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Turkey Scenario

Old 04-10-2017, 04:06 AM
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Looking for advice.....

Sunday met my father out in the woods at 0600. I showed him a map of the area and where I normally see turkeys at and where they may roost. So we both pick our spots and move out. Not long after the owls started hooting and the gobblers responded. All are closer to my father than me.

Once sun rose all went quite, no response calls or any noise.

About 830 I decided to move from my spot as no birds coming into the field I figured I would check my trail camera nearby (public land) and see if I can locate any gobblers. Well when I get into the woods, I make some calls and I get a response, tom was pretty far away and closer to my father. So text my father he said they sound like they are right behind him so he is waiting. I give it a few more minutes, make another call and get a response again, sounds further away so I assume they are moving towards my father. I sit still and get no response for half an hour so decide to get the trail cam and start to pack it out back to my spot to plan my next move.

When I get to the spot I was near earlier calling I decide to make another call just for locating purposes as I didn't want to spook anything. Guess what, Tom started the crap out of me by responding not even 100 yards away. When he went silent I thought he was moving away so I hunker down to the base of a tree and not a minute later tom came into sight. He got within 20 yards, head white as can be but I had no shot due to the saplings between us. So I let him pass, once out of sight I made a couple soft calls and no response.

Tom continued towards the bottom I had my trail cam at and later on we got him and another hen to respond but they where moving away.

Any advice, don't think there is anything I could have done to ensure I took this guy other than not mixing chore work (trail cam) with hunting. Was surprised that he moved in on me though but was glad he did.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:53 AM
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You didn't mention what call you were using to locate the bird. We use non turkey calls to locate a bird and pinpoint his location. By using a turkey call to locate a bird can and will get you busted. When they get quiet, you don't know what they are doing. In my experience, when a hot bird gets quiet, he is coming in.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:11 AM
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"In my experience, when a hot bird gets quiet, he is coming in."
Yup. Pretty much always. If he fired back <100 yards away I would have shuffled to the closest spot that offered a shot and got the gun up. Give it 2-5 minutes, a cluck and a yelp or else a purr and leaf scratch.

Sounds like he was in range, just no clear shot...IMHO that's about as good as a kill w/ an * next to it...your judgment on an ethical shot was the only reason the bird didn't goo down; I always applaud restraint and attempt to exercise it myself as well. Sounds you guys were on the bird! The trail cam should have some interesting pics.

Don't think you spooked him either, should be able to get on him another time.

Also, I like locator calls but sometimes the birds won't gobble at a locator...I don't mind using a turkey call to locate them, and will do so readily when actually hunting. Oddly, many time they won't answer a turkey call but will gobble at a locator...go figure
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:46 AM
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Yeah I was using a mouth reed, have used them in the past to locate by making a cluck or purr. When he sounded like he was moving in the opposite direction I let my guard down thinking he was responding to me but probably moving towards my father also if he was calling. So when he went quiet just after sounding further away is probably when I let my guard down.

Yeah if I would have taken a shot, even though he was within 20 yards and clicking pretty hard most of my shot would have been stopped by the saplings. I am sure at least a few pellets would have hit him but there was enough of a margin for error that I wasn't comfortable.

Guess where I need advice was after he moved off, I did move to a better spot and attempted to some more clucks and he never responded, waited at least a half an hour knowing he was within 100-200 yards and moving away. It wasn't until about an hour or so later we got more responses from him but he was still moving in the same direction away from us and getting further. Can you do anything to get them moving back to ya or is that usually a hard option.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:00 AM
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If you know the terrain well enough, you can try to get in front of them. Not alway an easy task. Did you notice if hens were with him? When a Gobbler is taken away by hens but he is responding to my calls, I like to set up where he was originally and wait him out. In My experience, once the breeding is done and the hens wonder off, he comes looking for that "hen" that wouldn't join him earlier. I have killed many doing this.
Best thing is, enjoy your woods time with pop.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:02 AM
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Where is Onslow county? I'm headed up to Western North Carolina to hunt in a couple days.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RPD63 View Post
Where is Onslow county? I'm headed up to Western North Carolina to hunt in a couple days.
I hunt on Camp Lejeune, it's good public land access but also kind of a pain with all the added measures they require for hunting there.

He had no other hens with him but I would not have been able to cut him off, the direction he was heading would have required me to enter another "zone". Base breaks their land up into designated zones that have a max occupancy per area. You can only sign out into one area at a time so for me to head off the tom would have required me signing out of the area I was in and then hoping the other area was not full and signing into that area. Would also require me to falsify my dash pass because it is a printed sheet that says what zone I am hunting in. Too much work just to get another half mile up the wood line.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:26 PM
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I myself wouldn't have gotten up from where I was originally at. I have learned my lesson one to many times. Things can change in a heart beat turkey hunting.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RPD63 View Post
In my experience, when a hot bird gets quiet, he is coming in.
Originally Posted by RPD63 View Post
When a Gobbler is taken away by hens but he is responding to my calls, I like to set up where he was originally and wait him out. In My experience, once the breeding is done and the hens wonder off, he comes looking for that "hen" that wouldn't join him earlier

Two absolute PEARLS of wisdom that have served me well over the years!!!!!
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:17 AM
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A lot of times if you move closer they will come in or if safe to do so get ahead of them, be where he wants to be.
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