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Author Topic: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington  (Read 6691 times)

Offline arnoldmc1

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Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« on: March 08, 2010, 11:32:36 AM »
I'm new to the area of southwest Washington.  Retired out of the Spokane area now live On the Longbeach Pennisula.  I have turkey hunted all of the Northeast area with excellent success.  My question is I have never hunted for the eastern turkey on the west side of the state.  Where are the biggest con setration of them and are they on public land?  I really love turkey hunting and would enjoy doing so on this side of the state.

Offline Wacenturion

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 11:49:57 AM »
Rather than repeat of lot of things I said elsewhere as well as other folks here have said on Easterns in western Washington, here's a link that will provide a fair amount of reading.  You won't find any better information on this subject.......be prepared to spend some time....it's long, like a book.

Hope this helps.  Enjoy

http://www.tacomanwtf.org/forums/view_topic.php?id=385&forum_id=1
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 01:20:31 PM by Wacenturion »
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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 12:48:19 PM »
I have bad news for you, there really is no such thing as a "consentration" of birds when it comes down to Easterns in Washington.
Good news is I have seen a turkey not too far away in the Palix area, and they are rumoured to be in the Wiilapa Hills, although I suspect the northern portion...
Here is some info from the WDFW...
:"In 1987 eastern wild turkeys
from Pennsylvania arrived and were placed in the mixed forest areas in western
Washington (Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific and Thurston counties).":
Subspecies Habitat Requirements
Eastern Turkey
Along the east coast of the United States, this dark colored subspecies resides in fairly
moderate climates with warm, humid summers and moderate-to-cold winters. Rainfall
amounts are about equal each month, and average 45 inches a year, similar to
southwestern Washington’s 50 inches annually (Wunz and Pack 1992).
The eastern turkey’s native habitat is primarily oak-hickory and other hardwood forests
containing sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red maple (Acer rubrum), American beech
(Fagus grandifolia), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), black cherry (Prunus serotina),
eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), white pine (Pinus monticola) and white oak
(Quercus alba) (Wunz and Pack 1992). The mixed evergreen and deciduous forests of
western Washington are similar, consisting of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii),
western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), western red cedar (Thuja plicata), red alder
(Alnus rubra) and bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) (Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife, unpublished report).
Easterns will nest in almost any habitat type - uncut hay fields, weed fields, dense shrub
cover and open-understory forests (Hayden 1980). However, hens in the eastern states
prefer, and are more successful in, extensive (rather than isolated) stands of brush with
edges of herbaceous vegetation (Wunz and Pack 1992), while hens in the Midwest
prefer timber and semi-open woodlands, with a diverse moderate-to-dense understory
(Kurzejeski and Lewis 1990). Western Washington’s forests contain interspersed
clearcuts and slash areas, which can provide the ground-level visual obstruction and
semi-open feeding areas needed for nesting and raising broods.
In native areas Easterns use pastures, hayfields, clearings, log landings, forest access
roads and if suitable, even forests, to raise their young (Ross and Wunz 1990, Wunz
and Pack 1992); similar habitats are available in Washington. During fall and winter
months, easterns tend to stay in the forest but will range into crop fields and clearings to
eat grains and seeds (Wunz and Pack 92). A mix of cropland and forest cover seems to
be highly suitable habitat (Porter 1992), and in both the northern and southern U.S.,
optimal fall/winter conditions may be a one-to-one ratio of forest cover to agricultural
land (Little 1980).


















