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First turkey hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Clyde in CO, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. Clyde in CO

    Clyde in CO LOL WUT?

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    I've been invited on a turkey hunt around the end of this month.

    Never been hunting in my life, so I wanted to get some info on what gear I need and maybe some tips for a successful hunt.

    What basic stuff do I need? I figure I need camo, shotgun (of course) and some type of call. (I know ZILCH about calls)

    What kind of camo works? Should I get specialized camo like I see in the cabela's catalog, or can I get away with regular woodland BDU'?

    I have a Mossberg 500, what's better .. camo tape or a cloth sleeve(need something non-permanant)
    What kind of choke should I have in?

    I can invest a little in some equipment, but I'm looking to stay frugal as I'll probably only go once this season. Then again, I might get hooked and have to make some major expendetures!

    Any advice from you expert hunters will be greatly appreciated.

    Be kind, I'm a total newbie~
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    well for starters, leave the blaze orange vest at home ;f

    turkey's have a good set of eyes, so if you're pale like me you'll want to cover as much as possible. but you don't need to go overboard, unless you really like it.

    i was on a serious budget when i was hunting in high school so, military camo was the ticket for me. the mossy oak stuff may be better, but that could come later. gloves, face mask and hat are really good cheap items. my SG was blued with wood grips. as long as you aren't swinging it around a bunck i don't think you need to cover it.

    get a seat!!!! some type of padded seat is about as close to a must as a gun. you're going to be sitting for a while and a tree root isn't comfortable.

    there's a bunch of super-extra-uber-full turkey chokes out there. i took all mine with the "came with the gun" full choke so i don't know if those would be worth the money right now. i would however spend the cash on a box of the new turkey loads. some snap on rifle sights or at least a good front sight is a help. i sure wish i would have known about them back then. a shooting stick is a good thing. you can just make one out of a 3/8" dowl rod and something on top to make a "Y". paint it up and you're good to go.

    i never really got the hang of turkey calling. i can call ducks, geese, coyotes, but scratching on slate isn't my bag. my guess is that the person inviting you will be doing the calling though. i hunted with my dad and/or uncle. since you can't move a good firing line with a caller or two gives a good chance someone can put meat on the table.

    the guy you're going to be hunting with with be able to give you some pointers but the jist of turkey hunting is simple. don't move until you're about to shoot. you'll setup with your back against a tree and a good firing line straight ahead and maybe a few on angles. you put the gun on the shooting stick with the butt in your shoulder. you will then have time to listen to the birds and plan your shots down various shooting lanes.

    when it/they come in you want to pretty much hold until one is directly in front of you. if that doesn't look like it's gonna happen, then pick one out in one of the angled shooting lanes. it's a judgement call. just aim for the head and squeeze it off. remember though, when you twist to get on target the turkey will probably see you so be prepared to lead it.

    i really liked turkey hunting back in OH. out here in AZ the only turkeys i've seen were in the grocery store.

    good luck
     

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Clyde In CO,

    Hey guy, welcome to turkey hunting...!

    First off, mpol777 on the post above gave you some good advice already.. And he is right. Don't 'figit around.'

    Turkeys have exteremly good hearing and vision. They use them both like radar.

    Woodland camo will work fine. I like to use camo that is conducive to the terrian i am in e.g. here on the ranch in west texas, i use camo that has a mesquite and cactus print on it... BUT, woodland works just as well. Don't worry about that one, just cover your head, face, body and hands.

    You really don't have to worry about your gun, like mpo1777 said already, as long as you aren't waving it around it will be fine as is.

    i have guided turkey hunts for almost thrity years, and i still don't know anything! :) It is a 'learning experience.'

    If you are going to use a call yourself, for the first time out, and 'don't have the time' to master a mouth, or diaphram call, then there are still plenty of calls out there for you to use and really not screw up with it if you use it correctly.

    Most of the wooden box calls, 'that fit under the barrel' of your shotgun with a velcro strap work good enough 'to start you out' for this year at least. They have a string that runs from the little box back to your hand.. you simply give little short 'tugs' on the string, and the call will make a 'yelping sound.' this is not as proficent as a mouth diaphram call, but it 'will work.'

    Find a place where you are going to hunt, and get out there just before sun up, be quite as you can, use your mouth to hoot like an owl, (does not have to sound perfect), or buy a owl hooter and use that if it will make you more comfortable. between the 'hooting' and a few light chrips on the little box on your barrel, you should get a 'gobble responce.' (given there are birds in the area...)

    Head toward the gobble, and set up 80-100 yards from there, and wait.
    you should be able to hear them flapping their wings coming off the roost. give it a few minutes, and start your yelps on the box. Be patient! They will mill around for a spell, and if they are interested, they will head your way. pick out a few land marks around you, weeds a rock a stick etc. and judge the yardage of these objects.
    try and stay within 35/40 yards max. your 12 gauge, with a full choke, even a factory full choke is enough... we have killed cajilloins of them with 20 gauge, and modified choke, so be confident in your set up and don't worry about it.

    We have used for years now, #6 shot in a 'turkey load' like remington, or federal, or winchester. People may not agree, but again, we have witnessed even 2 3/4" shells killing birds with no problems.. if you would feel better with a 3" mag, and your gun is geared for that, use it.

    If those birds take off a different direction, then make a very wide and quite half circle around them, set up again, and call again, and wait. "OR" if you hear a gobble in this direction, or that direction, head that way...not to get to close, and set up and call again...

    You do not have to be a guide, or professional caller to get a hot tom to come to you, "EVEN" if all you do is make yelps on the box, and do not "over call"...

    Be very still, and very patient, and use common sense, and you should get a bird...

    There are "reams" more of info: we could give you.. But this technique,(for solo beginers), has worked for us for many years, and in our 'guiding' we have never once, 'taken a hunter' that has not gotten a turkey yet. Our system, 'in guiding,' is a little more advanced than this, but again, to 'start off', this will work if you do your part.

    As i said, there is a lot more i could say, and etc... but, this will work for you if you are patient, and quite, and keep "ALL" movement to an absolute "minimum."

    You will learn as you go, and as the seasons go buy, but, i belive you will get your bird. Then step up to a diaphram call, and develop more on your technique next time. This is all 'starter solo info:'

    One more thing... the hens are used as "watch dogs." Just like does do when deer hunting. Those hens have eyes all over the place... so be very still, and don't freak out if you are surrounded with hens... just be still, rest the gun on your knee, relax and wait for tom to come along...keep trying even if they see you and head out...

    hang around for a while, wait, and do some more calling... they will usually come back slowly to that spot, 'if not terribly spooked'.

    Good luck. Good hunting.. we wait for your report and photo's

    CanyonMan
     
  4. KenS

    KenS

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    Clyde In Co, I'm no expert turkey hunter. In fact I consider myself a newbie to hunting starting late in life. Early on in life I did not have any family members or friends who knew anything about hunting. If your invited by someone who has experience turkey hunting you already have the most important part covered. Since I cosider my self new I'm not the best person to comment on gear. What I can tell you is you will enjoy yourself and get hooked. Pay attention to your hunting buddy, relax, and take it all in. When your comming home with your first bird think of an appropiate way to thank your friend.
    Have fun and be safe. KenS
     
  5. duncan

    duncan Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Government surplus camo BDUs and GI boots work just fine for me.

    Go to a used bookstore and buy all of their used turkey books. Excellent references.
     
  6. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    There has already been given a ton of good advise for a newbie. I didn't think I would get hooked either. It's just a stupid turkey. WRONG!!!! I was hooked. One dead tom and 3 ticks in my leg and I had a great time.
    What I have learned is don't set up the way you want to shoot. No matter how you set up the bird will never come in the way you want.
    My first hunt we all set up the way things should have happened and I ended up spinning nearly 180 degrees and firing imediately at a tom that had come running into me not knowing I was there. I ended up shooting him at about 7 yards with 3 1/2" mag turkey loads. Picked him up and flipped him over.
    If you like hunting and a challenge at all you will love turkey hunting. And then when you are a pro at it switch to taking a turkey with a bow and arrow. That's a whole new game there.
     
  7. Trap kid

    Trap kid packers rule

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    The only advice that I can give you is be pacient and have fun.

    P.S. let us know how you do.;f
     
  8. vart

    vart

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    I was just about to start a thread on my first turkey hunt yesterday, when I saw this one.
    I've gone turkey hunting twice with my dad and brothers, and had a great time watching the wildlife, and seeing the turkeys do their thing. But I didn't have a turkey gun, so I just tagged along to observe.
    This year, I finally invested in making my shotgun "turkey ready" and was able to go out with my brother and get my first turkey.
    For my gun, all I had was a Winchester Defender with no choke, and a Beretta O/U 20 ga. Silver Snipe. I decided that the Defender would be the better turkey gun;). So, I camoed my Defender and had a gunsmith thread the barrel for a Tru-Glo ported turkey choke. Here's a pic:
    <img src="http://image1ex.villagephotos.com/pubimage.asp?id_=1933351" width=600 height=450>

    Sunday, after Easter dinner, my brother and I headed down to Dworshak reservoir in the Idaho mountains, where my family has a few acres and a cabin.
    We got there late and weren't able to roost any toms, so we stayed up `til two in the morning drinking beer and watching movies;g . We got up at the crack of 11:00, ate a Hostess apple pie, some aspirin, and when I went outside to pee, a big tom went walking by the cabin, about 10 yds away;P .
    We don't hunt around our cabin, so we went to our pre-selected spot where it was rumored that the toms were active from about 10am to 2pm. I then remembered that I had forgot to bring my turkey loads, and all I had was some #6 2 3/4" pheasant shells. Dang. We set up under a tree, with our hen decoy about 15 yds away, out in the open. We started calling with a chalked box call. No responses, stayed about an hour and moved to another location, another hour no responses.
    We finally decided that we should just hike around until we find turkey sign and then call and see if we get a response, then set up.
    This tactic worked when we finally got a gobble response to our call. we set up in a small clearing with a creek running through it. We hid behind a brush pile near the creek to mask our movements.
    The tom came in slowly, circling around us, and coming in behind us. I had to belly crawl a few yards to get a better view of his location.
    Then his bright red neck and head popped up and I squeezed off a shot, taking him down.
    When I walked up to him, another tom that we hadn't seen ran off. I paced off the distance, and it was 32 yds. It was a decent sized turkey with a 5" beard and a nice fan. we have Merrimans around here, and they don't get as big as the turkeys out East and South.
    Cleaning it was pretty bad, as I hadn't done it before. I can do deer and elk no problem, but birds just have that nasty smell;0 .

    Anyway, I'm really glad I got a turkey my first try, and it was a great experience. you'll love the hunt, and the challenge of getting them to come in. Have Fun!

    BTW, sorry no pics, but I forgot my digital camera, and only had a disposable camera in my hunting pack.
     
  9. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

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    Don’t ask me… I’ve been hunting turkeys for the past few days here in MI & all I’ve succeeded in doing is getting busted by them sharp eyed little suckers! ;) I’ve yet to get out in the mornings though when it’s really hot turkey hunting, maybe this weekend I can break away…

    I do have a few fans & beards hanging on the wall though.
     
  10. diversiloba

    diversiloba

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    <strong>Clyde</strong>, just to get you in the mood - this was recorded a few hours ago in the woods (file is 105KB, and you may need to raise your volume a bit):

    <a href="http://www.infobound.com/personal/diversiloba/sound/Wild_Turkeys.mp3">WildTurkeys.mp3</a>
     
  11. Clyde in CO

    Clyde in CO LOL WUT?

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    Thanks for all the good advice!

    Unfortunately the trip fell thru. The spot we were going got snowed in and they called it off.

    So, I don't have any cool first hunt stories for you guys this time.

    We're going to get another trip going soon, I'll post a report when I can.
     
  12. duncan

    duncan Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Sorry to hear that Clyde.

    I just talked to the landowner of a 50 acre property in Steven County, WA and they have turkeys coming onto their porches over there!

    I can't wait.

    She even told me that she has a deer stand on one of her tree on the top of a hill.

    Can't wait. Can't wait.