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#6293406 - 05/10/16 08:46 AM First time turkey hunter
Winchester1894 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 05/09/16
Posts: 6
Hey guy, I've been a long time spectator on the forum but this is my first ever post so thanks for having me. I've been a hunter all my life but decided to try turkey hunting this year and boy I tell you I'm hooked now. I've been out three times now without bagging a bird but I still consider them to be successful because I definitely learned A LOT just from being out there. The two biggest lessons being that first patience is the key and the second being that people ain't kidding when the say turkeys have exceptional sight! After getting out there a few times I have so many questions for you experienced turkey hunters so bare with me here. How do your tactics change up from morning versus evenings hunts? When do you hunt over decoys and when do you hunt on the move? How do your calls/frequency change when a bird is gobbling back at you or when a bird is for sure coming towards you? I blew two opportunities this weekend when a bird was coming in hard and I got too aggressive or impatient. What's your next move when a tom is all henned up and stops responding to you? I'm sure I could think of many more questions but I'll stop here for now but any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the info and good luck out there!

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#6293659 - 05/10/16 12:05 PM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
ALM TXhunter Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 154
Loc: Sugar Land, TX
Turkey hunts are the most humbling hunting adventures I have ever embarked on. No harvested bird to date for me, but like you I feel like I learn something new every time I am out there. So I don't have the successful experience to answer those questions, but hopefully some of the seasoned veterans on this site will be able to provide input for you.

I will say for a first-time turkey hunter that is hearing gobbles and a had a couple coming your way - that you are doing pretty good!! Good luck!

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#6293827 - 05/10/16 02:07 PM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
Hoytman Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 3621
Loc: hopkins co
I have killed many a gobbler and the one thing [and most important] is that just when u think u got it figured out and think ur a turkey killing master they will throw u a curve and make a fool outta you. lol. Its hard because alot of times u gotta feel the birds temp! some come running in and are a easy kill and others may or may not gobble and u dont have a clue they are even close till u move and they see u first and they are gone. My legs aint what they used to be so i dont turkey hunt anymore but i envy you because i would love to be out there again. good luck!
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#6294673 - 05/10/16 11:58 PM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11720
Loc: Big D
Like they say, you have to change it up. Patience is key for sure so once setup, don't leave in an hour. Give it two hours. Turkeys sleep all night so the good thing is you can hunt them all day. I don't hunt roosts so all but my first bird has been shot between 10:30 am until 5 pm. Dekes early season are best. They will respond easier earlier season too normally. I have hunted an area for 3 hours and heard nothing and walked 400 yards away to climb a rock pile with my boy only to kill a bird we got to gobble in the same area we were just in at lunch. You never know. They turn on and off. If a bird is calling but shuts down, stop calling.

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#6294803 - 05/11/16 07:45 AM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23592
Loc: Wise County Texas
I never changed my tactics for times of day, if you know where the birds are, get as close as you can without exposing yourself, set up and give a few yelps and wait. Always expect a bird coming from anywhere as well, you may have one coming in gobbling his head off, you also could have 2 coming in from behind not making a sound. This part of it I think comes with experience and as mentioned, patience is key.

Decoys' I just started using them in the past 5 years or so, never used them for over 25 years and still killed a bunch of Toms, they sure can make some situations easier for the visual candy, but sure not absolutely needed.

I like getting set up before daylight, a owl hoot often will get a gobble so you know generally where and how far they are. I can't count the times I have had Toms fly right to me within yards str8 from the roost. They have no problem flying a few hundred yards, as long as they have a place to land.

When I have a tom coming in (sound gets closer and closer) I may throw a yelp here and there depending on his motivation. If he is moving fast and talking up a storm, I will jusy let out a 2-3 yelp so he knows within feet of where I am. Call to much and he will expect you too come to him IMO.

Hen'ed up toms are trophies and can be a mofo, at that point I will try to call the hens in, all you need to do is convince the boss hen you are lost, found food whatever. Sometimes it's easier to get an idea of where they are going, circle around at a safe, undetectable distance and set up, then call her with tom in tow.

If you hunt long enough, you will find you call in more hens, especially when they are broken up nesting, they are a "flock" bird and like each others company, I have had hens step over my extended foot before and it is exhilarating. If you hear yelps coming back at you, usually in a 2-3 yelp set, maybe a few location type "putts", she is trying to locate you. This can be a good tactic if for some reason you bust a tom and his hens accidentally and they fly and scatter, then, be the loudest, controlling hen and they may converge on you to re-group.

I have raised rios and hens are very vocal all day, just usually so soft you have to be close to hear it.

One more "idea" that often works on a hung up bird without hens., If you are convinced he has came his limit, either because of terrain or suspicion, try sneaking back and away from him 75-100 yards, then give a few yelps, if he thinks you are leaving, this often gets him enough,he may come on in. I used this "tactic" when I took my brother for his 1st and only turkey hunt. Had 3 tom's hung up on a fenced 4 corner intersection on the neighbors place, we started moving back to the truck parked about 500 yards, I would give a yelp about every 50-75 yards and by the time I made the 3rd calls, all three nearly ran us over!, we had enough time to drop to the ground and raise our shotguns, took all 3 home..

If I knew how to get a video off of an 8mm tape and upload it, I took my wife for her 1st TH, 3 toms flew in to about 6 yards, scared her to death, but she got one, but forgot to shoulder the weapon in the excitement. She fired, bird fell and the shotgun flew over her shoulder and missed me by inches
grin

Sorry so long
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Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

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#6294904 - 05/11/16 08:56 AM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Western]
Winchester1894 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 05/09/16
Posts: 6
Thanks guys! This has been very helpful

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#6295019 - 05/11/16 10:10 AM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
OffCoor1 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 09/12/13
Posts: 280
Loc: Archer County
Western - VERY good stuff !! I have had success before by "waiting him out" after he comes off the roost. It has been my experience, that I'm not very good at getting one called in and killed right after they fly down. Too many hens for me to battle with. What I do in this situation, however, is to call pretty softly and very sparingly ( a series of soft yelps either on the diaphragm or on a pot call - once every 10 minutes or so). I will normally sit in this spot from sun-up til around 10:30 - 11:00. When he has finished breeding his hens, and they leave him for the day - I have left a burning message in his memory of where he can go find one more girlfriend. Normally, when his hens are gone, and I hit one of my series of yelps - he will gobble, but my plan does not change - I want him to really have to hunt me. I ALWAYS use a single hen decoy - and that is all. Hope this helps !! Good Huntin'

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#6295103 - 05/11/16 11:29 AM Re: First time turkey hunter [Re: Winchester1894]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23592
Loc: Wise County Texas
Yes sir, they are tough when they get with the ladies. I think a decoy would work super good if you could get in undetected (key word) before daylight and place a hen decoy on a field edge that can be seen by the tom in the roost when daybreak hits. I think he will go to the 1st sure bet he can nail.. As I said above, I have had them fly down so early, you could here them before you saw them land at the last second.., On the flip side, I have seen them sit in a damn tree for over an hr after daylight too and I have no doubt that I was busted, or something else around his tree had him spooky.

I would bet most mid-day, early afternoon birds get killed doing just as you said, Turkey can and will cover a lot of ground in a day, best idea is setting up like you said.
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Friends don't let Friends drink and post.......

The first 5 day's after the weekend, are the hardest....

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