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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 12:58:18 PM »
over 400 eastern turkeys were transplanted from Iowa, Pennsylvania, and
Missouri into southwestern Washington’s mixed forest habitats.In western Washington the largest populations, although much
smaller than in eastern Washington, can be found in parts of Cowlitz, Grays Harbor,
Mason and Thurston counties.There are also small, local turkey flocks in other western Washington counties. These
birds are likely hybrid varieties of mostly game farm origin that were likely released by
well-intentioned wild turkey enthusiasts. Because many of these birds live near
populated areas or on private land, hunting opportunity is limited. It is likely that other
small, scattered flocks of turkeys of similar origin exist elsewhere in the state
(Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, unpublished report).Southwest Population Management Unit (PMU P50)
Releases totaling over 400 eastern wild turkeys from 1987 to 2000 have not resulted in
population expansion as seen in PMU 10. A gradual increase in harvest and increasing
observations of birds seen away from release sites provide indications of population
expansion, however, additional investigations are needed to help determine if eastern
wild turkeys have formed sustainable populations in this PMU.
Turkey populations in PMU P20 and PMU P30
are valuable resources. Consider continued
augmentation of these populations with
nuisance and damage trapped birds.
WDFW’s goal is to establish self-sustaining populations in the most
appropriate habitats and does not want to manage turkeys with a put-andtake
population management strategy. The WDFW has transplanted
hundreds of birds through multiple augmentation efforts in each of these
units over the past 20 years. Through the years, populations have
experienced times of growth only to be followed by severe declines.
Evaluation over the next 5-year period will help determine if these areas
are some of the most appropriate areas for wild turkeys.
Release birds in P20, P30, P40 and P35 These PMUs currently support wild turkey populations. P35 and P40 are
identified as potential release sites for nuisance and damage turkeys
(currently occupied by Merriam’s and eastern subspecies). P20 and P30
are under evaluation during the timeframe of this management plan.
The mountains are calling and I must go."
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"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 01:12:00 PM »
So...what I am trying to say is, Good luck!
If you feel like driving up this way, I could point you in a few different directions, but I suggest going scouting NOW!
Get out in the woods before daylight, and start walking.
If you find sign, or hear any, you are halfway there.
You wont find large flocks like you do on the "east-side" more than likely they will only be 6-7 birds, if that.
where I hunt it is more like 2-3 hens with 1 or 2 toms in an area,
It might take years to get an Eastern..that is why everyone goes somewhere else..
If you decide to keep after these "Phantoms" you will be part of a small group of stubborn individuals who really are not after a notched tag every year, they just hate being outsmarted by a brain the size of a pea :P
The mountains are calling and I must go."
- John Muir
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
- John Burroughs
NASP Certified Basic Archery Instructor
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Offline arnoldmc1

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 02:05:54 PM »
So...what I am trying to say is, Good luck!
If you feel like driving up this way, I could point you in a few different directions, but I suggest going scouting NOW!
Get out in the woods before daylight, and start walking.
If you find sign, or hear any, you are halfway there.
You wont find large flocks like you do on the "east-side" more than likely they will only be 6-7 birds, if that.
where I hunt it is more like 2-3 hens with 1 or 2 toms in an area,
It might take years to get an Eastern..that is why everyone goes somewhere else..
If you decide to keep after these "Phantoms" you will be part of a small group of stubborn individuals who really are not after a notched tag every year, they just hate being outsmarted by a brain the size of a pea :P

Thank you for the information very helpful.

Offline turkeydancer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 02:57:29 PM »
Don't overlook Wahkiakum County either (has birds and not to much pressure) ...

The good & the bad - in 2008, 53 easterns were harvested in all of Western Washington .... that's approx. 1.3% of the entire state harvest .... hhhhmmmm ... requires expending tons of shoe leather to locate the small pockets of a few birds dispersed in a large amount of territory who usually get bumped enough to move a day before you're going in to harvest one ... good luck !   :yike:

Offline Turkeyman

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 07:24:05 PM »
All good information. They are out there and when you kill one you have accomplished one of the greatest things in turkey hunting. If you can kill them on a regular basis you can kill turkeys anywhere in any state. The Eastern on the west side are the hardiest turkeys to hunt anywhere.  :twocents:
If it flies it dies.

Offline Tom Tamer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 07:42:46 PM »
Be careful what you wish for, I found that once you get one there's a compulsion like no other to do it again. I thought that once I tackled these birds I could say I was finished and go back to hunting normal birds( Merriam's) but No! I find myself driven to hunt them again. I devote more time now then I ever did before I got one ;) Good luck to you. I guess the harder the work the more rewarding prize :chuckle:

Wacent's right that forum we have a few post there talking nothing but Easterns......They're addicting :)
Luv 2 Hunt no matter the weapon
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Wild turkey addict( bird that is)
Everything is best in moderation....even moderation

Offline Turkeyman

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 08:20:49 PM »
Killing a eastern is like killing a big bull elk in my book. Very satisfying and the longer you hunt them the better turkey hunter you will become.
If it flies it dies.

Offline Tom Tamer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2010, 04:38:29 PM »
Killing a eastern is like killing a big bull elk in my book. Very satisfying and the longer you hunt them the better turkey hunter you will become.

WOW to see someone else have that thought. When I hoisted my eastern up on my shoulders I looked to my Dad and said" This is like getting an Elk too me"

 Turkeyman are we right in the head LOL ;)
Luv 2 Hunt no matter the weapon
Mathews outback,easton axis,G5 montecs, Mod 70 7MM rem mag, T/C Black Diamond 50 cal...
Wild turkey addict( bird that is)
Everything is best in moderation....even moderation

Offline turkeydancer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2010, 05:41:56 PM »
Turkeyman is okay ... don't know about you though Tamer!
 :lol4:  

Must be nice having your banquet done though ... just got the packages and inventoried last night.  Clinic tomorrow night after work, chapter meeting the next night, Saturday all day at Cabelas with my 5th & last clinic at 1pm ... if there truly is no rest for the wicked, I must have been a really bad boy.  :chuckle:

Offline Turkeyman

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 08:07:26 PM »
We are all a little crazy in the head hunting the black ghost of western washington. :chuckle:
If it flies it dies.

