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#1205208 - 02/27/09 10:09 PM Calling help

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 97
Loc: Savannah, Tn

I'm fairly new to turkey hunting and I've started playing with some different calls. I've got the calls down pretty good, but I don't know when to use them. Can you please go through a sample sequence and other times when to use the different calls. Thanks guys.
#1205900 - 02/28/09 10:10 AM Re: Calling help [Re: rockytop73]

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 39

The best call to use and master is the plain yelp.The more you pratice any call the more comfortable you will be with it.The type of calling you do will be according to the turkey's mood.Early in the season I always try more agressive calling because of the hen factor.Every hen in the woods is looking for love and in nature the hen goes to the gobbler not the other way so I try to setup in between the hens and gobblers roosts.I believe the best advantage in turkey hunting is woodsmanship,you need to know youe birds habits so right know over the next 4 weeks get out and scout the woods find out were they are spending there time.Calling I always start with yelps and then if the bird is coming I will slow down to soft yelps and clucks and purrs that usually will bring a turkey on in if he is really intrested I also like to do some cutting to fire them up good but always go back to the old adatage call and listen,Good luck!
#1205915 - 02/28/09 10:12 AM Re: Calling help [Re: rockytop73]
Supreme Hunting Outdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 51392
Loc: Cumberland Plateau

If you close the distance to a gobblin bird on the roost maybe give very light tree yelps....nothing else once he hits the ground yelp at he 3 or 4 times if he is interested he will come...if he is henned up flip him the bird and check him 3 hrs later!!! \:D
<(((< Bowfish or NO FISH!

#1205937 - 02/28/09 10:24 AM Re: Calling help [Re: spitndrum]
Game Eye
14 Point

Registered: 08/06/00
Posts: 8394
Loc: Tennessee

It all depends on how much the birds have been pressured. A gobbler will tell ya what he wants to hear if you know what to look and listen for. More is less in most scenarios, patience has killed more birds than anything.Dekes work great on unpressured birds. Start off with soft contented purs and yelps, if he wants to be cut hard at, give it to him. once he starts to the gun, shut up and let him come...
#1206207 - 02/28/09 11:57 AM Re: Calling help [Re: spitndrum]
Woodpile Boys Neighbor
14 Point

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 9510
Loc: Cannon County Outback

 Originally Posted By: spitndrum
If you close the distance to a gobblin bird on the roost maybe give very light tree yelps....nothing else once he hits the ground yelp at he 3 or 4 times if he is interested he will come...if he is henned up flip him the bird and check him 3 hrs later!!! \:D

This is about the best advice you could get...Buy you a pretty boy or some decoy that is in full strut and follow this advice...If you have a chance he will come...If not well be patient...That is the best advice you can get...Be patient... ;\)

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day...Teach him how to fish and he will sit on a boat and drink beer all day!

#1206221 - 02/28/09 12:00 PM Re: Calling help [Re: ]
8 Point

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 1956

try to scout the birds you are hunting. turkeys are habitual in their patterns. you could set your watch by them. if you know where a gobblers flydown and strutting areas are you won half the battle. with that said, i think the most deadly call pattern for me is just a simple purr and cluck sequence. its a happy and content call that says come on im ready.

if a gobbler gobbles on the roost and after flydown, more than likely hes not henned up, he is a looking for birds. BUT, even after he finds his flock, it is not impossible to call him and the hens your way. if you are on PRIVATE land and you know that there are no hunters in the area, a jake gobble and hen purr call will ALMOST always bring a gobbler and hens your way. like the poster said above it all depends on their mood. sometimes a hen assembly or a lost hen call will bring them your way.

if im going in cold with no scouting a coyote howler gets me more gobbles than a hooter. i try to get within 150 yards without being seen and setup. if i dont call a bird in at least maybe i know where his flydown area is and go back the next morning well before daylight and setup on him. in this situation i try to get close, at least 75 yards. tree yelps at daylight and shut up!!

the most important thing is be patient, i have waited as much as an hour and a half for birds to work my way. and sometimes they will never gobble and sneak in on you. like on poster said be a good woodsman. LISTEN to the hens and the way they call back to the gobbler, then try to mimick them when you call. we are trying to entice birds to come to us, right opposite to what they do naturally. hens go to the gobblers.

