tips for newbs

Turkey hunting tips and tricks that have worked and can help others.
gobbler83
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tips for newbs

Post by gobbler83 » March 5th, 2016, 9:55 pm

This is gonna be my first year turkey hunting. I was wondering if I could get some help as a new hunter. And what mistakes new hunters make?

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The Mossberg Mauler
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by The Mossberg Mauler » March 5th, 2016, 10:05 pm

My advice would be to relax and don't try to force things. Being new it can be tempting to really get after him and make what you'll hear as rookie mistakes, getting to close and spooking him, get up and move to soon, hammer him with calling while he's still on the limb and a hundred other things. A coupe things I wish I had known when I started is he can hear as good as he can see, possibly better. The other thing is I wish I had realized is that as long as you don't spook him your still in the game. You don't have to kill him the first 20 minutes af daylight.
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paboxcall
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by paboxcall » March 5th, 2016, 10:09 pm

Guesswho once said "I learned a long time ago he's going to be easier to kill on his terms than mine." That really sums up a lifetime of learning. Learn where the birds like to roost, and where they like to go when they fly down. If you can get between those two points your stacking the deck in your favor.

Equipment: Pattern your gun at 40 yards so see what your choke / shell can, and can't, do. Then, pattern it at 10 or 15 yards to see what you need to do when that bird is on top of you.

Call lightly, birds can hear a long, long way. Hens don't blast yelps. Calling sharply helps to strike birds mid morning, but don't trade that for realism.
"Sit down wrong, and you're beat."
Jim Spencer

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crenshawco
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by crenshawco » March 5th, 2016, 10:14 pm

A lot of times, less is more when it comes to calling. I know when I started out I was tempted to call a lot and make them gobble. Sometimes you will catch a lonely bird and that will be fine, but most of the time silence is deadly

gobbler83
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by gobbler83 » March 5th, 2016, 11:07 pm

I'm gonna be honest my calling sucks right now. I got a couple of decoys I was gonna use. And call very little. I really need to learn turkies habits. Cause I really have no clue. I'm a long time squirrel hunter. And this is my first year. I got to watching some old vhs primos turkey hunting videos awhile back. And it got me interested.

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killerstump
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tips for newbs

Post by killerstump » March 5th, 2016, 11:19 pm

Kill your first and you'll be hooked. My advice kill the first sucker that comes in no matter a jake or boss bird. You'll be hooked


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Cleveland48
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tips for newbs

Post by Cleveland48 » March 5th, 2016, 11:53 pm

I've been hunting them since 1998 and my biggest problem is still bad setup. There seems to always be a fence, creek or something between me and him lol. My best advice is calling too much is a bad thing sometimes. And I'm still guilty of that myself.


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Rick-618
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by Rick-618 » March 6th, 2016, 12:00 am

One thing you can add to your favor is scouting, to prevent not knowing where that fence or creek is located. Time on the ground means you'll find the sign to put together a pattern.

gobbler83
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by gobbler83 » March 6th, 2016, 8:18 am

I'm taking notes lol. Thanks for the help.

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redarrow
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by redarrow » March 6th, 2016, 9:12 am

Your calling sucks. Well ,guess what,my calling sucks too. I've heard guys with box calls that sound like a squeaky screen door. They kill turkeys and so do I. You cant kill turkeys in area that doesn't have turkey. Neither can the greatest caller in the world. That's why scouting is so important. Find the birds. During the off season sit ,listen,and study. Study their sounds and movements. Don't beat yourself up when you screw up. You will screw up. Welcome to our addiction. Post often. The folks here will give you an education you won't get anywhere else.
Put you plans in the nail scarred hands.

