New Turkey hunter Tips

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by MNBowBender, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. MNBowBender

    MNBowBender Weekend Warrior

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    So this year I'm going to give turkey hunting a shot here in my home state of Minnesota. I'm justing looking for any pointers as this will be my first season going after a gobbler. How many decoys, calls, is a ground blind an absolute must? MN allows for a very long season for archery hunters, late April though May. Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. emgepi

    emgepi Weekend Warrior

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    If you can use only one call halfway decent, you can call in a turkey. Don't worry about sounding like a competition caller either. Some of the strangest sounding turkey calls come out of live turkey. Obviously, the more calls you can use, the better since sometimes a stubborn tom might not react to the first call you try, but the next one might fire him up. Try not to overcall. Try to mimic the sounds that other hens make. If you can get her interested and coming your way, chances are a tom might be in tow. If you can see a tom working your way, sometimes it's best to just be silent and let him come. He knows you're there and the last thing you want to to do is make a sound that he doesn't like or causes him to hangup.

    For bowhunting, a blind isn't 100% necessary, but it will definitely help you draw. Sometimes a deer will look at you long enough to get a shot off when they see you, but in my experience a turkeys first reaction is to run without hesitation. If you have decoys out and he is distracted, that could definitely work in your favor but limiting movement is key in turkey hunting.

    As far as decoys go, that can be tough. Sometimes having a hen decoy out in a field is going to cause the tom to hangup just out of range since he might wait for her to come to him. On the other hand, if he gets to where he figures he should be able to see the hen that was calling to him and he can't see her, he could figure out that something is up. Other times, he may just walk right in to your setup. A strutter decoy can be feast or famine as well. I have had toms rush right in without hesitation ready for a fight and I have had some subordinate gobblers skirt out range.

    Scouting is important. If you are going to use a blind, make sure it is in a known feeding area where the hens will want to be right after flydown. This location can vary day to day, especially if they decide to roost in different areas from one day to the next. Finding the trees they like to roost in consistently is a great starting point for narrowing down a spot for your setup.

    If you don't get a tom first thing in the morning, try to be patient. Throughout the day, the toms may lose track of their hens or the hens may need to go sit on the nest. This is a great time to call in a lonely gobbler.

    I know that none of this is concrete information to go on, but nothing in hunting ever is. Hopefully this gives you some starting points at least. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any more specific questions.
     
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  3. gri22ly

    gri22ly Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Keep the sun at your back, claim the high ground and sound sexy. To kill a gobbler, be the hen....literally, do what hen's do. Go where they go, make only the sounds a searching hen makes and stay mobile.

    Also keep in mind, It's nearly impossible to call and old tom over a ditch, road, through a fence row, into cover or down a hill.

    Don't try to sound like a pro...a lot of the sounds they make are warning, or anxious alert sounds...and most are out of context and don't belong in the same sequence. Not sure why they call it a "turkey calling contest" when it's actually a "turkey sounding contest"....you're not going to call in a turkey doing what they do, lol.

    Disclaimer; I've always hunted high pressure public lands for turkey, so what I do and how I do it reflects my personal experience, environment....and the large number of mature tom's I've taken off said grounds over the past 30 year's.
     
  4. Flatstatehunter

    Flatstatehunter Weekend Warrior

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    I agree with the previous posts regarding taking the high ground and don' try to over complicate with using all calls available.

    In my experience using one call works well but all calls have there benfits. I can get everything done with a box call but at close range you will give away location with the increased movement. I would recommend getting a mouth call. I now use a mouth call exclusively unless needing long range calling (box call).

    A blind isn't essential but does hide alot of movement. It also allows for hunting more comfortable during bad weather.

    Decoys I like to use either a hen alone, hen with 3/4 strutting jake, or jake alone. It doesnt seem to deter other Jakes from coming in and pisses Toms off if you put the hen in breeding position. I use the gobbstopper decoys by primos and really like them for the price.

    I prefer hunting mornings. Get close to the roosting area but not to close and/or feeding areas.

    Just be patient and mimic what the birds are doing.
     
  5. Hillbilly Jedi

    Hillbilly Jedi Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Like others said, a blind isn't a must but will make it easier. Wear black from the waist up in the blind to match the inside of it. The hardest thing to do bowhunting turkeys is to get your bow drawn. Even though you're in a blind, don't think your invisible. They can and sometimes will still see you. Move like the blind wasn't there.

    In my experience, I use decoys more in the afternoon rather than in the morning. Male birds will tend to hang around following the hens for a while in the morning and just go where they go. It's less likely you'll call a male away from the hens in the morning. In the afternoon, the males are more likely to venture out looking for other hens and that's when I've been more successful with calls and decoys.

    Be patient and don't over call a bird. If you call and get a reply, maybe give one more call back just to him know I hear you. Then sit tight for a bit, maybe 30 minutes or so. He'll still remember where the call came from and if he wants to, he'll head that way.

    Probably the easiest way to hunt them it so scout and try to learn their pattern. Find where they roost and watch where they go. Then put yourself on that path. They won't always follow the same path but more times than not they will. Also put up your blind in advance. I know people are successful setting up that morning but sometimes they need the time to get used to the new thing in their environment. Especially if they aren't hunted much in the area.

    Best of luck to ya! It's a lot of fun!
     

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