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I know it's a month away but nice to get a different topic going.  So I'm not a turkey hunter but me and my daughter will be trying again this year.  Found a decent spot today a lot of scratching, fresh feathers in them at least I think so.  So a quick question I'll be heading to see if I can get them to gobble the day before.  It's on a piece of Stateland all I can think of is if I can't get them to gobble before hand to see if they are there.  Is to get on the highest point and hope I can hear them.  

What are your guys plans and any extra pointers for a newbie turkey hunter. 

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If it’s on state land you probably won’t be the only one with the same idea. My advice is to scout before hand. If possible get in the woods for daylight or last light and listen/watch. Don’t bring a call, there’s no need. Trying to get a shock gobble on the roost the night before opening day on state land is likely to tell a few others where they are.


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Yeah also forgot to add my buddy called today my God sons want to go so I'll be chasing birds all spring for the kids.  Can't wait does seem like I'm going to have fun.  

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1 minute ago, Swamp_bucks said:

Yeah also forgot to add my buddy called today my God sons want to go so I'll be chasing birds all spring for the kids.  Can't wait does seem like I'm going to have fun.  

More Kids Hooked!!  If 2 Kids go at the same time- it might be wise to pick who will shoot that morning and then switch off the next morning.     I would get a 5 Stake Ground Blind also. Kids tend to Squirm.  Keep your calling soft + low. Looks like you found a good Spot!!!        So much more to talk about--- but last point DON'T tell no one where you will be hunting!!  It may sound like a safety question- but consider that they may be looking to locate some Gobblers and plenty of guys still today do absolutely no Scouting.     I get asked that question a million times in a parking area. My answer is always- where the Turkeys are! Luck out there.

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23 minutes ago, blackbeltbill said:

More Kids Hooked!!  If 2 Kids go at the same time- it might be wise to pick who will shoot that morning and then switch off the next morning.     I would get a 5 Stake Ground Blind also. Kids tend to Squirm.  Keep your calling soft + low. Looks like you found a good Spot!!!        So much more to talk about--- but last point DON'T tell no one where you will be hunting!!  It may sound like a safety question- but consider that they may be looking to locate some Gobblers and plenty of guys still today do absolutely no Scouting.     I get asked that question a million times in a parking area. My answer is always- where the Turkeys are! Luck out there.

There will be 3 total just not all at once unless 1 sleeps in truck on first couple setups.  I'm hoping to get my daughter tagged out youth season.  Then I told the boys we will just alternate setups and if my daughter doesnt tag out during youth it will be her everytime i go out and alternate them every other trip. Flip my good luck coin for who sets up first and hope we get something.

Edited by Swamp_bucks
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Sometimes it is possible to have 2 Gobblers come on at once. We have all seen that on videos. The Watcher starts Thrashing the Fallen + shot Boss.  Sometimes there is a shot for a 2nd person.       Also alot of times the Gobbling starts up again in a few minutes if the " Celebration" is kept low. Then a 2nd Tom can possibly be taken at that setup a little later for a 2nd person.

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as others have said be out just before daylight to listen and leave the calls at home.   while you may have company on the youth weekend and I love hearing others getting kids involved it is amazing the lack of participation the youth spring season generates.  with that being said scout your competition as much as the birds, what I mean is pay attention to other vehicles in the area. Have more than 1 bird located, having multiple properties is beneficial also.

not sure what your work schedule is but scouting later in the morning is also valuable intel to keep in your back pocket, some birds can be very patternable in their daily travels.  knowing where the birds will end up late morning can be priceless info.

