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Beginner hunter in need of some tips!

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Beginner hunter in need of some tips!

Old 04-30-2021, 08:25 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 1
Default Beginner hunter in need of some tips!

Hey everyone, this is my first season of turkey hunting and iím really struggling. No one else in my family has hunted so I have no one to come to and this seems like a great spot. Iím hunting a private 500 acre Island that is heavily forest with no big wide open areas. I have seen a pack of maybe 10-15 turkeys when I was a lot younger. On opening day (april 25) I was able to call in a big tom but he got hung up about 70 yards away and I was not comfortable making a lethal shot with my crossbow on him from that far so I let him pass without spooking him. Its been almost 5 hunts since then and I havent been able to even hear a bird since then. Iíve used locator calls early mornings and right before roosting hours and havenít been able to locate anything. Does anyone have any other tips for locating roosts in dense forests? Itís starting to get really discouraging spending 7 hours a day in the woods and not hearing a thing especially after being so close the first day. Ill attach examples of the land a bit later and hopefully itíll give you guys some ideas. Any tips would be greatly appreciated as iím a young beginner hunter. Looking forward to hear what you guys think! Thanks!!!
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Old 05-02-2021, 03:20 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,693

Is anybody else hunting on the island? Have you seen any turkeys on the island within the last year or 2? Do you have any game cameras up? Are you seeing any sign of turkeys? What kind of locator calls did you use? What style or method of hunting are you using? Run and gun (like spot and stalk)? Camo out and sit still using calls? Hunting from a blind? Are you using any decoys? A lot of questions but your situation is intriguing.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:06 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,743

turkeys can be strange at times, early on they may talk a lot as season goes on they may NOT talk much at all, a lot has to do with weather, mating times, and how many male to females of breeding age, also can be effected by how fast green up is happening in places where trees tend to shed leaves and go dormant for winter, as things green up, it can alter the way turkeys talk, act and move
hunting 5 times and NOT haring a bird isn't that uncommon, if were being honest, it can and does happen,, BUT since your new you may not know this, hunting isn;t like TV shows show it,, some times you go out and see/hear get NOTHING,
as your experience grows from being out there trying, you will IF YOU pay attention to details and wish to learn, learn more and advance your skills
looking for sign of where they were, what they were eating at certain times of yr, all help you get better

its small details that add up over time to make a hunter a better one, its NOT all leaps and bounds in learning!
skills taker time

also, turkeys are famous for hanging up out of range,, many times they will still come in after they stop calling or responding, as smarter older one's learn hunters, and know to check the area out if they don;t see the gal they think is calling to them
decoys can help, but they have also been known to scare toms off, when they watch a her decoy for a while and it never MOVES they too learn what decoys are, there not all dumb and going to run into a decoy, some do, many don;'t!

bet advice is stick with it, don't over pressure the land either, as toms mate with hens, sooner or later they get off one and start looking for more
but when they get on a group of hens, many times they don't have to look for more than they can handle, so they get quiet and be less talkative!
if you can find then and bust up a flock, you can try calling then

but some times, just finding food locations and waiting there for them can get you a ton
placing trail camera's out if you have any can help

if not, look for tracks and scratching to find where there feeding and traveling! and set up at spots there visiting in the dark before they get there
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:13 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MT
Posts: 758

Well, you have all the right thoughts to be successful. The biggest thing is if you find sign that they are in the general area you are hunting. You need to be where the birds are or want to go. Look for tracks, droppings and scratched up spots etc.. If you find any of those signs, then hunt it. haven't heard a gobble now for sometime, but I don't go listen at dat break either. They are tight lipped here now and that seems to be a typical event where I hunt. I like to get the hens talking back and get them mad. They will often bring in a tom. That is how I got mine this year. The mad old hen was about 20 yards just a screaming her head off. Lol I even recorded her yelping on my phone.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:12 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,693

I forgot to ask if you were using a decoy when you called in that big tom on opening day. Turkeys have very good eyesight and if they hear a hen but don't see one, sometimes they will hang up like that. Now if you have a hen and some skinny jake decoys, well, that big tom might think he needs to come in and take the hen away from junior.
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:47 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pa.
Posts: 502

All great advice.I,d like to add that to avoid a hung up Tom is try to find a spot to set up on that will be an ambush on him.Like being down over a ridge a little and when he crests the hill lookin for love introduce him to a load of lead.I set up with my gun on my knees and ready do aim and release the safety and pow.Have fun,it,s a blast.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:37 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Licking County, Ohio
Posts: 1,263

All great advice. I would like to add, from my experience. Big ole Tom's are very weary birds. Hunting silent birds is way harder IMO than hunting birds that sound off to calls. You may have called in an Ole tom and not even have known it. If you tend to move, or adjust your seating or whatever, he may have seen you already. Blinds are good tools for hunting quiet birds. If he comes in silent, likely he wont see you moving if you are in a blind. Try putting out a couple of decoys and sitting in a blind about 30 yards from them. Good Luck!
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:43 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 18,380

Excellent advice. Toms can see extremely well and look for the hen they heard. They are smart birds which makes them even more challenging and fun to hunt.
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:42 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pa.
Posts: 502

Great advice indeed.Also I,d like to add that this is also a great way to get introduced to the sport and get to see Turkey behavior up close and personal.Then after some experience and confidence if he or she desires than they can go w/out a blind if they so choose.
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Maine
Posts: 12,562

I havenít heard a bird gobbling all week except for a couple of jakes.. I did call in a tom this morning that was with two hens. He came in silently and the hens spotted me. Off they all ran so game over. So I went and tried a different area and had three hens coming in with a tom following closely behind them. When he got in range it was time for a night cap. But still havenít gotten a tom to gobble.. I am thinking that next week they will be coming off the hens looking for more..
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