blackbeltbill

Turkey Dogs Of A Different Nature.

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I have had 2 Pheasant Dogs that have Flushed up Wild Turkeys after breaking up the Drove in early October. One was BEN-- a big Black Lab of 90lbs+. Evidently the Wild Turkey Scent is very strong and Pheasant dogs take right to this Scent. I only took 1 Wild Turkey with BEN after a solid Flush. A nice easy Wingshot. That is the-(Different Nature), I wrote about in the Title as, I was looking for a solid Wingshot with a good Lead as opposed to the Traditional Flush the Drove  and call back the Flock with the dog under camo. I knew, I would need a special kind of Dog for that and they are expensive from what, I have read. When, I found out that Pheasant Dogs take right to a Wild Turkeys Scent, I knew, I was in for a fun time!! Now in my area, I can't go for Fall Wild Turkey until October 19th. By then plenty of Turkey Flocks will be dispersed and completely broken up from October 1st onwards by the Pheasant Hunters . Hopefully none of the hunters will take a shot at any of these out of Season Turkeys!!  Now my 2nd Pheasant dog that was great on Wild Turkeys was CODY-- a big humble Golden Retriever.He flushed up one flock for me and, I nailed a nice Turkey in the air and CODY also broke up another Turkey Flock and my Brother in Law-- Bill had a nice upward shot at a Jenny. That was Bill's only Turkey. He no longer hunts today. My other Brother in Law-- Mark had a Fall Turkey Wingshot also. He no longer hunts either-or work Injury and SSD. He probably took near 70 public Turkeys before that horrible work Injury.    If you want your own Pheasant dog to flush up a Drove by when your Season opens this Fall-- you need to remove that Bell or the Flock will be long gone before the dog arrives. Luck out there.

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I know a couple guys who have used spaniels (springers, boykins, & Brittanys) for fall turkeys with good success. I also know of labs & mutts that have done OK as turkey dogs as well. You need a combination of nose & prey drive to find & scatter birds, the icing on the cake is if you can train a dog to sit still on the callback. I would think a lab would run out of steam fairly after a couple miles of walking the hills, but I could be wrong.

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2 hours ago, Uncle Nicky said:

I know a couple guys who have used spaniels (springers, boykins, & Brittanys) for fall turkeys with good success. I also know of labs & mutts that have done OK as turkey dogs as well. You need a combination of nose & prey drive to find & scatter birds, the icing on the cake is if you can train a dog to sit still on the callback. I would think a lab would run out of steam fairly after a couple miles of walking the hills, but I could be wrong.

Both Cody + Ben would hunt Pheasants for anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 Hours max. One of the problems that, I have with the new Season date opener in my area-- Oct 19th this year is that Pheasant dogs will definitely Scatter those Flocks of Turkeys from October 1st onwards and, I have heard through the Verbal Grapevine that some Pheasant Hunters are pulling the Trigger on those Flying and out of Season Turkeys. The temptation must be huge!!  And no one to check the Pheasant Hunters. Years ago at Stewart State Forest- on your way out you had to stop at the Ranger Station and your Pheasant bag limit would be checked and you were asked about any harvested Turkeys. Today that DEC Ranger Station is gone..

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I don't know that area very well, but I would hope that most people would have restraint enough to not shoot at game out of season.

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My friend uses boykins for Turkey and has been the cover of Turkey call magazine several times ..I've hunted phesant and grouse with him as well with the same dogs. I guess a bird dog is a bird dog...

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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2 hours ago, Uncle Nicky said:

I don't know that area very well, but I would hope that most people would have restraint enough to not shoot at game out of season.

There will always be a few who break the rules no matter what is hunted. 

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1 hour ago, G-Man said:

My friend uses boykins for Turkey and has been the cover of Turkey call magazine several times ..I've hunted phesant and grouse with him as well with the same dogs. I guess a bird dog is a bird dog...

Right! A Bird Dog is a Bird Dog! The wild turkey scent must be strong to all breeds of Pheasant Dogs. I was happy to take some Flying shots at a few turkeys over 2 good pheasant dogs.

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1 hour ago, G-Man said:

My friend uses boykins for Turkey and has been the cover of Turkey call magazine several times ..I've hunted phesant and grouse with him as well with the same dogs. I guess a bird dog is a bird dog...

I know your friend (Ron), and yes, a bird dog IS a bird dog to an extent. Dogs with shorter legs tend to range closer, longer legged dogs tend to work a little further out. High energy dogs (pointers) have a tough time sitting still, calmer dogs (spaniels) seem to sit still better. Of course there are always exceptions, but that is what I've seen over the years. It all depends on what you want in a dog, at least for turkeys. 

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I used my springers and lab for fall turkeys with a fair amount of success over the years...

They would trail and flush birds, but did not bark, but usually  we would see or heard the birds flush..

They also were not trained to sit still while we called back the birds, so after the flush I'd have to take the dog/dogs back to the house and then come back and hunt.

I remember one time  four of us were hunting and the dogs broke up a good sized flock...I took the dogs home ( about 2 miles away)  and by the time I returned all 3 of my partners had called up birds and killed them.. I can't remember for the life of me whether I got one that day or not....

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16 hours ago, The Jerkmann said:

Right! A Bird Dog is a Bird Dog! The wild turkey scent must be strong to all breeds of Pheasant Dogs. I was happy to take some Flying shots at a few turkeys over 2 good pheasant dogs.

I wouldn't take flying shots at turkey even with their long necks.. to iffy .besides if they are broke up the fun is in calling them back

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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13 minutes ago, G-Man said:

I wouldn't take flying shots at turkey even with their long necks.. to iffy .besides if they are broke up the fun is in calling them back

Well-- with both Ben + Cody and ABBEY now- I will be out Pheasant Hunting.If, I don't have my 1 Fall legal Turkey by then and ABBEY Busts up a Flock, I will take a Wing Shot if , I am close enough to the Flush.  Now if a Hunter does not hunt upland birds or does not have extensive Skeet Shooting experience under his or her belt,then a Flying shot is not for them.  But- if you can hit a Pheasant-- a Wild Turkey is no problem at all to knock out of the air. I believe, I have taken 5 or so on the Air. No misses yet . But, I have been shooting Skeet from age 12 and won a Registered 12 Gauge Doubles competition in April 1994. Now that the Fall Season has been pushed back to Oct 19th from October 1st in my area-- the Flocks will be alot more Wary in areas where Pheasant hunting is done.

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5 hours ago, The Jerkmann said:

Well-- with both Ben + Cody and ABBEY now- I will be out Pheasant Hunting.If, I don't have my 1 Fall legal Turkey by then and ABBEY Busts up a Flock, I will take a Wing Shot if , I am close enough to the Flush.  Now if a Hunter does not hunt upland birds or does not have extensive Skeet Shooting experience under his or her belt,then a Flying shot is not for them.  But- if you can hit a Pheasant-- a Wild Turkey is no problem at all to knock out of the air. I believe, I have taken 5 or so on the Air. No misses yet . But, I have been shooting Skeet from age 12 and won a Registered 12 Gauge Doubles competition in April 1994. Now that the Fall Season has been pushed back to Oct 19th from October 1st in my area-- the Flocks will be alot more Wary in areas where Pheasant hunting is done.

I agree with Bill here..If you are a good wingshot, flying turkeys within good range are easy.. When they fly they expose their vitals , as well as the head and neck, and are quite easy to bring down... I killed  a number of them on the wing, using #4 shot...I only remember missing one flying gobbler, and I have missed quite  few standing still or walking... 

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