What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

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IDturkeyfool
 
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What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby IDturkeyfool » April 22nd, 2008, 11:19 am

I love this thing called Turkey Hunting!  In three years I've taught myself alot (mostly by error and trial) but have yet to close the deal.  Maybe some of you can give me some advice?
 
My partner and I have spent hours in the wood prior to the season scouting and have located bird strut zones and likley roosting areas have given us great hope for the season.[;)]
 
Here is what happen to me on opening weekend:

I hiked in to my set up spot on Saturday an hour an half before first light - 2 hours be for sunrise in the mountains of central Idaho (about 4400 ft.)  What sounded like the Boss-of-the-Woods sounded off @ 5am at the crunching of my feet on the snow pack - he was over a 1/4 mile away![:)]  I made my way another 150 yds over the next 15 minutes, while he continued to sound off, being as quiet as I could be and then sat for about an hour.  The Boss gobbled continuously.

I was about 200 yards from the roost, about 60 ft below an open saddle I knew he had been working.  There is a long open meadow up to the saddle with steep timber cover on both sides rising over 200 above the surrounding area.  I would be difficult to get above him. [&:]

I did call at about 6:30 - a half hour before sunrise (Very soft tree calls).  He belowed from his limb. I stayed silent until 7 while he continued to sound off.  I heard him fly down. I called softly and sparingly for the next hour always getting responce.

I then move back into the woods and called again, he responded I move further twice more, he respond both times - I thought I heard a second bird - closer to me, from the same direction, but the Boss cut the second call off immediately, gobbling excessivly.

I moved back to the set-up, and sat stone quiet while the Boss gobbled.

After 4 1/2 hours of this bird and I at a stale-mate I got impatient and decided to try to get above him.  When I did - the second bird I though I heard blew up - about 60 yards out - and ran away. [&o]

I waited for anouth 1/2 hour while the Boss continued to gobble - with no movement towards or away from me.  The I decided to try to get above him.  I spent 30 minutes going 200' up. and ultimately bumped him away. [:@]

Aside from waiting longer - what could I have done differently?
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mikeannikki
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby mikeannikki » April 22nd, 2008, 1:21 pm

[:'(]I know your pain all too well.  I did the Ohio opener yesterday here in northern Oh where the birds are spotty at best.  Had my buddy who just started last year and has not gotten a turk yet.  I just started three years ago and got my first a Jake last year.  I called in four jakes and had them at TEN yards in front of my buddy and he was sleeping.  By the time he woke up after I clucked to stop them they were out of my range and he wasn't sure if they were jakes of hens.   That was the first time we set up out of arms reach all day.  All I can tell you is keep at it.  It can be frustrating and exciting all at once.  Good luck  Mike Willis

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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby swpatrkyhunter » April 22nd, 2008, 7:50 pm

Well ID. I'm still fairly new to hunting Spring Gobblers. But I have hunted for many years. As far as anything you could have done? Well. Any way you look at it. Turkey hunting can be a crap shoot. But. I would have probably tried to slip in a little closer then you did in your inital set up. And I probably would have just stayed put instead of getting up and moving around. Beleive me I learned from that kind of mistske a couple years ago.[:(] Use of decoys help alot too. If that boss bird came in over a hundred yards and di not see a hen then yes he will hang up sometimes. I am by no means an expert. And From what I have learned from my experiance and from those who I know that have been doing it for many years, you will always make mistakes and learn something new every year. Maybe thats why we love this sport so much. Good luck and keep us posted on weather you nail that boss gobbler. [:)]

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tracebusta32
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby tracebusta32 » April 23rd, 2008, 3:39 am

I would start off with getting closer to his roost area..200 yards is quite a tract for a hung up bird especially...Try to slip 100 yards or closer if possible then call a few times from your set up and then wait, don't call anymore just wait.
If you know his roost area you could (if permissable in Idaho) setup in the evening a few hours before sunset near his roost tree and wait him out.
You could also try getting a primos gobble shaker (if you are sure your the only one out there) and call aggressively then hit the gobble shaker making him think he has an intruder on his turf, he may just come running in to see what's going on.
 
Good Luck, Boss toms can be tuff
Malachi 4:5-6
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby Fan Club » April 23rd, 2008, 3:44 am

The boss was obviously giving you "courtesy" gobbles if it went on for four hours. This is an invitation for you (the hen) to come and join the party but he isn't coming to you as he probably already has some hens with him.
 
After deciding that he isn't coming, closing the distance is the proper move. However, you run the risk of bumping other silent birds that are approaching your call (as you did), and bumping the boss...as you did. Early in the year, when foliage is sparse, moving toward a gobbling bird is a low percentage tactic. You are going to have to take a very wide circle keeping the ridges and much distance between you. Remember, the tom will be watching in the direction of your calling expecting a hen to approach, so you can't go after him in a direct line.
 
If it were me, I would forget hunting the roost and set up at the saddle which he is using for strut zone. He'll show up there eventually and you won't have to worry about trying to get above him. Sounds like you moved a couple times too many as well...give each position at least an hour...remember that silent tom was only 60 yards out and a little more time would have brought in right into your lap. Don't overcall either, every 15 to 20 minutes should do, any more than that and you are just educating the turkeys.
 
