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Bourjaily: How to Draw Down on a Turkey

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April 20, 2009

Bourjaily: How to Draw Down on a Turkey

By Phil Bourjaily

You’re turkey hunting, and a bird sneaks in quietly, catching you with your gun in your lap. Do you:

a.) fast draw
b.) move like a glacier
c.) freeze in panic
d.) Just shoot the turkey.

Answer:
c.)
is always wrong. I speak here from bitter personal experience.
d.) I’ve never tried it, but it’s simple enough it might work.
a.) I would guess this is most people’s choice. It has worked about 50% of the time I’ve tried it. You will be shooting at a running turkey if you choose this option.
b.)  may be the best answer, although I’ve only see it done once.

I was guiding a friend, a law student whose goal was to pass the bar exam and kill his first turkey in the same week. Cody would stay up until 2:00 studying, then I’d pick him up at 4:00. By day three he was a zombie and I wasn’t feeling too perky myself.   

About 10:00 that third morning we sneaked into a jumbled tangle of woods and blowdowns that I was fairly certain hid a gobbler. We sat down and I quickly fell into a rhythm: call, doze for ten minutes, wake up, call, nod off. Repeat. When I woke up for the fifth or sixth time, there was the turkey, standing behind a low brush pile and just slicking down out of strut, 25 yards away.

I looked over at Cody, who was sitting about ten yards from me. He was sound asleep, head slumped on his chest, gun across his lap. I briefly considered ending the hunt and our friendship by shooting the turkey, but instead I hissed: “Wake up.”

Nothing.

“There’s a turkey in front of you,” I whispered as loud as I dared.

That did it. Even from behind and off to the side, I could see Cody’s eyes bug out. The turkey and I watched, transfixed, as Cody lifted the gun from his lap to his shoulder in the space of what seemed like an hour, but was probably closer to 30 seconds. Then he shot the turkey in the neck. The correct answer, that day, was b.).  (By the way, Cody passed the bar that week, too).

Choose an answer, and justify it with your own personal experiences.

Comments (34)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Mjenkins1 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Haha my only memory from last season, I was caught leaning forward with the gun across my lap. I felt like an idiot. I tried option b.) however Mr Tom turkey knew something wasnt right and went on his way.

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from T_Mac wrote 5 years 4 days ago

My only experience has been with option d. I was walking through the woods in South Carolina when a jake strolled out in front of me and watched rather dumbly as I shot him. Beginner's luck is a great thing, but at that point I thought, "Wow, what's all the fuss about turkeys being smart?" In the three turkey-less seasons I've hunted since, I've learned what the fuss is...

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

a. works for deer, the one time I had to try it. I was in a ground blind and peeked around a tree to find a nice fat spike looking dead at me. No option but to throw up and shoot. Most of the turkeys I have killed, with both shotgun and rifle, never knew I was in the same area code.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 3 days ago

"D" worked for me once...It happened to me while "snacking", and the gun was lying muzzle forward next to my feet, so it wasn't "across" my lap, perse`, but I wasn't holding it either.
Anyway, Mr.Tom came strutting up past my blind on the left, and headed straight away from me, I didn't even think about it--I dropped the snack, shot the bird, and that was that! Probably couldn't do it more flawlessly in another 100 years!

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

By accident we set up under a roosting tom which flew down and danced just a few feet away for a long while. We sat motionless for at least 45 mins between sun up, fly down and struting. Finally the tom walked away far enough where my son raised his gun and missed. Oh well. He got him the next day.

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from dgbroox wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I always start out with the move like a glacier tactic but that usually ends with the tukey spooking and me resorting to the fast draw McGraw tactic.

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from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I've had to use the glacier/cold molasses move several times. One of those was quite memorable. I had a big old tom come in from behind me on soft, wet pine needles. I never knew he was there until I heard the fitzz-spit-drummmmmm so close behind me that it felt like a base drum! I stayed still and he strutted by my right side within 2 yards, another fitzz-spit-drummmmm. He then strut/walked out to 15 yards and continued the show. Only one problem, he would never turn his back to me. I eased (oozed would be a better discription) the gun up an took the shot just as he figured out something was bad wrong!

