close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

1st time applying for turkey tag... and I got one. Now what?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by rfb45colt, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    WI's Northwoods
    I've hunted deer, pheasant, grouse, ducks, geese, for about 40 of my 55 years. But never turkey. Turkeys have expanded their "range" into my part of WI (extreme north), and the last few years, I've been seeing them everywhere I go. For the first time ever, my part of the state will have a spring turkey hunt. I applied for, and got, one of only 1,200 tags issued for a 6 county zone. ;f.

    But, I don't know the first thing about it, nor do I have any decoys, calls, etc. What I DO have, is all kinds of camo, and 11 shotguns to choose from. :) I know I need a tight choke, and magnum loads in #4 or #6 in a 12ga, and "patterning" my gun of choice is imperative. I've got til April 26th to learn.

    Not one of my deer hunting buddies has ever hunted turkey either, and several of them got tags too, for the 1st time. Any suggestions on where to start? We'll probably rent some DVDs on turkey hunting, but suggestions on brands/types of calls, decoys, etc are welcome.
     
  2. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    Do a search on line for any turkey forums for tactics. But you have the basics.

    (long )

    You will need to get a turkey caller if you want to be productive and get a bird interested in you, the decoys are optional and perfered and draw the attention of a bird to something else that not you.

    As far as calls the slate and box or simple push-pull call are easier than the mouth ( diagphram call ).

    In order of harder to easier imho;

    >mouth call
    >slate
    >box
    >push-call

    The all have their advantages, da mouth call frees up both hands, is not impacted my rain or moisture and sounds more realistic when compared to the others. It's hard to master (imho) than the others.

    slate, great for yelps,cutting and clucks. Various strikers, slate striking materials and various positions on the pad produces various tones and sounds. It's impacted by rain and mositure unless you use a aluminum or glass slate style call and still it's can be impacted by moisture. imho, it's the best thing next to da mouth call ;) It does require 2 hands to operate. You will ocassionaly need to rough up the surface with a pad or sandpaper depending on material makeup.

    Da box caller, cool device some are made out of wood ( majority of them ) and some are mixture of wood/plastic for cost. It requires 2 hands to operate, it also requires a chalk ( oil free ) to chalk the edge. Some people say it it hard to master or operate, but I think they are great and simple.

    Da push-call, it can mount on the shotgun bbl but still need a hand free to operate. Just like the box, it needs to be chalk on the striker surface. Most are made out of wood or wood/plastic mix. Easy to produce, quick yelps,cutting and clucks and is okay for tonal-range of sounds but not as good as the box or slate imho.

    Now that we hit the calls, the next thing is get out and scout for birds NOW! yes it doesn't make since to setup in an area where birds aren't roosting or traveling for food ;) You must know an idea of where the birds are. So take a binocular and do some scouting and listening early AM and later PM. Remember a Tom & Hen can travel up to 5-8 miles in a day foraging for seeds,grasshoppers and other foods. So if the tom is not sexing a hen he is most likely grazing some where. So watch for signs of turkeys. Look for the foot print, dusting spots, loose featers or trukey scat.

    Also get your shotgun into the gun range and pattern at distance of 25-35yards. You should try out alot of shells, but #4/5/6 turkery shot in a 3: shell will lay a bird out like Mike Tyson had hit it.

    Invest in a face mask or camopaint , camo clothes and/or possible blinds and learn to hunt with this on in from within your within your blind if you choose todo this.


    Lastly have fun, even if you don't get that bird with a 20" beard ;) just enjoy yourself and be safe ;)

    per NWTF stats, most hunters are prone to get shot at in Turkey Season vrs deer due to you being camo and sounding like a bird and not wearing brazin orange on. So be on the lookout.


    p.S> all of those deer that you didn't see during deer season will come around to investigate you. You will also see alot of coyotes or that's been my experience ;)
     

  3. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    FWIW: I thought I drop a photo of various calls that I have. Btw I'm a big fans of the slate callers. I have about 13 or so of them.

    top row left - right

    Crow caller ( turkery locator ) but I have yet to get any turkeys to gobble back;

    Primo "frictionnite" slate style but the material is not slate and it is water proof. Unless you are in a typhoon it will work. It also straps around your knee or thigh to free up a hand. Great caller but not my favorite.