depending on the youths experience in hunting situations would let me know how we set up and or what our set up would be. I know here in NY the min age is 12 unlike the PA youth of basically no age restriction. I had my grandkids on gobblers by age 6 so I had no choice but to use a pop up blind.  I would strongly suggest an enclosed blind, movement is the #1 biggest reason gobblers live another day.  their eyesight is unmatched in the game animals we hunt here.  unlike deer with turkeys you can set up a blind in the center of a plowed field and turkeys will walk right up to it while deer on the other hand wont come within 200 yards of it.   I still laugh about the first time Judy went on a fall hunt with me, I set up the blind on a logging road ( I had broke the birds up the evening prior) lol her first turkey experience in the blind was when a bird pooped on the blind as I had set up right under one bird.  called a bunch in and shot a gobbler that was with the group.  but I kept calling and ended up having a hen walk right up and she actually stuck her head in the window of the blind, Judy's eyes were as big as silver dollars. it was all I could do not to bust out laughing as that hen looked us over for about 30 seconds before turning around to continue feeding.

If you have not done so yet get the youth on the pattern board, you have to pattern the gun the youth hunter will use.  once the gun pattern is verified its time to set up another pattern board and have the youth set up the way your plan to hunt is.  what I mean is if your just going to set up against a tree with a shooting aid ( mono or bi pod ) have them shoot off of that. if your going with a blind have that set up and shoot from the seat with the mono, bi pod or caldwell field pod ( that is what I started my youth hunters with)  one thing to make sure you tell the youth if your leaning against a tree is to make sure your back and shoulder is away from the tree before you shoot.

As far as the actual hunt goes if you can roost the bird that can be a benefit.  if you know where the gobbler has been roosting you want to be in and set up before daylight.  while a turkey seems to have poor night vision they still have superb hearing, they are used to hearing night critters walking through the woods at night so try and mimic a deer walking.  I do not use a light, I move slowly and pay attention to what my feet feel in regards to sticks and rocks. If the gobbler has hens with him in the area "if" you can set up between them even better and if you KNOW what trees the hens are in and there is enough distance from the gobbler you can flush the hens out away from the gobbler.  ( I do this as a last resort )

once the woods start waking up and depending on how far from the gobbler you are and how you are set up will dictate your next move.  If you are certain no birds are within sight of you and he is within hearing distance or if you are inside a blind  I do a wing flydown and right into a yelp cluck purr series, I wanna be the first vocal hen on the ground.  I have had a lot of gobblers pitch out and glide right in landing within 30 yards of me.

if you have to work the bird, his answers will dictate what and how you should be calling,  we all love hearing a gobbler blowing the leaves off the trees with thunderous gobbles as they come in but the more you make that bird gobble the better your chances are its going to attract unwanted attention (other hunters) and it doesn't matter whether its private or public land.

decoys,  youth hunts are about the only time I use a decoy,  the youth seasons are earlier and gobblers are very receptive to coming to a decoy. the decoys provide a distraction and gives the bird something to focus on, you still have to time your movements to when the gobblers head is shielded by his fan or behind a tree.  it also often times focuses your shot opportunities to a smaller area. 

good luck and be safe.

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If i cant convince my stepson to let me take him and his father out, I will be taking out a 12 yr old boy and his father at least one day.. Neither of the 2 have turkey hunted a day in their life but the boy wants to go, how much better can that be!?! I'm all about taking the youth out! Best part of my season every year! 

As for tips, Id just go and listen in the woods you intend on trying to hunt a few days before season, get in and listen for roost talk if the weather stays good like this scout for turkey scratching and poops, especially the J shaped terds  ..  

Being stateland, expect others to be present..