If a bird is strutting you can get away with the glacier move fairly easy. If the bird is strutting and you time your move to when he has his fan between you and his head A & D will work quite well!

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from usmcturkey wrote 5 years 3 days ago

This happened on my first turkey hunt. My hunting buddy was calling and we took off our masks and gloves, stood our guns up against trees then sat and talked. When all of a sudden we heard a big thump, two turkeys landed 50 yards away. Being inexperienced I grabbed the gun quick. My buddy told me to take the shot if I had it, so I did. 45 yards away my first turkey dropped.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

This has happened to me. Not in the shooting, but falling asleep while turkey hunting. Only with me there was a witness who said a big tom strut 10-minutes within 15-yards of me, then decided to come up within 10-ft to check out the weird creature asleep w/a gentle snore.

Thank god there were no cam recorders back then.

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from AP wrote 5 years 3 days ago

My only experience is probably a combination of A and D. I was walking a logging road that skirted two large open fields that were divided by tree line that was a parallel to the direction I was facing. I had stopped two watch two deer feed when I saw three toms emerge from the tree line, about 40 yards away. I watched them for a second and concluded that although they were heading my direction, they would walk to the logging road and then turn along the perimeter of the field. Well, I was wrong. I had gotten on my hand and knees and was crossing the logging road, when the three toms appeared a top of a bump in the road, which had previously shielded me from their view, and they from mine. They were about ten yards away, and without hesitation, I turned to one knee and shot the one in front, without really aiming. He went down, and the other two just stood there, dumbfounded. Even as I walked to the fallen bird, the other two didn't want to leave. Hell of a way to get your first turkey.

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from AP wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Forgive the typos above (i.e. the inappropriate use of the word "two"). I was trying to type while talking one of my students through a lab.

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I chose both a mix of A and B on getting my first bird this year. I was sitting facing where a tom was gobbling and three jakes came in behind me. One was looking directly at me and saw me turning, so I gave a vouple soft clucks and kept turning. When I finally got all the way around he was circling me and I dropped 20 yards away in the only opening.

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from jcarlin wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I've tried moving slow on deer that got in too close enough times to know it doesn't work very well once they're in knife range. Fast has worked better. They see me either way, but at least with the fast response I've got a chance of being on a shoulder instead of my own foot by the time they realize they should bug out.

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from shane wrote 5 years 3 days ago

You have to make a judgement call between glacier and (steady) quickdraw. Are you about to get busted? Are you already busted? Hurry up and blast him. Is he clueless to your presence? Glacier it.

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from jbird wrote 5 years 3 days ago

D. I've shouldered the gun and shot numerous times while the turkey could see my movement. If your camo'd good enough, usually they'll shoot their head up when you bring the gun up/around, similar to when you "putt" loudly to get a gobbler to stretch his neck out. By the time he decides to skidaddle, you should be squeezing the trigger.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Back when I was younger I used to always use a) fast draw. I don't think it ever worked as somehow the turkey would fly or run before I could get off the shot in the thick southern timber. I had to move out toward more open areas near fields to be successful. Actually the best turkey hunter I ever knew, yeah the guy who only used a 20 ga A-5, was even slower than b) the glacier. He always would sit down and lean back against a tree with his knees elevated. The little Browning magically rested on knees with the stock against his chest or abdomen. The guy could remain in this position for hours slowly moving his eyes and maybe his head. When he shot, even if you were watching, you almost heard the boom before you saw him move the gun or his finger. I have never witnessed anyone who could duplicate this posture for such an extended time period. I wish I knew how many turkeys he killed before he passed away. I guessing at least a hundred.

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from MNhunter23 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

A buck sneaked up on me while deer hunting and was 20 yards downwind of me. By the time I realized he was there he was staring right at me. Convinced he would wind me sooner rather than later, I chose the glacier option. I got the gun to my shoulder and had him in my sights, but I failed to ease off the safety and the click spooked the buck. That was a lesson I will never forget.

