First time turkey hunting.

Ask questions of and offer advice to fellow turkey hunters
gforrestersmith
 
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First time turkey hunting.

Postby gforrestersmith » December 15th, 2008, 4:16 pm

  What kind of hunting tips and tricks do you have for a first time hunter?  Where should you go and what time do you go?

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby Gobblerman » December 15th, 2008, 7:08 pm

Gforrester, there are lots of these and it will take some time for us to cover them all.  We'll get back to you on this.  No time right now!
Jim

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grizzly
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby grizzly » December 16th, 2008, 1:02 am

hi gforrester i say you should keep it simple for awhile. first you need to find the stlye of call you're comfortable with and practice alot get to know it . then you should pattern your gun find the loads that work well out to 40 yards. for the rest of your gear like i said keep it simple a seat to sit on some camo clothes, bottle of water . when you get to hunting you can add to your gear as you see fit. the most importent thing you need to know is that the turkeys are going to win most the time so just enjoy the time you get to spend in the great outdoors

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby Gobblerman » December 16th, 2008, 2:17 pm

Okay, Gforrester, let's talk a little about you getting started turkey hunting.  I gave you a little bit of starter information over in the "calling" section, but let's talk here a little about finding turkeys to hunt and the basics of hunting them. 
 
First, I am going to assume that you will get your start hunting in the spring turkey season, rather than the fall season.  In the spring turkey season, we are hunting gobblers (males) during the mating season.  Hens (females) are generally protected during this hunt, so you must learn how to identify the gobbler (which is pretty easy to do).  Anyway, the method of hunting in the spring is based on the fact that gobblers are trying to find hens.  We call the males gobblers because they "gobble" (and also "strut") to attract hen turkeys during the springtime, and the thrill of spring turkey hunting is because they do this and because they will come to a turkey call. 
 
You will have to do some looking around, as well as ask some of the right people, to learn where to go to hunt turkeys.  If you or your dad know any other turkey hunters, or even people that spend a lot of time out in the country, then start by asking them.  You should also call your local Game and Fish Department (also called the Department of Natural Resources in some states) and talk to them about where you can find turkeys to hunt.  They will be happy to help you.
 
After you have an idea of where there might be some turkeys, you should try to get your dad to take you out to look for them and for turkey "sign" in those areas.  Hopefully, you have a lot of wild turkeys near where you live, and also some public lands to hunt, or you know some private landowners that would let you hunt.  At any rate, you must first find a location that has some wild turkeys and is a place that you can legally hunt on.
 
Next, we'll talk some about what to do to locate specific gobblers to hunt in the spring and when to do that.  We'll take a break before getting into that so some of the other guys here can give you their thoughts about this.
 
Jim

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby Gobblerman » December 16th, 2008, 6:09 pm

Next lesson: Finding gobblers before and during the spring turkey season.
 
Gforrester, between now and the spring hunt, you should be concentrating on finding a general area where there are turkeys and where you will be able to hunt them.  You should also be practicing your turkey calling, learning when and which calls to use, and learning where your gun shoots and how it patterns out to about thirty to forty yards.  This is also a good time to get all of your hunting equipment gathered up....a few of the things you need are a full set of camo clothing, a turkey vest or pack to carry all of the stuff you want to have with you when you are hunting, and a pair of binoculars, among others. (there will probably be a topic on this forum at some point in the next couple of months about what all of us carry with us when we are hunting). 
 
About a month (or at least a couple of weeks) before your spring hunt starts, you will want to start trying to locate specific gobblers and flocks of turkeys to hunt.  Like I said earlier, gobblers start "gobbling" in the spring to attract hens, and they are prone to gobble most in the very early morning, right after it gets light until the sun gets up.  So a real good way to find gobblers is to get out in the turkey woods right at daylight and listen for gobbling at roost areas.  
 
If you have a really big area to hunt, like a National Forest or other large public land area, then a good way to locate gobblers is to drive around on the forest roads right at first light in the morning and stop every half mile or so and blow a loud crow or owl call (these are called "locator" calls).  Gobblers are likely to gobble back at those sounds.  If you have a small area to hunt, such as a private farm that you have permission to hunt on, then you might want to just listen at first light to see if you hear gobblers on the property. 
 
