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    Turkey hunting tips

    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 52
    Location : Ohio

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    Post by IOSherryHolt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:20 pm

    The Yankee Killer

    -David “Big Daddy” Smith, Owner of Double D Guide Service, Massachusetts

    David Smith’s turkey obsession started innocently enough during the Bay State’s first modern seasons in the early 1980s. “But it wasn’t long at all before I got to the point where I couldn’t not hunt,” says the 50-year-old guide. “I would get up in the middle of the night to hunt another state, drive home, shower, and go to work until 10 p.m. Then I’d do it all over again, every day, until the season closed.”

    Somewhere in there his first wife left him, and Smith threw himself even deeper into the sport. Widely recognized as one of today’s top turkey hunters in New England, Smith has tagged gobblers in a wide variety of habitats and locations, including small woodlots in New Jersey and vast industrial forests in Maine. “Guys would follow my truck, looking for my secret spots,” he says. “What they didn’t know is I didn’t have many. I was hunting public ground and farms other guys hunted.”

    These days Smith puts nearly all of his efforts into helping his clients, who kill 30-plus gobblers each spring. “My wife—I’m happily remarried—teases me about how few birds I kill these days. ‘You always get one on the last day,’ she says. That’s because I never want the season to end.”

    What He Does That Others Don’t
    “Scout obsessively. I’m in the woods an hour before sunup every day for an entire month before the turkey season opens, locating roosts, feeding areas, strut zones, and obstacles that will hang a turkey up. The old saying ‘It’s always easier to call them to where they want to go’ is true. But you don’t learn those places unless you scout like mad.”

    His Secret Tactic
    “When a roosted gobbler doesn’t fly down into my lap at dawn, I listen closely to pinpoint him as he gobbles and struts off the limb. As soon as he moves off, I slip into his landing zone and offer a few yelps. Most of the time, the bird will run back to that spot. He’s thinking Hey! I was gobbling there before, and a hen was just late getting to me. It really works.”

    His Secret Weapon
    “Where it’s legal, I carry a wing from a real hen shot in the fall. I scratch it across a branch or trunk. They’ll gobble just to that. No tree yelp needed.”

    If He Could Only Run One Call
    “I might go crazy. I have 30 calls laid out on my kitchen table before I go out, and I run all of them, listening for the handful that sound perfect to me that day.”

    How He Kills the Toughest Toms
    “Patience, and setup. The way to kill an old, smart turkey is to get in the right spot and wear out the seat of your pants. I tell people that turkeys don’t hang up; they walk to the exact spot where they know they should see the hen they heard. If you can’t shoot to that spot, you’re out of the game.”

    Three Rules to Hunt By:
    1. Be quiet. “When I meet a client, I have him put on his vest and jump once. If I don’t hear a noise from the vest, he can wear it. If I do, it stays at the truck.”

    2. Cover your tracks. “I avoid walking muddy trails, and I pick up every turkey feather I see. Why tip off someone else that there are turkeys in the area?”

    3. Be the bird. “Listen to the turkeys and mimic them. I don’t care how good I think I sound in my truck, I let the birds tell me what they want to hear.”
    I.O. Eric
    I.O. Eric
    12 Point

    Posts : 215
    Join date : 2013-03-27

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    Post by I.O. Eric on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:33 am

    I have learned patients is a huge key. Set a little longer and allow the silent bird to get in range before spooking him.
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 52
    Location : Ohio

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    Post by IOSherryHolt on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:06 pm

    Top Ten Tips for Turkey Hunting
    Top Ten Turkey Hunting Tips
    Top Ten Tips for Hunting Turkeys
    10 Things to remember while turkey hunting
    by Steve Chappell

    1. Although turkeys can’t smell humans, their eyesight is very keen. You must be in head to toe camo and use a face mask. Setup in the shade if possible. A camouflaged shotgun is a good idea.

    2. Setup with your back against a large tree for safety and concealment. If you are right handed, position yourself at about a 90 degree angle to an approaching turkey. Your left shoulder should point at the turkey rather than sitting face on to the turkey. This gives you the most versatility to shoot.

    3. If possible, locate Toms in the evening. You will hear them “cackle” and fly up to roost right before dark.

    4. Turkeys will “shock gobble” at everything from a coyote howl or crow call to a horn honking! Use a “locator call” to locate toms in the evenings prior to fly up or in the mid morning. Then, go to your turkey calls once you are setup and ready.

    5. In the morning, sneak in under cover of darkness, and setup as close as you can to the “roost tree” without spooking the turkeys (75 to 150 yards if possible). As daylight starts to break, give some light hen yelps (“tree yelps”). Once the gobbler answers you, call according to his response. You don’t want to jump all over him, but you can also be too timid. If he is liking your calls, keep him fired up.

