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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, title says it all.

I'm Australian. I've been in the US for all of 12 days, this is my first time here. I hunt a lot back home, but almost none of that counts over here. Don't know the land, don't know the wildlife.

I've noted that in GMU's 2D and 2E, near where I am at there's a final chance at Turkey on 24-26 November. I'll be shotgun hunting for what that's worth to the conversation.

Can anyone give me any tips, tricks or pointers (secret spots?) to increase my odds given my short window of opportunity, this may be the only chance I get in my life to hunt a Turkey.

I was planning to go out in the next few days and practice (without a gun), but short of wearing camo and watching the wind I don't really know what I am doing. From what I can tell you can find Turkey's in the woods as much as grasslands and clearings, but is there a better spot to find them? South facing valleys I'd guess are better for the sun? I assume anywhere that woods meet grassland. I need to crash-course to basic Turkey hunting before 24 November...

Other thing that would be good to know is what's the best Turkey call for the money, especially as it will get used for all of 3 days.
 

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I'm not sure if you have snow in Australia, so this is just a general hunting tip and not just for turkeys, over here if you get thirsty don't eat yellow snow, ever.

your needing a crash, crash course, best thing would be to get a Fall hunting DVD by Denny Gulves, you may be in driving distance to pick it up.

get on youtube, search for fall turkey vocals and hunts,
on short notice you should try to master the cluck then yelp, then Kee Kee, these are all on youtube
you may be in driving distance of Kip, who is on this forum and makes very good sounding box calls, send him a PM.
A pot call is also a good starter call and can make the vocals you'll need.

your aiming at the head/neck not the whole turkey, you should pattern your gun on a big 36"by 36" paper to make sure the center of your pattern is where you were aiming.
Also checking that you have a decent tight pattern, #6 #5 and #4 lead shot are the most common. don't use steel waterfowl loads. you'll want a tight patterning gun

we don't have dingos but the 2 areas you mentioned have the most Mt. lion sightings in the state, just a heads up

Good luck to you and hope you have a rewarding hunt.

I dated an Australian girl in high school and her mother made the best mutton with a dark gravy I've ever had.
So I'm happy to finally be able to pay it forward.
 

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Welcome,
One thing you lucked out in is that you picked a great area to learn. Anywhere in 2E. You got to hunt turkeys where there are turkeys, and there are plenty of turkeys in 2E. My suggestion is to hunt real hard for someone in your area that is a fairly avid turkey hunter to show you the ropes (shouldn't be too hard in that area). Some basic but good info at this point will help you greatly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@crow bait thanks for the pointers, I was reading about good ammunition to use. Will get some #4 lead shot I think, am familiar with it from back home. I'd heard that you want a really tight pattern to get the head/neck area at any distance (and avoid damaging the all important breast). The gun I have access to I think they said has a suitable choke already, but I better confirm that.

I'll watch out for Mt Lions, they don't usually come at humans though do they?

As for the calls and DVD's I'll check them out. I'm not sure I'd be able to get down to where Kip's at in time, may need to go to a store and get something generic/off the shelf, but I'll ask around as there's a few Turkey hunters in the area I am in I've already met and hopefully one of them has something useful I can borrow. Everyone I've talked to here has already hunted earlier in the month and don't have time off work to help me out unfortunately.

Glad you liked her food, it's hard to explain Australian food over here in a way that doesn't make it sound bland and boring because everything here has crazy strong flavor (I am totally in love with it and I seriously do not want to leave).

@fall gobbler thanks for that, that narrows it down a little for me. Good to know that the area should be okay, now if I fail it's on my lack of experience.

I might as well come out and ask here if there's any volunteers to teach me the ropes from this forum? Happy to pay gas money for someone's travel, I'd offer to pay for the time, but I don't have a lot spare; but am sure I can find lunch money for anyone willing to help a guy out.
 

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@crow bait thanks for the pointers, I was reading about good ammunition to use. Will get some #4 lead shot I think, am familiar with it from back home. I'd heard that you want a really tight pattern to get the head/neck area at any distance (and avoid damaging the all important breast). The gun I have access to I think they said has a suitable choke already, but I better confirm that.

I'll watch out for Mt Lions, they don't usually come at humans though do they?

As for the calls and DVD's I'll check them out. I'm not sure I'd be able to get down to where Kip's at in time, may need to go to a store and get something generic/off the shelf, but I'll ask around as there's a few Turkey hunters in the area I am in I've already met and hopefully one of them has something useful I can borrow. Everyone I've talked to here has already hunted earlier in the month and don't have time off work to help me out unfortunately.

Glad you liked her food, it's hard to explain Australian food over here in a way that doesn't make it sound bland and boring because everything here has crazy strong flavor (I am totally in love with it and I seriously do not want to leave).

@fall gobbler thanks for that, that narrows it down a little for me. Good to know that the area should be okay, now if I fail it's on my lack of experience.

