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Okay I am very new at turkey hunting but I really want to learn. Like with deer hunting I know you can learn from books and videos but I found I learned more about deer hunting from other hunters and experience! What are some of you vet turkey hunters tricks? Anything from decoy set ups to different calls you use and when to use them. What kind of area do you look for to set up in? Tell anything you can think of that helps you have success! Lets hear some turkey tips....
 

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Jim Im no expert but I will give you some of my tips and tactics.

Dont worry about locating a bird early in the morning. Some guys will try and get a bird to shock gobble and if they cant, they keep going. Wasting valuable time, and moving around when you can be scaring birds. IF you know the birds, and you know where they normally roost, and normally go to strut, sit tight and call very little. Light clucks, purrs and some seductive yelping. Turkeys are VERY vocal, but they dont sit in one place calling loudly for an hour or more. SO sit tight and call lightly every half hour or so, or really space it out to a ten minute sequence every hour or so. THIS WORKS! But be on alert, this usually brings in a big boss tom that will sneak in on you without making a noise.

A fired up bird is great, but alot of fired up birds hang up out at 50 or so yards, because they expect the hen to come to them. (Hence the show they put on with the strutting and gobbling.)

THis is why the scouting is so important, if you know where he wants to go, you hardly have to call.

DONT give up after early morning either. Midday is great. Hens will nest for a while (around 10am) and the toms go out in search of a receptive GF.

Crow calls work great for a shock gobble midday, but if you have an idea as to where they might be strutting, just go there and call lightly like mentioned

If its raining, try fields. If there arent any fields, try powerlines, or very open hardwoods. REALLY hard rain, try dense areas, and areas with pines for cover.

Ive noticed a lot of people hunt an area due to the fact it LOOKs like it would hold turkeys. Its usually the edge of a hidden away field. Sure fields are good, but turkeys spend alot more time in dense grown over fields and woods than actual open fields.

As for decoy setups, put them off to your side. Im a right handed shooter so I put them off to my left to draw the attention away from me, and to make it easier for a shot.

Well, thats all I can think of for now, but Im sure theres more. Good luck---Matt:)
 

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WELL,lets see.My turkey season starts during deer season,that's when i write in a book turkey sightings,where i see them,how many were there,were they on roost,or did we push them on a drive.Come about the begining of march i start going out locating them.Up at dark,going to different spots,listining for gobbles,or using my locater call.Get out the book make entry on location.Usually locate about a dozen or so Toms.Knowing where they are pre season makes it eiser then starting cold,TURKEY:D You can move in close to the roost in the dark and set up,and wait for fly down,or you can run and gun.Usually set out 1 or 2 decoys,depends if i'm setting up on 1 tom or more than 1.If more then 1 i might set a jake out with the hen decoys.Most turkeys want to head for the fields or strutting areas in a pretty clear area in the woods.Ya gotta look for sign,tracks,scratching areas,they frequent them often.As far as calls,i use a mouth call and slate most often.Use the box call more when i run and gun.I could probably go on and on about diffrent things i do but the biggest is pre season scouting.Good luck and kill a big one.GRIZ[up]:)
 

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Hey Griz if you can go on and on then don't be shy, share the wisdom. this is only my 3rd year and I'm starting to think that I really suck at it,all I've killed in my 3 years are 2 Jakes. How about a little advice for now,when the birds aren't talking on public land (Pequest). C'mon Please, please, please.
 

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No seriously. When it gets later on in the season and the birds have been called to alot. I like to move around quietly and look and listen. Use more sounds like scratching and one or two clucks. The birds are not real vocal now and neither should you be. By all means if you hear the turkeys making alot of calls then they are in the mood to hear alot of calling but if they are being quiet then you should be quiet. They can hear real good. Scratching (even walking around) sounds like other turkeys (try not to step on any big limbs or sticks) and they may come to check it out. If you call too much. You sound like a turkey hunter and the birds will move away.
Patterning the birds in NJ works great. Lets face it they only have so many places to go. They usually will use the same roosts (at least in my area of zone 8) and strut zones (unless they get bumped out by hunters). One tactic I use is to set up in the strut zone and wait for them. Silently.
 

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Jim,one thing to keep in mind is if you see a tom with hens,or toms with hens and they're moving out,call to them just enough to let them know you're there be patcient,they know where you are.When the hens kick them out 9 out of 10 they're gonna come lookin for ya.You just gotta call a little now and then.If they're commin a looking for ya they gonna be gobblin.That's how i got my first one this yr.If i don't have a hot tom goin and i'm walkin and talking,i don't use a crow call,to many of them callin all day.I use a pea [no swearing please] or high pitched coyote call,something with a high pitched schrill.I also use my box call and mouth call,cutting very "LOUD".When you get an answer time to run an gun.Get as close as you can and give him the quietest loneliest hen call you can.Very quite yelp and clucks.Like someone else said scratch those leaves,it works.
 

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All the post are 100% correct limit your amounts of calls.If a gobbler answers he will know where you are. Soft yelps and purrs should entice him.As the season goes on the greener and thicker the woods become the harder it becomes. BE PATIENCE !AND DONOT CALL TO MUCH! GOOD LUCK;)
 

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2 mistakes I know I made were...
1) I had a turkeys coming to my calling on the 2nd day. I was doing a lot of small talking (purrs and light clucks) it really seemed to work but I rushed things a bit when the gobbling stopped and got busted moving my arm to hit the slate again! If that tom had gotten 2 or 3 feet closer I would have seen him before he saw me! Oh well!
2) On my way out that same day I decided to try and close the gap on one of the 3 gobblers answering my call! I was pressed for time because of work but I thought what the Hell I'll give it a shot! I walked a bit towards where I heard the gobbling coming from and then stopped to scratch the slate! He gobbled LOUD right over the next little hill! He was close 30-40 yards MAX! I lost my patience only because I HAD to get out of the woods so I walked to him instead of trying to get him to come up over the rise! Needless to say he busted me way before I got to him! I know if I had the time I could have gotten that bird to poke his head over the top and give me a shot at it! I could have and should have killed a bird that day! Oh well we live and we learn! I can't wait to get back out there next week and try some new things! Thanks for all the tips! I know there are a few newbie turkey hunters here who could learn from you guy's and gals! Keep the tips coming people![up]
 

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I heard someone say once about the turkeys hearing. "If I was in a hole in the ground and a turkey heard me calling from a 1/4 mile away, he can pin point my location so good that he would walk up to the hole and look inside" Ben Rodgers Lee.
They do hear good. If he answers you he knows EXACTLY where you are.
 

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One rainy day tip.
We know the birds like to get out into the fields in the rain but going up to the field you run a good chance of having the birds see you and spook. I like to get up on a ridge if there is one and look through the open woods to the fields. I find that if I'm 40 or 50 yards back in the woods the birds don't see me, but if I'm at field level and within 5 yards or so of the field edge the birds always see me at the same time I see them. This works better before the green up gets too thick. After the green up you can get closer if you move slow enough.
 

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I coulda used some of my own tips today.One gobble at 5:30 one hen at 10:30.Saw more birdes in fields while driving from job to job this afternoon.
 
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