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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty much a newbie to spring gobbler but I really want to take my boy out for the spring youth hunt. I want to put him on some birds, get the little guy some action, and I'm looking for any tips from some of you experienced hunters. I have seen a large flock from time to time when we were archery hunting and I'm still seeing them around the property.
I could use some scouting, calling and set up advice, particularly related to spring.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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How old is your boy?
Think about getting a decent total concealment blind and set up where the turks are using the fields or clearings. I dont reccomend a lot of calling before the season . Scout with your eyes and optics and try to locate the roost areas. Have fun and good luck!!
Smage
 

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I agree with SMAGE... Use a concealment blind so that youngster can move around a bit, or better yet, its a good time to practice getting them to sit still in there even if they don't have to. And don't call before the first day... we will make them call shy in due time! lol... And good luck with that kiddo... when my nephew killed his first I was the proudest uncle in the whole world!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Guys,
He's 10, I've had him on deer hunts and he's good at keeping still, for the most part.
How are you guys patterning these turkeys for the spring without calling? Is it just a glass and walk scouting mission? Why not call early in the spring?

Just wondering.
 

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Just glass and find out where they are roosting so you can set up on them. Turkeys can get call shy should they run into to many humans, so save it for the season. Once I find a roost, thats gives me a general area of where to pursue. Plus i do like to watch their habits from afar... real good learning experience!
 

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Gobblers gobble alot in the spring. They'll start gobbling as early as February. Go out a little before daylight and listen for them to gobble once the sun starts to come up. Just drive along the mountain roads and stop to listen or walk out logging roads. Hit the clearcuts as well that's where alot of the hens go to nest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys for the knowledge! You folks have been a great help.
One more question, What about decoys? Anybody using them during the spring and any suggestions for a decent decoy?
 

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Moss said:
Gobblers gobble alot in the spring. They'll start gobbling as early as February. Go out a little before daylight and listen for them to gobble once the sun starts to come up. Just drive along the mountain roads and stop to listen or walk out logging roads. Hit the clearcuts as well that's where alot of the hens go to nest.
X2....also I owl and crow call from time to time if the gobbling is slow to get an idea which direction they want to go after fly down.
 

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I like to scout before spring gobbler season but do not use a turkey call to locate gobblers. I do use owl calls, crow calls and the like to get birds to shock gobble. I have no reason to try to call them in to me even though the urge to do so is very high. I do not know if calling to a turkey educates them or not but why tempt fate by doing it before season. You are scouting for a couple of things that being a roost area and strut areas and where the hens go to feed. and if I can find those areas without calling so much the better.
 

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X3.... Your ears are just as important as your eyes. Even more so when locating gobbling birds.
 

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I like to wait till the 1st week of April to do any serious scouting...The alpha gobblers are pretty much locked into their home ranges then...Scout w/ your eyes and ears....Kill later w/ your calling..


Learn your hunting terrain like ya know your own home...

Buy one call and get very good at using it....Listen to REAL turkeys calling on tapes and DVD's...Practice your calling while listening to the real birds...Practice allot till you get comfy with your call....

Find an experienced hunter to help you thru the learning curve....That saves lots of frustration...

Upmost...Enjoy the time afield w/ your son...


Good luck !!
 

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Get up early and go to a point where alot of ground can be covered to listen for gobbling at dawn to pinpoint a few roost sites and birds. More importantly, listen for the gobbling after flydown to see where it is they want to head after flying down.

After locating some birds and the directions they want to head, go back in there at midday and look around for the reasons why that is their preferred direction after flydown. Food, strut zones, nesting cover etc... Find some set up locations and figure out how you plan to get in there in the pre dawn hour to set up.

Things can change so the two weeks leading up to the opener are go time for finalizing your plans.
 

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I spent a lot of time scouting for Spring Gobbler over many many years. However, I now have more time to hunt and haven't scouted in years....I just go to time proven areas the morning of the hunt...listen....move in...If I hear nothing or all gobbling is too far away to pursue I just move to strutting and feeding areas, hide, set still, listen, call, and wait. Patience is the best ingredient to success. They often don't gobble on the way in so don't be quick to give up.

