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When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips #4127906 03/18/13 10:13 AM
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KeithTT Offline OP
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I have seen several posts about when should I hunt turkeys and when should I call to turkeys and how? Maybe these tips will help you a little!

Yes birds are more vocal early morning late evening but in my 5+ years of guiding I have never had a mature bird come running to the call off the limb WHEN THERE ARE HENS AROUND. Yeah if he is all alone then maybe but it is very very rare. In the early mornings a gobbler will chase live hens and it's very difficult to pull him away no matter what call you throw at him (calling in the hens does bring gobblers usually but not always so don't count out early morning hunting completely). Late in the morning the hens will spread off to feed and chill in the shade meanwhile the gobbler will return to his strut zone(if they are in fact in breeding mode and not still in winter flocks). When he returns usually between 9:00am and noon that is where I am waiting with B-mobile(strutting decoy). As soon as he walks out and becomes visible I sneak out the decoy, shake that gobble tube and it's all over! "One thing that will kill a smart spring longbeard is another man struttin' his women".

So lesson is, Late mornin'- mid evening act like another tom with a FEW hen tones in there, If he responds to the hen calls chances are you have hooked a lonely gobbler and it's gonna happen quick- or worst case scenario he is letting you know where the flock is and expecting you to come to him. If he is not coming I like to call every once in awhile and keep tabs on him so I can be in a reasonable range when he does finally leave the ladies(follow the flock at a safe distance couple hundred yards or so). More than not though in the morning when I shake the gobble tube in their area it happens very fast.

Also 99% of the time I put B-mobile and 1 hen decoy 15-20 yards behind me and try to draw the turkey right past where I'm sitting. Those ten yard shot's are devastating and there is no chasing down wounded turkeys. Make sure you are on them when you shoot though, pattern doesn't spread well that close. May wanna shoot when he is around 20.

Third and final method of calling I use in last ditch desperation is Runnin' and Gunnin'. Put the leather to the ground and go find a lonely bird. Walk everywhere you can nice and slow and hope you strike up a band of jellyheads. Let out a few soft calls at first and if no response then get a little louder. Space the call's out minutes apart, face in different directions and walk a 10 to 20 yard circle (as a hen would do) as you call. This will send the sound to different area's and reach out to its maximum range for that area. If you have ever been catfishing this method is like catfishing. Go to all of your hotspots cast out a line and if nothing bites within 10-15 min's pick up and try another spot turkey's are known to be around. Once you have tried all the other spots and no bite that doesn't mean they weren't there that just means they didn't answer. At that point I would find my favorite most productive spot and sit and wait.

For Reference I filmed both of these and they were both late morning and the gobblers came running into less than 10 yards to whoop up on B-mobile.

Late morning these 5 gobbler's came running to the male decoy on the edge of their field. Without a single call being made, just couldn't stand another strutting tom in their field.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FhRfN3rs3U

I had scouted this second longbeard returning to this field to strut every morning around 930ish and told a guided hunter to be patient he would show. I caught movement coming out of the wood's right on time. Shook the gobble call once and he came from over 250 yard's to fight b-mobile sadly the excitement caused a slight miss by the hunter but it was fun as heck watching it all go down. Notice in both of these video's how fast it all un-folds with these methods I am preaching. It works and I would love to hear some success stories this season. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkqLnQbW3RE

I filmed this video on some private land in Aspermont, TX and when nothing else seemed to work we set out a trail cam where we had found a bunch of turkey tracks and the turkeys were actually very easy to pattern. Right on time this ole' longbeard and hen's showed up and we literally just sat in a deer stand and waited him out. Called to him 3 times with answers all three times and the hens brought him right to us. Sometimes it's just the wrong time of year to be calling cause I called at bird's in three counties and couldn't get them to leave those winter flocks. Doesn't mean we couldn't get it done though just had to go to another strategy. Experience killed this bird cause anyone else would have said it's spring and no turkey's are gobbling I quit. Watch this video and see how we did it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m73_Y5NzIQ

Good luck and straight shooting everyone. Keith TT.
For more info or help PM or I am also available for hire to guide some.


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Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: KeithTT] #4130163 03/19/13 03:31 AM
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Good stuff, agree with every bit of it. Toms always get lovesick about mid morning!

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: JW774] #4130713 03/19/13 02:07 PM
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Thanks, Keith. Good info!

