida the deep south & mountain states out west i really have no choice but to work with the terrain give n to me that being predominantly big woods because there is no crop fields & not to much open field edge type cover so a turkey hunter must be able to adapt to differnt terrains & to be able to have success so 1 style of hunting just wont cut it every wear!!!


Return to Strategies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests