jettyjockey18

Almost turkey time...

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4 hours ago, bob_G said:

The amount of hens I'm seeing walking around, with and without toms tells me a lot of birds have yet to nest.

The birds I heard today were right in the same roost as Thurs. Gonna try them again on Thurs. Time to start calling hens. 

very likely the hens are a little late nesting this year due to the god awful weather we've had since early april...poults don't do well in wet conditions...

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4 hours ago, bob_G said:

The amount of hens I'm seeing walking around, with and without toms tells me a lot of birds have yet to nest.

The birds I heard today were right in the same roost as Thurs. Gonna try them again on Thurs. Time to start calling hens. 

 

If you don’t mind me asking. What’s the best strategy for calling hens?

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3 mins ago, jmarino12 said:

 

If you don’t mind me asking. What’s the best strategy for calling hens?

Here's what I do. It doesn't always work, but sometimes its your only chance.

Often hens are completely unresponsive to toms. The hens will fly down at dawn, make soft yelps, purrs and cuts to one another. The toms will fly down, gobble and put on their macho show. But for some reason the hens aren't interested, and just walk slowly away. The toms follow, often 50 yards behind, gobbling in frustration.

So here's what I do to try and call hens.  I'll work two, sometimes three calls. Not at once of course, but alternating, one to another.  I use diaphragms, switching just to get different tones. Some old and raspy, some young.  You're calling the hens, and they can be very slow. It can easily take 2 hours. The tom will tag along behind the hens. 

It takes practice, and its easy to over call. In this case less is more.

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9 hours ago, jettyjockey18 said:

very likely the hens are a little late nesting this year due to the god awful weather we've had since early april...poults don't do well in wet conditions...

Maybe, but I generally believe things never change to much.

 

Seems classic around here. Seeing single hens everywhere near cover, big toms by themselves roaming around, sometimes in pairs.

 

I'd guess the first poults will be seen in a week or two.

 

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2 hours ago, BrianBM said:

I have heard that turkeys are harder to hunt than deer, and these stories put some nice flesh on those bones - so to speak. 

 

As an avid deer hunter; and somebody that does not take turkey season too seriously; I think one of the major differences right out of the gate is there are not turkeys in every section of woods like many seem to believe. You could point to any spot on a map and I would bet I could go there and find sign of local deer herds, bigger woods being harder to hunt than smaller woods. That is not the case with turkeys; they use a very specific type of terrain. Especially at this time of year.

 

I would venture to say more than 70 percent of the woods I scout don't have active turkey populations. Add into that people that like to feed the local turkeys bringing them more and more each year into yards and neighborhoods; it is much tougher in my opinion to find a legally hunt able turkey than it is a deer. I don't think I would say a mature tom is harder to hunt once they are found than a mature whitetail but they are not dumb by any means.

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There was once a time in my life I lived for deer hunting. I scouted deer 12 months a year. I lived for it.

Then turkey came along, and I lost all interest in deer. Spring tom season was so intoxicating it was sexy. Spring is emerging, the weather is beautiful, birds are singing, you're in full camo calling birds with three toes. What's there not to :heart:?

Also what CcCstriper89 said regarding feeding turkey.  It's a major problem here on the Cape and in other parts of the state. Due to their gregarious nature, they birds are easily habituated.  It's cute to feed them in your back yard, until they become a nuisance. The toms, by nature often become territorial and aggressive and chase homeowners. That's when F&W gets the call to correct a situation which never should have occurred in the first place.

Edited by bob_G

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3 hours ago, CcCstriper89 said:

 

As an avid deer hunter; and somebody that does not take turkey season too seriously; I think one of the major differences right out of the gate is there are not turkeys in every section of woods like many seem to believe. You could point to any spot on a map and I would bet I could go there and find sign of local deer herds, bigger woods being harder to hunt than smaller woods. That is not the case with turkeys; they use a very specific type of terrain. Especially at this time of year.

 

I would venture to say more than 70 percent of the woods I scout don't have active turkey populations. Add into that people that like to feed the local turkeys bringing them more and more each year into yards and neighborhoods; it is much tougher in my opinion to find a legally hunt able turkey than it is a deer. I don't think I would say a mature tom is harder to hunt once they are found than a mature whitetail but they are not dumb by any means.

