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#3223963 - 04/16/13 09:15 PM Question About Calling
jlmustain
6 Point


Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 630
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Steve Hickoff recently claimed that turkeys don't get call shy. He insinuated that those who say that they do are really just bad callers. I've come a long way in my calling--a LONG way (ha!). I'm probably not going to win any contests, but I've been fortunate enough to tag two birds this season, and I've never hunted them before this year. I only add my novice status to the equation because it would make sense to me that if anyone's going to be a bad caller, it would be a "greenie," like myself.

Not quite half-way through my first season, and I already have an arch-nemesis in the public woods. This bird has come within 40-50 yards (but still out of sight) no less that six times, total, over three separate hunts. I'm sure that some will say that he's hung up, and that may be the case, but I'm not so sure. He really does seem to be call shy.

Today I was at the top of a ridge when I heard him gobble (around 1:00), and I called to let him know I heard him, then moved in. I heard him gobble again a few minutes later, but he was way off. In effect, it seems like he ran.

All this leaves me a bit confused. Is it my calling or is it the bird? I can't help but think back to the two-year-old I called in and shot at 25 yards Saturday morning on private land, and the 1.5-year-old I called in and shot at 35 yards two Fridays ago on public land. There may be another common denominator besides my calling, but I don't know.

What do y'all think?

Here's the link to Steve's article: "Turkey Hunting Truths or Lies?"
_________________________
No hunt is all skill. If not for a little luck, no one would hunt.

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#3223994 - 04/16/13 09:35 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: jlmustain]
Benbocat1
Spike


Registered: 09/19/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Church Hill, Tn

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I do not believe that there is one rule that fits all turkeys on each issue. Just like my dogs will react differently to the same situation, I believe that turkey, deer, etc. can react differently as well. Yours is a good story and certainly interesting.

The fact that he has come to within 40 to 50 yards six times doesn't seem to indicate that he is not coming to the call. Maybe he is super vigilant as he comes in and sees something that scares him away. I was in a tree stand bow hunting during the deer season when this gobbler came through the woods and spotted me at 50 yards. I had seen him first and made sure not to move sitting in that tree with camo on and face paint. Yet, he spotted me and ran. I may have blinked my eyes and he may have seen it.

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#3224003 - 04/16/13 09:41 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: Benbocat1]
jlmustain
6 Point


Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 630
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Great point! That makes total sense for each of the scenarios but today. Do you think he remembers the call (the tone)? I'm trying to figure out his darting today. He was easily a couple hundred yards away when I called.
_________________________
No hunt is all skill. If not for a little luck, no one would hunt.

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#3224042 - 04/16/13 10:49 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: jlmustain]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 15745
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: jlmustain
Great point! That makes total sense for each of the scenarios but today. Do you think he remembers the call (the tone)? I'm trying to figure out his darting today. He was easily a couple hundred yards away when I called.
he might recognize the tone, like a person would recognize another person's voice, but that's just a theory of mine... learn a wingbone call, for some reason it brought in a lone hen and then later 2 jakes on public land for a buddy... I had been using my tube call and then switched to the wingbone and this hen started answering back and came in to look...
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Team Run 'N Gunners

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#3224143 - 04/17/13 07:01 AM Re: Question About Calling [Re: catman529]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1174
Loc: Hardeman

content Online
Just one fellow's opinion, but I think it's only when turkeys associate calling with hunters that they could become "call shy." A tom hears hen talk practically every day of his life...even before he hatches out of the egg. He doesn't just all of a sudden become skeptical that the hen calling over the hill might do him harm one fine spring morning. As well, I've heard REAL hens that sound like everything from a dog barking to a squeaky, rusty gate hinge. They aren't always perfect in pitch, tone, cadence, etc. either.

Folks pulling over, hanging a box call out the truck window, and ripping off a few yelps just to see if he gobbles will do it. Hunters who bump a bird while walking and calling will do it. Calling a totally unsuspecting bird into a decoy set and then blowing the shot will do it. And the list goes on and on for ways to booger a bird. Besides the fact that a grown gobbler is just paranoid by nature, I'm of the opinion that it's when the bird associates hen sounds with the potential for danger that he becomes "call shy."

I doubt it's your calling. They're just funny like that and pressure (especially the public land variety) doesn't help the matter any.