Jeff
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Gobblerman
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby Gobblerman » April 23rd, 2008, 8:39 am

Lot's of good suggestions and options coming from everyone, turkeyfool.  I would add that, assuming you (or someone else) have not spooked the birds off of their daily pattern, you should have gained sufficient knowledge about their roosting habits and daily activities to significantly up your odds of success.  Being where the turkeys want to be is a fundamental principle in this game.  Figure out where the birds are roosting, where they go when they come down, find a good spot to set up, and get there well before daylight in the morning, and you should be in good shape to take a gobbler.  Be patient, be inconspicuous, and don't get frustrated and do things that will push the birds into changing their routine.  If you do that, it gets a lot tougher.
 
Jim

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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby IDturkeyfool » April 23rd, 2008, 10:33 am

Thanks for all the input![:)]
 
Here's some more information and responses to comments:[8|]
 
Getting closer will be challenging but I do have a plan that may get me to the saddle unseen, albeit I'll be quite a-ways above the bird when I circle him. Cover is not the problem.  Elevation gain is.  (It's hard for a fat man to be a mountain goat!)[;)] The woods is mostly Doug fir, Larch and Ponderosa, with scrub brush along the way.  I'll be letting the darkness, Brush and terrain hide me.  This bird has a pretty sweet spot for himself. And he can see multiple directions from his "home".  Below is a simple drawing of the senario.

- - >>                              <<<< - -
- - >>>                        P<<<<< - - P = The next point behind the bird
- - R>>>                               < - - There is a steep valley heading off WNW, just north of the saddle
- - >R>>>>                       <<< - -
- - >>R>>>>        <<<<<<<<<<< - -
- - >>>R>>>>  BT<<<R<<<<<<R< - - 4400' in the saddle where the Boss (BT) is, up to 4600+ in a hurry on both sides (Saddle still had snow)
- - >R>>>>>        <<<<R<<<R<< - - R = Ridge)
- - >>>>>>            <<<<<R<<<< - -
- - >>>>>>            <<<<<<<R<< - -
- - >>>>>>>ST           <<<<<<R- - The Satallite Turkey (ST) came into the meadow from behind a small point into the meadow.
- - >>>>>>             <<<<<<<<< - - The open area is a long meadow at the bottom ovf a bowl
- - >>>>>               <<<<<<<<< - -
- - >>>>>>             <<<<<<<<< - -
- - >>>>>>>          <<<<<<<<<< - -
- - >>>>>>X>       <<<<<<<<<< - - I was set up on the X @ about 4340'
- - >>>>>>>>>  <<<<<<<<<<<< - - There has been LOTS of activity at the base of the meadow (Tracks, droppings and such)
                                                   - that's why I set up there, I may have had the wrong time of day

I plan to move to the West to get closer - Birds will bust me if I go to the East (the satallite might bust me anyway).
 
I don't think alot of hens are in the area yet (that may have changed during this week) - my buddy and I have only seen sign for Toms.  In the past 3 weeks we've scouted extensively, and have only seen BIG footprints and j-shaped droppings.[:)]  There is a small town 6-8 miles from our hunt area. Over the years (fishing, hunting, etc.) we've become regulars at one of the restuarants and the locals tell us they see 100's of hens in the mornings - but no adult toms.[:)]
 
We have to hike about 2+ miles in to this spot (Deer in the fall too).  Although we've seen other hunters near where we drive in to park, we've never seen or heard anyone where we hunt - or where we park.  I feel pretty safe that we are alone in the woods.[:D]
 
I am using Decoys - a Jake and a hen.  SHOULD I ADD A TOM???  ANOTHER HEN???
 
As far as calling - I don't think I'm calling too much.
 
I did call at about 6:30 - a half hour be for sunrise (Very soft tree calls).  He belowed from his limb. I stayed silent until 7 while he continued to sound off.  I heard him fly down. I called softly 3x over the next hour always getting response.

At 7:45 I moved back into the woods and called facing away from the tom, he responded and I move further twice more, getting responses both times.

I moved back to the set-up, and sat stone quiet while the Boss gobbled.

The only "calls" I made over the next hour were the "crumpling of a olive colored, plastic grocery sack" to simulate scratcing in the turf (pine needles don't make much of a sound).  I don't know if the Boss heard the "crumples" but he continued to sound off at irregular intervals.  It was probably this "scratching" that brought in the silent satallite bird.

I've been teaching myself how to gobble with a diaphram this week and plan to be back out there at 4:45 and when the Boss sounds off I hope to p*** him off enough to entice him (or the satallite) come beat me up![;)]
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Dank
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby Dank » April 23rd, 2008, 10:40 am

Sounds like youve got a plan, but good god man. How long did it take you to "draw" your diagram? lol. Anyway, good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Failure is often our best teacher.

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tracebusta32
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby tracebusta32 » April 24th, 2008, 7:04 am

If your hunting an open area I wouldn't use the decoys as he may spot them and expect them to come on in to him....Make him come looking for the hen calls.
Malachi 4:5-6
My Brother: WMB

IDturkeyfool
 
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RE: What would you have done? I seek Mentors!

Postby IDturkeyfool » April 24th, 2008, 7:19 am

Drawing the picture wasn't dificult - I see it in my sleep![:D]
 
I'll keep you posted.
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