    6. Decoys can work great to distract turkeys coming to the call. You can use just hens, a hen with a jake, or we’ve also found a gobbler decoy (B-Mobile) to be very effective. Position the decoys where you will have a good open shot when the tom gets to them.

    7. Learn to use a slate call, box call, and mouth calls if possible. Some turkeys will prefer one sound while others will like something else. This will make you more versatile and more successful.

    8. Once hens get bred and start going to sit on their nests in the morning use this to your advantage. Gobblers will be out looking – this is when hunting mid-morning all the way through afternoon can pay off big.

    9. Never wear or carry anything red, white, or blue when turkey hunting since these are the colors of a gobbler’s head.

    10. When carrying decoys or a turkey out of the woods, drape them with fluorescent orange for safety.

    Have fun and enjoy your time in the woods!

    Concealment is important for Turkey Hunting
    Camo Concealment is important for Turkey Hunting
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 52
    Location : Ohio

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    Post by IOSherryHolt on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:29 am

    « Previous Netty: The Ultimate Turkey GunStrut Zone Home Let's Get it On Next »
    March 25, 2014
    Turkey Hunting School: Lessons Learned from Last Spring - 0
    by Tom Carpenter

    Photo by Donald M. Jones

    The spring gobblers that waft in and out of our lives—refusing to sound off, ignoring our calling altogether, spooking at an errant movement, stalling just out of range, drifting off with a real hen—can be good teachers.

    But unless you end up with a dead turkey in hand, those hunting lessons are incomplete. How can you say, with any certainty, what really went wrong?

    The best turkey hunters learn something new every day in the spring woods. But successful hunts serve as the ultimate golden opportunities to capture valuable turkey-hunting knowledge for future use.

    One spring, three hunters, four states, eight birds: Here are the tales of the turkeys my sons, Ethan and Noah, and I shot last spring, and the lessons learned or confirmed from each one.

    It's time to begin your spring semester.

    1) Hunt the Weather Change
    Date: April 25, Minnesota

    The first three mornings of the season brought miserable weather—mixed precipitation, wind—and no gobbling. But the stars are twinkling now. Gobbling cracks the pink dawn. I sneak as close as I dare into the bare woods and settle into the buttresses of an ancient oak. I call just once while the bird is on the roost—more gobbling. After fluttering down, he comes crunching through old patches of snow. I cluck once to help him find me. He redirects and slinks into range.

    Lessons Learned:
    ▶️ You don't have to call much: When a gobbler's alone and he knows where you are, sometimes it's best to shut up and have faith.
    ▶️ Knowing how birds react to weather changes will increase your odds for success.
    ▶️ Setting up close to a roosted bird minimizes the chances that he'll be intercepted by hens.

    Photo by Denver Bryan / Images on the Wildside

    2) Forget the Classic Hunt
    Date: May 3, South Dakota

    Today's Class: The morning gets all messed up when we get a flat tire on our way to the prime hunting grounds. We make do in a secondary area. After chasing a flock for two hours, we finally glass a new group and loop way out on the rolling prairie to get ahead of them. Sneaking up over a knob, we spy a tail fan. I cluck once, the strutter raises his head, and Ethan drops him.

    Lessons learned:
    ▶️ Bad situation? Make do, and just hunt. You can worry about a flat tire later.
    ▶️ You can't call a flock back to where they've been, so don't be a follower.
    ▶️ Sometimes you must move out—really move out—and freelance it, getting ahead of the birds. It's still hunting, even if it's not classic and doesn't involve meaningful calling.

    3) Go Whitetail
    Date: May 4, South Dakota

    Today's class: Birds have been running from calls. We decide that we need to hunt them like deer. I choose to sit and wait at a field corner where turkeys like to feed. I don't utter a sound, even with birds out in front. A hen sneaks up from behind and spooks, but now I pay more attention to that direction. On one slow swing of my head an hour later, I spot a gobbler right where the hen was. I raise the gun ever so slowly, like it's mired in molasses. He gets a little nervous but hesitates—his downfall.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ Don't call if the birds don't like it. Be patient. Just sit where they want to be. Wait silently, like you would for a whitetail.
    ▶️ Be alert in all directions. This gobbler came in from behind like a ghost, without sound or warning.
    ▶️ Do not panic or quick-draw on a turkey. You will lose. A slow and steady gun wins this race.

