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Hi Guys,

This might seem like a rookie question to some and it probably is, but is there a rule of thumb for when gobbler's come down?

I had a jake fly past me the other day before 6, which seemed early to me. Do the big guys stay up later?

Please share your experiences.

Thanks!
 

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There are no absolutes. Spend a lot of time listening to the bird gobbling on the roost and if you pay close attention you can hear that the gobble sounds different after he hits the ground. Depending on the terrain and vegetation you can detect this from a few hundred yards away. Then check your watch. And go set up on him.
 

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Too many variables. I have seen them stay on the roost well past 7. Usually on poor weather days. If it is clear, and gets light a little earlier, sometimes before 6.
 

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A few years ago I had one gobbling on a bright sunny day about 100 yards from me. After an hour went by he quit and I figured he went down the other side of the hill with hens. I decided to walk to where I last heard him and there he was 10 yards away from me still in the tree. I just stood there in aw as he looked at me, turned around on the branch he was on, and flew down over the hill. This was around 7:30. Sometimes they fly down when it's still too dark to shoot and other times they will stay roosted until well after sunrise.

It's best not to call to them until they fly down. Sometimes a gobbler will stay up there forever until he see's the hen.
 

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Variable but generally around legal shooting time. On occasion I've seen them fly down prior to that but that's generally because it's lighter than normal...full moon, no clouds and pitching into an open field. Their eyesight is their main defense so they want to see good. Sometimes they stay on the roost quite awhile, just because they're turkeys! I've seen them stay on roost as late as 9:30 on perfect days...although that's rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
xarcher said:
There are no absolutes. Spend a lot of time listening to the bird gobbling on the roost and if you pay close attention you can hear that the gobble sounds different after he hits the ground. Depending on the terrain and vegetation you can detect this from a few hundred yards away. Then check your watch. And go set up on him.
Excellent feedback, guys. Thanks.

Another basic question: how do you tell when you hear him gobbling whether he's on the roost to begin with? Any difference between ground gobble and on the roost gobble?
 

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There are no rules for flydown time. Last season on opening day at 5:55 AM I had two fly down and land within 25 yards of me. Last Friday I bumped one from his roost at 7:00 AM. On Monday I bumped two (I think they were gobblers) at 5:50 AM. Today I watched two (I think they were hens) fly down at 5:40 AM. I've heard of gobblers staying up until 9:00 AM. You just never know. Things easier if they gobble, much if they gobble in the dark.

Steve.
 

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I had one under my back deck this morning and when I was backing out of my garage at 3pm she was at the deck again , eating fallout from my bird feeder, so I did the logical, went to tractor supply and bought a bag of corn,a nearby neighbor used to feed them to hold them in the area and he recently passed and I doubt his widow is feeding them now...
 

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MUGGZ said:
xarcher said:
There are no absolutes. Spend a lot of time listening to the bird gobbling on the roost and if you pay close attention you can hear that the gobble sounds different after he hits the ground. Depending on the terrain and vegetation you can detect this from a few hundred yards away. Then check your watch. And go set up on him.
Excellent feedback, guys. Thanks.

Another basic question: how do you tell when you hear him gobbling whether he's on the roost to begin with? Any difference between ground gobble and on the roost gobble?
Tree gobbles have a certain crispness to them even when they're far out. Ground gobbles are just a bit more muffled. As the foliage continues to grow later in the season, it gets harder to tell the difference too.
 

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Last Saturday in the rain and fog, I bumped one out of a tree at 8:20. I heard him gobble one time early in the morning on top of the mtn. and once nothing happened low I went up after him. Well, I found him. I couldn't believe it.
 
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