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minky

Late Morning/ Afternoon Hunting

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Due to an early morning job this spring, i may only have late morning /afternoons to hunt this spring. Should I do anything different then normal? Will strutting areas be more important to my hunt. If it makes any difference, I hunt public in Wisconsin and private in Mn.

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 I've by far had the most success from late morning on. Everyone would love the textbook fly down scenario but with hens around it just never seems to work out. But I do make sure to call to them and if they hear you and gobble back, there's a great chance after the hens leave them that they'll come back to check it out. And just being patient and being out there for me has paid off much more than any calling has. Field corners, ridges where they like to travel, etc. Basically like hunting deer with a few yelps every 15 or 20 minutes to catch the attention of any toms in the area. 

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After hunting each morning on field edges I usually head into the woods about 9:30am or so and setup off old trails, over grown roads or small clearings. They seem to head off feeding or hiking the trails fanning but not gobbling. My last bird was fanning and strutting in the woods on a old road on a hill top, but never made a sound. He came off the top of that hill about 12:00 noon. I started the morning on the field edge at the bottom. Good Luck.

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Setting up near roost areas in the late afternoon is a great plan that had worked for me time after time.

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 Yep. I'll second that. Calling, decoys, etc. are fine but it seems that the last 10 years I've done the best by just being out there whenever I can and being where they are likely to be. Hunt a property for a few years and you can definitely notice where they like to enter and exit fields, roost, etc.

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:59 PM, minky said:

Due to an early morning job this spring, i may only have late morning /afternoons to hunt this spring. Should I do anything different then normal? Will strutting areas be more important to my hunt. If it makes any difference, I hunt public in Wisconsin and private in Mn.

 

Don’t expect to hear gobbling like you would in the morning.  Sure, they still gobble and might light up for a little bit from time to time but the non-stop 45 minute gobblefest of first light is usually for just that special time.  

 

You can troll and call to see if you can light one up if you have plenty of ground to work with, or pick woods spots and call and sit tight for about an hour per set. Lots of times they’ll come in quiet during the day; keep your eyes open.  Many times in my earlier years I wouldn’t sit long enough - like 20 minutes a set.  I’d move to another set and call then hear a gobble from that previous set from a bird looking for me!

 

The whole find the roost and intercept in the afternoon like @DonBo states is a percentage move.  My normal season ends the afternoon of the second day if I can find where they’re going.  Just don’t sit IN the roost.  In fact, the earliest seasons I experienced in MN, the hunt hours ended at Noon, and I believe it was just for that reason.

 

Good luck!

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Scout scout scout. Trail cameras even for turkeys can be great tools. Learn the hunting property the best you can. Being a better woodsman will take more birds then the best callers.

 

I have harvested a lot of birds just cause I knew what they wanted to do and how to move around my land. With my job I also hunt the afternoons until the weekend. I might go into work late one morning just because I love that morning hunt with the woods waking up.

 

.

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I also plan to do some of my hunting in an area that can be best described as big woods. I know scouting will be more important then ever. Would forest trails and openings in good turkey areas be good places for blinds?

I have heard big woods turkeys get scared by decoys, any truth to that? 

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I have seen fewer birds late morning through evening but killed a much higher percentage of them.  If they respond to your calls a few times get ready.  They usually come in pretty hot then.  I usually hunt strut zones on fields, ridges or travel routes and food sources.  Like Don mentioned late afternoon hunting travel routes near roosting areas can be very productive.  I've shot 2 nice toms in the last 20 minutes of my season 3 times now.  So be persistent if it doesn't pan out right away.

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Thanks for the input!

I seen 2 toms today in central mn, both looked in good shape.

Still lots of snow, hopefully it goes quick.

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Are you seeing the birds around oaks right now?  That’s pretty much the only type of cover/food I’ve seen them in the past month.  I haven’t quite noticed a transition to fields around home yet.  Not a track or bird seen around the house either.  Usually by now they’re graveling on my driveway.

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I have went from see zero birds for nearly 2 months to seeing at least 7 each day this week, minus the last day of rain.

The birds I have seen are on the road sides and a drive way to a farm that has a small feed lot.

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The birds I seen were on a gravel road but headed into an oak woods when I drove up on them. There is a small hobby farm nearby with animals so maybe their hanging out there to. I hope to head up by Willow River this week and see how the birds did up there.

 

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