Author Topic: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.  (Read 5426 times)

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Offline Andrea S

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Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« on: March 23, 2015, 11:56:22 am »
Hey everyone! There are a lot of good threads on this board about various aspects of turkey hunting, many of them more nuanced discussions of particular techniques. I would love it if some of you more experienced folks could provide me with a bit of a primer. My fiance has hunted turkey with his compound bow before, but always with friends who are more "sick for it" than him (he's an antelope and mule deer guy mostly), so his advice is fairly general and leans on a handful of experiences.

Here's my situation: I was lucky enough to draw a local (Gallatin County, Montana) turkey tag. I plan to make a serious effort on hunting public land, although I may have a private spot available to me if I can't turn anything up by the last part of the season. This obviously limits my ability to use blinds or stands, since anyone can roll up and mess with it or take it, and sometimes range cows or horses will trample things.

Here are my basic questions for you all:

1. When calling, do you use a diaphragm call to keep your hands free, or do you find a mechanical call to be more reliable?
2. How necessary are decoys? I don't own any, I may be able to rustle some up, but I don't want to hike them in unless they significantly increase my ability to manipulate the situation.
3. What broadhead do you prefer? I've heard turkey feathers can be like a suit of armor to the wrong thing (namely expandable broadheads from compound bows).
4. Will turkeys "jump the string" like deer? Since I'll be in very close proximity when shooting, do I need to work on making my bow as quiet as possible?

Any other tips and wisdom would be greatly appreciated. If I'm successful, I'll be able to fletch some arrows with extra mojo for elk/antelope/bighorn ewe this fall. Not to mention tasty tasty dinner.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline Pat B

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 01:38:08 pm »
I'm not a turkey hunter but I'll give my thoughts...
 For calling I'd use a few different ones. A mouth call is great when "hands free" is necessary but a box call or scratch call may travel farther plus sounding liker more than one bird might help.
 Having a hen decoy will attract the gobblers attention so he won't be looking for you and adding a jake to the mix will make the gobbler stupid. You know how men can be  ;D
  I think a single blade or narrow 3 blade should work just fine.
 If the gobbler is concentrating on the hen and jake just be sure you only move when the gobbler is looking away from you.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 08:21:44 pm »
Dekes can be an amazing pain in the sitting muscles most of the time....until you need one. They can pay off when a gobbler has been fooled by hunters and still got away.  They may must simply stand back and refuse to commit when they cannot see a hen. 

I, too, agree that a mouth call is a great addition to your calling strategy.  I just can't use 'em.  I do ok with them right until I hear a bird answer and at that point I am gagging and vomiting them all over my shoes.  I adapted by learning to use my own voice to make all kinds of the softer and quieter flock talk.  I use box calls, slates, etc for the "long game" and then switch to my own voice at the end.

A narrower two or three blade broadhead is just fine.  There is no such thing as a reliable mechanical on turkeys. Don't waste your time. And the point should be just as sharp as the edges of the blades.  Feathers, when laid down, make pretty dang good armor!
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline crooketarrow

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 12:20:34 am »
  Read and read some more, Watch all you can. Get out in the woods NOW and learn to call. Use the kiss method KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPIT.

  Get a slate you can't  call to loud, Hens very seldom call loud. It'll make every call you need to know. Yelp,cluck,purr,whines. And the most improtant of all.  A slate sounds almost as naturall as your voice. Grandaddy gave me a slate taught me how to use it. I was 8 I killed the first shot gun gobbler 11 with it in all.

  Learn box calls ,mouth calls, how to use your voice. The more you know the better rounded gobbler hunter you'll be. But start out useing the kiss method ,get a slate.

  A lot of people like to use a locator calls. I do my scouting I know where there roosts are. So I set up , that I've already prepared. I do what my gradaddy shined at.

 I kick back let the morning unfold naturally. Now here's where grandaddy shined. Some where some time in the morning ,you have to learn to join in naturally to the flocks breeding then feeding pattern.

  Bud I could go on for ever.
DEAD IS DEAD NO MATTER HOW FAST YOUR ARROW GETS THERE
20 YEARS OF DOING 20 YEARS OF LEARNING 20 YEARS OF TEACHING

Offline Andrea S

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 12:28:24 am »
All the input is greatly appreciated!

The weather has been really nice lately - I saw three jakes this morning, and watched a lonely tom go to roost this evening. It's pretty tough going here in Montana, as there aren't very robust populations of gobblers, and even fewer pieces of public land you can find them on. I've been doing a lot of scouting lately and am going to float into some public land to scout this weekend (season starts the 11th of April).
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline Andrea S

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 05:38:02 pm »
I think I've got it dialed! I snuck up to 5-10 yards of the flock. The advice you guys have given me has been great! One week till I get to send an arrow their way!
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline Pat B

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 05:41:04 pm »
We're pulling for you, Andrea.   8)
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline TRACY

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 05:55:10 pm »
Looks like you have cover to hide in and call. Some days decoys work other days they won't in my opinion. I started with the diaphragm call for hands free and ease of control without moving to call. I admire the goal of taking one with a bow . For your first turkey, don't rule out using a shotgun though to gain some experience and success. Good luck and post pics of your first bird!


Tracy
It is what it is - make the most of it!    PN500956

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 08:44:05 pm »
Two weeks plus, no updates!  Well.....?
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline Andrea S

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 08:45:33 pm »
I like to keep everyone in suspense. I'll be posting a full write-up once I'm successful - which you can take to mean I haven't arrowed one yet. But boy, have they been kicking my butt up and down! It's been a blast! I've got a good feeling about this week.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. -Abe Lincoln

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 10:03:24 pm »
That's it!  Keep telling yourself that you are a good homo sapiens, a tool user capable of sentient thought and foreplanning and that you will not be bested in a battle of wits with a bird with a brain the size of a shelled pecan!  Fun, huh?

Game of numbers, longer you play the better your chances!  I can't wait to hear the story.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline crooketarrow

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Re: Turkey hunting - public land, start with the basics.
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 12:29:10 pm »
  I hunt main'ly farm land some mountain gobblers, if there easy. Looks open I use bottle necks just like buck hunting and call the gobbler through it. Works good on field gobblers here..
DEAD IS DEAD NO MATTER HOW FAST YOUR ARROW GETS THERE
20 YEARS OF DOING 20 YEARS OF LEARNING 20 YEARS OF TEACHING