Basically, hearing gobblers on the roost is one of the best ways of locating turkeys to hunt, both before and during the spring season.  You should not overdo the use of locator calls, though, because gobblers will become wary and will get where they won't gobble as much to them.  Once you have found gobblers by using locators, and you know where they are roosting, try not to use these calls too much.  When you are looking for gobblers, though, this is a really good way to find them.
 
Gobblers are less likely to gobble at other times of the day than in the early morning, although they will occasionally gobble during the middle of the day, and in some places they gobble quite a bit right at dark in the evening.  If you are out looking for turkeys during mid-day, it is best to look for tracks, droppings, and feathers, and to also use binoculars to try to see flocks of turkeys hanging around on the edges of farm fields and meadows.  Turkeys need to drink water on a regular basis, so if you are in a region where it is dry and there are not a lot of water sources, you should look for turkeys around the places where they can get water, too.
 
Okay, that's enough for now....more again later.
 
Jim 

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Gobblernut
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby Gobblernut » December 16th, 2008, 7:26 pm

Welcome aboard... The most exciting hunting you will ever do alot of trial and error though.. Sounds to me like gobblerman has given you som good advice. Practice, practice.. trust me when i first started 2 years ago I was clueless also but never hesitate to ask questions some really knowlagable people on this forum. watch and read all you can even pay close attention to instructions on any call you purchase. I would reccomend a Box call or a slate call and get ready to practice alot.. Never give up though because quitters never win..
Gobblernut

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

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allaboutshooting
 
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Location: Southern Illinois, U.S.A.

RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby allaboutshooting » December 19th, 2008, 12:26 pm

Hey Garrett,

First of all, welcome to the forum. The best advice I've ever had is, "Hunt where the turkeys are." The best equipment in the world and all the knowledge you can accumulate, won't do you any good if there are no turkeys where you're hunting.

There should be a local chapter of the NWTF close to where you are or you can look up a Regional Director with the NWTF, either through their site http://www.nwtf.org or in their magazine, and call him to ask about a local chapter. He may also be able to help you out by referring you to some good hunters in your area. Most turkey hunters like to be of help. They may not show you their "honey hole" but they will usually be glad to give advice.

I'd also recommend that you subscribe to "Turkey and Turkey Hunting" magazine, if you're not already a subscriber. There are several good turkey hunting television programs. I especially like "Get in the Game". It's not strictly about hunting but also covers a lot of other aspects of hunting and conservation.

Lastly, I offer a free no obligation service, "The Shooting System", to shooters and hunters at my site http://www.allaboutshooting.com That's mainly about particular shotguns, choke tubes, shotshells and how they pattern. I shoot all/most and can usually be of help with questions related to what will pattern best with your particular gun, etc.

If I can be of any help to you, please do not hesitate to let me know and I'll do all that I can to be of assistance.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

NWTFKirby
 
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Joined: December 20th, 2008, 1:29 pm

RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby NWTFKirby » December 20th, 2008, 7:28 pm

Hey Garrett,
 
You've gotten some real good info here.  I would add that when calling to a spring gobbler, try to get him to gobble and then you answer him.  Mother Nature usually works the other way around.  The hen usually yelps and then the tom gobbles... as to say "I'm over here, come on over" to the hen.  If you can reverse that, you stand a better chance of getting the tom to come to you.  Just be careful to not over do it.
 
Good Luck this spring.
Team NWTF
Neal Kirby
Indiana

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hoosierhunter
 
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RE: First time turkey hunting.

Postby hoosierhunter » December 22nd, 2008, 8:37 am

Hi Garrett, as you can see, you will find these fellows are quite knowledgeable and more than willing to help a fellow out whether he's been turkey huntin a while or just got started. As for my input here it is. Although I make my living selling turkey calls, and have quite a selection to choose from, remember this, call as little as you possibly can. For example, I will practice calling 100 x more than I will actually call. As these fellows will tell you, good woodsmanship skills will help you kill more turkeys than exceptional calling will, by far.
 
GOOD LUCK, GOD BLESS, AND STAY SAFE!
L.K.LESLIE
HOOSIER HUNTER CUSTOM CALLS
MOSSY OAK PROSTAFF


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