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Question by thehunter98.6. Uploaded on January 28, 2013
Also can turkeys see hunter orange. And if they can how do you keep yourself safe.
If your state has a turkey hunting seminar you should attend. Lots of information and safety concerns are taught.
Find a relative or a church member or maybe even go with a friend who has a dad that takes him hunting. Learning on your own would be interesting but you'll learn a lot faster having somebody show you. Do you have a shotgun, boots and camo? And to answer your question: yes, turkeys see color. (they probably see better than people). If you want you can wear a vest up until you locate a huntable tom but I don't usually wear hunter orange because I hunt private property and don't see a need cause I look nothing like a turkey. But saying that doesn't stop idiots! Good luck and stay safe!
Do you have someone to take you turkey hunting? If not, I recommend getting an experienced mentor so you can learn the basics of turkey hunting.
Turkeys can see all colors very well. You can keep yourself safe by wearing an orange cap when moving, and keeping the cap in a pocket so you can flash it to hunters that invade your space so they know you're not a turkey.
There's lots of good information about turkeys and turkey hunting at the National Wild Turkey Federation's website www.nwtf.org/
definitely not an easy sport to take up on your own. for a beginner that wants to give it a crack heres the basics.
-shotgun, preferably 12 gauge shooting at minimum 3" #6's with at least a full choke
-full camo is a must, this includes facemask and gloves, leave no skin showing, and absolutely no red white or blue showing. (turkeys can see these colors well and all these colors appear on a gobblers head so its a safety concern). if you wear hunter orange you will never kill one. wear it while walking around moving to different calling locations but get rid of it when you begin to sit and call.
-get a double reed diaphram mouth call. all you really need to be able to do is become somewhat proficient at yelps and clucks. remember tone and sound are less important then cadence, so get yourself a dvd on hen calls and try to emulate the cadence the birds use.
-the most important is try to hook up with an experienced turkey hunter who can show you the ropes, you will drive yourself crazy trying on your own as a beginner trying to kill one unless you get very lucky.
Hunter98.6, First off, as you're pretty young, have you had a hunter safety course? Not to scare you but this is important, spring gobbler hunting is dangerous and you stand a good chance of calling up a man with a shotgun, looking for you. If you do see another hunter, don't wave or motion, call out in a loud voice and let them know where you are, no bird is worth catching a load of shot. If on public land or other places where other people may be, wear blaze orange when locating until the bird starts his approach. As to the birds, 12 ga. is good with #4,5,or 6 shot, whichever your gun patterns the best at 30-35 yards, or if you have a 3" 20 ga. that will pattern those shot sizes at that range, that will suffice, you just have to be a little meticulous in shot placement (always head and neck, never the body with shotgun). Full camo including mask & gloves in a pattern appropriate to the season and foliage, probably easiest to learn on a friction type call (slate, box, push-pull, etc) from an instruction CD. Concentrate on cadence and volume more than tone, learn the basic yelp, cackle, and kee kee run for spring hunting. Practice with your gun from a sitting down position with your back against something that would simulate a woods setting, work on your woodsmanship (get around quietly, blend in, etc). Go out well before daylight, a week or so before the season, and listen for birds waking up on the roost (hens tree calling and cackling, toms gobbling) and get a good handle on their location, do the same thing at dusk, listening for them to fly up and gobble. Once the season is in and you've located the roost, try to get about 100 yards from them, set up against a big tree or similar backstop to break up your outline and protect you from fools who might shoot at the source of calling from behind you (morons turkey hunt too) and wait for that first gobble. Answer with subtle and quiet tree calls (gentle yelps) until he starts answering and flies down. About that time hit him with a cackle and start answering with yelps and do NOT overcall, play hard to get but also respond to him accordingly, if he keeps answering, keep calling, just be coy about it. Here's where it gets tricky, try to control your pulse as ol' thunder gets closer. Try to set up in an open place, they don't like thickets. Have your gun up on a knee, don't try to quick draw on him, that won't happen. Watch for that head and neck to periscope up, hopefully in the direction your gun is pointing in, and when he's within your effective range, whip it on him. I know, long and rambling, but at the same time these are the basics. If you work at it you'll learn something new each time and soon find yourself addicted. Like an old boy told me once, that spring turkey hunting is like drinking and gambling, it gets in your blood. Good hunting.
I would hunt with my dad(who has never gone turkey hunting either) and probably on private land. Will you find turkeys if you don't see or hear any signs of them while preseason scouting or should you not hunt this property? Do you need decoys?
P.S. 007, I have had hunter safety course.
The advice about mentors is spot on. Even with help it took my three years to kill a turkey and four to call one in on my own last year.
Another great resource is Ray Eye's book Practical Turkey Hunting Strategies. It won't replace a mentor, patterning your gun and calling practice but he does a great job of explaining strategy and technique.
