Beginner turkey hunter?

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Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby Thomasj1107 » Sun May 02, 2021 1:31 pm

Hunted deer for years, watched tons of videos of turkey hunting but have never actually been in the woods for them. I’m out of the state for travel work in Vermont where the season is just starting, and on top of that this state is great in allowing hunting on unposted private property. I’ve glassed turkeys from high spots on hikes all around, but I’m still probably going to have to wind up hunting public land big woods also.

With that being said if you all had some basic, real to the point rules/things to do or live by while turkey hunting what would it be? IE do this, dont do this, etc.

As always, I appreciate all the info.

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Re: Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby szwampdonkey » Mon May 03, 2021 2:14 am

Watch turkeys as you travel about, hike, etc. Find where they like to roost and be in that spot WAY before sun up then call SPARINGLY with a box call. Calling too much is going to tip an old public land Tom off and he will simply go the other way.

But being between where they roost and where they want to be in the morning will get you into birds pretty quickly. Getting a shot will depend on your woodsmanship, good luck.
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Re: Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby PK_ » Mon May 03, 2021 3:00 am

Good tips above. It’s pretty easy to get encounters with turkeys when you know where they want to be.

But I can’t stress enough that you should Setup with complete back cover and good side/front cover with just enough openings to see/shoot.

If you just sit down next to a big tree with no cover you have to sit extremely still and setup so the bird will literally walk in front of the barrel. Getting busted moving by birds you don’t know are around and getting busted by the bird as you try to adjust to get a shot are probably the two biggest hurdles I have seen newer turkey hunters fail to overcome.

If hens are leading the gobbler to you and the hens are getting very close do not make eye contact, look towards the ground, keep your eyes covered with your hat or close them almost completely just open enough to make out their movements. Sounds silly but trust me, they will literally see you blink.

When you are about to shoot the bird if he isn’t standing still with his head erect just say the word ‘peck peck’ loud and high pitched. It will make them freeze and lift their head. Because if they are walking that head can move quite a bit and cause you to miss.

Pattern your gun!! (Long beard XR is really good ammo for the price. I like the 4 or 5 shot size out of my 12ga)

Good luck.
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Re: Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby Moose » Mon May 03, 2021 6:13 am

Patience is huge. Last year was my first year and I've learned that running and gunning hurt me. Way to much moving around when the birds can spot you. If you know where they are set up and stay put especially if they are responding to your calling. Good luck, you will love it.
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Re: Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby Cchez » Tue May 04, 2021 2:33 am

Great tips already by the others. One of the biggest tips i can give a new turkey hunter is this: let the hens be your teachers for calling. Listen to the birds before you make any calls. See how talkative they are. Make mental notes of the types of calls they are making/how loud they are talking. Once you learn to mimic them in different situations, you'll be prepared for anything. Just sitting back and observing will teach you so much about turkeys.

As Moose stated, patience is a virtue. Espcecially in that mid to late morning/ early afternoon period where they don't always talk a lot. My favorite "tactic" for that period is to just put out some decoys and take a nice nap. I don't know how many times ive woken up to birds either fighting with my decoys, or spotting them and gobbling, or anything in between. i dont do any calling. just sit tight and see what happens. Of course some places you can't hunt all day, but if you can its a great "tactic". I actually killed my last gobbler this way. I had observed a big group of birds making their way across a field to a different area. So i went around them and got set up in a different field in the general area i thought they might be heading and set up. During my nap i was woken up by a lone gobbler who had entered the field i was on and started gobbling at my decoys. He came in full strut on a string and that was all she wrote.
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Re: Beginner turkey hunter?

Unread postby Brokenarrow1980 » Thu May 06, 2021 6:21 am

Use terrain to your advantage, that being said turkey dont like to go down hills unless they are red hot. Try to get on the same level or above them. They also hang up behind obstructions like creeks. Blow down tangles or deep ditches. Try to get on the same side of obstructions as the bird if possible. Good luck!!!
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