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#11717903 - 01/07/17 Turkey patterns questions
HaYen Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 1695
Loc: Arizona
I've been hunting Elk and Deer forever but was only one Turkey hunt two seasons ago. I was in full camo sitting against a tree. To my right was my cousin (more experienced turkey hunter) calling and to his right, his son also hunting. There was at least 10 yards between myself and the other hunter.

In front of us, about 30 yards, was the roosting tree. We were able to call in a couple of hens. One walked about 8 feet in front of me. We were unable to get that Tom to "come on down".

Sending the hens as sort of a scouts ahead of the Tom, is that normal? Was there anything we should have done differently? That was the morning hunt, during the evening hunt (3:30ish) we only saw a hen.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

HaYen
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#11717976 - 01/07/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
Westernmassman Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 321
Loc: massachusetts
My experience with Easterns is that the Hens usually pitch out first. They aren't "sent" by the Toms!
Thirty yards seems too close to setup to a roost (especially for three hunters).

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#11718056 - 01/07/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
WillARights Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/15/08
Posts: 3168
Loc: Surrounded!!

...well ill say that anything with its own mind decides what it wants to do on any given day.

Ive sat direcrly under roost trees, didint spook the turks, and had them pitch down very close to me and just walk off in the opposite direction, no matter how much calling I did.

I think they had their "turkey do" list for the day, and got on with it right off the roost: visit, henny penny, jake, and ole tom on the other field, get to that other field for some primo eats, and water, etc etc. gotta get a move on, work out the stiffness from over night. Just couldn't call them off their determined way. It happens.

Perhaps find out where they were going, and set up there or along the way to the strut zone if they roost there frequently.

Dont take their schizo nature personally. They dont know theyre on the lower levels of brain power, thereby sending your gray matter into fits trying to figur em. Theyre doing what they do

Good luck.
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#11718074 - 01/07/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
HaYen Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 06/16/07
Posts: 1695
Loc: Arizona
Thanks. I missed last years hunt cause of family issues and I drew the split week hunt this year in Unit 7.
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#11719330 - 01/07/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
Holston Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 562
Loc: Southwest VA
I rarely ever set up that close to where they're roosting.

Hens normally hit the ground before the toms.

Im not that great of a caller and struggled for several years getting them in range. Then I started scouting and figuring out where they're wanting to be when they come off the roost. I fill my tags very early now almost every spring.

What I'm getting at, is I've noticed, in my area anyway, people go about hunting them all wrong. Find out where they want/need to be and where they roost, then find a good spot in between. I focus on "cutting them off" rather than "calling them off" if that makes sense. I use scouting and patterning them as my primary tool, calling comes in second.

I'm not a great caller, but consider myself a pretty good hunter. On the other hand, I know some amazing callers that are crappy hunters. A lot of the big time turkey hunters around will criticize my way of hunting them, but it works for me.

Hope that may help you some.

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#11719681 - 01/08/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
JamesJr Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/11/15
Posts: 890
Loc: Christian Co., Ky
There are some days when the best sounding turkey caller in the nation couldn't call up a thing. Then are days when a five year old kid playing with the cheapest box call made could call up the oldest gobbler in the woods. For every bird I've killed right off the roost, I've killed at least ten more later in the day. It can be very frustrating trying to get a gobbler to come to a call, especially when he is roosted with hens, and sees those hens fly down. It's better not to get too close, especially when you're just learning the tricks of the trade.

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#11720564 - 01/08/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: Holston]
xarcher Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/15
Posts: 59
Originally Posted By Holston
I rarely ever set up that close to where they're roosting.

Hens normally hit the ground before the toms.

Im not that great of a caller and struggled for several years getting them in range. Then I started scouting and figuring out where they're wanting to be when they come off the roost. I fill my tags very early now almost every spring.

What I'm getting at, is I've noticed, in my area anyway, people go about hunting them all wrong. Find out where they want/need to be and where they roost, then find a good spot in between. I focus on "cutting them off" rather than "calling them off" if that makes sense. I use scouting and patterning them as my primary tool, calling comes in second.

I'm not a great caller, but consider myself a pretty good hunter. On the other hand, I know some amazing callers that are crappy hunters. A lot of the big time turkey hunters around will criticize my way of hunting them, but it works for me.

Hope that may help you some.


THIS

30 yards is way too close. Why take the chance of them seeing you. Like others said, there is a place they want to go and all you have to do if figure out where that is. That usually takes a little more than listening which way they go after hitting the ground. Then just get in front of them. The TV turkey hunting shows lead you to believe that the hunter is so skillful that he can call that gobbler in when in fact they have scouted and have local knowledge. As the saying goes, you don't have to be the best caller, just have the sense to kill a turkey.

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#11721211 - 01/08/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
rong Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/22/10
Posts: 2627
Loc: upstate ny
All very good guys,homework is a big key to turkey hunting,as mentioned don't set up to close to the roost.
30 yds is nothing when a bird is 30 ft in the air,even the slightest movement will get you bagged,remember he's looking for the bird talking.
Also remember sometimes "less is more"

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#11722491 - 01/09/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
richardca99 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 1048
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
It's been said here already, but the key to killing gobblers is knowing where they are headed when they pitch down from the roost. This can be known from scouting and observation, as they are creatures of habit.

Get back off that roost, and set up between the roost and where they are headed after fly-down.
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#11723520 - 01/09/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
AH64guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 2713
Loc: North VA
Two years ago, we were setting up at dawn for a video taped hunt for a turkey call company. There were five of us in the group, with two in the field setting up decoys, three were moving gear, and getting ready for sun-up. It's early light, nobody is calling, and we are quiet, but not that quiet with all of the crap we are carrying.