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guesswho
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by guesswho » March 6th, 2016, 9:56 am

You've received some good advice. You mentioned watching some video's. Some can be entertaining, but not many are real world turkey hunting as most of us encounter. They are geared toward selling products. The newest camo, gun, choke, shell, decoy, blind and the list goes on and on. Most new hunters that I see and talk to seem to have watched all the video's and have bought everything they have seen and think they need, to be successful. I don't see anything wrong with that, but all that is not needed. Seems like the biggest items they like to push is blinds and decoys. Both have their pros and cons depending on where your hunting. Think about them and decide how you want to hunt, then hunt your way. You can kill with or without them.

Also, lot of truth to what paboxcall said. On most days you can get a bird to vary a little left or right compared to where he's heading. Every now and then you may get one to do a 180 and come your way, that's an exception. Usually the closer you are to being directly behind him the more difficult time you will have of convincing him to come to you. And the closer you are to being directly in front of him the better the odds of him showing himself. Set-up is a key piece of the puzzle as well. I like to set-up with a small obstruction close to me that would impede his eyesight from where I think he may approach. It can be a huge tree, a blow down or even a small rise in the terrain. A gobbler will like to get to a point where he can see to where he KNOWS the calling is coming from and hang up, if that's a hundred yards he's going to be hard to coax any closer. A lot of birds I kill are in killing range when I first see them. When I first started turkey hunting a few years ago I saw more and killed less. Now that ratio has gotten a lot better since I learned to use obstructions to my advantage.

I hope I didn't ramble to much! Good luck.
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guesswho
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by guesswho » March 6th, 2016, 10:16 am

One other tidbit of information. If you can get him to answering you instead of you answering him, then the tide has just shifted slightly in your favor.
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GLS
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by GLS » March 6th, 2016, 11:08 am

One of the biggest mistakes to be made is excessive calling if he is in the tree. Get within 150 yards of him in the tree if you can. If he is gobbling a lot, lightly call one series. If he answers you've in good shape. There is no need to call again. If he doesn't answer, but has heard you, and shuts up, you are still in the game. He knows you are there and you still have a chance. Restrain yourself from calling again until he is on the ground. This is easier said than done. Gil

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Re: tips for newbs

Post by Johndoe » March 6th, 2016, 11:10 am

Spittin Feathers or other audio of turkeys will help you with callin.
Image

There are no numbers on any of my clocks below 8. Then all of a sudden, 2 days before turkey season they appear. Then right after the season they disappear.
What's up with that

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appalachianassassin
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by appalachianassassin » March 6th, 2016, 11:49 am

find a mentor
gotta love turkey huntin!!!

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Re: tips for newbs

Post by alpha burnt » March 6th, 2016, 12:25 pm

when you think you are done with a set up, honestly give it another 10 or 15 minutes of quietly sitting motionless. I have screwed up and spooked alot of gobblers that may have come in that extra 20 yards if I had not have moved.

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Grumpy
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by Grumpy » March 6th, 2016, 2:43 pm

Never had a creek or fence give me trouble. 2 yrs. ago the Tom flew down from roost tree went about 100 ft. and I watched him flutter across the creek and he came into 30 yrds. and died. Last year the Tom came to a corral post fence, stopped and then flew up to the top rung and sat there a minute or two and flew down and came in to range close enough to smack him with a shovel and I missed. Last year the biggest Tom I saw came in from behind me and crossed a main road with about 6 hens and died at around 35 yrds. while the hens were 4 ft. from me. I think the turkeys are used to the creeks and fences and roads and IMO they are not bothered or stopped by them.
I was not his father but he was my son,,MAK IV, 10-15-1993 - 4-22-2007
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trkykilr
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by trkykilr » March 6th, 2016, 6:36 pm

Get the spitting feathers CD and listen to it. Rhythm and cadence. Just like people, turkeys have tons of different voices, but if someone walked up to you and talked super fast in continuous run on sentences, it would freak you out. That said, I list calling as being very low in importance.

The most important thing that I think I have learned over the years is to think and realize what is going on around you. When he kicks your ass, and he will, try to figure out how he did it. Pay attention to every noise in the woods. Hens yelping, jakes yelping, deer blowing, whatever. They all mean something and they are all clues to what is going on. When you happen to kill one, and you will, think about how it went down and what made it go right. From start to finish.

