Approach for Hunting a New Area

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby Gobblerman » January 15th, 2009, 1:18 pm

I guess I should respond to my own question, huh?
 
Okay, general comments....if possible, I will always try to obtain maps of the area I will be hunting.  First choice is a combination of topographical, land status, and road/trail systems...if that is not available, I want something that shows me land status first, road and trail systems second, and topo third.  If you are hunting in an area that has a significant amount of public land, you can often obtain maps that have all three things from the local or regional land management agencies in the area.  Land status may not be a big deal if all property in an area is private, but if there is public land around, your hunting opportunities may be considerably expanded, even if you are intially starting on a small private tract. 
 
Specifics: 
Assuming I am hunting the first scenario....the small tract...I want to be there well before daylight (each day)....as many of you already pointed out.  If I have done my pre-hunt homework right, I will know where any roads are around and into the property, and whether or not I can drive them.  Depending on the road system and the topography (if I have been fortunate enough to get those maps), I will have already formulated a mental plan on how to most effectively "work" the property. 
 
My first task will be to determine where and how many gobbling turkeys there are, not only on the property I will be hunting, but also those that are possibly within calling distance on adjacent properties (I suspect I may catch some heat for that statement, but that's okay...we can discuss that philosophy later).  Having evaluated the area from the map, I will start at the place that I think affords the best chance of hearing gobbles.  I will listen patiently at that location until the skies start to lighten, and hopefully I will hear one or more "volunteer" gobblers on the roost.  If it reaches a point where I have heard none, and my "internal gobbler clock" is telling me they should be sounding off, I will try to elicit a gobble by using a locator.  My favorites are a very loud crow call, and a tube call I use to gobble loudly on (once again, I expect that will raise some eyebrows).  My opinion is that whatever locator a hunter uses, it must be loud enough and abrupt enough to "shock" that gobbler into gobbling. 
 
If I hear one or more gobblers on the property, I will quickly determine how to proceed and head for one of them.  If, for some unknown and unfortunate reason, I do not hear anything on the roost, either by volunteer or by locator, I will go into search mode immediately.  I will cover as much ground as possible trying to hear a gobbler while he is still on the roost.  On a small tract, that may be by walking or driving depending on which method will let me cover the most ground, and in the most effective manner.  If I can drive the perimeter of the property so that I can hear any birds within the property and those that are within earshot outside the property, that is what I will do.  This will also give me a chance to evaluate the habitat, lay-of-the land, and the possibility that other hunters are in the area. 
 
That first morning, I want to get some idea of what I have to work with on the hunt.  It will be a big determining factor as to how I approach the rest of my time there. 
 
Gee, this is getting long already,.... and I've just gotten started. I think I will let someone else say something....and continue this later.
 
Jim

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mark hay
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby mark hay » January 15th, 2009, 1:37 pm

SOMETHING,,,,,,,there , i said it ,,,,continue JIM

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby Gobblerman » January 15th, 2009, 7:18 pm

Haahaa, Mark, Image....I'm glad to see someone will put up with my ramblings!
 
Continuing my thought process above,....on the first morning of a "small tract" hunt, I really just want to get a feel for what's there.  Sure, it would be nice to get in on a bird and do some quick damage, but I don't normally expect that to happen.  If the stars are aligned favorably, I will have heard multiple gobblers, and perhaps gotten to work a bird or two to get a feel for their attitude.  I also want to get an idea about where they are roosting and what they are doing when they leave the roost.
 
After that initial first morning assessment, and assuming that I have lost contact with any birds, my next step is to get familiar with the property.  As I stated earlier, I like to get familiar with the property boundaries and get an idea of what and who is within earshot of the property. 
 
(Shaman spoke in another thread about hunters on adjoining properties affecting the hunting on his own by their continuous loud and annoying calling along the property lines.  I am in complete agreement that hunters should respect property lines and other hunters that might be on adjacent properties.  If I am aware that others hunters are nearby on neighboring tracts, I will do my best not to interfere with their hunt, especially if I can tell that they are working birds.  I am also of the opinion, though, that "unencumbered" gobblers within earshot of my calling are fair game, and if they can be called off of an adjoining property, I have no qualms about doing so. *Disclaimer: I am not aware of any states that have rules or regulations that prohibit this practice, or regional mores that would have me disdained;...if there are, please feel free at this time to verbally flog me for my indiscretion.)
 
Often during mid-day, I will walk the property boundaries and "broadcast call".  This is an effort to get birds anywhere to gobble.  If I get a response, I will set-up and see if the bird will show interest and start coming my way, with my subsequent calling strategy based on how he is responding.  I will readily admit I am not a "cluck once and wait fifteen minutes" sort of guy, and I will also readily admit that I have probably lost plenty of gobblers in my lifetime by not playing that game very much.  It seems, though, that the older I get, the more I am willing to sit and wait...funny how that works.  
 