#1206439 - 02/28/09 01:45 PM Re: Calling help [Re: WTM]
4 Point

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 177
Loc: Maury Co. TN

It's important to know the area ,you want to be on the same level or above the bird when your working him. You also want to make sure there are no obstacles he has to come across to get to you ( creek,fence, deadfall, etc). On the roost just get him to gobble enough to find out his location. Use locator calls to get him to fire up initially. Try to get within 70-100 yards depending on how close the terrain and foilage will let you get. Once within range give him a few soft tree yelps. If he answers you, he knows your there, give him some time and let him hit the ground.
Once he's on the ground you can get more agressive with your yelps and throw in some cutting if you need to. My favorite call when he's comming my way though is the cluck and purr and scratching the leaves.

In my experiences though, if you can get in tight on him without spooking him and let him know your there, he will come in if he's alone. If he heads off, he's probably already got a date with him. I agree with Spit here, give him the bird, and go find another one \:D

Edited by BV (02/28/09 01:50 PM)
Dont't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.- John Eldredge from the book Wild at Heart

#1206521 - 02/28/09 03:32 PM Re: Calling help [Re: BV]
Game Eye
14 Point

Registered: 08/06/00
Posts: 8394
Loc: Tennessee

Little sumthin I put together a number of yrs back. Might help a few new hunters in the turkey woods...

So you want to be a turkey hunter. Well congratulations on your decision to try your hand at the most frustrating and also one of the most rewarding endeavors known to the hunting world in my opinion. Although they are far from being the most intelligent creatures to walk in the wilderness, do not confuse intelligence with the ability to survive. The Eastern gobbler has reduced a many of grown men to tears, humbled even the most seasoned outdoorsmen time and time again. The challenge and beauty of it all is what drives me yr after yr in the spring turkey woods. The ultimate game of cat and mouse. Lets do it.

Good turkey habitat is a mix of hardwoods and fields, vertical topography seems to be preferred by the birds. A good water source is a must for quality turkey ground. With vision that would rival even the most prolific predators of the sky the wild turkey depends on it's vision more than anything else to survive. Thickets are not tolerated for this reason and will be skirted by the birds. They also have excellent hearing and can narrow a run of yelps down to mere feet from distances of hundreds of yds.

Scouting the birds consist of looking for scratchings, glassing fields, droppings, dusting sites, and roosting sites. As the birds move and feed thru the forest floor they will leave a V shape in the leaves thereby exposing their direction of travel. Unlike whitetail, a trained eye can tell the difference between the droppings of hens and gobblers.The droppings of a gobbler will be shaped like a J. Finding good dusting sites can pay big dividends during the spring turkey season. As the Spring temps begin to rise, the birds will use these more often because of parasites. Gobblers know where these preferred dusting sites are, and will monitor them looking for hens, an excellent spot to decoy the ole wary toms. Finding your particular hunting ground's preferred roosting sites can be done by simply being in the woods at first and last light. The birds are extremely vocal in the mornings before and during flydown time. The gobblers will respond to a number of different calls exposing their location. An owl hooter, crow call, coyote call, pileated woodpecker are some of the most common. The owl hooter has worked extremely well for me over the yrs. The hens will cackle during flydown, this is an excellent but extremely hard call to master,good luck.

Setting up on birds, the setup is everything in enabling you to close the deal. There are many facets to be considered when determining your final set up on a gobbling turkey. First, you simply have to know the terrain of your hunting ground. Creeks, thickets, and fences can hang a bird up just out of gun range. Also when having to move or circle a particular gobbling tom stealth is key. You have to use your knowledge of the terrain as to not expose yourself visually to the birds incredible eyesight. Try to find the largest tree in the immediate area when a nearby gobbler sounds off. Good camoflage from head to toe is extremely important. As the bird approaches do not move, wait for the birds head to go behind a tree or other obstacle before shifting or moving your weapon. Alot of birds come in the last 100 yds or so silently, so don't give up just because the bird has stopped responding, be patient.

Classic hunt, the classic hunt is when a gobbling turkey is located on the roost. The hunter moves in as close as possible but not within eyeshot of the bird. The hunter then sets up, calls to the bird, the bird pitches down and walks straight into the gun barrel. When it happens it is a wonderous event, might lead a beginning turkey hunter to believe the birds are especially easy to take. But be forwarned, more times than not it doesn't quite go this way. There are things a hunter can do to up his odds, first try to set up between where the bird is and where you believe the bird is wanting to go. Gobblers normally have strutting zones, he will more times than not disregard your calls if he wants to head in the other direction to gather his hens. I have also found that most birds will not work into the sun at first light, the blinding sun hampers their most effective sense of survival, their vision.