    Primo Box caller. Sweet sounding, just chalk the soundbox edge and off you go; Called alot of hens in with this caller and few toms. It must be a realistic hen sounder cause no lie I've probably have had 250plus hens or young jakes walk within 15yards of me when strokin this caller, To bad they wheren't a mature Tom or in a location that would let me take a non-bearded bird :(

    middle row left-right

    Custom made glass caller that I've did out of zebrawood. It has scatchy sound and I use it on ocassion and mix it in with my calling on a few ocassions

    Custom made aluminum over glass caller made from birch, nice throaty sound. Switching out the striker you can get some nice picthes out of this. If it get wet ( same for glass ) you get nothing ;(

    H.S strut lil'Deuce, one of the most common and simpler caller on the market. Striker with various wood or plastic strikers on the peripheral can produce a wide range of sounds. It by far is one of my favorite caller and I take it ALL of the time and use it 90% of the time. never leave home with out it and keep it dry ;)

    H.S strut 360 caller, not as good tone wise as the Lil Deuce but it is good.

    The last one to the right is a redhead cheap push-pull caller. It's about $5-7 dollars but simple to use and I bought it as a something to play around with. I doing some thing new where I tied the caller down to a stake on the ground near my Decoy , run a fishing line out from the dowel and operate it remotely from my covered position. And yes it does works ;). I brought in a nice bird to within 10yards of the decoy but I slipped up and made too much movement getting my shotgun up and the bird saw me and ranned away. Boy was he surprised ;)

    btw: I make my own strikers using cherry,oak,birch, and other materials and if you do use a slate and loose the striker ( one disadvantage vrs the other callers ), you have a sound pot that you can do anything with ;( One other suggestion, tied you striker off to the sound pot or carry a few spares with you if you use a slate caller;)

    good luck and you will find turkey hunting is interesting & a turkery is more harder to hunt but not all that bad. You get to be camo out, don't have to worry about wind/smell and you will see alot of other animals come checking out your position ( deer/yotes/bobcat/etc.....) ;)

    Also you will learn on a few birds that the less calling you do would be better off. If you call to much or to loud you will scare the bird off. So go at it little by little and not very loud. You Just want to grab the Tom attention by saying I'm over here and not HEY I"M OVER HERE. Just give soft clucks and yelps when he talks back and get him to find you or if he out and see your decoys you want to sweet talk him into that your one fine sexy hot Hen that's look for a date. So just a few strokes on the caller and get him to notice and walkin. Once he get's 20-30yards away draw your shotgun and cancel his date ;)

    good luck on your hunt. If you get a bird, post pictures and the story;)
     
  4. keltic

    keltic

    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    CornHusker
    Is wild turkey good eating?
     
  5. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    dryier than domestic turkey but other than that, it's good ;)


    Also most turkeys are longer legged than their domestic and weighs less. So It's hard to get a 20lb butterball out or a wild turkey.
     
  6. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    1,674
    Likes Received:
    747
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Noway,

    To get a super moist wild turkey, Skin the whole bird out. Then get you about four packages of turkey gravy mix from McCormick. Mix the gravy per the package instructions and place in a large crock pot. Then place the turkey in there and cook on low for about 12 hours. The bird will melt in your mouth ;)

    Also you can deep fry the birds and they come out fantastic! Use the butter injectable marinade. hmmmmm

    Another good thing is to cut the meat into nugget size chunks. Roll them in House Of Autrey chicken breader then fry them in peanut oil.


