Turkey Hunting Tips and Tricks

Sealesniper

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
1,585
Location
Eastern NC
Joe,

Nothing beats good calling. And nothing hurts worse than bad calling or over calling.

If you are new to turkey hunting and want to put a bird on the ground, spend some time watching your hunting lands to see where the birds like to be. They follow some predictable patterns. If you are not proficient with the call, get some good quality decoys, a blind and set it up in a highly visible (to the turkeys) location and leave your call at home. Set blind up near a point out in a field, or in an open area between the swamp/roost and fields. Once again, the scouting will help you locate bird ambush points.

Once you have your location, get in well before daybreak and set your decoys up 25 yard out for shotgun, 12-15 yards out for bow, and sit tight. If you are decent with a call, you can call every 20-30 minutes, but keep volume low. If you have a bird hammer at you, you can call again, and if he hammers back, put your call down and get ready. He might run in, or he may take 3 hours, but he knows where the "hen" is and he will come looking.

If you have other questions, feel free to PM me. I can share with you 30+ years of my turkey hunting experience. Once you have called in a thunderchicken be prepared to be hooked for life. It can be an addiction.

While there are good decoys on the market, if you plan to turkey hunt for many years, and investment in DSD's or Avian X is always a good start.

Once you are proficient in calling, you can decide to leave the blind and decoys at home, and just find the birds on the roost and work close enough to call them from the roost to your freezer.

Roger
 

Bucklowery

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
730
Location
northwest florida
Yes and spend some times studying them their actions and habits. Turkeys do and act much differently in fall compared to the spring obviously. Also they are turkeys and turkeys are turkeys wherever they are. I have found significant differences in different parts of the country. If they could move and eat and night and smell good, you might never kill one.

I have found great encouragement and comfort reminding myself that “turkeys are somewhere all the time”. Lol

Thanks

Buck
 

missiletester

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
11
Location
AL
Yes and spend some times studying them their actions and habits. Turkeys do and act much differently in fall compared to the spring obviously. Also they are turkeys and turkeys are turkeys wherever they are. I have found significant differences in different parts of the country. If they could move and eat and night and smell good, you might never kill one.

I have found great encouragement and comfort reminding myself that “turkeys are somewhere all the time”. Lol

Thanks

Buck
Same thing we say around here: If turkeys could smell, you would never kill one.

My advice OP is to try and be quiet. Only call when you can't stand to sit there any longer. The more you watch and listen to the hens, the better you will get.
 

TimberWalker

Active Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
43
Location
Missouri
Time in the field figuring out their patterns will get you a lot of the way there.

Good advice given on over-calling. I'll disagree a bit on needing to sound perfect, some of the worst hen vocalizations I've heard in my life have been from live birds.

Definitely sit longer than you think you need to, on a morning hunt I've gotten most toms (jakes are a different story) anywhere from 10-11:30.

Watching them roost then sneaking in the morning after and setting up gets the adrenaline pumping. Very fun to be sitting in the middle of them sounding off, just don't be surprised if they fly down to somewhere other than where you set up. Be patient, which can be hard after getting amped up in that situation.
 

jimss

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
120
All great posts so far! One thing I’ve learned is to watch turkey reaction to calls, decoy type, decoy setups etc. if they see something they don’t like they head the other way. Be willing to change things up instead of doing the same thing time after time.

Things can change dramatically from March through May. Toms and hens may be in giant winter flicks early, toms are henned up in late April, or hens may be on nests in May. Adjust for these changes.
 

wv270wsm

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
642
Pattern the birds I’ve found it much easier to be along their route and call to love sick toms then to try and pull him away . More than likely he’ll not be far from live hens . If you’re along their travel routes things are stacked more in your favor . I personally haven’t had much luck hunting the roost never fails something always goes wrong . But also for the last 10 years I’ve drug my two sons along with me . And they always cough or move at the most inappropriate times. And hunting the roost isn’t the place for that . But with that being said theyre young men now and have grown into great hunters themselves . But yet the oldest son has no interest in trying to call a bird in he’d rather have dad call for him . And I’ll do it till my last breath if the good lord allows me too. God I love chasing thunder chickens!
 

WV Hitman

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
13
Location
eastern WV
Patterning is good...sometimes. Calling is good...sometimes. Noise is bad..always. Movement is bad...always. I my 55+ years of turkey hunting I think luck is very important. I'm accused of being a turkey magnet. I call, I walk woods like crazy, but mostly I look for sign- scratching, droppings, then I park my old behind for hours at a time and...wait. I call some. Get answered about 20% of the time. When that happens it gets hot and heavy. I hate to remember how many hours I've sat and seen/heard nothing.
Last spring I saw a nice gobbler while groundhog hunting. Got permission from the farmer to hunt him. I sat for 9 DAYS watching, calling, looking in the cold, mist, rain. Day #9 I was ready to quit at 9AM. Decided to stick it out a little longer. The best weather of the 9 days. No answer to calls. 20 minute later he shows rounding a hillside 129 yds. away! I get my .454 Freedom Arms revolver on my Bog Pod tripod and wait for him to go 40 yards to a 6' clearing. I held on the wing butts and fired while he was walking. Down and dead.
Why a revolver? I don't own any handguns. I like a challenge. Shotguns are too easy.
Why did I get him- patience, persistence, knowing how to shoot, and my life long "turkey luck". This was turkey #36 with this revolver. 21 1/2#, 9" beard, 1 1/2" spurs. Found a bullet that puts a 1 1/4" hole thru the wing butts with no meat damage.
Went back here in the fall. After 5 trips I got a 19#, 7"beard, 1" spur gobbler at just 68 yards. He was feeding with 4 hens and one jake. # 37 .454 turkey.
Turkey hunting takes more patience than any other animal I've hunted.
 

Attachments

  • DSC01301.JPG
    DSC01301.JPG
    1.1 MB · Views: 23
  • DSC01366.JPG
    DSC01366.JPG
    844.9 KB · Views: 22

DougsCamo

Active Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
32
I agree with practically all that has been said so far! The patterning is oh so important it cannot be mentioned enough and staying in the field as long as you can or the law allows. In Virginia, the real part, not northern, the season hunting hours for the first half of the season stop at 12:00 PM. I have killed almost as many turkeys between 11:00 and 12:00 as I have before 9:00.
Something that has really improved my success was buying a tom decoy with a slot on the tail so that a real fan can be attached. Really gets an aggressive bird fired up and he often throws caution to the wind and runs in to beat the crap out of the "intruder"!
Of course, sometimes the other younger turkeys in the area have already been whipped and are reluctant to approach! You will have to do some homework in your scouting and patterning to determine just "who" you are working!
 

Mike_Cass

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
15
Location
covington, Pa
If you are hunting the same area every morning, try not to call from the same locations. More often than not, a gobbler hears you and he’ll come to your call, maybe not for hours after you were there but he remembers and he’ll come looking. A couple times of him coming to a call from the same spot and nothing there he’ll no something is up. Patience is key. If you’re working a bird and he doesn’t come right in, give it time. Like I said above, he’ll come in it just might take a day or 2 or 3 or maybe a few hrs. But they remember where that call came from. And just because he doesn’t come in doesn’t mean you need to keep calling. There’s times for aggressive calling and there’s times to just stay silent. Turkey hunting is a big mind game. I’ve been hunting them for 32 yrs and learn something every time and get outsmarted all the time. My dad always said if turkeys could smell you’d never kill one. Good luck
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top