I have also found that the more discouraged I am about the number of available gobblers on a property, the more likely I am to resign myself to just taking a seat in some calculated location and waiting for their passing. Of course, I will throw in the occasional soft yelp, cluck, or purr  just to break the boredom and make me think I am actually influencing their potential arrival. (Note: henceforth I will also be carrying a turkey wing with which to elicit the various and sundry noises turkeys make, thanks to some of you that are, perhaps, reading this).
 
(yawn)  It's late...and I'm old and tired....got to go to bed....more tomorrow....good evening, everyone (yawn)..............(snore).
 
Jim
 
  

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby swpatrkyhunter » January 15th, 2009, 10:00 pm

Great post Gobblerman! Well. For the fisrt scenario I would hit a locater call to get an idea where the birds are first so I don't go off and walk right up on them. As soon as daylight was upon me I would glass the area to get an idea of the lay of the land and make my best judgement call after that as to where the best setup area would be.
 
 
 
Second scenario- Same start out. But. I would tread deep where I am less likely to run into other hunters. I would hit an owl or crow call depending on what time it is to keep tabs where birds may be. I would stay to the higher areas to hear and see better while conceling my movments.

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby benhanson » January 16th, 2009, 5:52 am

I am also of the opinion, though, that "unencumbered" gobblers within earshot of my calling are fair game, and if they can be called off of an adjoining property, I have no qualms about doing so.


i agree with Gobblerman i've never seen a turkey with a plat book under his wing. they just hear a hen in the woods they don't think oh that hen is over in johnson's woods i can't cross that fence our i'll be trespassing

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mark hay
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby mark hay » January 16th, 2009, 7:22 am

great post JIM,
wish i could exercise a good train of thought and write at the same time .
i agree with you on that property line business. but if i have any idea there is or might be another hunter working a vocal bird ,,,i'm outta there.
and no , i havent' always exercised that good sense in the past . i admit , as in another thread, i stole a bird from one hunter , though he had no idea , and i let the bird walk. i'll rapidly decline from such opportunities now. what can i say ,,,i'm human and make mistakes , trying to learn from them too. i might add too that the incident took place several years ago and my hide is also thick enough to withstand sound criticism.

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shaman
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby shaman » January 18th, 2009, 2:15 am

ORIGINAL: TurkeyComander

Shaman...yer reply sounds more fall like...Spring is in the air.

Find a gobbling bird and most of the work is over.



There is sort of a sameness to it, isn't there?  I guess it comes from seeing the same sort of behavior out of the birds year-round.  In Spring, you have the added benefit of the gobbler coming to certain calls.  However, there is a lot of similarity to it-- get to where the hens are headed or at least anticipated, get there first, call,  aim, shoot.

I've only started hunting Fall birds recently. However, I was surprised at how consistent things can be from Spring.  In my part of the world, the Spring season usually starts during the Lull. Then it's just a matter of waiting for the gobs to warm up enough. They don't peal off hens all that readily, so it often times becomes a matter of sitting tight and waiting for a flock to show up.  Some years the behavior of a lone gob pitching down off his roost and coming to a call does not happen until very late in the season.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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mark hay
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby mark hay » January 18th, 2009, 2:36 am

mornin' turkey hunters,
i prefer to have some green on the undergrowth of the woods . 'bout the only thing in the beginning of season that's green with leaves are the briars . along these lines , many hunters i talk to in my area prefer the open woods of early season over the density and limited visability of the latter part of season. now i'll take whatever there is but my favorite time to hunt is MAY when most hens are nesting and the woods are thick with cover and cool .

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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby thundrchikin » January 18th, 2009, 3:52 am

I agree with Mark,Gobblerman is all over this one. I to wish I could better put my thoughts to words.I think maps, possibly a GPS, on the big property and alot of foot work.I always like to have the high ground if possible. I think it is easier to make the "right" decsions on your set up if your above or level with the birds. Set up probably 75% of the game IMO.Try to be where he wants to be. That's hard to know on new ground. Calling probably has a bit more to due with sucess on new ground then places were familliar with.IMO As it is the only real link to the birds. enough rambling good day all.
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turkaholic
 
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RE: Approach for Hunting a New Area

Postby turkaholic » January 18th, 2009, 7:57 am

Just the thought of this gets my blood boiling. I would make some calls to ethier the area wildlife biologist and or forest ranger and pick their brains. You will be suprised how much help they can be. It may just be there job. Ask about access roads and terrain features. They may have information on flock status and nesting results. You have one month to get the low down. Next I would look the area over on Google Earth. Search for the sweet spots like,east facing ridges, streams, open areas, you know the spots that would hold birds anywhere. I have been very lucky locating new spots this way. Get topo maps and see whats going on around you. Hit the woods, if possible get there a day early. Get to a high spot to listen from and pay your dues. If your state only allows hunting for half the day leave the gun home and go on a walk about to scout things out. You will be ready for them in the morning with luck.
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