Fields or woods?

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Casper
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Fields or woods?

Unread postby Casper » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:11 am

Do you prefer to hunt fields or woods? If both, what times in the day do you prefer to hunt each?


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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby dan » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:02 am

I hunt where ever the turkeys are... But when turkeys hang near open terrain ( like fields ) they are easier for me to hunt. I get onto birds all day long by driving around my hunting areas spotting birds and then watching them till I have an idea where they will head and cutting them off. They seem to like to come to calls a lot better too, if you call from an area in the direction the bird wants to head anyway...
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:57 am

I attended a seminar this weekend that was 4.5 hrs long all about turkey hunting and we were advised to hunt the bases of big ridges (where the turkeys likely roost) on brushy field edges to get after the gobblers when they first come down from the roost and head to the fields to eat and chase insects. Then as late morning mid day approaches to move up onto the ridges where the birds move up into the woods to feed on acorns and other things along the forest floor better out of sight of predators as well as some shade from the sun and protection from the open landscape. I'm new to this so thats what I'll be trying. A lady with a slide show gave us some numbers that the best turkey terrain is 30-40% forested areas (hardwood trees etc) 50-60% cropland and a final 5-10% wetland areas.
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Arrowbender » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:32 pm

I find field birds exceptionally hateful. Early season these birds can really be easy, but as the season progresses they usually like to hang up and strut to let the hens come to them. Decoys seem to make it worse. I think they figure that if they can see the hen the hen can see the beuatiful Tom. A gobbler decoy can draw them in sometimes. I like my chances in the timber during late season
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby PLB » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:53 pm

Arrowbender wrote:I find field birds exceptionally hateful. Early season these birds can really be easy, but as the season progresses they usually like to hang up and strut to let the hens come to them. Decoys seem to make it worse. I think they figure that if they can see the hen the hen can see the beuatiful Tom. A gobbler decoy can draw them in sometimes. I like my chances in the timber during late season

I agree. I don't use decoys. I hunt big woods birds and like dan said I drive around a lot and try to get where they are going! Our crew has killed 45 big woods gobblers since we started turkry hunting in 1996. I love running and gunning in the timber and I put on many miles to do so! I also am scouting for deer too since I turkey hunt some of my favorite Whitetail spots!
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Ack » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:43 pm

BackWoodsHunter wrote:I attended a seminar this weekend that was 4.5 hrs long all about turkey hunting and we were advised to hunt the bases of big ridges (where the turkeys likely roost) on brushy field edges to get after the gobblers when they first come down from the roost and head to the fields to eat and chase insects. Then as late morning mid day approaches to move up onto the ridges where the birds move up into the woods to feed on acorns and other things along the forest floor better out of sight of predators as well as some shade from the sun and protection from the open landscape. I'm new to this so thats what I'll be trying. A lady with a slide show gave us some numbers that the best turkey terrain is 30-40% forested areas (hardwood trees etc) 50-60% cropland and a final 5-10% wetland areas.


You may find that the birds will not always fly down into the fields in the morning. Birds roosted on ridges can and will pitch down onto the top of the ridge.....you just have to scout them from a distance and figure out their pattern.
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby lungbuster » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:30 pm

I've hunted turkeys now for almost 20 years and one thing I can tell you is they don't always do what you'd expect or what the experts say they will 8-) I have called birds uphill and I have called birds downhill, had them flydown on a ridgetop and flydown to a lower field edge, turkeys are moody bast%rds that will one day do everything by the book and the next something totally off the wall......field edges in areas with young populations will work well (areas where turkeys have not been hunted for decades), but I find woodlots to be the best places to call birds in, they cannot see as far and hang up and are usually more prone to gobble then in an open field.
I have also found that after hunting the same areas for years the birds seem to change thier patterns and tactics, in the late 80's early 90's it seemed too easy to call in a hot gobbler across a wide open field, but as hunting gained popularity the birds seemed to get wise to crossing a field to the "hens" and instead have become more of a "come to me bird", which they are naturally anyways. Alot of new hunters don't realize that calling gobblers to hens is basically backwards of how it works in nature.90% of the time the hen goes to the gobbler to breed, so right off the bat we are working against nature. Aggressive tactics will work better in these situations than traditional sit back and call techniques, circling ahead of a gobbler that is going away, stalking (when SAFE), or just plain sitting on a known travel route or strut zone can work wonders on birds that seem to have "wised up" over the seasons.

I guess I didn't really answer the "field edge or woods" answer, but there is no one cut and dried answer just like any other species. ;)
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby PLB » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:43 pm

I agree Lungbuster, I try to set up when possible so that when I see a gobbler, he's in range! Woodlots and ridges work well for this! I never hunted turkeys in farm fields or agricultural type settings so I can't comment on that. Only big woods gobblers for me ;)
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Ack » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:52 pm

Well said Lungbuster....I've seen the same thing in the 18 years I've been chasing them!
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby BigHunt » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:00 am

i like to ambush field edges ....but also like a good timber kill........11 years here
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Dor » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:35 am

Smart Turkey's are dumb.
Dumb Turkey's are Smart. :idea: :mrgreen:
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Brad » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:52 am

I have killed 3 toms, I was sitting on the edge of a field, called the tom across the field, and shot him behind me as he circled around. I am going to hunt woods a lot more, that way I can use the terrain to my advantage. The field turkeys are awesome spots to see a ton of birds, but they sure do hang up very easy. I am going to start off this year on a spot in a field where they usually wind up most days, but I am no longer going to be afraid of hitting the woods (except for the snakes)!!!
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby Stanley » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:09 am

When using decoys, fields give you the advantage of sight, little or no calling is necessary for roaming toms. When in the timber calling is the advantage.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Fields or woods?

Unread postby goldtip5575 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:17 pm

I prefer to hunt larger flocks of turkeys that are pounding a open field food source daily. Flocks of 30 birds or more is not uncommon and most dont hit the food source all at once.So if you are unsuccessful with the first wave just wait for the next ones.


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