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Need tips on hunting a specific group of turkeys.

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Need tips on hunting a specific group of turkeys.

Old 03-10-2020, 03:40 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Need tips on hunting a specific group of turkeys.

On opening day I went out (didnít wake up on time) at around 10 and got into my spot around 11. I know thereís a lot of birds in this area because Iíve heard a bunch of hens all together around December, but at about noon I called in a hen and she came in hot but disappeared behind trees and Iím assuming went the other way and I never could see if she had a male. Iím trying to figure out how to hunt the area and what I can do to key in on where the toms are and how to go about things without pushing too far and ruining the spot.

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Old 03-10-2020, 03:46 PM
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Also Iím going tomorrow morning as early as possible after this super moon so if that can come into play with the hunting in any way do tell. I know full moons have made a world of difference before with hog hunting for me not sure about how it affects turkeys, and especially with a super moon.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:12 AM
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In a full moon they can see you coming if you are in the open. It may take a couple of days. Get as close as possible, listen for gobbling and determine which way they go after flydown. The next day, be on that path. One of the cardinal rules of turkey hunting is "It's easier to call in a turkey if he's going there anyway."
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Wingbone View Post
In a full moon they can see you coming if you are in the open. It may take a couple of days. Get as close as possible, listen for gobbling and determine which way they go after flydown. The next day, be on that path. One of the cardinal rules of turkey hunting is "It's easier to call in a turkey if he's going there anyway."
Wednesday I found out a lot more about the area, and itís also incredibly pressured which caught me off guard. I have two gobblers (given that they are still alive) in a specific tree, but itís loaded with other hunters, I know the birds are moving north after flying down, and north of the trees is even more loaded with other hunters, but while driving out I had 4 birds going along the trail. They were on the right side of the trail and got spooked by my car and took off across the trail, flew over the canal next to me on my left, and disappeared. One of them was a long beard. I donít know why they were so close to the trail when it was literally 10 minutes til sunset so is it possible theyíre roosted on the other side of the canal where they flew to or did I just spook them into crossing. I just donít think theyíd be roosted so close to a busy trail so I think itís a viable option to try to hunt the long beard but I donít wanna deviate from my original plan to chase a Tom that I donít know where heís roosting. Basically will turkeys cross canals after coming off the roost on their own I always hear people saying they hate to fly.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:44 AM
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I think you're slightly confused about the 'turkeys hate to fly' comment.

They will fly to get into the roost and need to fly to pitch out of the roost. With that said, they are typically lazy whenever possible - they will often roost on a hillside because it's physically easier on them - they walk to the top of the hill and fly 'up' into a tree, which in essence is them flying in a straight line for a short distance into a treetop that's at the same height at the hilltop; then in the morning they simply 'pitch down' and basically glide into an opening at the bottom of the hill. Birds living on flat land must exert energy to fly into the tree to roost, but even those birds will typically try to use any terrain features to help them exert as least energy as possible when flying.

Turkeys, due to their large size (compared to almost all other birds), are much better equipped to run than fly, and can only fly for relatively short distances. How short is short is somewhat bird and area specific. I've seen birds in the Catskills of NY and the mountains of WV easily fly 2-3 miles from one ridge to the next - I've seen turkeys in CT and MI fall into a lake after being airborne for less than a 1/2 mile.

In general, I would say adult turkeys can't/won't fly more than 5 miles (and that's probably generous), and most birds are likely stressed once they reach a mile of flight distance. So compared to songbirds and migrating waterfowl, i.e., birds that travel hundreds to thousands of miles in the air, then turkeys fly much shorter distances which is why we say they 'hate flying'.

But they absolutely must fly into and out of the roost and don't think that if you spook them out of the tree or shoot at them and miss that they won't fly. When spooked, it's not uncommon for them to immediately take flight and stay airborne for a few hundred yards - and they can all easily fly that far with no problem - and because they have relatively large wings, they can also glide for relatively long distances. So if they actively beat their wings for 200 yards, they can easily glide for another 50-100 - this is dependent on age and size, and smaller hens will glide further than jakes/gobblers.

Last edited by Strut&Rut; 03-13-2020 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethanb2141 View Post
. Basically will turkeys cross canals after coming off the roost on their own I always hear people saying they hate to fly.
And to answer this question - if they will exert the energy to fly over the canal to roost, then they will definitely exert less energy to glide over it in the morning.

However...

Although I have no experience hunting Florida, in other parts of the country I've hunted, most turkeys will not enter and exit their roost from the same exact spot on the ground. The exception to that is if the roost trees are located on the fringe of a large wooded section and the birds are roosted on the edge of an opening - but even there, they typically exhibit somewhat of a 'triangular pattern' of entering/exiting the roost trees - they fly up from the southwest and pitch down 90 degrees away towards the southeast, etc.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:50 PM
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I donít think that direction has that much to do with it. They commonly fly north to roost here. Flying straight across a river and back south when they decide to come this way. You might see them for a week straight or you might not see a single bird for a week or longer. They donít appear to have any sort of pattern right now. I can see up to 30 birds or just a lone hen or Tom.. I have no idea why they are being so strange right now. I do know if itís windy out the whole flock will sit on the bank to wait for the break in the wind and take off flying across together. I have watched them quite often even saw a flock of 11 birds doing it this evening..
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:47 PM
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If they run at the sight of a vehicle those birds are pressured.
I have seen birds run out of a field for cover at the sound of a car. I suspect yours will do the same.


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