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I would have to say "B". I have tried to quick draw on a turkey but that is too notieceable and the turkey spooks out and I can never get an accurate shot off. Patience pays off. I also usually wait for the turkey to turn around or for its line of vision towards me is blocked by a tree a something, then I raise my gun.

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from scottprice wrote 5 years 3 days ago

i would go with A.

as long as your somewhat in position to shoot and the bird is in range you can pull it off.

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from TommyNash wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I'll have to cop to C. A couple of years ago my best friend and I were in south Georgia set up in some thick stuff. He called in a monster, who came hauling up a hill no more thqan 10 yeards in front of us. I was so amazed to watch him, I just froze. I tried to get my gun up as the freeze thawed, but way too late. After convincing my buddy not to shoot me for wrecking his great call, we had a few good laughs....and still do because he never lets me forget. Cool topic.

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from Jere Smith wrote 5 years 3 days ago

B sounds best

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

D) Just shoot the turkey! Try to wait until he is a few feet away from any cover or obstructions and just shoot him. You don't go through some ritual shooting geese flying 40 mph. Turkeys are quick, but not that quick! BTW, how do those guys on TV actually miss a turkey standing still and then miss 2 more times as he flies off? There might be something called 'too tight a choke tube'....

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 3 days ago

a. works for me.
Think about it, if you are hunting quail or pheasants and especially Grouse! This is what you do already, bird flushes and you throw the shotgun to your shoulder and shoot, only difference is you are likely sitting for turkey hunting instead of walking. Not a big deal.
Also, when I setup for turkey calling I try to find a nice low to the ground Pine tree, cut out a few branches to be able to lean on the trunk and tuck myself back into it, with camo on you are all but invisible this way, kind of a natural blind to set in, also keeps you somewhat dry if it rains.
I called in another hunter this way once, scared the crap out of him when I said "hello" as he walked right past me! Gave me a "Where the h*ll are you?" reply as he spun around!
I had to stick my hand out of the pine and wave before he figured out I was sitting almost next to his left foot!
I love pine trees!
:-)

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from DieHard1548 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

The glacier tactic seems to be the best option to me if you can wait long enough for the turkey to turn away from you. A turkeys head is hard enough to hit through thick vegetation while it is standing still let alone if send one flying through the trees and branches as a result of your fast draw. Be patient and use the glacier tactic. If the tom busts you, he is there for next year. Thats why its hunting not killing.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

How about:

"FREEZE, Barack! Step away from the teleprompter!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Having killed more than a few turkeys in the past 30 years I can tell you that (b) is the only one that will work with any consistency. About 1/3 of the time the turkey will not appear to see you for some reason (cover, etc.), another 1/3 he will hesitate trying to figure out what you are long enough for you to kill him and the remaining 1/3 he will be gone so quickly that you stand no chance, especially if the cover is thick. Trying to beat a gobbler with speed is usually a loser. If you freeze, he will sometimes move his head behind a tree or something, so that you can get your gun on him unseen, but (b) will always be the best option. Tom

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from tom warner wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Having killed more than a few turkeys in the past 30 years I can tell you that (b) is the only one that will work with any consistency. About 1/3 of the time the turkey will not appear to see you for some reason (cover, etc.), another 1/3 he will hesitate trying to figure out what you are long enough for you to kill him and the remaining 1/3 he will be gone so quickly that you stand no chance, especially if the cover is thick. Trying to beat a gobbler with speed is usually a loser. If you freeze, he will sometimes move his head behind a tree or something, so that you can get your gun on him unseen, but (b) will always be the best option. Tom

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Hey, What happened to the "Sniper" post?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 2 days ago

WTF, over?

Petzal just had a post with comments about snipers and now it disappeared!

Is F&S giving him the ZUMBO treatment or a LEWINSKY?