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: sirjohnscott] #4130872 03/19/13 03:16 PM
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godfather Offline
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Do all turkey behave the same way? In other words do the methods described above work on Easterns? Genuine question from a never been turkey hunter.


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Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: godfather] #4131158 03/19/13 05:35 PM
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KeithTT Offline OP
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I have only hunted Easterns once or twice Godfather. From what my father in TN tells me, your answer is yes just not as many birds to deal with. One of the hardest things about killing a rio is that there are so many birds most of the time. Rarely do you find small flocks of rios hanging around like you do easterns. Some people see rio's in flocks over a hundred and sometimes just one. Easterns are more so wooded birds as to where you may wanna tone it down just a tad. Alot of easterns come in to your set up silent as a mouse as to where rio's stereotypically are known for being very vocal and loud mouthed. The way I have described the methods above are certainly for Rio's but they pretty much cover all of it if you read close. From puttin' em' on blast and staying on them, to sittin' still and softly calling ever so often. <----which most prefer for the eastern. I am saying that EVERY hunt is different and not by the bird they are all turkeys but by the time of year and the breeding stage they are in. How will you know? well the best way to find out is to be versatile and let the birds tell you. If you are scouting and watching gobblers walk around hens and they are not strutting or raising cane trying to fight other toms then most likely they are not at their hottest point to be "called in". Best bet's are to sit in a popular area and call soft. If you are scouting and see groups of toms out wondering around then be that lonely hen they are looking for. If you are scouting and see one or two toms strutting with a hand full of hens be that tom that they do not want near their hens.

When you see a single tom or group of toms wondering around aimlessly they are hunting for love. The hens have shunned them from the group and they are looking for Hot hens or looking to establish their area of dominance. If you see 1-5 gobblers strutting around a group of hens then you def. approach the situation as another gobbler. They have hens right in front of them chances are they wont leave for a hen. One thing they fight for all spring is dominance over areas and ladies. If you are another tom in that area they will be more than happy to come over and let you know you are not welcome there. <------ by far my favorite method and time of year - it's awesome to watch them beat up your decoy then receive the death penalty for it. If you walk into an area blind and have no clue what phase they are in. I would recommend a few soft yelps at daylight and let them do the talking. If they are calling like crazy you call like crazy. If they are quiet you are quiet with a few soft yelps to let the gobbler know where you are at.

So wrap up scout scout scout and scout. The bird's will tell you what they need to hear


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Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: KeithTT] #4131217 03/19/13 06:02 PM
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Momma say's Easterns are the DEVIL!!!



"Call 'em up close and shoot 'em in the face"
Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: Smiling Mallard] #4131468 03/19/13 07:45 PM
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KeithTT Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Smiling Mallard
Momma say's Easterns are the DEVIL!!!


lol35


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Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: KeithTT] #4131622 03/19/13 08:51 PM
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GOOD STUFF!! can't wait

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: boliverpete] #4133923 03/20/13 08:46 PM
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Awesome info! My new lease has a lot of turkeys and this will be my first year actually hunting them, this info will be put to good use.

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: miket1] #4136526 03/21/13 09:32 PM
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Really good info. Quick question. Given that the toms are more likely to be split off from the hens in mid-morning, do you still set up before sun up, or do you wait a little while and then head to your spot?

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: twindad] #4136605 03/21/13 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: twindad
Really good info. Quick question. Given that the toms are more likely to be split off from the hens in mid-morning, do you still set up before sun up, or do you wait a little while and then head to your spot?


Yep, at dawn you wanna be where they come off the roost. If you know where they head to feed try to setup in that direction a little off the roost. Light calling, hopefully pull the hens in with big Mack Daddy along with them.

Also, like others have said, just because the dominant bird will hang with the hens early, that doesn't mean that other gobblers won't come in to calling right off the roost. The dominant bird isn't always the biggest one either.

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: LarryCopper] #4137556 03/22/13 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: LarryCopper
Originally Posted By: twindad
Really good info. Quick question. Given that the toms are more likely to be split off from the hens in mid-morning, do you still set up before sun up, or do you wait a little while and then head to your spot?


Yep, at dawn you wanna be where they come off the roost. If you know where they head to feed try to setup in that direction a little off the roost. Light calling, hopefully pull the hens in with big Mack Daddy along with them.

Also, like others have said, just because the dominant bird will hang with the hens early, that doesn't mean that other gobblers won't come in to calling right off the roost. The dominant bird isn't always the biggest one either.


