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Enter by February 22 Experience A Successful Turkey Hunt With Bearpaw Outfitters

Author Topic: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice  (Read 230 times)

Offline daballachris

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Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:37:24 AM »
I'm brand new to hunting, and I went out last weekend for the very first time in my life (I'm 35). I hiked around the Golden Doe Unit of the Methow Valley Wildlife Area. I saw plenty of deer and coyote sign, lots of deer bones and what I think was a bear den, but no sign of turkeys. I've heard numerous times that most of the turkeys are on private land, so I picked this location due to the fact that it bordered what looked to be farms on the map. I do think I started a little too late, as I didn't start hiking till about 9 am, and from what I've read so far, it seems like the birds are vocal early, but then quiet down.

I'm taking this Friday off and I have a new location picked out. My plan is to get out there about 5 am (looks like sunrise is about 5:40), and just hike around and use a friction call here and there (I bought a crow call, but I can't make it sound like a crow, so I'm going to keep practicing before I use it in the field).

So my question is, is this the correct strategy to locate the birds? I admittedly have no idea what I'm doing, but having a great time learning and figuring this out, but I'm trying to make sure I'm at least on the right track! Thanks everyone.

Offline Cab

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Re: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 11:34:49 AM »
Early morning before legal time is the time to start your hiking in the dark. Moving slowly and listening is key and looking for large pines for them to roost in. If you can try to listen the night before or "roosting" birds its great but is not always possible(rarely ever been able to do this myself). Due to it being later in the season right now birds have been talked to a lot by hunters so they might be quiet. Early morning is key but if you strike out then you can see if any birds get fired up later in the morning around 9ish-11ish the hens will leave the toms to sit on the nest and toms can get fired up again or birds that didn't breed that morning might get fired up. Turkeys can be weird and be chatty one morning and silent the other. Weather especially wind effects how much they talk. Windy mornings are not good, foggy mornings are not good, heavy rain they don't enjoy but other then that they will pretty much talk if they want to talk. If you are not hearing anything and have no clue where they are.....hunt them like deer. look for sign and see if you can figure out where they like to hang out. They can be in a day to day pattern sometimes and can show up to the same spots over and over around the same times day to day. hope this helps and best of luck!

Offline daballachris

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Re: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 02:15:59 PM »
Thanks Cab! I have lots of stupid questions:
  • When you're walking in the dark, can you use a headlamp or will that spook them?
  • What do the turkeys sound like when they are in the trees roosting?
Thanks again for this info, I think I may go pickup a bivy tent and drive out tomorrow after work instead of Friday morning.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 02:37:46 PM »
I would go to an area that has more turkeys. Further east. Takes longer to drive there but it's worth it.

Offline Cab

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Re: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 02:52:40 PM »
Thanks Cab! I have lots of stupid questions:
  • When you're walking in the dark, can you use a headlamp or will that spook them?
  • What do the turkeys sound like when they are in the trees roosting?
Thanks again for this info, I think I may go pickup a bivy tent and drive out tomorrow after work instead of Friday morning.

1. You can and if you hear them from far enough away i would shut it off and sneak in. if they are close to you and see the head lamp then sit down and be completely silent(turn off the head lamp). this is why it helps to be in early because they will figure your gone by legal time if you give them 30mins-45mins. If your worried about them seeing your headlamp, if it's going to be a clear night wait a little longer closer to legal time and then start your hike. Moving slowly in the gray light can be a lot easier and effective.
2. They tom will actually gobble on the roost. Had it happen last year when it was around this time of year around 7:45-8ish. He was gobbling every couple mins.
 
Their eye sight is almost hawk like being still is key, I recommend 2 items to help with this. Not needed but help is https://www.amazon.com/Primos-Up-N-Down-Stakeout-Adjustable-Ground/dp/B00AN0V2WC I have the one that is twice as long. it weights nothing and can really help in areas with limited cover. a seat pad is also a must along with permethrin for ticks.

None of these are stupid questions, turkey hunting is unique and takes time. the further east you go the bigger the population and better chances you have. Also if you're out there I HIGHLY recommend morel hunting while you turkey hunting. it's easy and chances are you won't go home empty handed. Mix in a little shed hunting and its a really fun to be out there. Turkey season is a great time to also test new gear for the deer or elk season. Best of luck to ya!

Offline jasnt

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Re: Newbie Hunter Looking for Advice
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 05:57:36 PM »
If possible locate the night before. If you can get to the area about 7 pm  and hike in and just find a hill top and sit and listen. I like to use a gobbler call once I hear a gobbler sound off. They fell more comfortable some times gobbling from the roost.  Figure out where they roost and get set up close 100 yards or so to them before first light. Donít call to them till you hear them talk or fly down. Call sparingly and set up so they canít see you till they are in range if possible. Like corners in a road or over a small knob.  If your willing to drive to  south 117 I could give you a location to find birds.
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"... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes."
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