Edited by LET EM GROW
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9 hours ago, reeltime said:

as others have said be out just before daylight to listen and leave the calls at home.   while you may have company on the youth weekend and I love hearing others getting kids involved it is amazing the lack of participation the youth spring season generates.  with that being said scout your competition as much as the birds, what I mean is pay attention to other vehicles in the area. Have more than 1 bird located, having multiple properties is beneficial also.

not sure what your work schedule is but scouting later in the morning is also valuable intel to keep in your back pocket, some birds can be very patternable in their daily travels.  knowing where the birds will end up late morning can be priceless info.

depending on the youths experience in hunting situations would let me know how we set up and or what our set up would be. I know here in NY the min age is 12 unlike the PA youth of basically no age restriction. I had my grandkids on gobblers by age 6 so I had no choice but to use a pop up blind.  I would strongly suggest an enclosed blind, movement is the #1 biggest reason gobblers live another day.  their eyesight is unmatched in the game animals we hunt here.  unlike deer with turkeys you can set up a blind in the center of a plowed field and turkeys will walk right up to it while deer on the other hand wont come within 200 yards of it.   I still laugh about the first time Judy went on a fall hunt with me, I set up the blind on a logging road ( I had broke the birds up the evening prior) lol her first turkey experience in the blind was when a bird pooped on the blind as I had set up right under one bird.  called a bunch in and shot a gobbler that was with the group.  but I kept calling and ended up having a hen walk right up and she actually stuck her head in the window of the blind, Judy's eyes were as big as silver dollars. it was all I could do not to bust out laughing as that hen looked us over for about 30 seconds before turning around to continue feeding.

If you have not done so yet get the youth on the pattern board, you have to pattern the gun the youth hunter will use.  once the gun pattern is verified its time to set up another pattern board and have the youth set up the way your plan to hunt is.  what I mean is if your just going to set up against a tree with a shooting aid ( mono or bi pod ) have them shoot off of that. if your going with a blind have that set up and shoot from the seat with the mono, bi pod or caldwell field pod ( that is what I started my youth hunters with)  one thing to make sure you tell the youth if your leaning against a tree is to make sure your back and shoulder is away from the tree before you shoot.

As far as the actual hunt goes if you can roost the bird that can be a benefit.  if you know where the gobbler has been roosting you want to be in and set up before daylight.  while a turkey seems to have poor night vision they still have superb hearing, they are used to hearing night critters walking through the woods at night so try and mimic a deer walking.  I do not use a light, I move slowly and pay attention to what my feet feel in regards to sticks and rocks. If the gobbler has hens with him in the area "if" you can set up between them even better and if you KNOW what trees the hens are in and there is enough distance from the gobbler you can flush the hens out away from the gobbler.  ( I do this as a last resort )

once the woods start waking up and depending on how far from the gobbler you are and how you are set up will dictate your next move.  If you are certain no birds are within sight of you and he is within hearing distance or if you are inside a blind  I do a wing flydown and right into a yelp cluck purr series, I wanna be the first vocal hen on the ground.  I have had a lot of gobblers pitch out and glide right in landing within 30 yards of me.

if you have to work the bird, his answers will dictate what and how you should be calling,  we all love hearing a gobbler blowing the leaves off the trees with thunderous gobbles as they come in but the more you make that bird gobble the better your chances are its going to attract unwanted attention (other hunters) and it doesn't matter whether its private or public land.

decoys,  youth hunts are about the only time I use a decoy,  the youth seasons are earlier and gobblers are very receptive to coming to a decoy. the decoys provide a distraction and gives the bird something to focus on, you still have to time your movements to when the gobblers head is shielded by his fan or behind a tree.  it also often times focuses your shot opportunities to a smaller area. 

good luck and be safe.

Thanks for the tips.  We got the gun all set last year just need to take some shots in the next couple weeks.  That's one thing me and my daughter did last year along with shooting sitting against a tree.   My godson are big boys and have been shooting since they could walk so not worried about them shooting just need to see how their guns are patterning.

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9 hours ago, virgil said:

The minimum age is 13?

Minimum age is 12 for Jr Hunter for turkeys.

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I'm hoping my grandnephew Dom wants to go out.  Kayden aged out. Gonna have to work that boy harder. I've got a pay more for his license this yr. 

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Last year for my youngest nephew ,his father will take him out ,so I may just be the scooter this year.. though I do have a friend with a 12 year old..maybe I'll get asked to take him out..


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

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