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Turkey Killing Tip

mrex

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#1
If you struggle to consistently kill turkeys and killing a turkey is your primary objective in the spring turkey woods, I’ll let you in on a secret that will dramatically increase your success…and no, it’s not baiting or tenderizing them through the feet. This technique is a close second on the boring scale to sitting in a blind with decoys over a food plot or field edge. And I’ll add, I don’t hunt this way, and if turkey hunting ever comes to this for me, I will quit turkey hunting.

I know guys who can’t call a turkey on the telephone, yet they fill their tags legally every spring. They’re not good callers, they’re good crawlers. This doesn’t mean that they stalk turkeys, but rather, they’re good woodsman. They move quietly through the woods, are patient, and can sit statue still for extended periods of time. The single biggest mistake spring turkey hunters make is calling too much and calling too loud. I don’t know anyone more guilty of this than me. I just love to hear them gobble.

Most of the birds I call up each year are satellite 2 year olds. These birds make anybody look good. The handful of “hooked” spur birds we kill are usually taken later in the season and later in the day after the hens have gone to nest. Calling too much, as I do, is the formula for failure with henned up gobblers.

Some people think that turkeys on public land or any heavily hunted ground are harder to kill because they’re call shy. This is complete bullshit. A turkey brain is the size of a pea. They do not learn from their mistakes or by watching their friends make mistakes. A mature whitetail? HELL YES! A mature gobbler? NOT A CHANCE! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve called up a group of gobblers, shot one at point blank, stood up and high fived, while the surviving gobblers throttle the bird on the ground. Birds in heavily hunted areas don’t gobble much and usually go the opposite direction of your calls because they’re looking at hens and the gobbler to hen ratios are so screwed up that there is little to no competition. In nature, the hens seek out the gobblers. Every time you yelp at him, you’re saying “here I am.” And every time he answers you, he’s saying. “here I am.” And he expects you to come to him. The more you call and the more he gobbles, the better chance that a hen will intercept him and she doesn’t like to share. It doesn’t matter how good you sound, she looks better…they are all Victoria’s Secret Models. After hearing a gobbler on the roost, if a hunter quietly moves into a logical position and doesn’t make a sound, there’s a decent chance that gobbler is going to pass within range if you’re patient and still. I hear birds on the roost in the fall a lot while deer hunting…and they almost always pass by my stand sometime during the hunt.

Personally, I’d rather buy one at Krogers as the silent approach isn’t nearly as fun as calling up a bird, but if you just like to shoot them, it is highly effective.
 
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rossbows

Junior Member
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bellefontaine
#2
You hit that one right on the head. I tag out every year and I call very little. I just use soft clucks and purrs works great for me. Late morning is the best I have found for pulling them in.
 

xbowguy

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#3
I agree Mike. Most guys I know call like they do on TV...... Gotta think about it, They're Selling Turkey Calls! They don't want you to know a couple cuts from just about any call will do.
 

Gern186

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NW Ohio Tundra
#4
This describes my uncle exactly.....he can't call for shit, but he is one hell of a woodsman. He is very patient and knows how to be stealthy when walking through the woods, and will remain in the same spot for hours at a time some days. He kills at least 2 birds mostly every year.
 
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#5
I am guilty of calling too much, and have no plans to quit. For close to a decade I quit going during season, but spent the weeks prior "educating" every bird I could find. I would go out at every opportunity before season to call to them - they are typically more responsive earlier in the year and I always found that more enjoyable!
 
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#7
I am guilty of calling too much, and have no plans to quit. For close to a decade I quit going during season, but spent the weeks prior "educating" every bird I could find. I would go out at every opportunity before season to call to them - they are typically more responsive earlier in the year and I always found that more enjoyable!
What do you think I'm doing next week? My only chance to be in Ohio til May. I'm going turkey hunting with my camera!
 
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#8
Yes. I would much rather call them in and watch them than shoot them. I started hunting them again maybe ten years ago or so, but could care less if I never kill another. I don't think they are as tasty as a Butterball, they stink, and I typically shoot them a long way from the truck. I'd prefer to call them in and never pull the trigger than to sit quietly and shoot one. Not to say I haven't shot silent birds, I have, it just isn't what I prefer. When I was a kid, I hunted with an old man that was one of the very first to kill a legal turkey after Ohio reinstated season. He knew a lot about turkeys, and he told me "If they are talking, they aren't walking" . He was right, but it is more fun to hear them gobble than to hear leaves rustle when they finally come walking in. In fact, I'd rather hear one gobbling just out of sight than to watch a field full of them strutting around a groundblind.
 

xbowguy

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#10
My first Turkey tasted like crap! Then a guy taught me to breast them out, slice it ACROSS the grain into 1/2" steak's. Marinate them in Caribean Jerk Seasoning for at least an hour, then cook it on the Grill. I wouldn't eat one any other way now.
 

mrex

*Supporting member*
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#12
My first Turkey tasted like crap! Then a guy taught me to breast them out, slice it ACROSS the grain into 1/2" steak's. Marinate them in Caribean Jerk Seasoning for at least an hour, then cook it on the Grill. I wouldn't eat one any other way now.
Cutting across the grain is critical. Have you ever tried Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce as a marinate?
 

jagermeister

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#15
I also enjoy hearing them talk too much to hunt silently, but in the right situation I may have to apply this tactic. And Gern, I'm with you, man... I really like hearing that gobble and watching them come in hot, but I really love shooting them in the face!
 
#17
I agree with most of what rex has stated.. However..I disagree on the publicland portion. Ive Hunted on public and ive hunted on private and i do see a difference. It is 10x harder to take spring birds on the public. Its not the fact that the gobblers are smarter..that i do agree...but rather its the interruption by other hunters is what makes it so difficult. Give me a peice of public that has zero pressure and you will find great and successful hunting..however..this scenerio is a rarity. The reason privateland is much more conducive in killing spring gobblers is the low pressure factor.

Its fairly simple..The key to a succesful spring gobbler without haveing to ambush the bird is low hunter pressure. Pressure and hunter disturbance are the main factor for poor spring bird hunting. The more disturbance there is in the woods by hunters the poorer /tougher the hunting becomes with spring birds.

If a statement is written indicating publicland birds are no harder to kill then privateland birds then i question the writer and his /her experience.
 
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#18
I agree with most of what rex has stated.. However..I disagree on the publicland portion. Ive Hunted on public and ive hunted on private and i do see a difference. It is 10x harder to take spring birds on the public. Its not the fact that the gobblers are smarter..that i do agree...but rather its the interruption by other hunters is what makes it so difficult. Give me a peice of public that has zero pressure and you will find great and successful hunting..however..this scenerio is a rarity. The reason privateland is much more conducive in killing spring gobblers is the low pressure factor.

Its fairly simple..The key to a succesful spring gobbler without haveing to ambush the bird is low hunter pressure. Pressure and hunter disturbance are the main factor for poor spring bird hunting. The more disturbance there is in the woods by hunters the poorer /tougher the hunting becomes with spring birds.

If a statement is written indicating publicland birds are no harder to kill then privateland birds then i question the writer and his /her experience.
Of course it's harder where you hunt, and obviously you're experienced.

We wouldn't expect anything less, it either category.
 
#19
Its really not about private/public ..its more about High/low pressure. I know from experience that if a bird begins to Gobble on the ground every 5 or 10 minutes he is exposing himself and he can pretty much expect a hunter to hear him. If Gobbling attracts hunters/danger, then i would suspect pressured birds to become conditioned..Thus making them more difficult to put a tag on.