Pre-Season Calling

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Ack
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Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Ack » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:55 pm

So after reading the PUMPED! thread I thought I'd bring up the topic of pre-season calling for discussion. It's always been an unwritten rule that you do not go out and call to birds before season.....makes the birds "call shy" you know. So this brings up the question.....do the birds get "call shy" or are they really just getting "people shy"? I'll share some of my thoughts along the way.....just thought I'd throw it out for discussion.


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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby jlh42581 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:09 pm

I think what happens is its learned avoidance. Like deer, everyone says a deer cant rationalize like a human but I firmly believe that they do have memory of negative encounters. Its the same principle when you blow a grunt at a deer and he bolts. He learned that either that means human danger or a but whopping.

Yes, turkeys are afraid of their own shadow but at the same time theyre definitely not dumb. I think they come in, pick guys off and or they hear a hen calling then never see a hen. How many times is that going to happen before you just say... Ill sit up here in the roost and wait for them to come to me. Thats another thing a lot of people dont understand. In nature, the hens go to the gobbler.
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Ack » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:29 pm

So in a roundabout way you're saying the birds are people shy, correct?
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Czabs » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:07 pm

I think in ways it can be bad and ways it can be good.

For example, that turkey we called in heard us call from a LONG ways away over 300 yards for sure...

Now If we would have kept calling and calling I think that could have been a not so good thing. He was 30 yards on the edge of some pines and he wouldn't go into the pines. He sat on the edge gobbling his gobbler off to try and get that hen to come out.

Now if we would have been calling back at his gobbles 30 yards away that would have been pretty stupid in my opinion.

But sitting there and not calling at all I don't think hurt anything...not that I would do it again...

But I personally think turkeys aren't very smart animals. In my experiences they are fairly easy to hunt. Not even comparable to a whitetail in my book. I have noticed turkeys are very call shy on public land, and over hunted land, but I think in the end the bird will give in and die if you keep up hunting them, and change up your approaches.
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Ack » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:04 pm

Czabs wrote:......I have noticed turkeys are very call shy on public land, and over hunted land


So when you say "call shy" do you mean they will not respond to the calls you are using?

Do you think they associate a call with a human or a turkey?
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Czabs » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:33 pm

By call shy I mean won't come into my calls and won't gobble back
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Ack » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:22 pm

Czabs wrote:By call shy I mean won't come into my calls and won't gobble back


So if your calls sound like hens, which I assume they do, why would the birds be "call shy"? Can they differentiate between a real hen and a human using a caller?

I'm surprised at the lack of responses here, but essentially what I'm getting at is I do not really believe in "call shy" birds. As I mentioned above....how does that bird know if he is hearing a human or a hen? Some of the worst turkey sounds come from hens themselves, so do the toms turn away from a real hen that is calling to him?

This then leads to the argument of calling before season.......if your calling is respectable and you call a bird in and he does not see you, where is the harm? Just because a tom comes in and does not see that hen does not mean he will never respond to a hen again....it all depends on whether he feels like committing to the hen sound on any particular day or not. Do hens wait until season opens to start yelping and clucking? It's happening out there every day of the year.

Now if a bird hears a call and commits, then busts someone calling to them, that's an entirely different story.....this is the "people shy" that I am talking about. Once they associate that certain call with a human or danger, they may not commit as easily in the future. Turkeys can be strange that way though...one day they might totally ignore your calls, but later that day or the next charge right in and give you the shot. Not really sure what changes their mind, but I have seen it happen a few times with the same birds.
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Czabs » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:25 pm

Ack wrote:
Czabs wrote:By call shy I mean won't come into my calls and won't gobble back


So if your calls sound like hens, which I assume they do, why would the birds be "call shy"? Can they differentiate between a real hen and a human using a caller?

I'm surprised at the lack of responses here, but essentially what I'm getting at is I do not really believe in "call shy" birds. As I mentioned above....how does that bird know if he is hearing a human or a hen? Some of the worst turkey sounds come from hens themselves, so do the toms turn away from a real hen that is calling to him?

This then leads to the argument of calling before season.......if your calling is respectable and you call a bird in and he does not see you, where is the harm? Just because a tom comes in and does not see that hen does not mean he will never respond to a hen again....it all depends on whether he feels like committing to the hen sound on any particular day or not. Do hens wait until season opens to start yelping and clucking? It's happening out there every day of the year.

Now if a bird hears a call and commits, then busts someone calling to them, that's an entirely different story.....this is the "people shy" that I am talking about. Once they associate that certain call with a human or danger, they may not commit as easily in the future. Turkeys can be strange that way though...one day they might totally ignore your calls, but later that day or the next charge right in and give you the shot. Not really sure what changes their mind, but I have seen it happen a few times with the same birds.


To me, hunting public land and other private lands (that I know have multiple turkey hunters hunting the land) the birds seem "call shy" which you could call "people shy". Because I think after a a turkey gets called in and it busts someone moving, or gets missed they tend to not come into a call as easily. Seems to me the toms will hold up almost like they know your there...hunting unpressured lands its almost like taking candy from a baby. You put a decoy or two out set up in the right location wait and/or call and walah! There are turkeys in front of you, responding to your calls. That's just what I've noticed...
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:11 pm

Interesting topic ack. I just think i stink at calling so i do less every year. Around me I'm starting to believe in call shy birds, but your right hens make sounds every day

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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby BigHills BuckHunter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:23 pm

IDK about you guys but in my experience out in the woods some of the real hens sound worse than actual hunter calls. I remember one in particular I thought some idiot trespassed and was working into my calling. The calling sounded horrible. It turned out to be a real hen.

So overall I dont think Toms think, "Hey is that a human or hen call" I dont think they have mental capacity to do so. Instead I think once they have their first human experience in the Spring they tend to wait hens out instead of come running in. Ive seen this so many times. Sometimes around me they will gobble once and then walk the rest of the way in without gobbling again. I think this is also a Springtime behavior learned from bad human experience.
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby jlh42581 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:40 am

To be honest, here, I really dont hear the hens hardly ever.
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Re: Pre-Season Calling

Unread postby Southern Man » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:32 am

If I'm not mistaken, pre-season calling is illeagal here. But, after a week of season, it's hard to get a bird to answer callin once he's on the ground. I've wondered if it's a learned response?
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