    4) Hunt Travel Routes
    Date: May 5, South Dakota

    Today's class: We need one more bird to fill Ethan's last tag. Our rancher friend Bruce told us about a spot where the turkeys pass every morning around 6:30, near three trees and two open fence gates in a pasture. I build Ethan a blind of sticks and branches in the dark the night before our hunt. He sets up there before dawn. I hunt a half mile away, and at 6:28 a.m. I hear one shot. Ethan has dropped a double-bearded, 1 ¼ inch-spurred gobbler.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ For intel on turkey travels, listen to and trust local folks who know, live with, and see the area's birds daily.
    ▶️ Just like whitetails, wild turkeys often follow funnels and take paths of least resistance—in this case, a cow pasture, fence, and open gates.
    ▶️ Don't leave anything to chance. I built just enough of a blind in a tough spot, in the dark, and while exhausted after having been up since 4:15 a.m.

    Photo by Mark Miller / Images on the Wildside

    5) Know the Terrain
    Date: May 10, South Dakota

    Today's class: During the late afternoon, the turkeys are out feeding. We sneak down the backside of a fence line and set up at a gap where we've seen birds crossing between fields. Like clockwork, they follow the turkey highway to our hideaway, and I shoot a 2-year-old gobbler at 30 paces.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ Scouting pays. We saw these birds 300 yards from where I eventually shot one. Had we not known the ground, we never would have been waiting where we were.
    ▶️ Get dirty: We spent half our stalk on our bellies in an army crawl.
    ▶️ A warm, sunny late afternoon is great for turkey movement.

    6) Relax and Settle In
    Date: May 11, Nebraska

    Today's class: Frustrating day. We moved around too much in the morning and were either in the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time. For the evening, I tone it down and settle in at 4:45 p.m. for a long, long wait. Three hours later, birds start appearing in our field. After a few soft calls on my slate, a gobbler breaks off, marches a hundred yards over, and struts right in, just like that. Noah pounds him at 28 steps.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ When frustration sets in, take a break. We went to town for midafternoon burgers and Cokes to shore ourselves up and relax before a long evening sit.
    ▶️ Just waiting in a good spot is one of your best turkey-hunting bets at any time; patience and positivity are a turkey hunter's greatest assets.
    ▶️ Pay attention to the breeding phases. Just a week ago and a few miles away, birds were fleeing calls. Now they are coming in on a string to a couple of soft purrs and clucks.

    7) Yak It Up
    Date: May 12, Nebraska

    Today's class: A cold front blew in bringing roaring wind and temperatures in the 20s—feels like winter. We see birds a quarter mile away on roost, but they fly down and go the other way. We tough it out in the wind. An hour later—was that a gobble down the hill? I call as loud as I can on a box call. The bird sounds off and Noah says it's a little closer. I say get ready now. I call again—loud—and the bird blows our socks off. In a half minute the gobbler jogs over the rise at 15 steps, and it's over.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ Sometimes (on a windy day, for example) you must call loudly so the birds can hear you. And remember: If you can hear them in the wind, the birds are closer than you think.
    ▶️ Finding the right bird at the right time—a lonely gobbler—is the number-one key to success at any time of spring.
    ▶️ Stick it out until the very last day of the season. May often sees a second gobbling peak.

    Cool Late Can Be Great
    Date: May 19, Wisconsin

    It's the last days of the season. The majority of hens are scattered and sitting on nests. Toms, though, are on the move, gobbling well and looking to breed the last few receptive hens. After a stormy night, it dawns clear, calm, and gorgeous. An hour after dawn, I glass a gobbler three fields over and call. He gobbles and starts in. Unbelievable. The bird flutters across a rain-swollen creek and serpentines through a pasture of cows to get to my decoy—where I drop him.

    Lessons learned
    ▶️ Late in the season, toms are still interested in breeding, and if the hens are on nests, the gobblers are lonely.
    ▶️ Sometimes the best decoy is simply what a gobbler wants: a single hen. It helps to have that visual for him to focus on.
    ▶️ Intense calling can work. Adjust according to the gobbler's particular mood on a given day.
    I.O. Jess
    I.O. Jess
    12 Point

    Posts : 293
    Join date : 2013-03-27
    Age : 26
    Location : Hocking County, Ohio

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    Post by I.O. Jess on Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:38 pm

    Some great info right there!
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 52
    Location : Ohio

    Turkey hunting tips Empty More great turkey tips

    Post by IOSherryHolt on Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:27 pm

