Busted Gobbler, WWYD - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Busted Gobbler, WWYD

I've been trying to at least 6 or 8 years to bag a turkey and have come close, but just cannot figure these things out. About four years ago I peaked in my turkey hunting prowess and have dwindled since with the birth of my daughter. Anyways, the two guys I hunt with are only moderately more experienced than myself so our learning curve is pretty long. I didn't here a single gobbler on Saturday but I did get in on some birds so I'm hoping somebody here can help me turn this in to a learning experience, as I just don't really understand bird behavior like I do deer.

In the image I am walking uphill approximately at the black circle when I see two dark figures scamper off in the direction of the blue arrow(80ish yards). About five steps later I see a gobbler drop out of strut to a half fan and scamper off in the direction of the red arrow(60ish yards). This makes me believe the first two figures I seen were probably hens. There were no putts and nothing flew away, just quickly scampered. All ran towards thicker cover.

I figured it was a soft push and I ruined whatever party they were having, so maybe I had a chance of getting up in there and calling everybody back together. I got down in the drainage between them and sprinted up to about 75 yards above where the gobbler was on the ridge, set up a decoy on the trail there and get going. After maybe 20 minutes I slid down right to where he was and tried the same thing. After all that I circled the bowl to the west and set up on a power line at the base of the hill til closing time.

Did I play that right? Would you have sat down immediately and called? Waited longer? Or is it simply game over once they're bumped?

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:51 AM
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Sounds pretty close to what I would have done. Maybe would have waited a little longer and probably would have circled the top of the bowl to the west before calling. Of course, he could have just as easily came to your calling thinking you were one of his hens. Don't overthink things.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 12:32 PM
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I would have waited longer at least a 1 hr. before moving. He may have been coming in silent after being spooked. I would have tried to get him to shock gobble before calling to him and before moving to identify his location.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 09:21 PM
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Everyone has their own opinions on what to do and none of them are the wrong choice. If it was me I would have just got out of there and gave them a day or two, but that's just how I would of approached the situation.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 09:35 AM
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After spooking them it is better to hunt them another day...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. It at least makes me feel a little bit better I didn't do something too stupid. If the baby doesn't come this week I'm hoping to get back out there this weekend.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 12:13 PM
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I have learned from bumped turkeys in the spring they will return to their strutting and areas roosting areas and they don't wait days to do it.

I have taken a gobbler shortly after he was flown and is standing in the middle of other gobblers and hens to return the next day to find they are all roosted in the same area to take a second gobbler out of the flock.

I have accidentally busted turkeys hen and gobblers at daylight from roosting trees without known they were there. To watch them fly out of sight. Then I have returned to that same roosting area in a couple of hours or waited to call in a mature gobbler who was unable to find the hens that abandon him at the roosting area. I like to seat up very close to where they disbursed and wait. I prefer to let him gobble first as I believe it increases the chances of him coming in and allows one to make set up adjustments as needed; however, on occasion I have got anxious after a couple of hours to call first and had him come in to range. It should be noted he may not gobble but only cluck when he returns.

These methods as outlined above provided my Monday and Tuesday gobblers this week. The spooked gobbler returned to my ambush at 9:20 after being busted at daylight.

Once in an effort to try to get close to a gobbler sounding off from the rooster I bumped all of his roosted hens. Lots of hen vey loud....I waited for 30 minutes +_ He flew down and came directly in to my single cluck without calling or gobbling. Perfect set up, but hard to do.


In your case it appears the gobbler and hens went the opposite direction which to me is great. I would set up right there for the reminder of the morning. I would make a few quite hen calls and if the hen(s) came back in from the direction ...that is the opposite direction the gobbler escaped. I would get up and run them off to eliminate the competition...return to my spot and make a few more hen calls. If you allow the hen(s) to call the gobbler and he gobbles back...chance are great the hens will go to the gobbler and the group having reassembled and therefore are not going to come to your calling. The hen a suppost to go to the gobbler.....as has been predetermined by MS Mother Nature.

If that don't work and you don't have other alternatives I would return there the next morning near that spot before daylight and listen for gobbling and take it from there.

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Last edited by Born2Hunt; 04-30-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 05:51 PM
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Like others have said, if they split up, that is good. Get your self in a good position and use some soft clucks and yelps. eventually they will come back together looking for each other. Good luck.

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