 

2 hours ago, bob_G said:

There was once a time in my life I lived for deer hunting. I scouted deer 12 months a year. I lived for it.

Then turkey came along, and I lost all interest in deer. Spring tom season was so intoxicating it was sexy. Spring is emerging, the weather is beautiful, birds are singing, you're in full camo calling birds with three toes. What's there not to :heart:?

Also what CcCstriper89 said regarding feeding turkey.  It's a major problem here on the Cape and in other parts of the state. Due to their gregarious nature, they birds are easily habituated.  It's cute to feed them in your back yard, until they become a nuisance. The toms, by nature often become territorial and aggressive and chase homeowners. That's when F&W gets the call to correct a situation which never should have occurred in the first place.

Interesting point.  

 

I've never seen or heard anything from NYS DEC about feeding wildlife other than Please Don't Do That.  On Long Island, deer are the usual animals involved. The Ooooh Soooo Cuuuute people who find deer just sooooo adorable are half the reason that deer are traffic hazards. I've met quite enough deer, hellbent on suicide, coming and going from the beach. You can't go slow enough or fast enough to completely mitigate the risk. A few years ago I spun on a wet access road to Democrat Point while avoiding an idiot deer that jumped in front of me at the last moment, and stared, unmoving, at me. If a vehicle had been in an adjacent lane, an accident would've happened. Once I was stopped, the deer suddenly came to life, leaped across the center island that divides the lanes, and was broadsided by a jeep. The deer ran off but I can't imagine it not suffering massive internal injuries. The impact sent the deer flying, even though it got up.

 

I've had to stop for turkeys once or twice (not as often as I have to stop for Canadas crossing the road, or refusing to yield the right of way). I can certainly see that feeding them invites problems. 

 

Angler 1 has talked about baiting turkeys into his yard, to keep it tick-free. Anyone else doing that?  And is anyone in this thread, or Forum, keeping guinea fowl or other smaller birds for their tick-eating skill?

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"There was once a time in my life I lived for deer hunting. I scouted deer 12 months a year. I lived for it.

Then turkey came along, and I lost all interest in deer. Spring tom season was so intoxicating it was sexy. Spring is emerging, the weather is beautiful, birds are singing, you're in full camo calling birds with three toes. What's there not to :heart:?"

 

I'll tell ya what.  

 

"This stinks. I'm soaked from the waist down. Heard 2 birds  gobble right at 445. They continued until they flew down at 530 then went into silent mode. If you're a turkey hunter you know what that's like. 39* and soaking wet."

 

If I get dunked while casting, I at least can move around, and then wimp out and slosh back to the 4runner to get warm. Holding still while soaked ... not for me.  

 

Do you wear neoprene waders while turkey hunting? 

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Interesting morning. In the woods 4am. The owl convention must be in town. Birds, often several birds hooting, growling and barking on every hill and hollow all around me.

Weather cleared, going to be a beautiful day. 510am hear my first birds gobble. Followed by birds on every hill around. The three birds I've been following for a week relocated their roost. Another half mile to the east, around a swamp. :(

By 530 all gobbling activity ceased.  I'm calling trying to get something to answer. Caught movement to my right, here come three deer.  All three have their heads up, and approaching in the rigid step by step thing they do when they're unsure. At 25 yards they winded me and vanished.  15 minutes later more movement. Another deer. Approaching from the same direction, same cautious approach. 25 yards she winds me and off she goes. 15 minutes later more movement. A fifth deer! Same approach, slamming each hoove to the ground on her approach. 25 yards she stomps, snorts and begins blatting and off she goes. Cool stuff, 5 deer in a half hour. Makes you wonder if a turkey call would work archery season?

On the way back to the car was attacked by a mean mother robin. Her nest must have been real close as she was freaking out.  Left her area so she could return to her nest, wherever it was.  Nicest day of 2019.

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think I'm done for this season, work and my kids baseball schedule kinda conspired against me...overall a bit disappointing, with the exception of my son Garrett calling in and harvesting his first bird completely on his own...only managed to get out opening day and the first and second saturdays...got chatty with some toms last saturday that were totally henned up, otherwise my spots were quiet...oh well, until next spring...

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