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Has anyone used a tail fan to walk up on turkeys?

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Has anyone used a tail fan to walk up on turkeys?

Old 04-14-2015, 10:51 AM
  #11  
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A black umbrella will do the same thing and is much easier to keep track of and use than a fan. I think this tactic was borrowed from cape buffalo hunters in Africa who discovered it worked to get up close to capes. (A TRUE death wish if ever there was one! ) The supposition is that the buffs think it's either another buff or more than likely, mistake it for an approaching ostrich! By the time you're close enough for them to think ill of the situation, you have already had time to perforate their hide! Same goes for the turkeys, except that in the Toms situation he might actually consider it a challenging bird and come closer looking for a fight!

It'll work because turkey's believe what they "think" their eyes are telling them in that situation. I used a similar tactic in southern MO on a large cattle ranch I hunted for 20yrs. Many times we'd need to move on birds that were in large, open pastures and so two hunters would bend over close enough to "appear" as if we were a cow or calf and then we'd move across the field. I can't say as if that tactic would work on other lands that contained no cattle because that wouldn't then be a natural occurance for those birds. But since that was on a working cattle ranch, the birds were constantly exposed to many cattle. 100% of the time it worked! I never tried to get close enough for a kill that way, but we did move within 100yds or less of the birds and they never spooked. It would allow us to get into another ditch, depression or woodline to gain better position for calling or an outright stalk. I wish deer were so easy! But my grandad told me many times that as a kid during the Depression he had a mule he could ride up into shotgun distance of deer with while he laid flatout on the mules back. He'd ride up within essentially bow range of the deer, raise his 12ga Stevens pump (that I now have) and KABOOM he'd have meat for the community. (He grew up in the MS River bottoms north of Memphis in what is now Shelby Forrest so there were still ALOT of deer in that area despite their being nearly "extinct" in most other areas of the state during that era)

You WONT CATCH ME DOING IT on my west TN river bottom farm! That's a suicide mission for SURE!!! It'd be a GREAT way to crawl up on a face full of cotton mouth, eastern diamond back or copperhead snakes!!! Snakes are so bad on my place I can't even sit on the ground unless the temps are below 60. I had a 4ft black snake crawl up on me last week while I was calling a bird that was within 30yds of me but it was so thick we couldn't see each other. The snake came up within 10ft before I could hear him slithering up on me. He would've gotten 2oz of 4s for his trouble if that bird had NOT been so close! Instead he got a limb across the forehead, he high tailed it and the bird went quiet and around me....

Last edited by HatchieLuvr; 04-14-2015 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:14 PM
  #12  
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It looks easy in the internet videos and on TV. In real life, Id' be too scared. So many fools out there, especially on public land.

I know one person who had a another hunter stalk up on him from behind, ready to shoot the "turkey in the bush".(hunting hens in the spring? this guy missed a lot of memos). Another guy I know was packing out an Axis buck, when BLAMMO! Someone shot it off his back.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:23 PM
  #13  
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i'll stick to my decoy's thanks !!
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:26 PM
  #14  
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Safety wise no way in heck. Ethics, no problem, know yor're states laws.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:18 PM
  #15  
neb
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Native Americans used this method in the northern states. It is really nothing new and it does work. I wouldn't use it not worried about getting shot here but because it is very effective. I would think it would take some of the fun out of it. It does work though.

Last edited by neb; 04-19-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:41 PM
  #16  
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Yes I do!!! And it is awesome! My set up is this. Set up a pretty boy and hen. Do some calling and see the birds. (or even just see some in a pasture) They don't come in. So, with a spare fan right next to me I will throw it up in front of me. I'll stand up, walk out to the decoy, take it down and go back to walking right at the birds in the field. And when I say walking, I mean standing upright (I'm 5'11") put the gun down by my leg and the fan just below my eyes. When I see them commit on the intruder (me) I will then kneel or lay down and wait for them to get where I want them and drop the fan and shoot. Very Exciting!!

As far as safety....I normally know I'm alone BUT shooting at a 195 pound tail fan without a head is mind boggling to me. Especially if there are other birds in the field that I obviously am going directly towards. But my question is this for you that say this is un-safe. You are sitting in a bush/next to a tree perfectly camo'd in. Not even a photograph could give up your location. You have that tom decoy right in front of you waiting to bring the birds in. (And these decoys are getting too lifelike.) You do a perfect sequence of calling. BUT out of the blue a hunter peeks up out of the treeline. He sees the decoy. But he doesn't see you. He shoots at the decoy not realizing what is beyond his trophy bird. How safe is that? Sure you can make contact by waving or screaming but what if you don't see him at first?

Here's my view. I never thought this would work until 3 years ago. I was in a terrible rut of not getting any birds even close. I had 2 toms, 1 jake and 3 hens in a neighbors field. They weren't even interested in the call. I laid down with the fan up in front of me moving it from side to side. Long story short, 1 hen came to 5 yards from me, the jake was about 5 feet from me and the tom hung up at 50 yards. I moved the fan and scared the jake and when he jumped the tom came running in. 10 seconds after that there was a tom laying in the field.

This WILL stay in my hunting strategy!!
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:44 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by neb
Native Americans used this method I the northern states. It is really nothing new and it does work. I wouldn't use it not worried about getting shot here but because it is very effective. I would thing it would take some of the fun out of it. It does work though.
It does NOT take the fun out of it. Its more of an adrenaline rush when they can't figure out what is actually going on. They are coming to fight YOU not a decoy. Try it before you make a decision.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:11 PM
  #18  
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So do all that say it is unsafe do they also shoot at a tail fan if that is all they see ? I think this is a bigger problem if you ask me maybe the safety classes need to stress this more don't shoot unless you are sure of the target and it is legal ! Just a thought !
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:04 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Timbrhuntr
So do all that say it is unsafe do they also shoot at a tail fan if that is all they see ? I think this is a bigger problem if you ask me maybe the safety classes need to stress this more don't shoot unless you are sure of the target and it is legal ! Just a thought !
I'm not worrying what I shoot at! Let me ask you this question? Do you sit behind a buck decoy or walk with one in front of you trying to slip up on a live one while out hunting? With the number of imbeciles out in the woods at any given time with a gun, the only way I would feel safe doing what we're talking about is if there was a sure way to know that there was nobody else hunting within a mile of me. With many people trespassing nowadays, that really isn't even possible when you're on private property.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:16 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Timbrhuntr
So do all that say it is unsafe do they also shoot at a tail fan if that is all they see ? I think this is a bigger problem if you ask me maybe the safety classes need to stress this more don't shoot unless you are sure of the target and it is legal ! Just a thought !
This type of stuff should only be used in certain situations, public land with alot of people is not one of those places I would try it at. I see this as another tool in ones bag though, as said before I think it is relatively the same as plains Antelope hunters using the 2D cutout for stalking. Or the moose hunter using the boat paddle, or the turkey hunter using a fan to make the noise of turkeys coming down off of roost. You also have the guys that carry the whitetail decoy out into the field on public land or they walk through the woods with their antler packs placed on the tops of their backpacks. There are idiots out there that will shoot you in every single one of these situations if presented, that wont stop me from hunting.

Hunter Safety Courses do stress not pulling the trigger until target is clearly identified, the problem is too many people get shot because people don't ID their target and assume they are the only ones in the area. I have even had experience with this but because I waited to ID the target I didn't shoot another hunter. Which is what your supposed to do, that gave me the right to contact the local LEO as well.
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