We finished the set-up, and all of use were headed over the fence when a single tom came off the roost on the ridge, and landed just short of the decoys as we were climbing and handing guns across. No way he didn't see us coming in, and he wasn't especially spooked by our WHISPERED: "OH CRAP" "HAND ME A GUN..." "GET DOWN, YOU IDIOT"...

He watched us disappear for a few minutes, and gobbled at the set a couple times, and wandered off. I had him lazered at about 5 yards more than I wanted shoot, and he wouldn't come any closer.

Kinda to the point that other have said, he was coming to the field from the roost, and wasn't particularly dissuaded by the group of hunters in view when he did. The creek was behind us, he may have been headed for water and the cover of the creek bottom.


Edited by AH64guy (01/09/17)

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#11725208 - 01/10/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
shaman Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 12/28/02
Posts: 5379
Loc: Neave, KY
I can't agree more regarding giving the gobblers some distance and letting them get down off the roost. I gave up a long time ago trying to aggressively call a gob off the roost. I stay well back from the roost trees and just let them know I'm there. The vast majority of my successes are 1-2 hours after flydown when the flocks are moving to feed. By then, the gobblers are much more interested in coming to a hen they can't see.

Funny thing. Once I gave up aggressively calling to roosted gobs, I found my little tree calls and such were more seductive than I thought. As a result, I've taken more birds coming directly to me from the roost than when I was up close to the roost tree trying to out-do the hens.

Another thing I've seen is that if I start well back from the gobbler's roost and then get up and move closer (say from 300 yards to 200 yards) that gob may hop down and start running to me.
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#11732293 - 01/12/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
Rug3 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/19/10
Posts: 1900
Loc: Columbia County New York State
Like all honest turkey hunters I go out every spring and get outsmarted by the world's dumbest bird. It happens to all of us and with frequency. That being said, ole gob can be and sometimes is called from his roost into a callers lap. It's even happened to me on occasion. I'm one of those turkey hunters who has carefully sneaked into an area where I knew them to be roosting and as daylight began to visit the horizon an explosion of sound like the open pipes of a dragster took place directly over my head as the flock flew out of the tree I was under.

I'd agree that 30yds. is a bit too close. Where I hunt it's about 70yds too close for me. Yes, the hens are spies! Absolutely! They can bust you quicker than a junk yard dog. I sometimes wonder if they can smell or have some kind of heat recognition devise. How do they find you that quick??? Put, Put, Put!

You will also find that the accumulation of turkey deceiving devises will mysteriously grow. Any self secure turkey hunter knows this must happen. It's part of the educational process. I have a huge box filled with various sound making, body hiding, plastic, wood, metal, fabric, body part, things. Bolts of camo cloth, umbrella type devises, flat or various height three and four legged seats. Four turkey vests, turkey jackets, turkey specific rain leaking outfits, end even camo undies. You need all that stuff and more.

Hunting in a shotgun only area I have that well covered. Single shot, double barrel, pump, and semi auto but I have restricted myself to only 12, 16, and 20 gauges. They are fully equipped with camo paint, dipping camo, plastic and fabric camo gun socks or tapes. After market recoil pads and stocks shortened so that sitting shots are easier. Iron, plastic and glass aiming devises also adorn the gun corner along with a drawer full if various choke tubes some of which actually fit some of the shotguns I currently have.

May I suggest that you too need all these things along with various blinds, camo tents, and bunkers if you are to successfully hunt the turkey.

A wonderful variation of differing colored hulls that provided the shot killing turkeys over the years now adorn my wall. #2,4,5,6,71/2, and various mixes of them all kill ole Gob. All kinds of materials making up various shot sizes have spewed from my shotgun barrels and I know exactly which size and material works best - well, currently - but I haven't tried that new Winchester product yet.

This last spring I tucked my jeans into my boots, slipped an ole camo jacket over my red plaid shirt, zipped it partially, grabbed my 25yr old box call, my single shot 20ga, 3 number 6's, and left the house at about 6:30.
Walked about a half mile from the house and sat down on a fallen tree where I could see well. Started yanking the paddle on the box, got an answer, ole Gob and 3 miss hennies came in. Gob got to about 25yds when the 20ga spoke and I brought him home. After all, As you know, when the hens are not spying, hunting turkeys is simple and easy.
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#11748078 - 01/18/17 Re: Turkey patterns questions [Re: HaYen]
davet Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 1494
I don't mind being 70 yards out from the roost tree, but the direction that the birds pitch out of the tree is a big deal. I also find that they go to a more open area when they come off of the roost. Like any bird, they have to re-figure pecking order almost daily, and this is their first chance of the day, flying down to a semi open area, or to an open field and re-gather their flock.

Turkey hunting becomes very easy when you are sitting where they want to go in the first place. Trying to call them 100-300 yard in the wrong direction is much more difficult.

If you don't get them off of the roost, they will eat and breed, then the hens and toms become looser in the flock, sometime separating. That is when calling blind has the most effect, imo. 10am-1pm when a boss tom is either separated from his hens, or has bred them and is looking for more hens is where you can get toms to really close a lot of distance and commit to traveling farther than they would if they had hens with them that still wanted to be bred.


I lived in city limits with a 50-60 bird flock that frequented the back of my property, all open field in easy view and roosted on the back tree line. Watching the goofy things everyday for almost 7 years, you pick up on what they are going to do before they know themselves, and every so often they still do something to surprise you.

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