Calling to birds, different types of calls and calling techniques are the bread and butter of killing wary old gobblers. Don't get me wrong, a simple box call and a series of yelps might do the trick. But to be consistently successful in the turkey woods you have to become versatile with a number of different calls. The box call is probably the easiest to master, then the slate, and last but not least the mouth diaphram. By all means, if you sound like a dying dog with a mouth diaphram, leave it at home. Some even experienced hunters I've encountered just simply can't blow a mouth call. Stick with the calls that sound authentic. Most quality box calls make incredible sounding yelps, clucks, and cutting sequences. The slate is fairly easy to master and also makes exceptional yelps, clucks, cuts, and also the purs along with the fighting purs. I cannot tell you what a particular gobbler wants to hear. But with experience and a good ear a hunter will let the bird tell him what he prefers. Some birds want to be hammered with hard cuts, others won't tolerate it at all. If the bird is responding to a specific call, and moving closer doublegobbling the whole way, then continue to give it to him. One of the biggest mistakes made by turkey hunters is simply calling to loud and to often. A good rule of thumb is start off soft, work thru a series of calls, soft clucks, yelps, purs, then if he seems to loose interest hit him with some hard cuts. Hard cutting has been my most effective way of locating and killing hot gobblers. Be aware, pressured birds are different creatures, if you are hunting birds which have been pressured hard and call shy, soft clucks, contempt and feeding purs and simply scratching in the leaves or flapping a turkey wing may be your best bet. Also, if a bird is within eyeshot and moving in to your position, shut up and let him come.

Decoying birds, decoys are one of the most deadly assets a turkey hunter can use. A jake with a couple of hens in a field encompassing a mature gobblers strutting area is hardly tolerable by the ole tom. He will come a running more times than not and go directly to the jake. Strongly consider the visual aspect of the area before placing your decoys. To many hunters place their decoys in a way which amazes me, it almost seems they are trying to hide the decoys. Find a knob or high point that will be seen by any gobbler standing right inside the timber and watching a field or opening. Warning, some birds that have encountered dekes and been shot at in the past will keep their distance and strut and gobble, after the passing of time and not seeing movement or any reaction from the dekes, I've seen gobblers turn and practically run the other direction. These birds can almost be unkillable without a long and well planned stalk and ambush.

Henned up gobblers, tough hunting for sure, your best bet is to first try to call the hens. Hard clucks and cuts will sometimes fire up a hen and bring her to you with the gobbler in tow. If this can't be accomplished you must think of the terrain and move to a locaion with options of stealthy movement. In other words move to a central location which gives you the most options of movement, allowing you to circle the flock. If this scenario isn't feasible, you're better off moving on to another location and trying to find a lonely gobbler. Don't push your luck, educating birds is an extremely bad idea.

Shot placement, the shot should be zeroed in at the base of the head where the head and neck meet. Turkeys are extremely tough creatures and if you don't break him down a bird will get gone quick without leaving a blood trail whatsoever. You simply must know your weapon. Pattern your gun before the season with different loads at specifics ranges. A good rule of thumb is you need approximatly 13 hits in the head and neck region to break the animal down. To many hunters believe they can kill birds at ranges exceding 50 yds with the new magnum high velocity loads and expensive aftermarket chokes. Know your effective killing range. One more thing, when you shoot a gobbler, get to him quick. I've seen alot of birds roll and appear to be down only to get up and take to the air and gone.

A few other points to ponder, turkeys stay on the ground all day. Patience and persistence has killed more gobblers than anything. It's definitely not strictly a morning or evening deal. Never wear an article of clothing with the colors red, white, or blue. These are the colors of the gobblers head, and many hunters are shot each season in the turkey woods. Know your target. Good quality optics can make or break a hunt when trying to move in on a wary old tom. I'm not going to down a fellar hunter for shooting jakes, but if you want gobbling turkeys you must give em a pass. I personally don't shoot em.

Good luck guys and gals.

#1209509 - 03/01/09 11:15 PM Re: Calling help [Re: Game Eye]
Woodpile Boys
16 Point

Registered: 09/21/04
Posts: 16852
Loc: Chapel Hill, TN

I was hoping you would post that Bobby.
"It's What We Do!"

#1209787 - 03/02/09 08:35 AM Re: Calling help [Re: Blue5]
Good ol' Boys "Team Grizzly"
12 Point

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Wilson County, TN

the best advise anyone every gave me was 1. to try anything, you dont know if it doesnt work till you try it and most importantly 2. DONT OVER CALL. dont be afraid to just sit tight and you dont have to call every time he gobbles. Less is more most of the time.

dont be afraid to move on a bird and once you make up your mind on something go for it. With each failure you learn valuable information.

John 3:16

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