Oops! That Turkey Sees Me!

This is an ongoing series of suggestions for modified hunter behavior – so you can snag a spring turkey.  If you spook a gobbler, your chances of hauling him home drop through the floor!

Being Spotted in the Woods

If you are moving through the woods and a turkey spots you, I’ve only found one successful way to react — stand like a statue or a stump.  Sometimes, my stony stance and indifferent air will convince him I’m harmless.

 

If You are Caught "With Your Pants Down" while Hunting, How can You Turn this Disaster into a Successful Hunt?

Being Spotted in an Open Area

Since there’s nothing to hide behind, dropping to the ground and blending in with the dust is your best chance.

However, I have a friend who always turkey hunts with a few collapsible Feather Flex decoys.  He drags them out of his pack while he’s face-down on the ground.

Slowly, but surely, he slowly moves the hen to a place in front of his face.  As he’s putting the hen up in position, he starts to softly purr and cluck.

He also moves the hen’s head in position to be pecking.  Gradually, he increases the speed of his clucking so the turkey hen sounds excited with what she’s found on the ground.

According to my friend:  More than 75% of the gobblers will watch, instead of bolt immediately.  As he gets caught up in the “hen’s behavior,”  the gobbler tends to forget the human he just saw.  He comes closer to investigate!

If the gobbler sees you in the open field and you don’t have a decoy, the only recourse is to lie flat and hope!

A Trick that Doesn’t Work for Me

Personally, I don’t have much luck with this trick — but others swear by it.

By lying flat and staying motionless, others promise that most  gobblers will be so curious that they will move closer for a look.  Then you can get a  shot!

This just might be one of those things where you have to believe!

Caution

Before buying a bunch of hen decoys, make sure they are legal in your state!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

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Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 10:08 am  Comments Off on Oops! That Turkey Sees Me!  
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Another Mistake Turkey Hunters Make

I’m about 1/2 way through the ways hunters make mistakes when hunting turkey.  This is an ongoing series of suggestions for modified hunter behavior – so you can snag a spring turkey.

Turkeys are quick to jump and run, so it is up to hunters to disguise their actions, so gobblers aren’t spooked.

 

Only those Gobblers that learn to recognize human movement live to see another day!

Errors Hunters Make in Walking

Walking is so much a part of us that we don’t think about it.  However, gobblers are listening very carefully.

If you take some time to watch turkeys move about (during this period before turkey season), you will learn to avoid the mistakes of many hunters.

Learning to Walk Like a Turkey

Turkeys spend much of their time searching for food.  They don’t march from Point A to Point B with a purposeful step, but take their time, scratching for food.

Remember, if you don’t sound like a turkey, you can only sound like a human.  And humans are trouble.

Thus, when you are walking, you must make turkey noises, not human noises. Turkeys move erratically.  When you are walking, it is important to vary the number of steps and the speed of your walking.

Take two steps, wait, take a step, wait, take 4 steps, wait, etc.  Cluck and purr softly while moving.  Scratch the leaves with your foot occasionally.

Watch Turkeys Scratch in Pre-Season

It’s valuable exercise to watch turkeys scratch while they are moving.  There is usually a cadence (rhythm) to their scratching.  Often it sounds like:  scratch; scratch-scratch; scratch.

You may also see contented hens scratching the earth, looking for food.  They usually make soft clucking and purring noises as they feed.

Vary Your Walking Patterns According to Terrain

If you are walking through a pine tree area, turkeys move more quickly than in a field of acorns and oak trees.

Around acorns, turkeys move slowly because they are looking for food, scratching for insects, etc.

Copy their behaviors for a more successful turkey hunt!

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‘1000 Minnesota Turkeys’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 9:21 am  Comments Off on Another Mistake Turkey Hunters Make  
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Talkin’ Turkey: Studying the Land Before Hunting

Hunters who have early access to the land where they will be turkey hunting have an incredible advantage over those who arrive just in time to start hunting.

What You Are Looking For …

Doing Pre-Season Work Will Serve You Well During Turkey Hunting!

In pre-season, finding the turkey roosts  is the key to a great hunting season.  By walking the area early, without gun or trappings, you will have a much easier time of locating roosts and strutting areas.

Turkeys seem to favor agricultural areas, bottom lands and the woods.  They also need a source of water.

Turkeys eat a mixture of seeds, nuts and fruits, greens and insects. Around agricultural areas, they eat the waste grains in fields:  buckwheat, corn, soybeans, oats, and grain sorghum.

Hens eat about 1/3 pound of food, while gobblers need 1/2 to 1 lb. daily. Turkeys are going to range within an area that will offer the herd enough food and water.

Turkey Behavior

During the fall and winter seasons, male and female turkeys travel in large groups.  In early spring however, the bunches separate along gender lines.  Each sex has differing tasks.

As you might imagine, the guys are going to argue about who is the “biggest and baddest.”  Biologists would say they are working out their dominance issues.

The jakes (young males) have left their mothers and are learning their new roles.  They watch the fights for dominance between the more seasoned gobblers (adult males).

The females search for safe nesting areas and prepare their nests for the incubation period after breeding.  Given a choice, females often choose the base of a mature tree or stump, in open woods.

Applying What You Have Learned

Once the two sexes separate, their roosts tend to be considerable distances from each other.  Gobblers talk year-round, with a huge increase before and during breeding.

Gobblers seem to need to chatter; so listen for their gobbling.  Once you have found turkeys, sit and watch for awhile. Listen to the calling and gobbling. How do the other birds react?

Finally

By doing this pre-season work now, when the season starts you can move in, take your limit and go home.

As the turkey season progresses, it gets harder to snare a gobbler. Turkeys are not stupid.

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This is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: Studying the Land Before Hunting  
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