Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

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ADKMtnTrapper
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Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby ADKMtnTrapper » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:59 am

When I was young it seems like most times I was in the woods if I had a gobbler within ear shot I could get him fired up and come to investigate my set. Nowaday's here in NY we have a rather late season (May 1st) which tends to be after the birds are hot for hens and chasing anything that chirps. It seems that by the time the season starts the toms are henned up off the roost and show little to no interest in my calls. I am thinking this is due to earlier springs these past 10 yrs. I still manage to set up between the roost and there feeding grounds and kill them while they are passing through but it makes it tough after that to run and gun......

So does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on how to sweet talk these birds?


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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby Redman232 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:28 am

We setup below roosts in the morning and if unsuccessful we find a bird and observe his strut zone and then determine how to get in the middle of it. I have never had a bird not react when you sneak into their strut zone and do a little soft cutting or putting. A lot of the time you don't even need to call, just wait for them to work their way back to you. This is how I kill almost every bird, regard less of the stage of the season. It's just like deer hunting, more time scouting/observing than time "hunting".
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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby Peeps22 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:28 am

Here in Wi the later part of the season is kind of tough. Ive had alot of action midday setting up and calling, i think for the most part because the hens go to there nest in the late morning and the toms are then searching for another hen.

I think the biggest part of being "in the game" with turkeys, is looking at it like deer hunting. Set up as close to bedding (roosting) as possible. Ill usually sit early mornings and late afternoons by the roost and mid day either a field edge or in between roosting and the fields.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby backstraps » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:34 am

The later part of the season where I hunt can be really really good. If I get in an area that's not been over run with hunters tossing out calls all day, gobbles work to a call great late season.

Once the season moves on and the hens head to nest around 10am gobbles are ready for action .

I've had really good success in some years during late season.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby Ack » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:25 am

It's just a matter of finding a cooperating bird, and you will never know from one day to the next if a bird will commit or walk away from your calling. As Burkhart mentioned dusting areas can be great in the late season....sit near one of these during the mid-day hours and you will have action. Other than that I would just plan on some long hours of finding that bird that will work for you.

Mid-day has been the best time of the day for me in the late season. And don't believe that all hens go to nest in the late morning....I've witnessed many heading right to their nests after fly down. Find the bird who is off on his own and you'll find a cooperative bird. A little more difficult, maybe, but not impossible.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby Redman232 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:00 am

I don't ever wait for a bird, we figure out where he is and then figure out how to kill him. I prefer to take the fight to the bird.
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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby backstraps » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:43 am

Redman232 wrote:I don't ever wait for a bird, we figure out where he is and then figure out how to kill him. I prefer to take the fight to the bird.



Im with you Redman232, especially if he is gobbling an hour or so after pitching down.




Ack wrote:I would just plan on some long hours of finding that bird that will work for you.

And don't believe that all hens go to nest in the late morning....

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2 very valid points here...

However I prefer spending the long hours, during preseason. Find out where the birds are roosting, where they like to socialize, dusting bowls, strutting zones, feeding areas etc The hours spent before season will sometimes shorten the hours it takes to kill them!

As for hens going to nest....where I am, I have to deal with large flocks. Early season the gobblers are "henned up bad" Later in the season when the majority of hens go to nest mid morning, that's when you can call a turkey in fairly easy, but they often come in silent.

As for my above comments of hens going to nest...I am speaking more so about the second month of season. The hens I see going to nest mid morning are usually the ones that are getting bred earlier. Other hens may simply not be interested, not ready, or not breeeders anymore etc. You will be able to tell which hens are breeders when the gobblers come to the flock, they will be with the hens that are breeders at the time.


ALSO as Ack mentioned... you find a satellite gobbler and that is a murder scene waiting to play out :lol:

MAN I AM SO EXCITED FOR SEASON TO BEGIN!! I love deer hunting, but I am a maniac come spring time chasing birds! Knock on wood, and hoping to not curse myself, but last several years I don't make it pass first opening week-week and a half before I have my 4 bird limit and called in a couple for my daughter :)
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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby Ack » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:44 pm

My thoughts are that most guys "think" hens only go to their nest mid to late morning because that is what you will read all over the Internet, when in fact hens will leave toms and other groups a half hour after fly down if that is what they want to do. Mid morning is a generalization, not a fact.

