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Care to share any spring turkey hunting tips ?


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With the season just a few days away , I always enjoy learning new tactics to killing gobblers. Although I like to think I've killed my share of turkeys over the years ,  I'm never too old to learn a new trick or two. There are probably hundreds of good tips to use but I feel like this might be number one in my book (especially for beginners).

JUST STAY PUT......resist the urge to get up and move when the gobbling stops and nothing happens for 30 minutes. Often times they come in silent or a subordinate will show up out of nowhere. The gobbler knows exactly where you're calling from.

 

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2 minutes ago, Water Rat said:

With the season just a few days away , I always enjoy learning new tactics to killing gobblers. Although I like to think I've killed my share of turkeys over the years ,  I'm never too old to learn a new trick or two. There are probably hundreds of good tips to use but I feel like this might be number one in my book (especially for beginners).

JUST STAY PUT......resist the urge to get up and move when the gobbling stops and nothing happens for 30 minutes. Often times they come in silent or a subordinate will show up out of nowhere. The gobbler knows exactly where you're calling from.

 

Solid lesson.  It's scary how accurate their hearing is for pinpointing where that "hen" was calling from.  Seems like they can know, within 20 yards, where you were when you called from over 400 yards away.

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 Take a Day off Between " some" Hunts and sometimes go in a Bit Later.

   OK-- I took my own advice as yesterday was the opener of New Jerseys  Spring Turkey Season. Walked 4+ miles in STEEPTerrain. 42 Degrees + Windy.

 Today--I slept in. Say what?? BILL the Turkey Fanatic slept in?!! Sure did- just got done with yardwork. Turkey Hunt again tomorrow. 

2. Go in a " bit" later.

 Again- taking my own advice for tomorrow  morning. I won't be parking at 4am.

  Probably  park around  7am or so. By doing this, I  can get more sleep and hunt until 10am or so easily.

  This is the 2nd year, I  have done this.

 Remember-- I Am A Old Fart!!

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10 minutes ago, UpStateRedNeck said:

Solid lesson.  It's scary how accurate their hearing is for pinpointing where that "hen" was calling from.  Seems like they can know, within 20 yards, where you were when you called from over 400 yards away.

As a “newer” turkey hunter ,this amazed me .

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1 minute ago, WNYTRPR said:

As a “newer” turkey hunter ,this amazed me .

I guess my tip would be :  
Always set up in shadows/outline breakup.  They have amazing eyes and can pick you off really well.

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Fields in rain is usually one of the more common tips.

Raking leaves can be just as effective as calling sometimes.

FTR I'm a horrible turkey hunter. So, yeah.

Edited by phade
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 If you can locate and roost the birds the night before it’ll take a lot of the guesswork out in the morning .  Just as the sun setting over the hill at twilights start , we’ll take a ride around our hunting spots .  Stop step out and quick bump on the horn or a quick hit on an air horn will usually get the gobbles going. Then we will plan for the morning.  For those of you who hunt and then head to work I have found this works well .

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I like to  sit in brushy hedgerows with  woods to my back. I always carry compound leverage clippers and  11 inch black zip ties. I cut 3 or so viewing/shooting "slots" in the brush. I take the  cut limbs and reinforce the brush thats left, and then put a zip tie around the brush and pull it together. When the turkeys are behind the remaining brush, you can get away with quite bit of movement and get the gun up.

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Scout, find where turkeys want to be, where there available foods are.. bugs/insects, Acorns, nuts, dandelion heads, you name it.. stay on higher ground. When you watch a tim in his normal patterns remember them.. Remeber where you see bird senter fields.. OAk ridges are good spots.. pines are good on hot sunny days, most all critters like to be out of the heavy wind as much as possible, Rain typically moves birds to the fields, Sound natural as can be.. everyone wants a hot gobbling bird to walk in to the gun barrel.. most times it aint happening.. scratch leaves and use soft clucks and such in common feeding areas.. act like a turkey.. its not always how your call sounds, ive heard some hens that probably had an adams apples lol    

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Ticks- I treat all my camo, my long johns, hats, gloves, etc. with Permethrin. I mix 10% Livestock and Premises Permethrin at a rate of 1 oz. permethrin to 20 oz. of water in a heavy  duty hand sprayer. I hang the gear on a line, spray heavily and let dry. I do a second coat. I emphasis cuffs, collars and any openings. Not a sanctioned use according to the label. Not good for cats! But fine for people, and other critters. Has a slight petroleum smell until its hung for a couple of days. If you are worried about the odor for deer hunting, Sawyer makes 24 oz. spray bottles of permethrin spray that seems to be odorless (has no petroleum carrier) but it is like 10 times as expensive. Both hold up through several washings. I buy my concentrate at Tractor Supply Company.

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When heading in the morning where you know birds are roosting don't use a light of any kind. If it's too dark to see wait till it lightens slightly just enough to see , sneek in and sit. Turkeys on the roost will see you but may think your a deer. If you go in with a light they will head in the opposite direction for sure when they come down

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Fields in rain is usually one of the more common tips.
Raking leaves can be just as effective as calling sometimes.
FTR I'm a horrible turkey hunter. So, yeah.

Raking worked really well for me last year, a better shooter would have killed that bird


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Choose your ambush spot wisely. Learn to recognize physical obstacles between yourself and an incoming tom and use them to your advantage. Position yourself so the first time you see a tom (and he can see you) he's inside your kill zone. Your gun should be shouldered while you wait as you will have an immediate shot opportunity when he becomes visible from behind the obstacle.

When possible, setup to force a turkey entering the kill zone to do so from the side, perpendicular to the shooter (or even from behind). Preferable to having a tom come in directly in front of you and being in his forward line of site. Place decoys on the point of a well screened corner and position yourself down one side to be at least 90 degrees outside the bird's direct line of sight to the decoy.

Kill them on a corner and shoot them in the back of the head.

Edited by Enigma
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Dont educate birds by chasing them all over the property till noon, you will just cause them to leave area, very true on private land. Better leaving and coming back later ( take a nap go fishing, mow the lawn if your near home. 

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Kill the bird with one good shot. This should be the easy part.

 Know your shot pattern before you go out. Take a shot or two while sitting on the ground like you were hunting.  Once a bird is in range, (use a range finder to make spots while you are sitting) take your time, take a breath in and slowly exhale as you squeeze the trigger.  

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A lot of great advice above.

Check out my response to Luberhill's April 19th request titled Never Hunted Turkeys before ?s  I gave many tips there. 

One my many tips was: if there are turkeys in the area and you can locate a field where a farmer is spreading manure - that will be a spot that the turkeys will eventually go to feed and hang around.

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In addition to the other good tips posted I have a couple. I like to place my decoys close to me generally 15 yards. I have bagged some nice birds doing this. If a Tom comes in to the decoys it makes for a nice easy shot. If the Tom decides to hang up 20 yards from the decoys he still is in good killing range. I primarily hunt out of a ground blind. My other tip is to use a thermacell to keep the bugs away. If you are constantly swatting flies away you will get picked off. Without fail they always seem to show up just when you have a bird coming in if you don't have a thermacell going.  valoroutdoors.com 

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