What gives? Political Correctness?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 5 years 2 days ago

To all: The answer is, none of the above. We had at least two sets of conflicting information on the woman shooter and no way of verifying any of it within a short period of time, so the whole thing vanished.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Understandable...could we do that vanishing act with my Mortgage?? I swear I won't tell a soul!

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Hope to God the bird moves behind a tree so you can get your gun up unseen.

The absolute lightning reaction speed of just about any animal turning on the juice after you're busted is something to behold.

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 2 days ago

"I called in another hunter this way once, scared the crap out of him when I said "hello" as he walked right past me! Gave me a "Where the h*ll are you?" reply as he spun around!
I had to stick my hand out of the pine and wave before he figured out I was sitting almost next to his left foot!"

Zermoid, you are living dangerously. Below [I rearranged] what Virginia DGIF recommends:

* Never shoot at a sound or movement. Wait until you have a good, clean shot at a legal bird. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead, call out in a loud voice and remain hidden, until the other hunter acknowledges your presence.

* Because a gobbler's head is distinguished by its bold white, blue and red colors, NEVER wear white, blue or red clothing - not even socks or undershirts - because a flash of white could be mistaken for a turkey. Even a red bandana or blue snack food wrapper could be misread in the woods during turkey season.

* When choosing a calling position, don't hide so well that you cannot see what is going on around you. Select a calling position with a good view of your surroundings and where the sun does not distort what you are seeing.

* Tie a strip of blaze orange to a tree near your calling position to alert others of your presence.

* If you use a pop-up tent blind, have a blaze orange strip visible from 360 degrees near the blind.

* When you harvest a gobbler, carry it out of the woods draped in blaze orange. Otherwise, another hunter might just see the bird and not you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 1 day ago

Just got back from the woods just East of Wichita hunting Rios. Saw lots of pretty birds but none I wanted to shoot. Also saw about 50 whitetails including a huge buck with velvet antlers already growing.
Anyway, IMO you should choose A, B or D depending on the situation.
Here's a tip for everyone. Practice switching your gun to the off shoulder and using the "other" eye to shoot. I lost a nice bird once that circled and came in on my right side. I could not bring the gun to bear before he exited hence the change to effect a cure. It worked the next time a bird came in on my right. Just switched the gun closed my right eye aimed with the left and fired. A year later A big tom gobbled to my front right and another bird gobbled farther away and behind me. I switched the gun to my left shoulder to anticipate a shot at the closest bird. Next the bird behind comes in silent and nearly knocked my hat off with a thundering gobble at 10 yd on my left. Since he had me pinned the glacier seemed right but halfway there the bird ran. I switched to the fast draw and fired as he ducked behind a bush. Thought I had missed until a moment later came the unmistakeable sound of a Gobbler flopping in the leaves. We went home together with my tag on his leg. That was the 4th bird I've taken in that spot by an old grave in the woods of Macon CO, MO. The marble headstone is barely legible. It says Jos Sears born 1800 and died July 1865. Imagine that he died only a month or so after Lincoln. Next to Joe is one other grave for a child. Two years ago I stopped hunting turkeys in MO. The NR tag got too high for my taste.

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I would have to say "B". I have tried to quick draw on a turkey but that is too notieceable and the turkey spooks out and I can never get an accurate shot off. Patience pays off. I also usually wait for the turkey to turn around or for its line of vision towards me is blocked by a tree a something, then I raise my gun.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

How about:

"FREEZE, Barack! Step away from the teleprompter!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 2 days ago

WTF, over?

Petzal just had a post with comments about snipers and now it disappeared!

Is F&S giving him the ZUMBO treatment or a LEWINSKY?

What gives? Political Correctness?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I've had to use the glacier/cold molasses move several times. One of those was quite memorable. I had a big old tom come in from behind me on soft, wet pine needles. I never knew he was there until I heard the fitzz-spit-drummmmmm so close behind me that it felt like a base drum! I stayed still and he strutted by my right side within 2 yards, another fitzz-spit-drummmmm. He then strut/walked out to 15 yards and continued the show. Only one problem, he would never turn his back to me. I eased (oozed would be a better discription) the gun up an took the shot just as he figured out something was bad wrong!

