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First time turkey hunter - help please!

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First time turkey hunter - help please!

Old 02-13-2011, 05:35 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 590
Default First time turkey hunter - help please!

I've been hunting whitetail for about 15 years, so I know all about gun safety, camo, scent control, wind direction, etc. etc.

So, I am going to jump into Turkey hunting for the first time this year.

I am thinking about buying the cabela's brand turkey decoys, and I need a call too. Can anyone recommend a call? Are mouth calls easy to master, or should I use something else? What kind of calling strategies are there? I know with deer you use estrous bleat, buck grunt, snort wheeze, etc. What kind of calls do you use for turkey?

Can anyone point me to a good source to learn all about turkey hunting that is less than 30 pages or so, something I can read and at least know the basics?
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:25 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Damascus MD
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First find a place that you know has birds. Do some pre season scouting and listen for birds gobbling on the roost at first light through the morning a week or 2 before the season starts but dont go in and stomp around, stay out if you can and just listen from distance. Get a game plan to set up listen for birds on the roost, you can entice them to gobble with a shock gobble if they arent being too vocal with an owl hoot, gobble call, or a crow call, but I try and let them give their location away on their own if possible. On the morning you go out youll have an idea where they may be, listen for a bird and go set up to ambush him, I try and get as close as I can without bumping them if I can, like 100 yards or so, maybe further if the woods are open and its getting light out. Get a turkey choke, a hen decoy and a jake or gobbler decoy, I like soft decoys I can fold up quickly and throw in my back pack so I can move easy if I need to relocate. Get a box call or slate call, both are easy to use. I use a diaphram especially when the birds are close enough I can see the birds so I can keep both hands on my gun and so I dont have to move my hands to make the slate or box call. If a longbeard wants to play they are pretty easy to kill, sometimes they take some working but that just makes it more fun. Movement will get you busted quicker than anything so try not to move much. And make sure you get a comfortable seat or a vest with a seat, sometimes you have to sit them out and if your legs start crampring up or your backs starts hurting sitting still can be a real toture test. Dont over call, and remember gobblers call hens to them, you have to try and trick the bird into coming to an unwilling hen that is already with another gobbler. Its a real hoot when that first gobbler comes in strutting. Good luck
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:29 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: uniontown, kentucky
Posts: 570

If you are looking for calls go to www.commandthewild.com, they have the calls you need. There slate calls are super and they have a thread that helps you learn how to call turkeys. H.S. Strutt at one time had a DVD on turkey calling also. Good Hunting.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The 40/42, NC
Posts: 4

I am also new and have been practicing with a mouth call (for down the road). I bought a kit from HS Strut that comes with a diaphragm call, a glass call, and an owl and crow locator call for $15 at Wally World. I am already comfortable enough on the glass call to use this year.
I have also been checking out websites to find as much info as I can (such as this one ). A few others that have some good info are:


Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:50 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northeast Texas
Posts: 214

Calling too much is the biggest mistake you can make. I use this rule when calling, let the turkey talk twice as much as you. The box call, in my opinion, is the easiest to use. The mouth call is the best, but harder learn, because their in no movement. I think turkey hunting is 2nd to deer hunting because of the challenge. Jim
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:00 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY: NYC to Watertown
Posts: 897

others summed it up,
scout, learn their patterns,
get close, not too close to bump them,
as for calls,
mouth calls are most common and probably most effective,
also convenient to have your hands free when they are close,
i personally cant use mouth calls for the life of me,
i stick to slate,
when calling and they stop responding,
dont feel pressured to keep calling till they respond
they could be on the move headed your way,
and too many calls can increase chances making them change their mind,
its a fun game to play with the turks,
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:46 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 110

I'm new as well, I grabbed a set of diaphragm calls to use as I'm a bowhunter and will need my hands free. I haven't found any trouble using them, but as I have a large mouth and a long tongue I can't use them the way they say, I change the pitch with the tip of my tongue against the reed instead of the tip against my teeth and the belly of my tongue changing the pitch.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:56 AM
Typical Buck
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Location: colorado
Posts: 690

I use gobbler tube some to but be careful they can call in other hunters who may not identify their target!
I like the glass calls they can get wet and still sound great! Learn the yelp and cutting, scout scout and pattern your gun!!
You can learn by the info on this site, books, and videos but you really need to get in the woods.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:23 AM
Typical Buck
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Posts: 590

What is the approximate ethical range to shoot a turkey? 40 yards? 20?

What distance should I use to pattern my shotgun?
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:49 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: North Central Iowa
Posts: 1,642

Using a full choke 35-40 yds max and thats if you have a good pattern at that distance. If at all possible try to get them within 30 yds and youll be able to put them down. Also that range is with a 12 gauge. Make sure you aim for the center of their neck when their head is up in the air. pattern your gun at 20 and 30 yds. if at all possible try to find someone that can take you turkey hunting. thats the best way to learn. Always remember that turkeys will make you look stupid (at least the ones I hunt do...) so dont get down on yourself. and have fun.
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