As far as taking it to the bird, it's not always possible to do if you have smaller properties to hunt. Sometimes waiting them out at a high odds location is the best bet if birds aren't on your property at all hours of the day. If you are hunting endless amounts of property or public land then yes, go to the action.

Pre season scouting is a must, I agree, but their habits change throughout the season, especially with pressure, and where you saw them early isn't necessarily where they will be four weeks into the season. It's kind of like stockpiling bedding areas for bucks....you learn a little more each season, and learn what areas need to be hunted at different times of the season.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby oldrank » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:01 pm

I always hunt the late season here in Michigan for the simple fact I get a longer season. Ours starts May 9th this year. I hunt them aggressively. If they wont come to me Ill stalk em down.. Or run em down. I also do as stated above n know their habits. Ill do slow spot n stalks using the terrain to hide. Ill sit dusting spots or the high traffic areas. Ill wait just off roosting areas knowing they will come through in the evening to get to their roost. Basically you have to be ready to do whatever you need to do. If I hunt private I can usually get birds to respond to the calls.. but the public is a totally different story n takes covering some ground n a few days to get my birds figured out.Once I located a few toms I have enough to mess with to keep it fun. If one slips me im on to the next. After that its just the chess game of my clock running out or him dieing.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby backstraps » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:22 pm

Preseason scouting is basically to get you off to a good start.
Hunting them throughout the season you will be able to follow their habits and patterns as they change as well.

Main thing for me is to keep it fun. It's easy to get frustrated as season goes on. Stay positive and have fun at it.

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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby BigHunt » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:04 pm

Redman232 wrote:I don't ever wait for a bird, we figure out where he is and then figure out how to kill him. I prefer to take the fight to the bird.

100% ^^^^^^^^^^^^ this by far is my number one tactic.....

I have killed a turkey in every season here in Wisconsin in different terrians, ranging from April 15 - May 24. for "ME" the later the season the better the action! i start looking for a lone tom after the hens go sit on there nest. IF I cant kill him the day I locate him by trying to stalk him ill stay on him all day until he roosts. right before dark ill hit him with the owl hooter, yote howl, or loud high pitched whistle to make him gobble and confirm hes there and then SLIP IN RIGHT UNDER HIM BEFORE DAY LIGHT! if hes alone there's a high percentage he will fly right to you in the morning.

scouting/glassing will cut most of the guessing work out for you. also going out in the morning to listen for gobbling and in the evening to roost ......go out and watch your flock and you will see patterns with certain toms.....strutting zones, dusting areas, ect ..... some toms just will not leave a certain 40 acre area..... some toms Rome for several hundred acres in a day. if your hunting a small property then sitting tight is your best bet but if you can move around I would go to them , don't wait for them ;)
Last edited by BigHunt on Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Problems with Hunting the back end of the "Turkey Rut"

Unread postby BigHunt » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:07 pm

Ack wrote:My thoughts are that most guys "think" hens only go to their nest mid to late morning because that is what you will read all over the Internet, when in fact hens will leave toms and other groups a half hour after fly down if that is what they want to do. Mid morning is a generalization, not a fact.

As far as taking it to the bird, it's not always possible to do if you have smaller properties to hunt. Sometimes waiting them out at a high odds location is the best bet if birds aren't on your property at all hours of the day. If you are hunting endless amounts of property or public land then yes, go to the action.

Pre season scouting is a must, I agree, but their habits change throughout the season, especially with pressure, and where you saw them early isn't necessarily where they will be four weeks into the season. It's kind of like stockpiling bedding areas for bucks....you learn a little more each season, and learn what areas need to be hunted at different times of the season.

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spot on! agreed 100 %
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