First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

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When do you do your best turkey killing

Early morning
34
47%
Late morning/mid day
36
49%
Evenings
3
4%
 
Total votes: 73
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BigHunt
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby BigHunt » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:38 am

backstraps wrote:I like to roost birds and try and coax them off the limb to the barrel but I have better luck late morning midday

Once the hens begin to head to nest those gobblers like to seek attention and I am there to accommodate :D

The first hour is my thing


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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Robert501st » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:54 pm

I only hunt turkey in my home state of Missouri which does not allow hunting after 1pm during the spring season so afternoons and evenings are a no go. Probably 70% of the gobblers I’ve shot have been either within a few minutes after its flown down or the first hour. Many however, have been killed in the 11-1pm hours. It’s good hunting when they break off from the hens they had early morning and start looking for more.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby bcarey2 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:41 am

I love the anticipation, the gobbles from the roost, the woods waking up effect but I'd pick late morning/mid-day over any other time time. I've only shot 3 birds from legal shooting time til 830, the rest have been from 930am-1 pm and only 1 about 20 minutes before sunset about 70 yards from his roost.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby hunter10 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:28 am

I have killed many in those 3 time frames. I’d say majority of mine are early morning.. not necessarily right off the roost. I’ve also gone in mid day and usually if you can get one fired up he’ll be on his way in. I don’t mind afternoon hunts and have killed a handful then but unless you can get one fired up or sit in the area they will feed before roost, you’ll likely be dealing with hemmed up birds once again.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby thwack16 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:44 am

I'm not sure there's an hour window between 6 am & 7 pm that I haven't killed a turkey in. If there is, then it's likely right after noon and that would simply be from not hunting that time period a lot. I much, much prefer hunting birds off the roost and those first few hours of daylight. When (and it's unusual) I can get a bird to gobble after noon, he's most likely dead in short order.
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Dpierce72
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Dpierce72 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:16 am

Man ...tough one.

I went mid-day primarily for KILLING.

I love being out at first light for LISTENING.

But the majority of turkeys I've killed have been 9:00AM - 12:00PM.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby UofLbowhunter » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:25 am

My favorite time to kill is any time its light enough to shoot :P but mid day has gotten me probably the most kills. But i can honestly say I've prob killed a bird about any hour of day that i can think of!
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby heathcpr » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:49 pm

This is only my 4th year turkey hunting. I have done the majority of my hunting off the rooste. I love hearing the woods wake up and the thunder of the birds, but would agree that unless you are in very close it’s more for listening than killing, especially if they have hens around.

I have only hunted evening a couple of times in the past years with no luck. However, with infant twins at home I have not had the luxury of endless hours in the field this year. If I had 2 to 2.5 hours in the evening after work (anytime 4:30PM to last light) when and how would you hunt it for the best chance of success? I would be archery hunting so any info about calling, decoys, blind vs run and gun, and locations/landmarks to be keying in on would be greatly appreciated!

I should add that between public and private I have access to river bottoms, marshes, ag fields with creeks and trees surrounding them, and some hilly timber. But unfortunately those are all in different locations so it’s a matter of picking one type of habitat for the sit. Also, it is no problem for me to get out at first light and listen to try to locate birds but many days work requires me to be out of the field by 7am at the latest which hardly even allow the birds here time to fly down some morning.
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Dpierce72
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Dpierce72 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:49 am

If you can cover ground and glass, the spot-and-stalk can be effective and is more exciting to me than deer hunting them

If you can't spot-and-stalk, but know an area of heavy usage, get out the decoys and deer-hunt them (my personal least favorite way)

I don't have much luck striking one up that responds to calling that late in the day but everything is situational...
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Bio1 » Mon May 13, 2019 11:33 am

I have my best luck right off the roost. If for some reason that doesn’t work a lot of times I’ll just kick back in a likely spot and wait on him to start gobbling again once his hens leave him. Seems that’s usually around 9:30ish. I really like getting them first thing, though.

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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:47 am

I don't know how to answer, I have killed them in all three periods. When I started hunting them in the falls it changed how I hunt them. I mostly stalk them so that is mostly morning and mid day.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby Wannabelikedan » Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:40 pm

I’ve shot birds at many different hours of the day. Very few off the roost and about 50/50 for late mornings and evenings. I would say evenings edge out late mornings though. If you know the roost tree and a tom is in the vicinity within an hour of dark.....money! FYI I’m no stellar caller and I’ve used terrain far more than any other tactic to kill a bird.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby gsquared23 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:30 am

I’ve had the most luck right off the roost and then up until 0800. The reasons for this are threefold.

1. We always “deerhunt ‘em”, i.e. we build blinds in strutting and travel areas and wait for them to walk by. We rely more on patience and decoys than calling the turkeys in or getting as close as possible to the roost. We also “deerhunt ‘em” timewise: we’d get up early and hunt the morning, take a nap, and then give the afternoon a go. So that habit carried over into turkey hunting, minus of course the PM hunt. Certainly this pattern has it flaws as I found out this year: shot my largest deer ever at 1:18 in the middle of the day. Who knows how many bucks (and turkeys!) I’ve missed out on by taking a dang nap.

2. Our state only lets you hunt until 1300.

3. Our lack of patience. In the bad old days, I can’t ever remember out there longer than 0900. We just got antsy, tired, bored, wanted to look for mushrooms, etc.

Recently I started sitting until the buzzer, and I had a tom hang up close to noon, and shot a jake at 1130. So late morning to midday is probably the most overlooked time.
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Re: First light, mid-day, or late afternoon

Unread postby thepennsylvanian » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:28 am

Honestly, any of those work.
So many factors are in play with turkey hunting, population density, hunting pressure(human and other predators), terrain, timing of the season and even weather.
Morning can be considered the prime time, but if your hunting area holds alot of birds, toms can literally just hit strut zones and wait to be found by the hens. This rings especially true the earlier a season is. They'll do this alot in my area too, because of hunting pressure. Not to mention its in the nature.
My picture perfect scenario is a stormy night that breaks up early to mid morning, late in the season( Pa's season is all of May, so were setup pretty good for call birds in). After the storm breaks up, those birds will start looking for hens almost immediately, it can lead to some pretty insane gobbling and exciting hunts.
Late afternoon hunts work well, but can be tough to get a bird to commit depending on how close he is to roosting trees. If you know your flow and where they roost often, this can be a killer time.
I'm an impatient turkey hunter, I cant do the sit and wait thing for turkeys. In the early morning if I cant get one all jazzed up, I'll typically lay low until just before lunch, then start walking ridges, just off field edges, or head to areas that I've seen strutters during the day.
I'd really just say dont count the day a waste I'd you couldn't get on one at first light. Turkey arent like deer, they'll move all day long, you just might have to out some miles on them boots to find em!
Edit: the past 2 years I've had good luck in the early am, but last year I did call a mature tom in at 4:30pm on may 28th. So any time of day is a good time to kill one!
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