I might as well come out and ask here if there's any volunteers to teach me the ropes from this forum? Happy to pay gas money for someone's travel, I'd offer to pay for the time, but I don't have a lot spare; but am sure I can find lunch money for anyone willing to help a guy out.
You have a better chance of seeing big foot than a mountain lion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You have a better chance of seeing big foot than a mountain lion.
I couldn't really tell how serious it was, Dingo's basically don't attack people. They occasionally maul small children, but that's it. I'd probably be more scared of a bigfoot than a mountain lion, the part where I don't put much weight in the existence of bigfoot would make seeing one more confronting 😅
 

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We all saw that movie where the "Dingo ate my baby"
Your pretty safe in the Pa. woods, there's more chance of having an accident on the highway going to the woods than in the woods.

Were getting off track here and time is short, did you get to pattern your gun today
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hoping to get to the gun tomorrow. I had exams to finish for a university degree this weekend which has kept me out of the woods and out of hunting stores.

I've got three days to pattern a gun, scout and buy a call and learn to a call. It's doable. Not great, but doable.
I've watched a lot of videos on turkey hunting and on the plane over re-watched all the turkey hunts on meat eater. Be very interesting to see how it applies in practice.

The gun I've got my hands on is a Remington 870 Express, currently has a full choke. I'll buy a turkey choke for it tomorrow morning on the way to the range. Tomorrow will be a very long day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the gun patterned, it'll hold tight enough to 40yds, choke not performing as well as I'd been led to believe, but I also just got something from Dunham's as was in too much of a rush to get to Sportsmans warehouse in Altoona like I'd hoped. Got a diaphragm call and a slate call, had someone give me some lessons and get me good enough to not scare the Turkey's away. But I think I'm going to be hunting on 99% luck and skill, preparation and knowledge account for the remaining 1% 😅
 

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Well your already ahead of some just by patterning your gun.
Some guns/choke combos can be finicky on shot size even in the same brand/type of shell, with your limited time your doing real good getting to 40yds, lots of turkeys have been killed 40yds and in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am just on my way back, waiting out a squirrel on my way out of the woods. Decided to do a quick update.
Learnt:
1. In Australia you wait till fall so you can walk quietly on soft ground. In PA you cannot walk in the fall. This wasn't surpassing, but it was exceptionally annoying.

2. All turkeys audible from public land reside in private and/or the complete opposite side of the game lands.

3. Getting the call right when out in the woods is way harder than practicing at home.

Things I saw:
Squirrels
At least 2 types of woodpeckers
An owl
A Porcupine
A lot of deer sign

Questions
1. You can shoot porcupine, but why would you. Are they edible?
2. Are either of these turkey sign
Plant Grass Terrestrial animal Groundcover Natural material

Brown Bedrock Road surface Building material Grass
 

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Jimmy, often we can use the crunchy woods to our advantage. Turkey can here us from a good distance while moving. If we don't just plow along and deliberately slow our pace and stop often, we can sound like other game. Turkey have a similar 2 step gate. Add in some kee kee runs to get an answer.
Another way is to try finding roosted Toms by roaming well below the ridges prior to dark at roosting time with binos. If lucky enough to find them, go back predawn and sneak to 75ish yds or so above them if possible. Wait until they fly down and call to them like we would in the spring. It is generally more difficult to call turkey down hill than up. Good luck Jimmy. I'm rooting for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah, okay. I'd wondered if you could mimick their gate and speed. I'll try that next time, I did find places I could walk silently and by the end was a lot quieter than when I started. But trying not to alert every animal in 100+yds of your presence is definitely an art.

Even though in a few days the season will be over. I'm probably going to keep heading out and trying to find them until I work it out. It's already become and obsession to win this game of chess.

Good to know about calling them up hill, I would have assumed they'd go down hill easier.
 

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Jimmy if your saying in point #2 you heard turkeys, that area would be worth spending some time at tomorrow.
it's legal to call birds/game off of private property as long as you and the bird are on public when you shoot.

picture #2 is hard to tell with the frozen ground but looks more like a deer ground scrape than turkeys, but hard to tell.
pic #1 looks like bear, or somebody forgot their toilet paper

Good success to you tomorrow, hope you call one in
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Jimmy if your saying in point #2 you heard turkeys, that area would be worth spending some time at tomorrow.
it's legal to call birds/game off of private property as long as you and the bird are on public when you shoot.

picture #2 is hard to tell with the frozen ground but looks more like a deer ground scrape than turkeys, but hard to tell.
pic #1 looks like bear, or somebody forgot their toilet paper

Good success to you tomorrow, hope you call one in
Well 25th being my wedding anniversary I've taken off for my wife. Trying to find her photo opportunities for some of the wildlife I saw yesterday (of course, she's not wearing camo so it's going swimmingly).

I'll be back early tomorrow for a second attempt. I've been told I'll get an introduction at thanksgiving to local who, if they like me, has turkeys feed daily at their blueberry bushes. So, if that's available it's a no brainer. But if not, I'll come back here and try again.
My calling skills leave a lot to be desired, so if calling I don't expect to be successful. Though I have a bunch of recordings in my phone to help compensate for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's fine as a tutorial for practice, but be aware that it is illegal to use electronic recordings to call most game animals in Pennsylvania, including turkeys.
That's good to know. I was just using them as comparison, but I'll makes sure not to do it while in the woods again as it could look like deliberate use of an electric call. (although a phone a poor speaker). Electronic calls are common for varmint in Australia, but usually use Bluetooth speaker or purpose built callers.
 
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