    Dang, now I'm hungry ;f
     
  7. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    thanks for the tips,but I've stopped trying to do anything special with wild turkey. Actually I don't even like domestic turkey and if I do anything no adays. it goes into the crockpot on low simmer with my veggies & peppers ;)
     
  8. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    WI's Northwoods
    Noway, thanks much for the advice. I bought a "beginners" kit made by "Hunters Specialties" at my local Wallyworld. It has a push-pull, a slate, and a crow call. Also has a CD on calling instructions. Also bought a hen decoy, and a Hunters Specialties DVD. I'm getting the hang of the use of the calls, and by watching the DVD, I'm getting the hang of how & when to use the calls. I plan on getting a box call or three, and an owl hooter also. :)

    About 5 minutes into the DVD, it occured to me that turkey hunting is just a "combination" of bow deer hunting and waterfowl hunting. You need to be well camoflauged, sit very still, use decoys & calls wisely... and you're basically sitting on the ground hunting a big bird (like a goose) that "walks" in like a deer (instead of flying in). ;) Unlike deer, you're not concerned about scent... but just like waterfowl (& deer too), you're concerned about getting you're quarry into range with judicous calling, and without spooking them by movement or sound.


    Haven't decided on which gun to use... but I've narrowed my selection down to either my Remington 870 Express or my Beretta Pintail... both are my duck hunting guns, and I have full choke tubes for both (I use IC & Hevi-shot for ducks). Both are camo (Beretta has factory camo stocks and matte finish barrel/receiver, and 870 has a camo paint-job). I've got a saddle-type scope mount and an extra red-dot to put on the 870, but no mount for the Beretta. The Beretta Pintail is a Benelli-type inertia action (basically the same gun as the Benelli Montefeltro, or a 3" chambered Black Eagle), and the top half of the receiver and the barrel are all a single unit. I could drill & tap it for a mount. I also could replace the Beretta's front bead with a Hi-Viz fiber-optic sight, and I'll try some 30yd patterning shots to see if it shoots to POA with a tight choke, and just a front bead. Or maybe just get some rifle-type sights that fit on the vent-rib? Several of my friends with turkey hunting experience have highly recommended using a red-dot type sight. What do you think about using a red-dot, rifle-type sights, or just a fiber-optic bead? What I'm concerned about is I've got 40 years experience shooting a shotgun, but I've never used one on a semi-"stationary" target... it's just instinctive "point & shoot" experience at fast moving targets like ducks, grouse, pheasants & doves. I don't even use the bead sights, I just point & shoot.
     
  9. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    {calls wisely...}

    Looks like you have the basic, hope you got some scouting in. Take whatever guns that patterns the best and you feel comfortable the most with. I use a 870 pump with remington cantilever bbl top with a 4x NIkon but that's just me and my setup. I've also hunted them with a 1100/M1field/mossberg500. The SG is just one of the many items you need. You also didn't mention shotload but stick with one of the top 3 and in a #6 or bigger combo.

    All I can say about the calling wisely comment, little to almost no-calling is probably best for the 1st timer. I say this seriously, "you don't want to be too loud or too much for calling in turkeys" ! I would also suggest a decoy at least a hen or a hen/jake combo. Lot of people frown on decoys but that makes or can takes the pressure off of you. A hen grabs the tom attention and the jake decoy can just about nail the coffin shut if you have an agreesive tom that feels like "he" must sex that hen and wants that jake gone ;)

    If you get a chance for next year turkery hunt, do some pre-seasonal scouting and just listen to a flock of hens. This is what you are trying to represent and listen/watch and study their sounds. One of the biggest mistake made by turkey hunters is calling too much or too loud or too long.

    I wish you luck and I will be back in the field this weekend for my my poke at a turkey during our spring turkey season ;) I 've did some scouting this weekend and found a new path of where a few birds where traveling so I have high hopes for this one area.

    like always if you get a bird post pictures ;)
     
  10. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

    Messages:
    1,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    WI's Northwoods
    I've got two months before my tag is valid (April 26th - 30th). Season begins on April 12th, and there's 6 time-periods, and a tag is only valid for one of those six. Scouting right now would not only be useless (as the birds are likely "wintering" in areas where they may not be in two months), but it's pratically impossible too. It's the dead of winter here, and there's better than 2' of snow on the ground, and most of the logging roads in the national forest, just down the road where I'll be hunting, are not plowed. I hunt deer & grouse in these same woods, and I've come across lots of turkey sign (and birds too) in certain areas, so as soon as the snow melts, that's where I'll start. I've been seeing them along the roadside in the spring in certain areas too, for the last few years (and this is the very 1st season that this area is open to turkey hunting). I already know where several flocks have been "hanging out", so I've got a good place to start. :)