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#3224176 - 04/17/13 08:12 AM Re: Question About Calling [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1274
Loc: south TN

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I most definatley think that turkeys get call shy, but not because of you sound bad at calling. Like boll weevil said, they will get to where they associate hen calling with danger. If you call alot of loud hard calling to a bird, then miss him or spook him some how, he will definatley become more call shy. In my opinion, call shy birds are the ones that start running in the opposite direction from you when you start calling, but continuing to gobble all along.
Gobblers know that the hen is supposed to come to them anyways, and when we actually do call up a gobbler it is kinda breaking the laws of turkeys.
When you say the turkey hangs up just out of range, that is nothing out of the ordinary and I wouldn't really consider that a call shy gobbler. He is doing what he is supposed to do, strutting and gobbling trying to call up a hen. Ther is no 100% fix to these situations. The best thing to do, if you can, try to set up where he has to come in range to be seen by you. Like ridges and hills and rises, he needs to pop his head over the crest of something to look for the hen. He needs to be in range when he does. Now that the woods are starting to green up, it will give you more cover to move in closer, and will also make him not see as good and possibly move closer looking for the hen. The first two weeks of the season was very tough to call in gobblers, especially open hardwoods. He can see alot farther than us through the woods, and he will have you pinned down when you call. If they can see a hen is not standing where you are calling from, they will probably not come in.
Also when he hangs up, I always have the best luck giving the silent treatment. There is nothing that always works, but this has worked for me. He will either lose interest and walk off, or he just maybe get to impatient and coming looking for the hen that was calling to him.

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#3224193 - 04/17/13 08:28 AM Re: Question About Calling [Re: jlmustain]
TLRanger
8 Point


Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 1170
Loc: Nashville

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Turkeys do not become call shy. They are not smart enough to know that humans make those calls, especially just six weeks in the spring.

They are extremely paranoid of anything out of the ordinary that happens in the woods. Every predator out there loves to eat turkey and turkey eggs. The more noise and activity during turkey season is the main reason they become more cautious. The same behavior happens in the fall during deer season.

There are many myths about turkey hunting that have been passed on over the years that have no truth in them. People over analyze the reactions of the birds normal shyness.

If you believe all the myths about turkeys such as call shy, always roost over water, will not come to a call downhill, will not cross a creek or fence, hang up because they have been shot at, or any of the other tales you hear, that is OK with me. I don't but that is my opinion only.
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USMC - 23JAN62 - 22MAY66
Twentynine Pines Hunting Club-Carroll Co. TN

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#3224387 - 04/17/13 12:22 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: TLRanger]
J-WO
4 Point


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 289
Loc: Tennessee

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I read that article as well,and didn't quite agree with a few of the conclusion's he came to. Like several of the other guys,I definitely think turkeys become call shy,especially on public land. Again,not because you don't sound like a turkey, but because they associate that sound with danger, especially if they cant see where that sound is coming from. I think this is the main reason I've seen allot of public land birds hold to an incredibly small area on public tracts. They get somewhere they are comfortable,then gobble like crazy,knowing that if what they hear is really a hen,she will come to them. IMHO
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#3224410 - 04/17/13 12:45 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: J-WO]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 1174
Loc: Hardeman

content Online
 Originally Posted By: J-WO
They get somewhere they are comfortable,then gobble like crazy,knowing that if what they hear is really a hen,she will come to them. IMHO

Nailed it.

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#3224418 - 04/17/13 12:56 PM Re: Question About Calling [Re: Boll Weevil]
Spurhunter
8 Point


Registered: 06/09/08
Posts: 1975
Loc: T County, TN

Offline
 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
Just one fellow's opinion, but I think it's only when turkeys associate calling with hunters that they could become "call shy." A tom hears hen talk practically every day of his life...even before he hatches out of the egg. He doesn't just all of a sudden become skeptical that the hen calling over the hill might do him harm one fine spring morning. As well, I've heard REAL hens that sound like everything from a dog barking to a squeaky, rusty gate hinge. They aren't always perfect in pitch, tone, cadence, etc. either.

Folks pulling over, hanging a box call out the truck window, and ripping off a few yelps just to see if he gobbles will do it. Hunters who bump a bird while walking and calling will do it. Calling a totally unsuspecting bird into a decoy set and then blowing the shot will do it. And the list goes on and on for ways to booger a bird. Besides the fact that a grown gobbler is just paranoid by nature, I'm of the opinion that it's when the bird associates hen sounds with the potential for danger that he becomes "call shy."

I doubt it's your calling. They're just funny like that and pressure (especially the public land variety) doesn't help the matter any.


^^^^
THIS!!!!!!


Turkeys are some of the most vocal critters on the planet. They don't get call shy! They get idiot shy!
_________________________
Member-National Wild Turkey Federation
Member-Colonel Tom Kelly's Tenth Legion
Member-National Rifle Association

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