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Moose-Hunter

Turkey rookie looking for advice...

13 posts in this topic

Spring of 2009 will be my first time seriously going after turkey. I've done it a couple times, years ago, (half heartedly) with ZERO success... (weird, eh?) But this spring, is going to be my time to shine!!

I have a place to go that has a known known turkey population. I've got the 1100 all spiffed up with a full aray of chokes. And that's about it... But best of all... I am determined this time around!!

What can you tell this "not-so-young" up and coming turkey hunter to get him started right? Advice, prayer and old equipment donations gladly accepted! wink

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Join the NWTF. Get involved with a local chapter. There are lots of us out here that will readily take in a newcomer and get him started in the right direction. You will probably make some new, good friends along the way.

Read all you can, watch all the videos you can, start practicing with those calls now. Get permission on as many properties as possible.

You are about to be possessed,good luck and enjoy the ride.

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If you have the time, IMO pre-season scouting will boost your odds more than anything else. Particularly, if you can get out right before your season.

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Check all the Turkey seminars around the area you can.I never even try to think I know enough.I go to a few each spring to learn something new or maybe something I forgot.Scouting is huge being a good woodsman can be even better then the greatest caller.Check out calls make sure you can use a mouth call if not find one's that you like and know you can work(Box calls,slate call anything you thinks will work.Make sure to pattern a shotgun.Maybe go with someone you know that is turkey hunting swap some shotgun shells get the right shot that will work with your gun and choke.There is always more but if you keep touch on this site everyone on here will give you ideas it's just up to you to follow through.Biggest thing I can say just be safe.

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MooseHunter,

Best of luck to ya! Maybe this will be your new obsession.

Do:

Make sure your gun is shooting the best pattern it can. You'll get advice here on some loads that have worked in your make/model gun if you post the description. It should help you zero in quicker.

Be patient. If a tom stops gobbling to your call, don't give up on him. Wait. He may be coming in. It might take him over an hour to get there though.

Scout. Observe. Learn your land and the turkey's preferred daily routine without interruption.

Don't:

Pre-season call. It only educates your birds more, telling them they will not be rewarded for coming in.

Overcall. Just let the bird know you're there. If he's hot, he'll come. If he's not, he'll probably check you out after 9 am when his other girls have quit on him for the day. It can be done, but its tough to call a tom from hen's he's already with.

Put any pressure on yourself to fill that tag. If you're not spooking your birds by pushing them around - every day of your season is as good as opener. A successful hunt can develop without warning. smile

Just a few things I have learned while being humbled by birds. There's way more to learn though. grin

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Thanks for the help guys!! Much appreciated!! I'll be checking out the NWTF and have already read a few articles on my new, upcoming obsession. Where do Ilook for these seminars you speak of? Do places like G.M. hold these?

Scouting? CHECK!! I'm a firm believer in doing my fieldwork. Zero/low impact and NO PRE-SEASON CALLING! Check!!

The gun? My Rem 1100 is being pulled from coyote duty for this new adventure. It currently sports a 26" barrel (chambered for 3") with a Carlson's Dead Coyote tube (.660, I believe). Patterns nice out to 50 yards with #4 buck, but obviously I'll need to change my load. Any suggestions for loads and chokes? What ranges are typical for turkey?

Camo? For deer, we use orange. That's out. For predators... I'm in winter brush camo. Hmmm.... Not to good in the spring. Are there any patterns that stand out as being better than the rest?

Calls? I've tried a slate call once before and I made it sound like fingernails on a chaulkboard! If I'm alone, I'd like to keep motion to a minimum. So that leaves mouth calls. Are there any that are easy for the beginner?

Gizmos? I'm a gadget guy. Are there any little extras that make the hunt just that much better/comfortable/effective? Seats? Pads? Bloinds? Lounge chairs? Big screen plasma T.V.'s?

Thanks again for all the help and advice!! Keep it flowing as I need all the help I can get!!

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Welcome to this insane obsession called turkey hunting. As for your questions im not sure if G M holds these seminars but i know Cabelas does them and a wide variety of other places. Every area holds them some where. I think when i first started it was at the high school in town(before Cabelas opened). Youll find a list of them in the book let u get when you get drawn to turkey hunt and probably on the dnr site.

As for your scouting ur gunna want to do some sort of calling to be able to find where the birds are roosting. Pretty much anything will work for this, you might want to stay way from ur predator calls tho. A hoot owl, gobbler call, crow call, rooster call, duck call, car horn, and if ur what your name states a moose call would probably even work!!

As for camo I use the same stuff as i use for bow hunting. Im not sure what the best pattern would be but correct me if im wrong ive heard that turkeys are able to see color.

