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Shawnee NF Illinois Turkey

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Shawnee NF Illinois Turkey

Old 04-15-2015, 05:25 AM
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Zim
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Default Shawnee NF Illinois Turkey

I have work to do next two weeks in far southern Illinois so I picked up a couple turkey tags in Williamson and Alexander Counties. Never hunted here but heard it was decent. I'm doing Crab Orchard right now. This is turning more into a hiking trip than hunting, there are so few birds. Even went 2 miles into the wilderness got a whopping two gobbles. Habitat looks so good though. This is a far cry from Wisconsin public land. I'm always covered in toms there. Anyone else ever try hunting the Shawnee area?

Last edited by Zim; 04-15-2015 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:57 AM
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i dont know
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:20 PM
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Just returned from 3 days in Shawnee NF. Lots of public areas to hunt.
We heard gobblers every day, some closer than others but like anything else you need to work at them and be well versed in the language or it will not work out well. Down there it is really seasonal some years the same week will have them calling like crazy and then next year they are locked on hens already and things are really tough.
Know the terrain well I have not had the best of luck getting them to come up hill and in many areas down there it is quite hilly so that poses a challenge also. Try to stick to one area to start and find the pattern that works there. Hope this helps some but the best advice I have is to go there and talk to locals and get out in the woods for yourself there are some areas that will produce better than others. You can also stop in the Ranger station in Harrisburg they are usually very helpful and can direct you to some areas.
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Buck Terminator View Post
You can also stop in the Ranger station in Harrisburg they are usually very helpful and can direct you to some areas.
Haha yes that is exactly where I stopped for maps last week. They directed me to some good parking areas. After two days trying to hunt those steep hills I decided to bail on that terrain and found some public river bottoms. I am much more familiar with hunting this habitat. I found the lucky combination for me.............empty parking lot & long hike to isolated woodlot (2 miles) Had a great hunt on unpressured toms. They were henned up but on my second day the boss came in to kick my intruding tom decoy's a$$ after his 8 hens dispersed at 10 AM. Wow I never seen a tom so pissed off! Came in spitting. Great hunt.
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Last edited by Zim; 04-22-2015 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 04-25-2015, 01:11 PM
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Congrats Zim! You are really killing it down there in the last year.

I've been to that ranger station a few times myself. Nice place that can really help you out if you just ask.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:19 PM
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fastetti,
Ya it's all a numbers game. My job travelling state-wide is finally paying off. Gradually scouted more and more places, I see where there's too much hunter pressure, and see the results of it. Learned places that just don't see the pressure, concentrate my efforts learning those areas. It made all the difference.
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