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Teach me to hunt turkeys #15431800 11/19/20
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PanfishinOutlaw Offline OP
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Trying to figure out the best way to start hunting turkeys in the spring in Colorado. I have never hunted them in the spring but have harvested a few in the fall in another state. My boy is starting to get interested in hunting and I would like to get him in the woods and see if its something he would like to continue to do. Its the kind of hunt I would think would be better for him to learn on then my annual elk hunt. I found a spot that had a bunch of birds during an archery elk hunt this last year that would not be terrible to get to so I believe that would be a good place to start. So if you were just starting to hunt turkeys and didnt have any turkey specific gear what would you get? Do I need to get calls? I will be doing more research on hunting them until the season gets closer but figured it was worth a shot to ask you here. Thank you!

BP-B2

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15432662 11/19/20
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Shotgun, choke and shell combination that will pattern at least 100 pellets in a 10" circle @ 40 yards to point of aim. Comfortable boots, comfortable seat pad, a way to pack water, calls, a snack, clothing layers, compass and topo map, and a turkey back to the truck. I like a vest for that. If you elk hunt and use a diaphragm call then you can easily use a diaphragm turkey call. Get a few in different pitch/tones. Maybe a friction call like a pot/peg or box call. A locator call like an owl hooter, coyote howler, ect. Patience... lots of patience.


Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15432934 11/19/20
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MOGC hit most of the equipment checklist.

Being Colorado......... I'm guessing you'll be after Merriam's birds. A good box call will be you friend. Maybe invest in a decent decoy, too.

NO ONE will teach you how to hunt turkeys better than the turkeys themselves. But to shorten the learning curve, look for some DVD's. Try to find DVD's that show Merriam's hunts since the terrain they inhabit is quite different from all the other subspecies (except the Gould's).


Wollen nicht krank dein feind. Planen es.
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15432964 11/19/20
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If you want to kill a turkey, learn how to cluck on a good box call and you will be in business. I have hunted them for 30 years and have called in more toms using a simple cluck than another other call. What MOGC said above concerning gear is good advice. Good luck and hope you enjoy the adventure.

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15433786 11/19/20
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Colorado Parks & Wildlife have several videos on the website---That would be a start. Check the NWTF website for Colorado. See if there is a chapter in your hometown----another good starting point.

IC-A

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15434402 11/20/20
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And here in the neighborhood we have several batches of them wondering around in groups of 30 to 50 at times...

I chase them out of the yard all the time due to them always making a mess of the yard, and the wife gets all pissy about that...
They crap all over the place, but not as bad as the Canadian Geese do

I usually chase them off,by walking out in the yard with a ball bat or a golf club...

Family friends have a son that has to ride the Short Bus to school....I let him shoot a couple for their Thanksgiving dinner
with a 17HMR.. his first game ever taken... he skunked on going deer hunting with his mom for his first time this year...
so we thought we'd let him have an easy target his first year out....the kid is 15 this Dec...




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Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15434622 11/20/20
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Thanks for the suggestions guys! I have been watching the videos on the Colorado parks and wildlife site already. Already own several good sets of boots and and clothing we would need. I will have to spend some time getting shotguns patterned since I havent done that in a long time. I will start watching some videos on calling and clucking. How does a owl or coyote call locate turkeys? Im sure I will learn by watching some videos and getting out in the woods but you would think that would scare them away! Whats a good shotgun for a young boy? He is 7 and is pretty big for his age but I know my current 12 gauge is going to way to large in length of pull and recoil.

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15435121 11/20/20
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Get out and watch the turkey. Listen to the sounds they make, learn their patterns, where they roost, where they feed and water. The most important thing is being set up in a location where the turkey want to go. Do that, and you can kill a turkey with any shotgun and a simple push button, Easy Yelper box call.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 1795

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Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: prairie dog shooter] #15435469 11/20/20
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Originally Posted by prairie dog shooter
Get out and watch the turkey. Listen to the sounds they make, learn their patterns, where they roost, where they feed and water. The most important thing is being set up in a location where the turkey want to go. Do that, and you can kill a turkey with any shotgun and a simple push button, Easy Yelper box call.