You will get lots of conflicting advice about guns and loads. For what it's worth I have used a 20ga with #6 Hevishot to good effect.
Good luck, it is great fun!
Decoys are not necessary but I guess help in certain situations. I've only killed maybe one tom while using a decoy. If you don't hear any during preseason don't sweat it. Like any other game animal turkeys will have some days where they'll gobble their heads off and be super active and others they won't make a peep. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't scout. Get out there learn the territory if you can glass fields find strutting grounds and maybe some roost. I usually walk and call which is where if I can't find a tom to hunt first thing in the morning I'll walk 150-200 yards and make a few calls and occasionally I'll set up for about half an hour and call every so often. Sometimes birds will slip up on you and not make the first sound.
So exactly what kind of calls should i get ?
Thanks for all of the advice.
Box call, mouth call (aka diaphragm call), or slate. You don't need to spend a ton of money on calls. The most valuable one to learn will be the mouth call. The other calls are easier to learn, but require more movement. Practice A LOT with a mouth call. Use the NWTF website to help mimic different types of calls, but do not underestimate the value of a basic yelp. Watching hunting shows can help you mimic calling, but knowing when to call and when to shut up takes experience. A lot of the birds I kill come in with minimal calling. If you're not sure how much to call, err on the side of less rather than more.
You sound just like me. When i was your age i saw an article in F&S about a homeade turkey call. i made it (it was the corn cob striker, and i used a piece of slate i found by the RR tracks. I had a 20 gauge with mod. choke. I did not shoot anything, but i didn't give up. Every year i got more gear (turkey choke, box call, decoys, exc.) By the begginging of my fourth season, i called a big ol tom to about 5 yards. Like 007 said, you have to try to keep control of your pulse, because i choked. I guess my point is to not give up. I finnaly got my turkey, and nobody ever helped me. Just keep at. As far as gear goes, a hen decoy works, and maybe a jake. Carry at least one type of call, i would suggest a box call. Full camo, including a headnet is a must. I'm sure your dad would enjoy an elevated turkey seat, sitting on tree roots isn't great on the back. I would also have your dad find a good recipe, just in case, good luck!
I have found the slate calls to be the easiest to get realistic yelps out of. Next would be box calls and finally diaphragm or mouth calls. All of them require a lot of practice to get really good at (which I am not).
There are lots of calling dvds for sale and on youtube. Listen and practice and you will be out having fun in no time. Turkeys are so cool to watch do their thing. 007 is right it gets in your blood.
Buy Tom Kelly's book/CD "A Fork In the Road" which is especially for beginning turkey hunters. It is informative and entertaining---full of great info.
If you only have one call I'd recommend the lynches fool proof box call. Its exactly that. fool proof. Two? Add a Preston Pittman black diamond mouth call.
Word of caution on calls - be careful where and when you practice. I was driving to work one morning with a diaphragm call in my mouth, yelping happily along, when my sinuses started draining and I choked, almost swallowed the call, had my car sideways in the road for a bit. Also, when, in your case, your mother, threatens to throw you out of the house and burn your calls, you know you're practicing enough, keep it up, just somewhere safe. On a more serious note, be aware of your surroundings as I said earlier, not only for other hunters, but predators will also come to a turkey call and have been known to attack until they figured out it was a person. Not trying to scare you, just advise you. Anything more, don't hesitate to ask. Good hunting.
98.6, you've struck a chord with me, I see myself in you, a lot of years ago, and thanks to the Beekeeper and Sarge01 getting me involved with hunter safety and working with kids like you, I keep thinking of more things to share with you. Some incidentals that you should take with you would include a small pair of binocs, a camera, a water bottle and a few things to eat, snake chaps depending on what's in your area, and an archery type range finder so you keep your shots inside your effective range. Regards.........
When you learn "everything" about turkey hunting, please, Please, PLEASE! Come back here and teach the rest of us! LOL!!!
Turkey hunting is the most passionate of the gun sports that I've ever gotten into.
I've got calls I haven't used in years. I make "wing bone" calls out of every bird I take!
The adrenaline rush of a tom coming to you strutting and gobbling has got to be right up there with a close quarter elephant charge!
Patience! Patience! Patience!
You'll find out what worked like a charm today, is useless tomorrow!
What works tomorrow, will work the next 3 times you go out.
If you call too much, they won't come in.
If you call too little, they won't come in!
Sometimes, you can call just right, and they won't come in!
Sadly, you won't know which is which until the turkey leaves!
Practice! Practice! Practice!
I'll leave you with this story.
The first time I decided I'd "call" turkeys, I didn't have a call. I found some cedar I had laying around, broke out my table saw and Elmer's Wood Glue and "made" a box call. It wouldn't putt, yelp or purr, but it did put out a high pitched squawk sorta sound.