    Everyone loves pot-and-peg calls for spring turkey hunting, but are you truly maximizing the potential of these great devices? Here, turkey calling champion Scott Ellis gives you 10 phenomenal pointers to have you yelping like a pro in no time.
    Striker Angle
    One of the first critical points when running a call is the angle of the striker as it contacts the calling surface. If there is too much or too little angle, you can’t achieve optimum sound quality. You need about a 110-degree angle to create the best tone. This applies to almost all the sounds you will be making. If you don’t achieve the exact sound, simply move the striker a little more toward you or away from you until you identify the angle that creates the best sound.
    Striker-to-Calling-Surface Pressure
    This is another critical factor. I’ve witnessed many hunters applying too much striker pressure to the calling surface of a pot call. This causes the call to create a high-pitched squeaking sound, which is not conducive to quality hen calling. It will also make the striker drag, making it almost impossible to create the ovals needed for good yelping. Simply, when you’ve implemented critical techniques, you only need light to medium striker-to-calling-surface pressure to create hen sounds.
    Gripping the Striker/Grip Pressure/Grip Position on the Striker
    There are two main grips used by most turkey callers on stage and in the woods. One is the pencil grip, and the other is what I call the chopstick grip. Each can create good turkey talk. It’s purely personal preference.
    The grips are self-explanatory. The pencil grip simply involves holding the striker as you would grip a pencil when writing. The chopstick grip mimics how you would hold the stick that rests closest to the web in your hand. The striker shaft rests on your ring finger.
    After you’ve chosen a grip, the grip pressure and position become imperative for quality sound. All calls require light to medium grip pressure. The exception is the kee-kee. When making a whistle, you increase the grip pressure on the shaft. This lets you obtain the high-pitched tone needed to create the kee.
    Grip positions on the shaft of the striker range from center, slightly shy of center and slightly above center toward the head of the striker. Small adjustments make the difference in effectively creating calls.
    Pot Grip
    Often, you see hunters laying a pot call flat in the palm of their hand. This is incorrect and will deaden the resonating rasp and tone of which the call is capable. It’s simple to correctly grip the call. Place your fingertips on the outer rim of the pot with only enough pressure to control the call. Holding the call on the tips of your fingers lets sound escape the bottom of the call freely and emits the best tone. Again, overtightening your grip on the call can deaden the sound.
    Applying the Techniques
    Now that you’ve applied the proper grips and pressures, let’s put the techniques to use so you can attain better quality calling. Let’s examine five of the most common spring calls, including the kee-kee, and then apply the previous instructions. Either striker grip will work. My preference is the pencil grip. Try them both, and even experiment a little. Note: When I wrote “hold” the striker shaft, I referred to the placement of your thumb on the striker shaft. Your thumb will create the grip pressure.
    Yelping: Place your fingers on the striker in the middle of the shaft. Start the yelp with light striker-to-calling-surface pressure to obtain the sweet front note to start the yelp. Then slightly increase pressure as you get into the series. This increase in pressure will help the yelp roll over, creating the high-to-low pitch needed for realism. Make quarter-sized counter-clockwise ovals, and you should create an awesome yelp. Make sure you’re hearing the distinct high-to-low transition. If you’re not, make your ovals a little larger.
    Clucking and cutting: Place your fingers on the middle of the striker. Apply a medium amount of striker-to-calling-surface pressure. Then apply slight downward pressure, with the striker traveling toward the middle of the call, until the striker jumps. This will create your cutt note or cluck. Then replace the striker to the start point by reversing the direction, never removing the striker from the calling surface. Simply restart the process and continue cutting or clucking. Note: When cutting, to obtain a little louder and higher-pitched note, apply slightly more striker-to-calling-surface pressure. When the striker jumps, assist the downward motion with a little wrist action.
    Cluck and purr: Place your fingers a little past midway on the striker, toward the head of the striker. This creates a higher fulcrum point, letting the tip of the striker bite the calling surface a little better. Then pull downward in a small, slow and steady motion. This will make the striker chatter on the calling surface, creating the purr. Note: Although you will generally hold the pot with the tips of your fingers, I sometimes bring the pot closer to the palm of my hand, creating a smaller sound chamber. That helps muffle the sound of the purr, making it more realistic.
    Tree call: Place your fingers slightly past midway on the striker, toward the striker tip. This lets the striker slide easier. Use light striker-to-calling-surface pressure. Then make small ovals in a counter-clockwise motion — the same type of oval illustrated for basic yelping. This will create wicked tree yelps.
    Cackle: Place your fingers on the middle of the striker. The cackle note is essentially the same as a cutt note. You are simply changing the rhythm. Start with a few soft clucks and tree calls, and then build into your cackle. Start with four or five quick notes, and then slow down the rhythm as you mimic the hen hitting the ground. The complete sequence should be 10 to 12 cackle notes.
    Kee-Kee: Place your fingers a little past midway on the striker, closer to the tip. As you grip the striker, use your thumb to apply generous pressure to the shaft. This will let you create the high note of the whistle. Apply light to medium striker-to-calling-surface pressure. Then create the first right-to-left motion associated with the yelp, but do not complete the oval. This creates the whistle. Produce three to four whistles. At the end of the whistle sequence, relax the pressure and complete the oval to create the yelp note at the end of a kee-kee run sequence.
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