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Discussion Starter #1
This is getting frustrating. I'm using all kinds of techniques. I've called aggressively. I've called sparingly. I've used hen decoys. I've used hen under jakes. I've sat in blinds and against trees. Slate calls, box calls, mouth calls. Used gobbler calls.

I can't get them to come in. I've only missed 2 weekdays this season. I can hunt until 8am during the week.

This morning, I sat on the edge of a field but heard a gobbler roosted deeper in the woods, and I knew a trail led to where he was. I figured I'd get more aggressive and get in close. I ended up well under 75 yards of him. I tree called, he gobbled. I used a plastic bag for the flydown, scratched the leaves, gave some clucks. Later gave a few yelps, and he gobbled. He gobbled a few more times, then I heard a gobble a little further away after flydown, and then silence until I had to leave.

This is consistently what happens each morning. They gobble but don't really respond, and just ignore. I know we're going against nature, but you'd think one would slip up just once, or I'd happen to be where he's going anyways.

I don't know what else to do, I'll keep going out of course but it's just getting really frustrating. I was able to actually call one in for my son on youth day (he missed him) and that's been it as far as responsive gobblers go.

I wish I knew the secret. I have to be doing SOMETHING wrong. I just don't know what it is.
 

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I have the same problem in some pressured areas I hunt. Last year after chasing the same bird for 5 days I finally put the call away and told my self no matter what I would not call! This bird roasted in the same area everyday on a hillside and would always fly off the roost uphill. If I would call he would gobble and gobble and then once on the ground he would shut up and not pay any attention and walk the other way. I snuck in early to the roost area set my decoy up and waited without calling. Soon enough he was sounding off and flew down right to my lap. 11in bread and 1" spurs birds still at the taxidermist at the moment. Only spring bird I have ever killed without calling at least once. Sometimes you just gotta put the call away and start playing his game.
 

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Sometimes turkey hunting is like that. Other times it's as easy as falling off a log. I don't think there's much middle ground. This year it's very hard for most hunters.

Steve.
 

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Don't beat yourself up. That's turkey hunting. Sometimes it seems so easy. At other times, you would swear they could never be called in.

This year has been a tough one in many areas. Birds not interested as much with our early spring and already late season.
 

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Pretty much everyone I talked to this year that I personally know from all over this state is having an off year, Myself included. Just roll with the flow with turkey hunting. The thing is as stated above that the turkeys make the rules.

You could have a pro competition caller set up on one side of a gobbler, real hens on the other, and some rookie like myself on another, and that bird may pitch down and go to the rookie, just because it wants to lol

You never know when, or where something can happen.

I have had had hunts that lasted 4 minutes from time I heard first gobble to time I shot the bird, and have worked a bird for over 2 hours and never get a shot.

All you can do is be persistent and keep after them.
 

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Either you are not where he wants to go (you have already acknowledged that you know there is a place he wants to go), or he is one of those jokers that walks away from a call, or something just didn't feel right for him. If you can figure out where he wants to go, get in front of him and try what Wild Trout did. Also, if you are in fact well inside 75 yards away from his roost, I would not call at all until he is on the ground. As a matter of fact, I almost never call until I think he is on the ground. But that is just my style. I know the trees are just about full of leaves, but there are sight lines in the woods from his roost where he can see that far. And when his eyes come up empty, well you know what he is likely to do. And if you do call once he hits the ground, and he responds to your call, once is enough when he is that close. He has just pinpointed where you are and I suggest getting that gun up and your eyes on alert. Hopefully you have a 40 yard shot in the woods and can catch him peeking. And more to the point, try to set up in a killing spot, where you have shot opportunities as far as the woods and your gun will allow.
 

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Dont be so hard on yourself. Most pepole that know me consider me to be a very good turkey hunter, consistently shoot 3-4 gobblers every year for the past 12. Not to mention numerous birds to gun for my friends and family. This year I've brought exactly zero PA birds to gun, just had one come in silent only to peel off at 60 yards and go down the hill. That's the closest I've been on 7 days of hard hunting. It's been a really rough year for even some of the best. Stick with it, it will happen.
 

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Like other said....stick with it...


Only hunting till 8am or so isn't helping...i mean..it's certainly worth the time...i killed both my birds before 8 this year....but patience and hunting between 8-11am can be very productive sometimes...



Have you tried not calling at all till they are on the ground???


Sometimes they are alone and you're the only hen they hear and they fly right down....but sometimes they are with hens or want you to come to them and go the other way...

I've about stopped calling to birds on the limb...

This year I thought one hit the ground..it was pretty late...i called...he pitched down and put on a heck of a show and came in on a string...he was sitting up there trying o locate a hen...i was all he heard..it worked that time...but generally I've had better luck not calling till they hit the ground...


Every hunt is different...like was said sometimes they run right in...sometimes they make you feel how you do...


Pay attention to what's going on...keep trying different tactics..learn from each hunt...stick with it and it'll all click...

Last year I had many close calls and great hunts...had plenty of dead hunts too...i was frustrated...the last 2 days I tagged 2 longbeards...and like you I hunted nearly every day..
 

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This is what has taken me from a novice who enjoy turkey hunting to having 25 years under my belt and "not so much"....like was said the turkey make the rules and a lot of times no matter how "good" you are it just doesn't work out for a huge number of reasons and variables.

At some point the effort it takes for me to be in the turkey woods just wasn't worth an endeavor where luck or a birds mood had just as much value as my skill as a turkey hunter. I prefer to put my time into activities where skill and hardwork have a direct result on effectiveness and success.
 

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You have to let the turkey's win some of the time or it would never be any fun. Sounds like you have learned enough from your failures that your close to being successful.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've not called until after flydown, I've done a few sits where I never called at all. I've sat silently along their favorite field edge in a light rain, and they apparently go somewhere else that morning. I don't know if they have a spy tracking my movements or what...
 

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Gobbler hunting is a math problem. You have to find the right bird on the right day. Then everything works. You have control of some of the variables so try to maximize them. And enjoy the spring mornings as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
spade said:
Gobbler hunting is a math problem. You have to find the right bird on the right day. Then everything works. You have control of some of the variables so try to maximize them. And enjoy the spring mornings as you go.
Math would imply that there was some logic involved.

 

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I'm half decent at turkey hunting but I didn't get squat yet
 

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"I wish I knew the secret. I have to be doing SOMETHING wrong. I just don't know what it is."


i watched a Drury Hunting video once where Mark said it perfectly, so much that when i start feeling like you do, i remind myself of it:

'some days you cant do a thing wrong, and other days you cant do a thing right.' and thats turkey hunting. yes, most days fall somewhere in between, but turkey hunting is like playing a game of poker to me; just gotta read the day's hand and play it best you can from there.

above all else- if it were easy, i wouldnt be doing it. the day turkey hunting gets easy is the day i stop. i'm addicted to turkey hunting, because its non-stop frustration...until i connect. and then all the frustration is worth it. we value things based on what it takes to get it. and we all know what that is when it comes to longbeards. thats why we're all here...
 

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Bottom line is that you cannot beat a live hen no matter how good you are. If there is a live hen within sight of him he is going with her wherever she goes.

This sounds like the case with your bird. He probably has hens around him and when they hit the ground in front of him he joins them and they lead him on a leash.

Try to figure out where they want to go every morning and get between the roost and that area. Then tone down the calling to just purrs and clucks and the occasional soft yelp and try to lead the hens right past you with the gobbler in tow.

Good luck!
 
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