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Tips for roosting birds

Old 03-05-2009, 04:07 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Rockbridge co. VA
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Default Tips for roosting birds

Im going on my 5th year of hunting these wonderful birds and have never roosted any gobblers. I have never really felt the need to on the one main farm that I hunt as there are two main ridges and 90% of the time its a matter of which ridge they will be on. This year I have access to some new land and was going to start scouting it out. When you guys roost birds what exactly do you do? Stand at the truck and listen, get in the woods with them, do you make any calls to locate them? thanks for any tips you have. good hunting.

-Kevin Brown
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sugar Grove NC USA
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

Roosting is not 100% effective because you can never guarantee a turkey will gobble in the evening on the roost, at least the easterns where I hunt are that way. I can go out and hoot 100 yards from where I think they are and not hear a noise, then go back to the same spotthe next morning and sure enough, at daylight, GOOOOBBLLE.

If I have fields where I think they are feeding before they fly up, I like to ease around and watch the fields, then towards fly up time, they will walk into the woods and you obviously know where they'll be in the morning.

I would avoid turkey calling when trying to roost and stick with the locator calls. Around where I live it is turkey and crow, however I probably ought to add a coyote howler just for kicks.

I will go anywhere on my farms to roost birds as long as I'm sure I wont bump them. Just get to the highest point and call and listen.

Where I live, it is big woods so roosting is overrated. There's enough cover to hear a gobble a long ways off in the morning, and still get to him and set up before he flys down. hope this helps.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:25 AM
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Location: Jackson, TN
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

The first thing you don't do is spook any birds in the process of trying to roost them. Don't use any turkey calls, just locator calls after fly-up. I have had good success with a coyote howler, just make the howl short so you can hear the bird. In my experience they gobble soon after the first sound you make and if your howls are long you won't hear the gobble.

I generally try to find high spots where I can hear a long way.

My my experience roosting birds hasn't helped me much. The last time I roosted a bird (last season) he didn't gobble the next morning but another one was hammering it about 1/2 mile away. I had to bust it to get to that turkey before fly-down, but I did get him
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:51 AM
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Location: Michigan
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

Ive never been able to roost a bird. I try, but it can be tough. From where i sit compared to where they roost at, its so hard to get them to you before the hens get to them. So thats my bit of advice, dont over call, but try and get them to you before the hens do. Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

Ive roosted many birds and its generally all being there at the right time. Not every bird will gobble when going to roost. You have to listen and listen well. It all comes down to knowing the property you hunt. Listen for them flying up to the roost. Listen for hens purring, clucking, the sounds of wings flying up etc... generally I do not get into the woods. I make sure Im close but not into their zone. I study the flock and try to catch them at different times of day. From studying the flock from year to year I can be pretty sure where they are at. If I hunt a new property I will make every effort to be there with them. watching and waiting. Once Ive established their habits I go from there. Roosting is fun but it takes work and scouting...
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:55 PM
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Location: Illinois
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

I consider roosting a very important part of my hunt I've never had any trouble roosting birds. I do most of it standing right outside of my vehicle. I usually use an owl hoot.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:13 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

Locator calls for sure. Try a crow or owl or coyote or peacock. They may or may not sound off.

If you have more than one spot to try, locating will tell you where they will be in the AM. That's helpful to many hunters because it gives them confidence to stick it out if the birds are quiet in the AM.

I try to hunt all day or most of it anyway, and I'll call from one location off and on for a couple hours. So, I don't really careif I locate them the night before or not. I have a lot of success calling birds in between say 9:30 and noon and even later. A locator call can be useful when moving between spots during the day too.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:57 PM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

If you stick to it long enough, you will eventually have the good luck of roosting a bird or birds and find yourself in position for one of the most exciting hunts of your life. Last year I had the dumb luck of locating a hot gobbler right at sunset, and I mean he was hot. Three other birds hammerin, too roosted just a short distance away. I knew the exact tree this ole boy was sleeping in, and believe me...he got a lot more sleep than me that night. But roosted ain't roasted. Next morning he made a fool of me, though after over two hundred gobbles, and one of the most intense hunts of my life.I've killed a few over the years right after flydown, but it's far from a sure thing. That said,I love the excitement of knowing exactly where to start my morning hunt and the spittin close set up if you can pull it off. Just don't ever roll one out of the tree. That would be cheating!
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:49 AM
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Location: Georiga, Texas, and Ohio
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

I love roosting birds! It does make getting good sleep a little tougher as that's all you think about while lying in bed. Birds to tree hop on occasion, but they usually don't go far unless it's extremely windy. Last year, I had the pleasure of roosting a couple birds, for some little kids. They were absolutely tore up when I would hoot and he would gobble. It was exactly what I remembered when I was 5 years old when my grandpa took me out to put the turkeys to bed.

For me, Roosting sometimes makes you over analyze a bird. You think too hard about how you're going to approach him and then when you set up on him he either flies the other way or gets locked up with hens. If you know the area pretty well, find a nice flat place that is open and he'll usually fly there. Don't get too close as you'll possibly bump him off the roost. Also, if you're going to try and get close, make sure you've got total darkness. If you do bump him at least he won't go far and won't be quite. I bumped one three years ago and I thought I was toast for that morning, but after 10 minutes and 60 yards later, he started gobbling. Actually, the bump I causes was the best thing that happened cause he separated from 4 hens. I got right between them and he came right to my calling. Just go out have fun and see what works best for you. Take care and God bless!

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:34 PM
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Location: Missouri
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Default RE: Tips for roosting birds

If you can keep from bumping your birds off the roost, morning or evening, they tend to roost in the same area. I have hunted some birds here in MO that seem to roost in the same tree every night while others might move across or down a ridge. As they say, "we have lots of hills and hollers" so that can make things difficult. As most people have stated, use locator calls and listen for birds flying up, once you get the hang of it you will know when that big time goes up. It's like hearing a bird spit and drum, you never forget it. Good luck!
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