Need some turkey hunting advice

Discussion in 'Hunting and Fishing' started by IW17, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    Turkey hunting has never been my thing, but I'm planning on changing that this April. I'd like some advice on good calls to start with. I plan on buying them now and practicing for the next month. I'll be going with a couple guys who have a few years experience, but I'd like to have some basics down before getting into the woods.
     
  2. Expat

    Expat Expat™ Knives Staff Member

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    I can't give you an expert's advice, but I can give you a complete novice's advice since I went for the first time last year.

    I did a lot of research and talked to a bunch of people and they recommended I try a box call first. I went with the Lynch Foolproof Turkey Call to see if it was. It has been around for 60 years and has 93 ratings on Cabela's with an average of 5 stars so other people said they liked it. There is also a ton of videos online to teach you to use this call.

    I feel like I got pretty good at it. My friend who has hunted turkeys for a long time was impressed with my ability in a short time and with how loud the box call was. We called in two jakes and he shot at them but missed. I feel like it worked as well as I had any right to expect. I'll be using it again in a few weeks.

    Other than that, I've got zero advice for you. I'm still a complete beginner myself.
     
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  3. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    That's kinda what I was thinking. I've heard mouth calls are the most difficult to learn, but I've been calling coyotes using mouth calls for years, and really didn't find it to be very difficult. I realize the style of mouth call is different, but I also feel getting good at a call that would allow both hands to be free would definitely have its benefits.
     
  4. Boker55

    Boker55 Member

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    If you can avoid public land during turkey season do. I've spent a lot of time communicating with other hunters using just turkey calls...
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  5. Expat

    Expat Expat™ Knives Staff Member

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    that's funny.
     
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  6. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    I mostly hunt public land, but other hunters aren't a concern. The spot I hunt sees almost no hunting pressure. Even during our week long deer shotgun season I'll see maybe 6-8 other hunters while driving the roads. Ill see 1-2, sometimes none while hunting. Kind of a hidden gem as far as public lands are concerned.
     
  7. Wisdom

    Wisdom Member

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    I like mouth calls, especially if I'm by myself. Avoid over calling whatever call you use. When a Tom answers a couple of times, stop calling and wait. Be patience, then use minimal calling for the bird to locate you. Purring is a good way to keep in touch with the bird. Sometimes you need to keep calling in order to get a wary bird in. Ive killed birds that gobbled at the slam of a truck door, and Ive had birds pitch out 100 yds from me, answer a call, then turn and go the other direction never to be seen again. Its all in how fired up they are, and how much they are looking for a lady!
    Its also well worth the time to scout for the roost in advance at dusk. If you know where they will pitch out, it can often make for a quick kill.
     
  8. Wisdom

    Wisdom Member

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    As with all hunting, shoot your gun often. Know your choke/ammo and its range. This is easily done with a few scrap pieces of cardboard and a sharpie. Make a fist, lay your arm on the cardboard and trace around it. This makes for a good turkey head. Shoot it with different ammo at varying ranges until you find a good load for your gun. If your shot is "donuting" get a different choke, or try different ammo. Turkeys are missed way more often than they should be, typically due to range and lack of familiarity of their shotgun.
     
  9. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    Push button box call. Easy it use.
     
  10. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    I definitely plan on trying different chokes and ammo. The fist outline is a great idea. Sure beats blowing threw turkey targets. Is there a good starting point for ammo? Any particular brands or loads that tend to do well? I'll be using a Mossberg 535 and I'll start out with a xx turkey choke, which is what came with it. I'll be curious to see how this choke will do, since it came with the gun as a package.
     
  11. Vtach

    Vtach Member

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    Just my crappy 2 cents...but if you have a month to practice, i would personally start with some type of slate or glass call. The great thing about using a friction call, like a slate or glass, is that once you get the hang of using it (and a month is plenty enough time to learn if you practice imo) you can get different type strikers to sound like different hens. I use a mouth call 98% of the time, but next go to call is a double glass call with a few different type wound strikers. Very versatile and easy to use, but it does take two hands (most types) to use it. Lots of good youtube videos to learn. I would recommend watching a few instructional
    Videos to first learn the basics and then watch videos of actual hen turkeys making sounds. You will find that real hens often sound nothing like most hunters. Anywho, good luck and pray the addiction doesnt set in ;)
    Pic for inspiration. 4th one of the season taken 2 days ago. Hard to tell but its a double beard.
     

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  12. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Box call is a great start, the key is soft calling. Keep the bird interested, remember in the turkey woods the hens come to toms so you need to play hard to get. I had a new haven box call that worked good, also a beer belly. I use a glass call or friction call now, it has taken some time to master but it's still a good option. Mouth calls great! If you can use them, I choke on the damn things. I do keep one on me for the purrs when the birds are close. Get a gobble tube as well, they look like something out of a sex shop but they are great locators. Practice outside, calls sound different in the open then in your house. Learn the basic puts, purrs, and yelps before you get fancy. I called in my first bird to 4 yards with just soft purs.

    Camo is king, these birds see color so cover every inch up.

    Ammo, go right for the throats and buy hevishot magnum blend. I've killed at least ten birds with it. I've killed plenty of birds with other ammo but hevishot stomps them. My farthest being 70 yards, instant dirt nap. I shoot a primos jelly head XXfull choke out of my benelli. The price might scare you but it's worth it. $25 of 5 shells but you only can shoot one bird a season by me.

    Good luck, thunder chickens have made me feel like a idiot more than once.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  13. Vtach

    Vtach Member

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    Winchester, remington and all the brand name ammo should be just fine. I think the biggest thing is deciding on what size shot you want. Most ppl shoot 4's, 5's or 6's in lead or either a combo.
     
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  14. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Or shoot hevishot magnum blend and that's all three of those shot sizes in one shell. Ha ha :cool:
     
  15. Vtach

    Vtach Member

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    Hevishot mag blend is an excellent choice, but i prefer TSS #8's and #9's for my 20g. 296 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards. Plus my 20g is very lightweight and fits my t-rex arms perfectly
     
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  16. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Someday I'll try with a 20ga. I've gotten them close enough but never have hunted with one.
     
  17. Vtach

    Vtach Member

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    With my current setup, im extremely confident out to 60 yards. I like gettin them in as close as possible but the fartherest ive made was 52 yards with my 20g and TSS. I really dont like shooting that far, even with a 12g, but i fooled with this bird and his hens for 3 hours and ended up calling him through a big grasspatch only to have the hens leave me and pullinh him with them which i why i made that long of a shot (wide open woth no obstructions). Dropped him like a bad habit. The tss is expensive (about 7 bucks per shell) and it has to be handloaded, but it wil turn a 20g into a killing machine that will hang with a lot of 12g's shooting lead.
     
  18. IW17

    IW17 Member

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    Well I just received my foolproof turkey call as endorsed by @Expat. Seems pretty foolproof so far, so at least it's got the name going for it. My next step is to buy some turkey loads and see if anything groups well with the stock turkey choke that came with my gun. If not I'll be heading up to my local outdoors shop.

    Is buying decoys a good idea? Or should I just focus on the basics?
     
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  19. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Can't go wrong with a single hen. There are a lot of choices out there from a $10 feather flex to a $120 DSD. I have shot birds using decoys more than I have not. Buy the best decoy you can afford, just get a relaxed hen. If you got the coin a Avian-X feeder is awesome.
     
  20. IW17

    IW17 Member

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