Not having ANY idea what I was doing, I sat down on a pond dam and drug out my "squawk" box and hit it a lick or two.
HUH? A turkey gobbled in response! I tried the "squawk" again and again I got a gobble and suddenly spied the turkey headed my way!
I put the box down, got ready and the turkey came to me like he was on a string!
First turkey weighed 23 pounds! (Rio!)
I've been smitten ever since! It's wonderful!
Thank you everybody for all the info. And 007, how did your first turkey hunt go, and when did you get your first one?
i cant speak for 007, but i didnt seal the deal my first year even though i didnt call and had good mentors doing the work for me. my second season i went off by myself and got a nice one on the second to last day (this was hunting every morning before school, most days after school, and all day on the weekends). didnt kill one my third year (i missed a decent bird on the opening morning and never had another one in close rest of season, that was on me), and ive killed one every year from my 4th season on, also im always calling in birds for other people that were killed after i filled my tag. once i fill my tag i will never tell someone i wont call for them, even though i dont have a gun i feel the more time i can spend in the woods calling and hunting them the better it makes me for next season.
i dont know if this is a viable option for you, but when i first started out, before turkey season rolled around, i put on my camo and took my calls and walked to the park next to my house. its big, and theres tons of game, especially turkeys. i would try and call in birds in the park. that was invaluable.
98.6, it took me several years to get that first one, I called one in just so far and he took off when the old boss bird showed looking for a fight. Shortly thereafter ol' boss ran into 2 oz's of #6 copper coated. I was blessed to have two real turkey hawks take me under their wing, pun intended, and I learned volumes from them. Be patient, it will take time, be happy with little victories if you don't close the deal the first year, and enjoy the spring woods, a fine and shining time to be out. It will come but there is a lot to learn and become proficient at, but trust me, it is all worth it. Good hunting, young one.
Also don't forget your Benz 101 tick spray! That's the worst part of turkey hunting is the chiggers and ticks that are out and about. I would also recommend stepping on the turkeys neck when you shoot him. You'll see people on TV just run up and grab the turkeys after they've shot them but I would not do that! Their spurs can really hurt if you got caught. The reason for the boot is just to put them down quicker. But again, watch out for their spurs. As long as you do it right you'll be alright.
98.6, 007 is right as usual about the diaphragm calls and driving. I ran a concrete barrier in a parking garage all the way down the side of my truck fooling around with one. About 3K worth of damage. D'oh!
And I still sound like a constipated goose.
Thanks everybody! Now all I have to do is wait till april for the start of turkey season.
One last thing, you'll need a locator call to make ol' thunder shock gobble in the early mornings or late evenings. Everybody and his uncle uses a crow call so don't do that, go with a barred owl, pileated woodpecker, or even a peacock call, something to make him gobble but not start your way until you're open for business. Some folks like coyote howls but I'm just not sold on that, I think it spooks them. And do NOT mess around with a gobbling tube until you're a little more familiar, good way to either spook the bird or attract some fool who shoots at sounds.
007 , I think you just told me about everything I need to know about turkey hunting. I appreciate all your help and after turkey season I will post how me and my dad's season went.
You are most welcomed. I have developed a serious interest in helping kids like you get started so I am enjoying it and no, I haven't told you everything you need to know, I gave you the bare bones basics as I see them. As stated above, everything that you think you know will go out the window one day with one bird, then work perfectly a couple of days later with another, which is where, why, and how you continually learn about this great game animal and what makes them tick. Do keep me posted, and good hunting!
I found a good locater owl call and a box call on amazon. I cant wait till turkey season starts.
P.S. Why and How does a locator owl call make a turkey gobble
And also how big are wild turkeys typically?
Something in their mentality makes them gobble at sharp, sudden noises, usually early in the morning or late in the afternoon, don't know why unless it's a show of aggression. They've been know to gobble at car horns, thunder, hawks, owls, most anything along that line. Kill a 20-22# spring gobbler with 10-12" of beard with 1 1/2" or longer spurs and you've got a real keeper.
Sorry to keep you here so long but would a squirrel caller work as a locater call. Just to save money by not buying another call.
No, it's not loud enough, you're talking about reaching out sometimes hundreds of yards, and too, I think a squirrel bark is too subtle, if you will, it doesn't have that shock effect. You need something that smacks him and triggers a response, just don't get too close to do it.
Ok , ill just get a owl-locater call.
I'm 12 years old, and have never killed a turkey. I have seen some hens, and jakes, but never close enough to shoot. :( My dad lets me call sometimes, and I like using a slate call. I've tried mouth calls but I need more practice. I like the HS Strut Lil' Duece glass slate call with a carbon striker. Go to midwestturkeycall.com They have a lot of good calls and stuff you might like.
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