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Need setup advice.

Old 03-23-2020, 09:36 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Need setup advice.

Iíve got 3-4 Toms roosted and know generally where they fly down to and potentially which direction they go after flying down. I came within 50 yards of them Saturday and they just wouldnít fly down to me because I was on the opposite side of some thick brush directly under their trees, and their hens were on the side opposite from me. Iím 80% sure the hens are roosted separately from the Toms, because I heard the hens start coming to the Toms before they flew down, and Iím not sure how to set up on them. If I set Up on the trail they are flying down to, Iíll be possibly too close to them, and if the hens come in, theyíll be walking right over top of me most likely. And if I try to set up a decoy Iím fearful that Iíll spook the Toms. Should I try to get in an hour or two before the Toms wake up and will that make it so I can set up my decoy without being spotted or having my cover blown. And what kind of decoy setup should I use. Hen, jake, or hen and Jake together. And should I set the decoys up where they land normally or should I offset it some from the trail they land on. Thanks
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:55 AM
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This is what Iím dealing with for a visual
Attached Thumbnails Need setup advice.-cc44882f-7d4c-4269-8699-6e3b56654f69.jpeg  
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:01 AM
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How close can you get to where they land?
Is there enough cover for you to hide.
You do need to sit comfortably as it might be a long wait.
Once down what direction do the hens go? Most times the Tom surely follows.

I have been known to go sit in the dark several hours before flydown.
When I do I wont make one call till I hear a hen. The Tom can gobble all he wants. But when he is in the tree, I refrain from calling until he is on the ground.

I'd spend the time looking for travel consistency, that is the common path traveled and then go sit that area.

Couple things to keep in mind.
On cold mornings the strut zone usually is in a sunny location (east facing) area as that warms up first as the sun comes up.
Always keep the sun to your back.
Dont sit in a Bush. Make sure you have shotgun barrel swing easily and unblocked.
Use a cushion as the longer you are sitting comfortably the longer you can be still and motionless.

Decoys,
One decoy might be too many.
If need be I'd start with 2. One feeding and one at attention.
Dont group your decoys tightly.
Grouped birds are nervous birds. Spread your decoys out a bit. Take note of what the real hens do and follow that set up.

I'm not a Jake fan. I have used them but IMO it's the Posture of the decoy that counts. Aggressive attentive looking Jake's will scare sub dominant Tom's away or stop them out of range.
I'm sure others gave tips that have worked for them.

I'm always scouting. Trick is ask yourself why was that bird there?
And in my notes I see a tom in the same general area twice , well the hunt is on.


JW

Last edited by JW; 03-23-2020 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 03-23-2020, 11:07 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by JW View Post
How close can you get to where they land?
Is there enough cover for you to hide.
You do need to sit comfortably as it might be a long wait.
Once down what direction do the hens go? Most times the Tom surely follows.

I have been known to go sit in the dark several hours before flydown.
When I do I wont make one call till I hear a hen. The Tom can gobble all he wants. But when he is in the tree, I refrain from calling until he is on the ground.

I'd spend the time looking for travel consistency, that is the common path traveled and then go sit that area.

Couple things to keep in mind.
On cold mornings the strut zone usually is in a sunny location (east facing) area as that warms up first as the sun comes up.
Always keep the sun to your back.
Dont sit in a Bush. Make sure you have shotgun barrel swing easily and unblocked.
Use a cushion as the longer you are sitting comfortably the longer you can be still and motionless.

Decoys,
One decoy might be too many.
If need be I'd start with 2. One feeding and one at attention.
Dont group your decoys tightly.
Grouped birds are nervous birds. Spread your decoys out a bit. Take note of what the real hens do and follow that set up.

I'm not a Jake fan. I have used them but IMO it's the Posture of the decoy that counts. Aggressive attentive looking Jake's will scare sub dominant Tom's away or stop them out of range.
I'm sure others gave tips that have worked for them.

I'm always scouting. Trick is ask yourself why was that bird there?
And in my notes I see a tom in the same general area twice , well the hunt is on.


JW

the hens came in from around north west of the Toms and then once they were close the Toms flew down to them I was watching the biggest Tom in the trees and he was dead silent the whole time the others were gobbling like crazy. Once they flew down to the hens I didnít hear a single noise from any of them, and I think they started working their way north east on the trail they landed on. I was about 50-60 yards from the tree the big Tom was in when I tried working my way in on them Saturday.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:06 PM
  #5  
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I canít speak for where you are hunting. Here however the birds are always on the move. I have watched 4 toms and a Jake one day and not see a single bird for 3 to 4 days. I know where they roost on the other side of a river. But where they go from there is anyoneís guess. But they are there and will come threw whenever they feel like it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:01 PM
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50 to 60 yards from the big guy?
If you saw him he saw you long before you saw him and could be one reason he was silent.

If they roost in the same area. Setup and wait in evening.
I shot more birds later season after 3 pm than ever last yr.

JW
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JW View Post
50 to 60 yards from the big guy?
If you saw him he saw you long before you saw him and could be one reason he was silent.

If they roost in the same area. Setup and wait in evening.
I shot more birds later season after 3 pm than ever last yr.

JW
I agree with JW if you worked into 50 yards of the tree in daylight it is very possible the birds saw you. It could also be that the bigger tom doesn't gobble now because he knows where the hens are and they know where he is so he just waits for them. Then when he sees them on the ground he flys to them. I have a spot I hunt in the spring where it is similiar. The toms roost together on the property I can hunt. The hens roost on the other side. The toms fly down to the hens and they head off to somewhere that I can't go. THis is especially bad early in the seasson when there are lots of hens around not nesting yet. I have done what JW says and hunt at night trying to catch the toms returning to roost. If you do this you must be very careful as the are very cautious when returning to roost. For me unfortunately when they came to roost they would fly up from the other property. I decided to try a different tactic. I waited until the toms where on the ground and then tried to fire them up with lots of cuts and yelps to get them gobbling. One morning I was able to pull a tom over to me. But usually they all just walked off following the hens. I decided to wait around until 10 then start callng again. I was able to get a couple gobbles and had 2 of the toms come back through looking for me. Good luck its trying to figure out different situations like this that make this so much fun !
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:13 AM
  #8  
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Sometimes I will set up 200 yards or better from the roost if I know where they are roosting. I wear a camo baseball cap and will shake it to sound like one flying down. After around two minutes I will start calling with the slate then just set and wait. I have had some success doing this on hard to get birds.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:47 PM
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I rarely call to a Tom in the roost. If I do, once answered I wont do it again.
Until he is on the ground.

However, if I hear hens I chyme in softly. I love doing battle with hens. If I can get that Boss hen searching for me, guess who is not far behind?

But each situation, each bird is different. Hunt long enough and you'll learn when to call it when not to.

And after 34 yrs I'm still learning.

JW

Last edited by JW; 03-28-2020 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:35 AM
  #10  
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I have had times when using a decoy resulted in the tom coming in like I had him on a rope and other times see them putt and go the other way real fast. Normally on an ambush set up I don't use them. Roosted birds often go the same way every day. Sometimes it might take a few days to cut the possibilities down but as long as you aren't busted that tactic remains pretty productive. I never call to the tom when he is in the tree. Setting him off often can often bring in other hunters in addition to spooking him.
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