When I discuss with my buddies what I feel is the most important quality a turkey hunter can have, I think it is hard to argue against situational awareness. Hunting instincts will take you a long way, but seeing the big picture is very important in this game.

Also, enjoy yourself. Being in the woods in the spring is awesome. Enjoy every bit of it.

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JTown21
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by JTown21 » March 6th, 2016, 11:33 pm

trkykilr wrote: Also, enjoy yourself. Being in the woods in the spring is awesome. Enjoy every bit of it.
All excellent, tried and trued info being shared on this thread and I'm happy you posted it G83. Top notch bird killers on this site who have spent many seasons in the woods and love to chase turkeys.
I always want to continually learn, that's why I'm a member here and am learning more through these posts so please keep them coming.
My only added advice would be to learn from all your hunts. Mistakes or filled tags, recap what you did (right or wrong) and either apply those ideas and tactics that previous worked for you, or try something different.
Most of all, don't get caught up in trying to immediately fill your tag. The above quote by Trkykilr cannot be overstated. Good luck.

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Grumpy
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by Grumpy » March 7th, 2016, 10:24 am

Don't pee into the wind.
I was not his father but he was my son,,MAK IV, 10-15-1993 - 4-22-2007
"Rest in Peace my Little Buddy"

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killerstump
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tips for newbs

Post by killerstump » March 7th, 2016, 12:17 pm

Always try to go #2 before the hunt starts if not when you set up is when your stomach starts bubbling.


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appalachianassassin
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by appalachianassassin » March 7th, 2016, 1:23 pm

Grumpy wrote:Never had a creek or fence give me trouble. 2 yrs. ago the Tom flew down from roost tree went about 100 ft. and I watched him flutter across the creek and he came into 30 yrds. and died. Last year the Tom came to a corral post fence, stopped and then flew up to the top rung and sat there a minute or two and flew down and came in to range close enough to smack him with a shovel and I missed. Last year the biggest Tom I saw came in from behind me and crossed a main road with about 6 hens and died at around 35 yrds. while the hens were 4 ft. from me. I think the turkeys are used to the creeks and fences and roads and IMO they are not bothered or stopped by them.
I agree. I called up a longbeard for a friend 2 years ago. the turkey came from probably 3/4 of a mile. crossed a total of 5 sets of barbed wire with a hen in toe.
gotta love turkey huntin!!!

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GobbleNut
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by GobbleNut » March 7th, 2016, 3:10 pm

Learn how to find gobbling turkeys first. Spring gobbler hunting is about finding an active gobbler and then calling him to you. Learn to locate the birds and then start hunting them. Turkey "hunting" is an early morning endeavor, starting a the very first hint of daylight. Turkey "killing" often comes later on, but finding gobblers is the first order of business.

Time and time again, newbies tell me that they never heard a gobbler while hunting. They wandered aimlessly around the woods where they thought a turkey might be and called in hopes of getting a response. Entirely wrong strategy! Again, find a gobbling bird,...and then start hunting.

gobbler83
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Re: tips for newbs

Post by gobbler83 » March 7th, 2016, 10:07 pm

I found one saturday. But im affraid its gonna be tricky setting up on him. I was gonna go back in the morning before daylight and try to get close enough to see how he flies down. Should i do this? Season opens next tuesday. I got him to gobble 3 times. He was still on the roosting all 3 times he goobled. The first 2 he was a long way off. I changed location the 3rd time i called. And he was alot closer. So im pretty sure im in the general location. But hes on top of ridge. And i know he will be able to see me easily. I was using a owl hooter. And i was in the woods before daybreak. It was dark. Thanks for the help.