If a bird is strutting you can get away with the glacier move fairly easy. If the bird is strutting and you time your move to when he has his fan between you and his head A & D will work quite well!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 1 day ago

Just got back from the woods just East of Wichita hunting Rios. Saw lots of pretty birds but none I wanted to shoot. Also saw about 50 whitetails including a huge buck with velvet antlers already growing.
Anyway, IMO you should choose A, B or D depending on the situation.
Here's a tip for everyone. Practice switching your gun to the off shoulder and using the "other" eye to shoot. I lost a nice bird once that circled and came in on my right side. I could not bring the gun to bear before he exited hence the change to effect a cure. It worked the next time a bird came in on my right. Just switched the gun closed my right eye aimed with the left and fired. A year later A big tom gobbled to my front right and another bird gobbled farther away and behind me. I switched the gun to my left shoulder to anticipate a shot at the closest bird. Next the bird behind comes in silent and nearly knocked my hat off with a thundering gobble at 10 yd on my left. Since he had me pinned the glacier seemed right but halfway there the bird ran. I switched to the fast draw and fired as he ducked behind a bush. Thought I had missed until a moment later came the unmistakeable sound of a Gobbler flopping in the leaves. We went home together with my tag on his leg. That was the 4th bird I've taken in that spot by an old grave in the woods of Macon CO, MO. The marble headstone is barely legible. It says Jos Sears born 1800 and died July 1865. Imagine that he died only a month or so after Lincoln. Next to Joe is one other grave for a child. Two years ago I stopped hunting turkeys in MO. The NR tag got too high for my taste.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from usmcturkey wrote 5 years 3 days ago

This happened on my first turkey hunt. My hunting buddy was calling and we took off our masks and gloves, stood our guns up against trees then sat and talked. When all of a sudden we heard a big thump, two turkeys landed 50 yards away. Being inexperienced I grabbed the gun quick. My buddy told me to take the shot if I had it, so I did. 45 yards away my first turkey dropped.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TommyNash wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I'll have to cop to C. A couple of years ago my best friend and I were in south Georgia set up in some thick stuff. He called in a monster, who came hauling up a hill no more thqan 10 yeards in front of us. I was so amazed to watch him, I just froze. I tried to get my gun up as the freeze thawed, but way too late. After convincing my buddy not to shoot me for wrecking his great call, we had a few good laughs....and still do because he never lets me forget. Cool topic.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 3 days ago

You have to make a judgement call between glacier and (steady) quickdraw. Are you about to get busted? Are you already busted? Hurry up and blast him. Is he clueless to your presence? Glacier it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MNhunter23 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

A buck sneaked up on me while deer hunting and was 20 yards downwind of me. By the time I realized he was there he was staring right at me. Convinced he would wind me sooner rather than later, I chose the glacier option. I got the gun to my shoulder and had him in my sights, but I failed to ease off the safety and the click spooked the buck. That was a lesson I will never forget.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Having killed more than a few turkeys in the past 30 years I can tell you that (b) is the only one that will work with any consistency. About 1/3 of the time the turkey will not appear to see you for some reason (cover, etc.), another 1/3 he will hesitate trying to figure out what you are long enough for you to kill him and the remaining 1/3 he will be gone so quickly that you stand no chance, especially if the cover is thick. Trying to beat a gobbler with speed is usually a loser. If you freeze, he will sometimes move his head behind a tree or something, so that you can get your gun on him unseen, but (b) will always be the best option. Tom

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Hey, What happened to the "Sniper" post?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DieHard1548 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

The glacier tactic seems to be the best option to me if you can wait long enough for the turkey to turn away from you. A turkeys head is hard enough to hit through thick vegetation while it is standing still let alone if send one flying through the trees and branches as a result of your fast draw. Be patient and use the glacier tactic. If the tom busts you, he is there for next year. Thats why its hunting not killing.

