public land birds

Vermin93

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Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN
I honestly think there's too many variables to answer that. Generally speaking I think it is less crowded than deer season. At least that has been my experience. So much depends on what public land you hunt and when you hunt it. I turkey hunted some public land last year and I saw and heard a total of 2 other hunters in 5 days. I pretty much had the whole area to myself. I encountered several turkeys, but it was my first season turkey hunting and I had no clue what I was doing so I blew all of my chances. I hunted some public land around a lake last year and guys would cruise the shore in their fishing boats and call while they were fishing. I guess they were only planning to stop and hunt if they got a response from a gobbler.
 

Ladys man

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yea sry that was a broad question. i was generally speaking about east tn birds, since this is my rookie season i was just wondering what to expect.

poser, what do you mean by female calling? What calls should i concentrate on?
 

catman529

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Franklin TN
Female calling - imitating the sounds of a hen to draw in a tom (or in some cases to call in another hen that has a tom following her)

Don't use gobble calls on public land for sure, that's what will draw in other hunters the most.

The WMA I hunt in middle TN gets a lot of hunters in some areas. Certain areas are easy to predict as popular areas because they have easy road access and/or are large tracts of land with room to roam. I like to find small chunks of land because the WMA is broken up into many "pieces" and the further from the road the better, or you can sometimes find small bits of land that get overlooked because they are so small.

Birds will respond to calls but decreasingly throughout the season because they get call shy from being called in and busted by other hunters. Early season is best usually but late season can be good if you can find birds because there will be far fewer hunters late in the season.
 

timberjack86

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Polk County
The wmas I hunt in middle Tn are very crowded early in the season. I useally try to hike as far away from the crowds as I can get and start my hunt then. If you can hear a bird from a parking area so can everyone else.
 

Ladys man

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ok cool this piece of public land i hunt is about 1.25 miles to the area i hunt deer and now turkey, but went scouting sunday and found a dead hen not in full rigor, but head was gonne justbody and beek. do u think someone knows of my area as well and wounded it and coyote got it or natural causes?
 

tasaman

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Woodlawn, TN
Listening is more important than calling to me. Allowing turkey to do things naturally is best on high pressured public land. Binoculars are very useful for locating birds. Get in front of them and let them work to you. Soft clucking and purring are signs of content birds. Mimic those and you have a good chance and less likely to scare them off. Lot's of birds that get called to move away rather than to aggressive calling.
 

TNRino

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Washington County, TN
tasaman said:
Listening is more important than calling to me. Allowing turkey to do things naturally is best on high pressured public land. Binoculars are very useful for locating birds. Get in front of them and let them work to you. Soft clucking and purring are signs of content birds. Mimic those and you have a good chance and less likely to scare them off. Lot's of birds that get called to move away rather than to aggressive calling.

X2
 

TNRino

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Washington County, TN
Just as with deer season your going to have more pressure on the weekends and early season. Do your homework with maps. I like to use Google Earth along with topographical maps. Wear good boots and get off the road.
 

AT Hiker

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Clarksville, Tennessee
From my experience the best success on public land is later in the day. It seems the majority of hunters will leave by 9am, some will not even leave the road if they do not hear any vocalization.

I would limit decoy use and like mentioned before, listen to the birds if you find them and cater your calling to how they sound. Usually a less aggressive sequence is used, lots of feeding purrs, soft yelps...try to limit our cutting.

Public land birds are usually more quite than private land birds and they learn quick. So be prepared for a silent bird to come in.

Getting far off the road will usually work, if you are hunting a large track that offers that. East TN should offer that, so I would locate some high spots on a map and go there before sun up, listen and go from there. If you hear no sounds, revert back to your map and locate the largest flat spots and head there and be prepared to wait. I would make a set up, give a few sequences of soft calling and wait about 30 mins or so. Then move to another flat a couple hundred yards away, but wait 15 mins after your last sequence to move, just in case a silent bird is coming in.

That tactic is what I call aggressive on public land, it can do more damage than good sometimes. It can educate the birds, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

tickweed

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medon,Tn.
public land doesnt bother me. Knowing how to hunt a turkey is the main factor. Lots of people will be gone by 9am anyhow, after the early gobblin has stopped. Let em get out of the way, then start your hunt.
 

Relentless

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Shelby County, TN
Be safe.

Last year trying to close the gap on a gobbler on public property, I found myself belly-crawling behind my Jake decoy though the tall grass and mud.

Killed the bird, but later thought that was not the safest move to make. I got excited and went for the bird, but could have easily crawled up on another hunter.

All things to consider when hunting on property with competition, I mean fellow hunters.
 
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