My favorite call is a slate call after a lot of practise ive gotten pretty good at it. After 10 years or more of doing this i still dont trust my mouth call in the field for some reason- that could just be me paranoid but they take alot of time to master. I would recommend some sort of blind. I use a very cheap one that covers about my chest down while sitting against a tree and does like a horse shoe around me. There are better ones out there but thats what works for me

Good Luck

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So many questions, so little time. First thing I want to know is, why are you up at 2:30 in the morning asking these questions? LOL.

Seminars: Check out the DNR HSOforum. If you draw a tag there will be a list of seminars included.

Chokes: Make sure you have an xtra full turkey choke. Your coyote tube may work okay.

Loads: Most use a copper plated buffered turkey load in 4, 5, or 6 shot. There are also LOTS of other heavy weight shots available that may work better in your gun. Because the shot in these loads is heavier than lead you can use a smaller shot size, giving you more pellets, and still have enough punch at longer yardages.

Ranges: This depends entirely on your gun/load/pattern. Usually 40 yards is considered max range.

Camo: Usually whatever you already have for deer will work. Patterns may change from early in the season with browns/grays to later in the season where more greens will be better.

Calls: This one is great because everyone will have different preferances. You NEED many! Must haves are: A good slate (or 3 or 4), a good box call (or 2 or 3), see where I'm going here? Mouth calls are important if you practice with them and are good with them. Do you need them? NO! Easiest to learn on? Single or double reed calls.

There are tons of calls out there. Before you are done you will have many, many in you collection. My advice is buy GOOD ones first. Pay the $30-$40 for a good custom slate or box call instead of the $15-$20 ones.

Also available, tube calls, wing bone, owl hooters, crow calls, coyote callers, the list goes on and on.

Gizmos: This sport is for you! Look at any catalog that sells turkey stuff and the pages go on and on. Must haves: A good vest. These have a fold down seat that allow you to sit anywhere quickly and easily. They have dozens of pockets just begging to be filled with "gizmos". I don't have the luxury of lots of land to roam, so I sit many hours in a pop-up ground blind. Double Bull makes the best but there are many on the market that will do just fine. You will nedd a small comfortable seat to go with that and if you must have your TV with you in there just make sure the volume is low.

I think a set of decoys are also important. A set typically consists of a jake and two hens. Lots of different types available, some even with real feathers! These won't always work and in fact sometimes hurt your chances, but when they do work, they often work so well you won't even have to call to have birds in your lap.

I also carry binocs, shooting sticks, range finder, short rope to tie between the feet of a gobbler to carry him out of the woods, camera, etc, etc. Others will chime in with there preferances.

As I said earlier, enjoy the ride!

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Moose-Hunter see what I meant.You will find a lot of information just right here.I know Joel Nelson will chime in at some time also.Seminars will be starting in March.I know my father has sent out e-mails already for the class he puts on.He will do a few around the twin cities areas and in WI.Gander Mountian does have a lot of seminars they will have different speakers at all of them.I know the Gander in Forest has a Turkey University weekend they call it.They will have Primos prostaff,double bull,HS strut and the MN DNR instructors.Other things you should have I think a vest is a must to carry out your bird or a safety orange bag.Do not carry over your shoulders.Always safety first.There are so many calls out there get what you think will work best.There is a catalog Midwest Turkey call that is a good spot to start all calls in there are a few dollars cheaper then the stores.Binos would be good if can have a good small pair to use.Locator calls from a goose call to Elk will work.My favorite is the 3 in one from primos with the peacock call.Blinds are nice if you want to hunt from one,keep you dry but I like to be mobile.I bowhunt turkey's a lot so I do use a blind but have shot more out of the blind then in it.A comfortable seat is a must so you butt does not get too sore from sitting a long time.They do have seats out there that sit off the ground a few inches that a lot of people like.Go to the deer classic in March and you can a ton of product first hand before buying right away.

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So many questions, so little time. First thing I want to know is, why are you up at 2:30 in the morning asking these questions? LOL.

Thanks DonBo!!! As far as the time... Well... I was working up a few .223 loads and cruising the turkey sites... I guess I just lost track. grin

MAN!!! I love this site!!! So many fine folks willing to help!!!

I've already got my "wish list" started!! Thanks all for the new obsession!!

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They may not be listed on the DNR site yet (I haven't checked) but I can tell you that I will be conducting 3 Turkey Hunter Ed clinics in March.

March 7th in Redwood Falls (Redwood Area Community Center)

March 21st in Mankato (Scheels)

March 28th in Mankato (Scheels)

Lots of great tips offered already. Even more addicting than Turkey Hunting is this site we know as FM grin

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invest in some quality decoys the pretty boy by Primos is awesome! everytime ive been out when a tom or jake sees it they come running at it and start struttin around it...my brothers tom attacked it, i wouldnt go back to anything else...oh ya you might want a hen decoy too wink

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