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from T_Mac wrote 5 years 4 days ago

My only experience has been with option d. I was walking through the woods in South Carolina when a jake strolled out in front of me and watched rather dumbly as I shot him. Beginner's luck is a great thing, but at that point I thought, "Wow, what's all the fuss about turkeys being smart?" In the three turkey-less seasons I've hunted since, I've learned what the fuss is...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 5 years 2 days ago

To all: The answer is, none of the above. We had at least two sets of conflicting information on the woman shooter and no way of verifying any of it within a short period of time, so the whole thing vanished.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

D) Just shoot the turkey! Try to wait until he is a few feet away from any cover or obstructions and just shoot him. You don't go through some ritual shooting geese flying 40 mph. Turkeys are quick, but not that quick! BTW, how do those guys on TV actually miss a turkey standing still and then miss 2 more times as he flies off? There might be something called 'too tight a choke tube'....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I've tried moving slow on deer that got in too close enough times to know it doesn't work very well once they're in knife range. Fast has worked better. They see me either way, but at least with the fast response I've got a chance of being on a shoulder instead of my own foot by the time they realize they should bug out.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

a. works for deer, the one time I had to try it. I was in a ground blind and peeked around a tree to find a nice fat spike looking dead at me. No option but to throw up and shoot. Most of the turkeys I have killed, with both shotgun and rifle, never knew I was in the same area code.

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Back when I was younger I used to always use a) fast draw. I don't think it ever worked as somehow the turkey would fly or run before I could get off the shot in the thick southern timber. I had to move out toward more open areas near fields to be successful. Actually the best turkey hunter I ever knew, yeah the guy who only used a 20 ga A-5, was even slower than b) the glacier. He always would sit down and lean back against a tree with his knees elevated. The little Browning magically rested on knees with the stock against his chest or abdomen. The guy could remain in this position for hours slowly moving his eyes and maybe his head. When he shot, even if you were watching, you almost heard the boom before you saw him move the gun or his finger. I have never witnessed anyone who could duplicate this posture for such an extended time period. I wish I knew how many turkeys he killed before he passed away. I guessing at least a hundred.

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from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

This has happened to me. Not in the shooting, but falling asleep while turkey hunting. Only with me there was a witness who said a big tom strut 10-minutes within 15-yards of me, then decided to come up within 10-ft to check out the weird creature asleep w/a gentle snore.

Thank god there were no cam recorders back then.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 3 days ago

By accident we set up under a roosting tom which flew down and danced just a few feet away for a long while. We sat motionless for at least 45 mins between sun up, fly down and struting. Finally the tom walked away far enough where my son raised his gun and missed. Oh well. He got him the next day.

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I chose both a mix of A and B on getting my first bird this year. I was sitting facing where a tom was gobbling and three jakes came in behind me. One was looking directly at me and saw me turning, so I gave a vouple soft clucks and kept turning. When I finally got all the way around he was circling me and I dropped 20 yards away in the only opening.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dgbroox wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I always start out with the move like a glacier tactic but that usually ends with the tukey spooking and me resorting to the fast draw McGraw tactic.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Hope to God the bird moves behind a tree so you can get your gun up unseen.

The absolute lightning reaction speed of just about any animal turning on the juice after you're busted is something to behold.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 2 days ago

"I called in another hunter this way once, scared the crap out of him when I said "hello" as he walked right past me! Gave me a "Where the h*ll are you?" reply as he spun around!
I had to stick my hand out of the pine and wave before he figured out I was sitting almost next to his left foot!"

Zermoid, you are living dangerously. Below [I rearranged] what Virginia DGIF recommends:

* Never shoot at a sound or movement. Wait until you have a good, clean shot at a legal bird. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead, call out in a loud voice and remain hidden, until the other hunter acknowledges your presence.

* Because a gobbler's head is distinguished by its bold white, blue and red colors, NEVER wear white, blue or red clothing - not even socks or undershirts - because a flash of white could be mistaken for a turkey. Even a red bandana or blue snack food wrapper could be misread in the woods during turkey season.