Offline Tom Tamer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 11:40:15 PM »
We are all a little crazy in the head hunting the black ghost of western washington. :chuckle:

Amen Brother!  :chuckle:
Luv 2 Hunt no matter the weapon
Mathews outback,easton axis,G5 montecs, Mod 70 7MM rem mag, T/C Black Diamond 50 cal...
Wild turkey addict( bird that is)
Everything is best in moderation....even moderation

Offline turkeydancer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2010, 07:16:16 AM »
Too many brain cells are killed during the high fever runs associated with the Eastern strain of Wild Turkey Fever.   :bash:

There are no such "phantoms" roaming the wetside of Wa.  :P

Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2010, 01:04:41 PM »
I am beginning to think that they are Sasquatch's pets......
The mountains are calling and I must go."
- John Muir
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
- John Burroughs
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Offline Tom Tamer

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2010, 02:14:59 PM »
ya'll can tell it's an addictive sickness just by the length of post about Easterns, this one is starting to run on just like those over on the WANWTF site. We all start rambling on and on while we're drooling :drool: :P


 :mgun: This is the perferred weapon when chasing Easterns
Luv 2 Hunt no matter the weapon
Mathews outback,easton axis,G5 montecs, Mod 70 7MM rem mag, T/C Black Diamond 50 cal...
Wild turkey addict( bird that is)
Everything is best in moderation....even moderation

Offline BOWHUNTER45

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2010, 05:42:27 PM »

IT SEEMS THAT STIKNSTRINGBOW has the most knowledge on our eastern population and being one of the few who happened to be involved in some of these releases will tell you first hand that alot of the birds turned loose ended up on private land which is very hard to access..There are birds out there but it takes alot of gas and time to find them... Not counting your calling ability.. Softer sounds and alot of patients....Sometimes hours before a bird will come to you... Well good luck and thank stikinbowstring for  his knowledge on hunting easterns in WA.
                                                                 Turkey huntin extremist....
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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2010, 06:53:39 PM »
I am by far NOT the most knowlegable, I have just paid attention when other Eastern turkey hunters speak.
I still have a lot to learn,.... like how to get one...
I also only am sharing information recieved from the great guys in the NWTF, it has helped me find them (also using my boots)
The main reason I have not gotten one is that I have been hunting without a blind using a recurve, I will try the blind this year.
The mountains are calling and I must go."
- John Muir
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
- John Burroughs
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Offline Elkpiss

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2010, 07:12:04 AM »
The Moral of the Story hunting Easterns is if you have a good spot, absolutley keep it to yourself, giving away your Eastern spot is suicide.. Ive Killed a few Easterns and the satisfaction is great as a bull elk as many have said.. And if you tell people you kill easterns then you get alot people hounding you for spots.. so hhhuuusssshhh!!!  8)

Elkpiss
Their going down!!!

Offline Turkeyman

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2010, 08:40:02 PM »
 :yeah:
If it flies it dies.

Offline yelp

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2010, 08:49:09 PM »
The Moral of the Story hunting Easterns is if you have a good spot, absolutley keep it to yourself, giving away your Eastern spot is suicide.. Ive Killed a few Easterns and the satisfaction is great as a bull elk as many have said.. And if you tell people you kill easterns then you get alot people hounding you for spots.. so hhhuuusssshhh!!!  8)

Elkpiss

Also try the hen squealer..it brings It brings Pacific county Toms to Thurston County hens..Squeal hard..LOL

Elkpiss is correct....Spots can get overhunted fast..keep all info to yourself. 
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Offline old boat

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2010, 09:27:32 PM »
I haven't hunted them since I left PA twenty years ago; but every spring I consider the possibilities. So this spring as the leaves greened up I was day dreaming as I drove to the job site and damn near got a hen with the truck. The weird part is it was in May valley outside Issaquah! Last fall I ran into a flock near North Bend. Same meadow every morning for the two weeks the job ran! May just have to get a tag.

Offline Wacenturion

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2010, 09:27:37 PM »
Confucius say...........

      "Grasshopper.....if you spent countless hours, walking countless miles , looking for a handful of droppings, and find your treasure, and then you decide to share by telling another.........then you one big *censored*. :chuckle:
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Offline Turkeyman

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Re: Turkey Hunting the eastern turkey in western Washington
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2010, 10:57:37 PM »
 :yeah: :chuckle:
If it flies it dies.

 



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