Exactly how I would have said it as I did above. Don't rule out early morning calling. I would not be over aggressive unless they are singing away.
I have learned the hard way not to go sneaking around a roost in the dark. Remember they can see alot from the birds eye view up in those trees. Couldn't agree more with find where they are going shortly after they come down. I have had them fly off the limb right into my decoys several times but more so than not they have their little pattern of where to land and venture off to. I prefer to scout the spot they venture off to and try to be their first stop in the day rather than their fall out of bed spot(if that makes sense). Sneaking around in the dark to close to a roost climbing into a ground blind or getting comfy on a tree stirs up a lot of chaos that is unneeded. If you don't get them to fly into your lap then so be it the day is not ruined just wait em' out as stated above. If you go in there bustin' em' off the limb you may wanna make early breakfast plans lol. I have literally walked right under their roost tree in the dark, they take off like a drag car, I bout' cra* my pants and did not see or hear a turkey the rest of the day sometimes days for that matter. You have to remember they are used to nature sounds and nature sounds only, which is usually silence other than their talking.
Most of the time I am not in an area that I have not scouted and know where the birds are roosted and will be headed when they kick off the limb so I am in that first stop for the morning spot a little before daylight. If I am in an area that I have not scouted and have not a clue where the turkeys could be then you won't catch me walking more than ten yards from the truck. Like I said you can blow the whole day's hunt by stumblin' in there and making your presence known. Thing I always do when going in "blind" is to chill at the truck until the sun cracks. Most of the time the birds will gobble at something crow, owl, airplane, train ,or a live hen and that will tell you where they are. Once you hear them and get you pointed in the right direction then use your locator calls to get to a position that you feel comfortable calling them into or where you feel you can get the slip on them. Notice the crow locator call we used on these birds right at sun up to locate where they were and then use it again to find out which direction they are moving. (I do not recommend calling from the same position you have used your locator call and if you do wait a little while before you do it). Most of the time they gobble at the locator call as a distress gobble, hawk, owl, yote, all predators to the turkey. We try to stick to the crow or just a couple of cuts on the box call. Problem I have ran into with using calls to locate turkeys is you can call to them from one spot and they gobble so you move towards them then call to them from your set up and they are gobbling from where you started from. That's why I use the calls when I am set up and ready for them to approach me. So use the crow, owl from the truck find out where they are. Close the distance to a 150-200 yardsish figure out the appropriate setup you need to pull fighting or lonely gobbler in and then get him with the calls and begin the hunt.

I know I have posted it a few times but this hunt answers your question directly! We were doing the right thing and in the right area but Tim made a fly up call in the area we thought the birds would roost and sadly they came running in and roosted in the tree we made the call under. Avoid that by keeping your distance from the known roosting area and locating with an owl or coyote howl late in the evening. The birds flew into that tree so we had to spook them a little just to get out of there and go back to the hotel for the night. So the next morning we had no idea what tree they had flown to so right at daylight we locate them with the crow call. You can hear several toms answer and we stick to the group. They had a few hens around so we followed them and every once in awhile we would sound the crow call to see where they were. Once we figured out what field they were going to we quietly slipped around the field and set B-mobile out. Before Tim could even make it back to his gun they were ten yards and closing without a single call to them. They just weren't going to have anything to do with another tom in the mix around there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FhRfN3rs3U


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Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: KeithTT] #4138094 03/22/13 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the tips. Can't wait to get my oldest son out there tomorrow morning. I'll update on how it goes. We had success last spring in our first effort at turkey hunting, but I'm pretty sure it was just dumb luck. Hope to get better this year.

Re: When to hunt Turkey's and When to call!!!!!!! Tips [Re: twindad] #4138500 03/22/13 05:52 PM
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In the past I have used Kee Kee run to pull in birds when they are henned up. It`s not a call that most hunters use in the spring it`s usually used in the fall when the birds are still farely young. The birds will come to it sometimes when nothing else is working especially when they are henned up. The call is a young bird calling, it is more or less a whinning noise followed by a jake yelp which is just a 3 note deeper sounding yelp and the hens will come especially if it is a boss hen it`s kinda like using a fawn distress it is just natural tendency for mom to check out a crying little one. Toms will come to this call too because of the jake yelp at the end. When all else fails give it a try hopefully it works for ya. Thought I would share since more than likely birds will be henned up come opening weekend.

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