* When choosing a calling position, don't hide so well that you cannot see what is going on around you. Select a calling position with a good view of your surroundings and where the sun does not distort what you are seeing.

* Tie a strip of blaze orange to a tree near your calling position to alert others of your presence.

* If you use a pop-up tent blind, have a blaze orange strip visible from 360 degrees near the blind.

* When you harvest a gobbler, carry it out of the woods draped in blaze orange. Otherwise, another hunter might just see the bird and not you.

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from tom warner wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Having killed more than a few turkeys in the past 30 years I can tell you that (b) is the only one that will work with any consistency. About 1/3 of the time the turkey will not appear to see you for some reason (cover, etc.), another 1/3 he will hesitate trying to figure out what you are long enough for you to kill him and the remaining 1/3 he will be gone so quickly that you stand no chance, especially if the cover is thick. Trying to beat a gobbler with speed is usually a loser. If you freeze, he will sometimes move his head behind a tree or something, so that you can get your gun on him unseen, but (b) will always be the best option. Tom

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 3 days ago

"D" worked for me once...It happened to me while "snacking", and the gun was lying muzzle forward next to my feet, so it wasn't "across" my lap, perse`, but I wasn't holding it either.
Anyway, Mr.Tom came strutting up past my blind on the left, and headed straight away from me, I didn't even think about it--I dropped the snack, shot the bird, and that was that! Probably couldn't do it more flawlessly in another 100 years!

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Understandable...could we do that vanishing act with my Mortgage?? I swear I won't tell a soul!

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from Mjenkins1 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Haha my only memory from last season, I was caught leaning forward with the gun across my lap. I felt like an idiot. I tried option b.) however Mr Tom turkey knew something wasnt right and went on his way.

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from jbird wrote 5 years 3 days ago

D. I've shouldered the gun and shot numerous times while the turkey could see my movement. If your camo'd good enough, usually they'll shoot their head up when you bring the gun up/around, similar to when you "putt" loudly to get a gobbler to stretch his neck out. By the time he decides to skidaddle, you should be squeezing the trigger.

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from AP wrote 5 years 3 days ago

My only experience is probably a combination of A and D. I was walking a logging road that skirted two large open fields that were divided by tree line that was a parallel to the direction I was facing. I had stopped two watch two deer feed when I saw three toms emerge from the tree line, about 40 yards away. I watched them for a second and concluded that although they were heading my direction, they would walk to the logging road and then turn along the perimeter of the field. Well, I was wrong. I had gotten on my hand and knees and was crossing the logging road, when the three toms appeared a top of a bump in the road, which had previously shielded me from their view, and they from mine. They were about ten yards away, and without hesitation, I turned to one knee and shot the one in front, without really aiming. He went down, and the other two just stood there, dumbfounded. Even as I walked to the fallen bird, the other two didn't want to leave. Hell of a way to get your first turkey.

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from AP wrote 5 years 3 days ago

Forgive the typos above (i.e. the inappropriate use of the word "two"). I was trying to type while talking one of my students through a lab.

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from Jere Smith wrote 5 years 3 days ago

B sounds best

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from Zermoid wrote 5 years 3 days ago

a. works for me.
Think about it, if you are hunting quail or pheasants and especially Grouse! This is what you do already, bird flushes and you throw the shotgun to your shoulder and shoot, only difference is you are likely sitting for turkey hunting instead of walking. Not a big deal.
Also, when I setup for turkey calling I try to find a nice low to the ground Pine tree, cut out a few branches to be able to lean on the trunk and tuck myself back into it, with camo on you are all but invisible this way, kind of a natural blind to set in, also keeps you somewhat dry if it rains.
I called in another hunter this way once, scared the crap out of him when I said "hello" as he walked right past me! Gave me a "Where the h*ll are you?" reply as he spun around!
I had to stick my hand out of the pine and wave before he figured out I was sitting almost next to his left foot!
I love pine trees!
:-)

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from scottprice wrote 5 years 3 days ago

i would go with A.

as long as your somewhat in position to shoot and the bird is in range you can pull it off.

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