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Wild Turkey

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BEAR View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 April 2020 at 08:25
Like lots of hunters I've changed over the years.  I started hunting small game mostly pheasaants, then turned to deer.  When I was 35 or so I got a 30+ year addiction to ducks.  As age made duck hunting more difficult, I focused on deer and turkey.

Turkey populations have been up for the last 35 years, and spring turkey hunting is as attractive to me as  fall buck season.

THE COMPLETE BOOK of WILD TURKEY- Roger Latham, Stackpole-1956,'76

Roger was a great writer, but he also was a phd in Wildlife biology.  So his writtings are factual and seldom include the BS you hear on TV/cable.  the book has no bright color pictures, stricttly reading about Turkeys, everything you ever wanted to know.  Very readable.  Life cycle and habitate are perfect.  Unfortunately out of print, but well worth the price on e-bay.


Edited by BEAR - 14 April 2020 at 08:49
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MapleHill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MapleHill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2020 at 13:12
I thought this post was gonna be about something else...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2020 at 14:30
A good thought.

Actually I'm a 100 proof OLDE GRANDad guy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MapleHill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2020 at 17:31
Originally posted by BEAR BEAR wrote:

A good thought.

Actually I'm a 100 proof OLDE GRANDad guy.

Bear, when I was in college I had a serious love affair with Wild Turkey...almost to the point of being a problem. If I had been there longer it very well could have been. The 101 rocked me to sleep most every night...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2020 at 00:52
I've hunted turkeys several times but never have really gotten into it. The spring does add another season to the year. I think it's open now. I think I might look at what areas are open and get a license. 

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Irish Bird Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2020 at 21:25
Turkey hunting in spring is a good thing. YOu can sit in a blind with decoy & call or run & gun too or mix them up. Shotgun only for turkeys here.
But sometimes here spring is like winter.....our season begins this year April 29. & there are 7 five day separate seasons. Two days between seasons to let the turkeys rest up. YOu get a season by lottery dwg. if you even get a tag that is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 April 2020 at 09:25
Spring turkey is included in PA license.  We have a 4 week season statewide, NO SUNDAY HUNTING.  shotgun only.  with another unlimited tag we can shoot 2nd tom.  First 2 weeks we must stop at noon, out of woods by 1pm.

 run & gun is illegal, only stationary calling is allowed.  Any movement to a bird once it calls is illegal.  I call from a blind with 5 decoys.  Except for some bugs (ticks/misquetoes) great time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MapleHill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 06:36
I am gonna try it this year for the first time. My oldest son wants to try so here we go. Youth weekend is the last weekend in April, 12-16yrs old only allowed to hunt. Adults to go with them and call, etc. May 1 the regular season starts. 2 toms allowed, hunting ends at noon. Lots of my friends/family do it, I never have. When the turkey season took off here I was knee deep in field trialing and judging field trials so I never got into it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 07:19
You will love it.  quiet/peacefull time in hardwoods.  then there is a gobble.  'talking' back and forth with the birds are a kick.

Are you using decoys???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MapleHill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 07:46
Honestly Bear, I think so, but not sure. We are going with my buddy who is very good at it. He's got the spot all set and waiting to go. I will probably hunt my land for the opener. There is always a big tom around here. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 08:48
If you have a bird feeder out for songbirbs....he will be visiting following the hens.

I hunt places where I know the birds roost.   In the dark,  I go in about 100 yards from the trees they frequent.  Great to watch 10-20 birds wake up, gobble and fly down.  I usually give one call abut 40 minutes before sunrise.  It only takes one hen call and the toms know right where the 'receptive' hen is.  they have good hearing and vision, so I can't make a sound nor move.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 08:59
I don't know if I can sit 40 minutes and not have to pee.Confused
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 09:24
Hunting takes will power.

But since your brought it up.  We seniors have certain needs.  Last year after calling turkeys for 3 hours and having a few birds come into my blind area...serious nature called me.  Suffered for 10 minutes as a tom was 60 yards away.  I gave in first, and said I have to GO now!!!!

I left my blind and walked 100 yards to a revine, satistied nature and returned.  3 hens in the decoys.  As I sat down in my blind the tom came in struting in full display.  I put an arrow thru its heart.  Just show us those Tom turkeys in heat aren't that smart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Irish Bird Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 11:00
So, why is it that a TOM turkey will come into a decoy set and beat the snot out of a fake hen turkey(decoy).
The decoy surely can't smell or feel like live turkey. Is he mad cuz he got fooled???  Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2020 at 11:54
Real turkeys mate sort of "harshly".  Hen lays down and male jumps up and down on her back then after 'softening" her up, he lays on top and copulates.  I spend a lot of time in the hardwoods and have watched this a number of times.

Re decoys-- As I've told folks, Ben Franklin was wrong, turkey are not smart.  I hunt with 2-3  hen decoys and one Jake (male juve, 2" beard).  the purpose of my decoys is twofold.  they tend to bring the tom in closer, and they distract the tom from 'eyeballing' me.  without the decoys the Tom will still come in.  BUT, then he is intensely looking for the stupid hen that he was talking to.

  Without decoys, I've had them walk to within a few feet of me...but they are so sharp eyed that they will run if you even blink.

Over the years I've hunted with heavy rubber and hard plastic decoys for turkeys.  lightweight foam decoys are best, carry ligh,t and are dull surface, and move somewhat with a slight breeze.

So best example:  I once  had decoys out and called a gobbler.    he came in slowly struting in full display, all fanned out beautiful bird big with 10 inch beard.  He slowly walked past me to my jake/male decoy and jumped on it.    and he  proceeded to copulate.  I was startled and amazed.  It was interesting to watch.  He jumped off after 15 seconds and started to walk away (with a smile and having a cigarette) when I head shot him with7/8 #6.

Why was he mating with a foam male?  I don't know.  was he gay???

Regarding the foam turkey decoys....I've had racoons come in and jump them and with needle-like teeth rip them up.  Have had coyotes stalk them.  I've had mature bald eagle try to pick-up  one of my plasticc black ducks decoys.  he got his talons within 2-3 foot when he changed his mind.  I figure he then realized any real duck would have flown; but maybe he saw me 10 foot away in my lay-out boat; laying down I could have grabbed his legs; actually felt the wind beneath his wings on my face.

What if anything does that mean.  I figure wild animals are heavily (solely) driven for food and sex.  when they see an easy meal or a quick lay...they comit completely.

just my thoughts
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