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First Time Turkey Hunter

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First Time Turkey Hunter

Old 03-09-2006, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 173
Default First Time Turkey Hunter

OK, here's the scoop, I'm 38 years old and have never been turkey hunting but have always wanted to. The land I have been renting for the past 2 years for deer hunting is in the flood plains of the lower Roanoke River in Eastern, NC. I would estimated that I saw over 200 turkeys during this past deer hunting season. We don't have a fall turkey season in Halifax Co. any more but our spring season comes in April 8th. I've been practicing with a box call listening to variousturkey callerson the internet and trying to reproduce the sounds that they make. I know about using an owl call to locate the turkeys as I've heard gobblers answer owls during many early morning deer hunts.

I do have a few questions about gear. I have 2 shotguns, a Remington 870 pump with interchangeable chokes and a Winchester model 1300 with a 22" barrell and interchangeable choke tubes. Which gun would you recommend and what size shot (both chambered in 3")?

I used to manage the sporting goods department in a local hardware store and most turkey hunters preferred duplex shells. Are they any better than using just a #6 shot or what would you recommend?

I'm starting to get excited about next month so any advice and help you can give will be appreciated!


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Old 03-09-2006, 06:31 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,210
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

From a fellow NC turkey chaser... I shoot Rem 870 w/ xtra full turkey choke - 6's followed by 4's - I'll be at your house at 5 am. Just kidding. As I tell everyone that's never turkey hunted, when the birds are right, it's as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!!! Where I hunt the birds never,I mean never, respond to yelps. Don't be afraid to just cluck. Listen to the woods and other turkey, the hens'll tell you what to call like. I hunted the same lands for 6 yrs and never heard a yelp from the hens, plenty of extended clucking. I guided people to their first turkeys last year, and never yelped once. A few clucks and some scratching in the leaves. Only three scratches, then pause, 3 more then pause. A turkey will scratch 2 rights and 1 left, same as chickens. This fall when you're watching those 200, pay close attention to their feeding behavior and overall attitude. It helps alot.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: cuyler new york USA
Posts: 290
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

Welcome to theturkey hunting asylum..[8D]..cloudwalker, it's great to hear of another sprotsman hittin the spring woods to chase birds. I have a friend who uses those 'duplex' shells...he swears by the two X fours, now i'm old and i'm like the preverbial mule....ya gotta show me that they hit as hard and takes the head offa turkey at thirty yards..My own shell of choice is fives and fours alternated in the mag tube. (I wont say what brand because every gun patterns differently, you'll have to find out what works best in yours)
I would prefer the 870 over the winchester, in partfor the longer muzzle, it's the choke tube that narrows your pattern but the longer barrel helps with your accuracies.
If i may, i'd like to pass some safety info along, please hunt safe, use a tree big enough to cover your entire body, if you see another turkey hunter walking into your setup, speak loudly to let him know your there. Dont ever try to stalk a turkey, sit and let him come to you. dont wear something in the colors of turkeys (red, blue, and white) for example; bandana around your neck for sweat, if you do...make it camo.
hehehe...i could go on foreverbut your seasons gonna start before i'd be finished....so....have a good time out there in the turkey woods....and remember...if ya hunt ethically, yu hunt safe.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,082
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

I have both of those shotties as well. Personally, I prefer hevi-shot #5 with an undertaker choke tube.Which gun? Well, whichever one you want to carry around. I use the 1300 but mostly because it has a sling attached. You know the drill. Get out and shoot 'em both and see which one patterns best.
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 120
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

its real fun. when you hear that toms first gobble of the mornin you get excited. and especially when you see him come over the hill or down the trail your addrinaline get pumpin.... well mine does anyway
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 16
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

i hear ya the first time i went turkey huntin' my heart started beatin like everything and i couldnt stop shakin i thought the bird was goin to spot me i know a guy who has been turkey huntin for yeas and hasnt got 1 yet the key is to be patient and dont move but dont worry bout scent block they cant smell. Andyou have to be disciplined especially mountain hunting
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:21 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lake County, Il
Posts: 2,205
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

My first time too. Still looking to find the magic shells that will pattern best. If bow-hunting deer taught me anything it's to practice and leave nothing to chance. First season in N illinois will be here soon Apr 10 and I plan to be out there before sunrise . Wish you all the best of luck!
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:24 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: powers MI. usa
Posts: 357
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

I would buy a few different boxes of shell's,you should be able to pick up some of the five pack boxes and like ithas already been said take them out and try them with the two different gun's see wich pattern's best and go with it.
Welcome to your new addiction
And Good Luck to you
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Old 03-12-2006, 06:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 173
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

Thanks guys for the advice and tips. I'm more into this for the thrill of the hunt more than the kill itself. Just being able to call one in will be more of a challenge for me than squeezing the trigger.

Thanks again and good luck to you all.

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Old 03-12-2006, 07:39 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Western MO
Posts: 321
Default RE: First Time Turkey Hunter

I'll wade in on this....you have entered the twighlight zone, tread carefully!!

1) The birds you saw in the fall will be far more dispersed and scattered in spring. Don't get discouraged.

2) Learn to yelp quietly.

3) Listen in the woods. I'd venture to say if you hunt 5 days in a row, you may have 3 days when you never hear a hen. Think about that.....then remember you are supposed to sound like a hen with your call....hens are quiet. Hens dont run about cackling at every opportunity, yellping, and carrying on. TV people do that. Call makers make videos of that.....unless you are hunting a call maker or wanting to be a TV star....go to the woods and sit still where the turkleys are and be quiet.

4)Gear....Gear makes gear makers rich and turkey hunters overloaded. Your gun is fine, a 3 inch is fine, and any 5 or 6 shot shell will work. The idea is to get the bird in range. The day we started to have super duper extreme chokes and unworldly shells and patterns was a bad day....you will be a real turley hunter if you learn the craft and not focus on gizmos.

5) Let Owls be owls, crows be crows, and turkeys be turkeys....you need to get close enough but not too close and stay still.

6) I am a curmugeon anymore as I have seen too many people learn this sport by hunting birds over well tended patches of feed ( dont refer to this as baiting or you will have a fight on your hands)...If you can define the act of planting specific seed mixes that are designed to attract Turkeys or deer for that matter, and differentiate that from spreading said feed on the ground as somehow different, you should run for office as you have found your calling.

7) Learn to love the hunt and the challenge and the bird itself....dont rely on feed patches, chufas, long range guns, dogs in the fall, and decoys.....only then can you say with some pride..."I am a turkey hunter"

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