However, that does not help you for a few years to come. This is how I scouted. I have 3-4 high peak areas fields and meadows I would go to and listen at daylight or dark. I could hears gobblers for a mile or so in all direction from each. I did not call only listen. Took good binoculars for the ones I could see. I did not go in the woods with the turkeys, did not waste any time looking for tracks, scratchings, etc. No reason to risk changing their routine. Also going in the wood severely limits locating a gobbler to only that area when you might hear several listening from high open areas.

Hunting methods as stated previously the waiting method and there is the "Run & Gun" method of moving quietly through the woods calling and listing for a gobble. Do not call from areas where you can be seen from a distance.

If there is an opportunity to get closer to a gobbling turkey with terrain or he is still on the roost, but not too close to be spotted by their excellent eye or hearing.

Some people like decoys some don't. Since you are starting out I would recommend decoys. I use 2 hens and one Jake. Put the decoys 15-20 yards face the Jake to you and the hens away or at different angles. Often the approaching gobbler will go face to face with the Jake which put his attention away from you.

I would recommend to call sparingly. The very first time you call the gobbler will know within a few feet of exactly where you are. If the gobbler is on the roost and you call continuous he will often wait for you/the hen to walk under the tree and stay up there for a long period of time driving you nuts with his continuous calls.
On the ground he may or may not call, just call enough to let him know you/the hen is still in that location. Spring gobbler hunting is not a turkey calling contest. Be certain to spend some time checking unto the safety aspect. Have fun enjoy and post your pictures an/or story.

My motto: Scout from afar and hunt very close.
 

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Kane, you've gotten some good advice already. What made me a better turkey hunter was learning the mouth call. Box calls, slates or pot calls are great, but mastering the sounds of a mouth call separates the novice from the longbeard slayers. I listen to Primos Mastering the Mouth Call every spring to tune up my calls. It's the best when it comes to getting it down. I put it in my CD player on trips and just hammer away. Of course I'm alone when I do it. Quick way to irritate the Boss Hen is to do that when she's around, if you know what I mean. You'll have enough issues with the feathered boss hen. Don't need those issues in the roost. Good luck. Nothing like getting a youngster his first turkey after it comes into your calls. You'll hook him for life.
 

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I also learned to master the mouth calls many years ago while driving to different work locations alone. Back then I used a Roger Latham tape. Great way to practice.
 

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My best advice is to start practicing calling, get familiar with Owl Hoots and crow calls for locating birds, if you dont know where they are. Also get familiar with differnt types of calls, mouth calls, box calls, slates, Im not saying to get professional with all of these calls, but just familiarize yourself with them. Also, check out a couple of decoys, when hunting open areas I like to set up a couple of decoys to add that extra advantage. Buy a couple of books or research turkey hunting articles online to better prepare yourself.
I will say that you may have made the biggest mistake of your life by taking your son turkey hunting, my bet is that the both of you will become hooked on turkey hunting. Besides archery, turkey is my favorite animal and season to hunt. Good Luck
 

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PA RIDGE RUNNER said:
I like to scout before spring gobbler season but do not use a turkey call to locate gobblers. I do use owl calls, crow calls and the like to get birds to shock gobble. I have no reason to try to call them in to me even though the urge to do so is very high. I do not know if calling to a turkey educates them or not but why tempt fate by doing it before season. You are scouting for a couple of things that being a roost area and strut areas and where the hens go to feed. and if I can find those areas without calling so much the better.
I agree with Pa...i know my area so try to stay out of the turkeys areas......i ll ussaly just go into an area and listen....turkeys start gobbling here in montgromery county in march...
 

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I used a pretty boy decoy with real tail fan and one -two hen decoys. The pretty boy has been awesome for me. B-Mobile is also a great decoy my buddy uses. If you get hardcore into it do what my dad did (he is a taxidermist) and get a low budget hen mounted, no better decoy than the real thing


I was told long ago that it was told not to call before the season due to people whom didnt know how to call and was calling incorrectly made the turkey stop talking? Just what I heard.
 
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