What he said⬆️

Also, go on YouTube and watch a bunch of videos, mainly to learn the body language and defensive actions of the turkeys. Turkeys are really stupid, BUT have great senses and are extremely wary and suspicious. Finding them is the biggest challenge, around here anyway.

Lotta fun, low pressure compared to deer hunting, and the weather’s nice. Good luck.



What fresh Hell is this?
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15435536 11/20/20
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Thanks guys! Going to order one of those easy yelpers. Season opens here mid April. When would you start scouting a month in advance or only a week or two? Once you figure out their pattern is it pretty repeatable?

IC-B

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15439082 11/21/20
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Their pattern will change depending on available food sources and pressure from hunters and predator's. In the spring they eat a lot more insects and green forbs. It's never too early to start observing turkey behavior. Keep in mind that hens and gobblers don't flock together much until breading season.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 1795

"Give me liberty or give me death"
Patrick Henry 1775
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15439391 11/21/20
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As mentioned and I'll reemphasize it, you gotta be where the turkeys want to be.

Also, know how to set up. I knew a guy that was about as close to a world class caller as one could be. Still had fits with birds because he didn't know how/where to setup. I think he thought he was such a good caller, that it didn't matter.

It does

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15445172 11/23/20
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I know zero about setting up right now but starting to do a bunch of research and scouting the area more. Seem like lots of people like decoys as well is that something Im going to need?

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15445532 11/23/20
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One or two decoys help. It gives that gobbler something to look at. Otherwise he's looking everywhere for the hen he heard and is more likely to notice your movement. I've had them try to breed my decoy and flog my jake decoy. Have had a bobcat attack one. Several times hens have flogged my decoy when I was over calling the dominant hen of the flock.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke 1795

"Give me liberty or give me death"
Patrick Henry 1775
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15446095 11/23/20
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All stated well above.

For positioning, If you're right handed, your 'best' shot is going to 9 oclock to 11 oclock (12 oclock being dead straight away from you). Ideally you want to be setup so the bird comes into that 9-11 position and you won't have to move. I got burned on that big time the first 5 turkeys I had come into my decoys the first year I hunted 20 years ago. It takes a lot of movement to position your gun to shoot at 3oclock. Turkeys can see something like 270 degrees around their head. Not much allowance for movement.

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15446123 11/23/20
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Don't over call .
Everybody I've ever known including me
has made that mistake.
They'll find you if they're going to.
If they have hens right there, they
won't leave hens that they can see

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15446346 11/23/20
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Since you are here in Colorado, I suggest you check out the CPW website for turkey hunting info, especially their Turkey Hunting 101, which has a lot of useful info for new hunters.
I hunt them on my farm near Rocky Ford, along the Arkansas, and the birds are all of the Rio Grande variety. Good scouting is essential for success, IMO- locating and patterning birds before the season really improves your odds of success. I do this every spring and fall, and so far have been able to take 8 birds in 9 seasons off the farm. I use mouth calls, as I find I can mimic the hen calls in my area better with them. Decoys work, sometimes better than others- I have had better luck with them earlier in the season than later.


I'd rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave....
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15446444 11/23/20
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once you call in a turkey you're hooked for life


The Word Association Game thread, gone but not forgotten...

Regards, sse

Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: Ranger99] #15449760 11/24/20
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Originally Posted by Ranger99
Don't over call .
Everybody I've ever known including me
has made that mistake.
They'll find you if they're going to.
If they have hens right there, they
won't leave hens that they can see


This. Most people way over call. Once he has responded. He pretty much has your location locked in. Once he shuts up, he typically is headed your way. Don’t make it too easy for him to pinpoint your location down to the square inch and it keeps movement to a minimum. I use a mouth call for most of my initial location calling and then switch to a slate for lite clucks and Yelp. I called in my first turkey by myself 39 years ago.


CK
Re: Teach me to hunt turkeys [Re: PanfishinOutlaw] #15450301 11/24/20
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Get out in the woods and make all the mistakes we made, it's called experience! There's no shortcuts...
That's also all the fun of it too! (the mistakes you make)

Last edited by DeanAnderson; 11/24/20.

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