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Re: tips for newbs

Post by GobbleNut » March 8th, 2016, 12:11 am

gobbler83 wrote:I found one saturday. But im affraid its gonna be tricky setting up on him. I was gonna go back in the morning before daylight and try to get close enough to see how he flies down. Should i do this? Season opens next tuesday. I got him to gobble 3 times. He was still on the roosting all 3 times he goobled. The first 2 he was a long way off. I changed location the 3rd time i called. And he was alot closer. So im pretty sure im in the general location. But hes on top of ridge. And i know he will be able to see me easily. I was using a owl hooter. And i was in the woods before daybreak. It was dark. Thanks for the help.
Yes, you should go back if you can get in there in the dark and get close without him possibly seeing you. If you're not certain, stay a safe distance away from the roosting area and see if he sounds off in the same location again. If you hear him, just try to listen and see if you can tell what he does when he flies down. See if you can hear (or see) hens with him.

If he/they move off away from the roost site,...which they generally will at some point,....go take a look and see if you can tell where they were roosting,...look for piles of turkey droppings under one or more trees in the area. Once you have a good idea of where he was, look around in the direction he/they flew down and left the area. Take note of any small openings or clearings near the roost that they might have flown down into. If there is an obvious location that would be an easy spot for them to fly out of the tree, that is a good spot to start with a first-morning set-up. Take note of tracks, droppings, and especially wing drag marks in the area that would be an indicator of where the gobbler is strutting after he leaves the tree. If you plan on using decoys, note where you might set them up quickly and without a lot of fuss and noise.

Look around there and see if you can find a spot that you can get to in the early-morning darkness and set up where you have a good view of the likely fly-down area. You might even clear an area against a tree and place some brush in front of it to create a natural blind,...doesn't need to be a lot, just enough to break up your outline when you are sitting there. Avoid choosing a set-up location that will be in the sunlight once it rises,...choose a spot instead that will remain in the shade so that you will not be highlighted once the sun comes up. Then take note of how you could approach the roost area with the least likely chance of being busted or spooking any of the birds. Take some time to establish how you will get in there when it is dark. This pre-season preparation will be of great value to your success.

On opening morning, get in there real early before any hint of daylight and set up. If you are going to use a decoy or two, quickly set them up. Don't worry about any kind of calling. Just sit and let him start up. If he is where you thought he would be, just wait him out (if he is not in the spot you thought and is quite a ways off when he gobbles the first time, you may have to move and set up closer).

Never call much, if any, while the gobbler is on the roost. If he is close, just wait him out. If he stays in the tree until it is good light, and especially if he is close enough such that he might see your decoys, you might give him a single short series of soft yelps, but never get into a calling match with him or the hens he might have on the roost. If he has hens, and even if they are very vocal on the roost, don't get tempted to call back to them a bunch. They will only get suspicious and be less likely to approach once they hit the ground.

When they start coming out of the trees, that is the time to begin to call a bit more. If the gobbler hits the ground first, try to get his attention with some soft yelping. If you have decoys out, you want him to either notice them right off, or if he is some distance away, you ideally would like to entice him toward you with some calling to get him within sight of the decoys. If you don't use decoys, you want him to come searching for you.

If and when you get him interested and headed your way, it is usually best to be very conservative with your calling. However, there is a fine balance between keeping a gobbler interested and having him lose interest, especially if he has hens with him. And if he has hens, there is a fine balance between keeping their interest, as well, or causing them to become suspicious and move away, taking the gobbler with them.

A general calling rule I use is that if they are coming, I stay conservative with my calling,...just enough to keep them moving in the right direction if they start to get off-line. If they move away, I will get more aggressive to see if that changes their attitude and gets them turned back toward me.

The biggest no-no of hunting birds on the roost is getting busted at some point. Birds that bust you off the roost site will invariably be harder to call in the next time. Never take chances that will get you busted close to the roost. If you don't get busted, you can adjust your set-up tomorrow based on what the birds did today. Get busted and they will likely avoid you and your calling efforts like the plague every day you hunt them.

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