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Turkey Hunting Newby, Help!!

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Turkey Hunting Newby, Help!!

Old 02-28-2013, 05:12 PM
Fork Horn
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HoosierHunter79's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bluffton, Indiana
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Default Turkey Hunting Newby, Help!!

Hey all,
I'm from Indiana and think I am going to give the turkey hunting a try this spring season. There aren't a whole lot around but I know there are 10-12 that roost in a woods right next to our property every year, see them some during deer season. My questions are, how should I approach hunting them as far as calls, decoy? Also, I have an 870 pump 20 gauge...What do I need to do to that to set it up to kill a bird? Any input will help, thanks guys !
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:40 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: colorado
Posts: 700

Number one is you see them during deer season so they may not be their in spring as turkeys move between fall and spring feeding areas, depending on when your fall season is it may be better to hunt them in the fall. If they are there in the spring I'd use a hen and a Jake decoy, you don't need to spend a fortune just get the cheapest ones you find if you need to they will work as well as the expensive ones. Set the hen on the ground in a breeding position with the Jake behind her or close by. Get as close to the roost as poss.
You don't have to sound like an expert turkey caller but you need to know all the calls to be really good, in most cases all you need is the yelp and cut but being close to the roost in the am you will need more calls. As fare as buying calls every hunter has their favorite type, I suggest a glass friction and some mouth calls to start.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:03 AM
Fork Horn
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Location: PA
Posts: 470

If your schedule allows it, I would go out a couple weeks before the season starts, an hour or so just before sunrise, and just sit and listen. You should hear some gobbling at daybreak, that will give you some idea where they roost. If they are in the area, I would try and pinpoint a general area where they go once they fly down, you might be able to get them to respond to a crow or coyote call, I'd hold off on hen calls until the season actually starts. This will give you at least a starting point as far as setup.

Your 20 gauge should do the job, buy turkey loads and use the tightest choke you can find. I'd keep the shots withing 35 yards.

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:37 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,673

I know this doesnt quite answer your question, but considering you said you are a newbie turkey hunter, I am going to say this anyway. When it comes to turkey hunting, PATIENCE is the number one thing you have to remember. You already know theres turkeys out there, so why give up on them?

Best thing to do is practice with your calls and practice with your gun. The guys prior to my post pretty much nailed it. So again, be patient out there. Its a heck of an experience and one I fell in love with.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:43 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 270

You've already gotten some great advice. A couple more things.
When you set up near a roost, don't try to get so close the birds
will hear you getting there or see you when your trying to call. Get there when it's still dark. Try to have an open area
in front of you so you can see at least 30-40 yards. Wait
until the birds have been calling for a little while ( nice if you've
already heard the hens make a couple tree yelps ) then do
just a couple soft yelps ---no more calling until the birds fly
down. After fly down then some louder yelps. Don't call too
much, be patient, sit with your back to a big tree, knees up
so you can rest your gun on your knee and sit very still
after fly down.

As for your 20 gauge a good Turkey choke and some heavy
shot number 6's will do the trick. Pattern your gun so you
know how far you get a good number of pellets in the head/
neck. Try to wait until the bird has his head stretched up
if possible and then aim half way up the neck.

Good Luck
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:47 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 646

Watch them roost and get in the next morning a hour before sun rise and wait
As soon as it is legal shooting in our area spark off a gobble
Try and be about 100 yards off of the roost and in a area they can land easy
Try a one hen set up they will be real horny on the first days of the season
I have had mega luck like this the scouting is the key!
Good luck my friend keep us posted
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:21 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 108

after you locate gobblers the best bet is setup predawn and be patient. set a decoy about twenty five yards in front of you and do some clucks and yelps. Wait to see if you get an answer and if you do repeat the process. If the gobbler goes silent once it flys from the roost be on the look out for one coming in silent. If he continues to gobble cluck and yelp a few more times. You will be able to tell if he is coming in by the loudness of his gobbling. Once he starts coming make sure that you are in aposition to move very little once you see him he should keep focused on the decoy. don't make any sudden moves. the twenty gauge with 3" number 5 or 6s should do the job. make sure you have tightest choke you have in your shotgun and pattern it before season so that you know how well it shoots a given distance. there is no substitute for knowing your shotguns limitations and preseason scouting. it would be nice if you could hunt with an experienced turkey hunter the first year you go out.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:15 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Waipahu HI USA
Posts: 2,915

Hey Hoosier....do some searches n this web site and you'll find out a lot. Try get a full or extra full choke for your gun. 20ga will do the job.
Have fun and keep at it. Nothing can replace lots of scouting.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:02 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Vermont
Posts: 483

It all comes down to how you want to hunt them. Do you want the thrill of calling them in or do you just want to put a tag on a spur? If the second is what you want then roost the turkeys the night before. Pay close attention to where the birds fly up or walk into the woods. 9 times out of 10, that exact spot is where they will fly down or come out of the woods. My father and I pulled a double off last spring on 2 gobblers doing this. They roosted on the edge of a swamp. We got there an hour before daybreak. We didn't do any calling or set any decoys out. The birds pitched down and strutted over the nob, right in front of us and it was game over. We shot them in the same spot they flew up from the night before. I recommend that you get a turkey lounge for comfort from Cabela's. The comfort is worth the money. Once those birds start to wake up, you can't move. So the turkey lounge or a blind is recommended. Don't worry about brushing in the blind. I've sat in the middle of a corn field in a blind with decoys out and had them come right in. Although I would try setting up on the edges. Good luck and hunt hard and have the "Never say die" attitude.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:31 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maine
Posts: 12,454

Also do not give up when you do not see any for a while.. I shoot most of my birds around 10 am after they have been done with the hen they have with them in the early part of the morning. You just never know when they will be showing up. I do seam to see most of the jakes early on though.

What everyone is saying is some great advice and good luck to you. I am still relatively new to this as well. My very first bird was a fall bird that I shot with my bow. After that I have enjoyed the last 2 years being quite successful. Nailing both my birds last year during the first 3 days of the season. I too, however received some great advice from the good folks on here in the turkey forum.
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