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Lets talk Turkey! Favorite calls and decoys that is.

JeeperJeeper Senior MemberTampa, FL areaPosts: 2,954 Senior Member
My wife and I are planning to give this a try this year. I have been watching the hunting shows and paying atention to the sounds and decoys they use. But I want to know what decoys and calls you guys have had success with.

So lets hear it... what sort of gear and tactics do you prefer?
Luis
Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I snuck up and shot an 18-lb. turkey last week. That #5 shot richocheted off the bird, and they won't let me anywhere near the frozen food department of Wally World now!
    :tooth:
    Jerry
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Olsburg KansasPosts: 1,650 Senior Member
    Do some pre- season scouting, it will save you a lot of wasted time later. What you need to find is where the Toms are roosting at night so you can plan an ambush when they fly down to the hens in the AM. A little bit of yelping on the box call to bring the boys into range and BANGO turkey nuggets.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    At the most general level, I have had the best luck with box calling. Specifically, the Primos Box Cutter. The big disadvantage? It requires significatly more exposed movement to use than a mouth call or even a slate, but the birds seem to love it most days.

    However, there is big differentiation we need to make before we go any further: the difference between public land birds and private land birds. I failed many, many, MANY times on public land before I finally shot my first bird...on private land. The kicker? That private land bird was dead within 30 minutes of me stepping foot on the property. Private land birds - at least the ones I dealt with - were extremely receptive to calling from the cheapest of cheap H.S. Strut slate calls that my buddy got from Wal-Mart for about $7. I didn't even bother messing with my box call because that thing got them singing all over the place. They behaved very much like you see the birds on the hunting shows. It seemed that every time he made even a simple series of yelps, every bird on the property would respond and it wasn't long before the Jake I ultimately killed got within gun range.

    Public land birds? Not the same beast at all. Those birds see every deer, waterfowl, small game, upland - whatever season is going - hunters from all over the county before they get their turn at the live-fire survival seminar. By then, they know the sounds of an approaching human and get hammered with every type of call imaginable from the first hour of the season. I have literally seen them RUN the opposite direction upon sighting decoys. Unless you have something different or special going on in you repertoir, you can rest assured that the majority of the birds already know the gig. I still can't to attest to having any success on public land. I did get some gobblers to strut for me at an archery-only public area, but I never could figure out how to get them to close the distance. I still have a lot ot learn, it seems.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    First- - - - -you need to have turkeys in your area! The most skillful caller in the world can't conjure up a bird out of nothing. Scout the area, and know where they're roosting, feeding, and strutting. Do as much of this as possible pre-season. DO NOT USE A CALL AT ALL WHILE YOU'RE SCOUTING! There's no sense educating the bird you're trying to shoot by calling before the season opens!

    Most people call way too often. Unless a bird is actively answering your calls, make them few and far between. Be on site well before daylight- - - -a turkey on his roost can see you moving into position if there's even the slightest hint of light on the horizon. Compared to turkeys, a deer is deaf and blind! If a turkey had a deer's sense of smell, none of us would ever bag one!
    Jerry
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Eastern NebraskaPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    ... Be on site well before daylight- - - -a turkey on his roost can see you moving into position if there's even the slightest hint of light on the horizon. Compared to turkeys, a deer is deaf and blind! If a turkey had a deer's sense of smell, none of us would ever bag one!
    Jerry

    Absolutely true. Once, I was hunting some private ground for deer shortly after the landowner had told me that he hadn't seen significant numbers of turkeys for some time. The next morning, I was walking - slinking really - to my deer spot, believing I was being as stealthy, quiet and invisible as possible. Just as I get near the landmark tree to turn down a particular path, a flock of turkey explodes out of the tree over my head. here I was thinking I'm silent and invisible and the birds told me otherwise. I about crapped myself. So much for not seeing birds around those parts!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Tampa, FL areaPosts: 2,954 Senior Member
    In some respects I am in good shape then. I already know where two different flocks hang out and where at least one of them roost. It is private land so there will be MUCH less presure on them.

    Mostly I want recommendations on calls and decoys.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Jeeper wrote: »
    My wife and I are planning to give this a try this year. I have been watching the hunting shows and paying atention to the sounds and decoys they use. But I want to know what decoys and calls you guys have had success with.

    So lets hear it... what sort of gear and tactics do you prefer?
    Luis

    Turkey hunting with a gun is something I just can't get fired up about enough to watch on TV. I've shot lots of turkey out around Junction TX and where we hunted them they weren't a big challenge. Of course I like them for eating, and I will shoot them when given the opportunity, but they aren't something I'd drive a long way to hunt. Except, and this is contingent on me getting a bow, to shoot them with a bow. I'm not a bow hunter by any means and I have no desire to shoot a deer or hog with a bow, but for some reason I would love to shoot turkeys and/or geese with a bow. And I hope to do that some day.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    I snuck up and shot an 18-lb. turkey last week. That #5 shot richocheted off the bird, and they won't let me anywhere near the frozen food department of Wally World now!
    :tooth:
    Jerry
    Teach, take the advice of an old Texas Turkey Expert. You gotta thaw him out first!!! :rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    First- - - - -you need to have turkeys in your area! The most skillful caller in the world can't conjure up a bird out of nothing. Scout the area, and know where they're roosting, feeding, and strutting. Do as much of this as possible pre-season. DO NOT USE A CALL AT ALL WHILE YOU'RE SCOUTING! There's no sense educating the bird you're trying to shoot by calling before the season opens!

    Most people call way too often. Unless a bird is actively answering your calls, make them few and far between. Be on site well before daylight- - - -a turkey on his roost can see you moving into position if there's even the slightest hint of light on the horizon. Compared to turkeys, a deer is deaf and blind! If a turkey had a deer's sense of smell, none of us would ever bag one!
    Jerry

    Teach, the reason I don't get cranked up over turkeys is, I believe, because they will readily hang around close to a deer feeder and since Texas allowes baiting non migratory game, such as deer and turkey, that's the way most of us hunt em here. And it's about like shooting fish in a barrel. We get in a deer blind overlooking a feeder and wait. Most days you're going to get a few good shots at them. But you pegged one thing for sure, they can see very good. In fact, they recognize human form. Deer see movement, but if a turkey is even half way close and can make your form out, he'll be in the next zip code before you can say Bang! I was in a deer blind that resembled a one hole outhouse that was about 30 yards from the feeder, and two old wiley hens walked right by that blind. Well the blind was a little rotten in places and a few planks of wood were missing off it and those two old hens craned their necks and looked right at me. In a snap they took off like quail with about 100 more that were walking around the fence that surrounded the feeder went with them. And that's another thing, when they spook, they take off just exactly like Quail, Real Real Big quail, :jester:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • U TU T Member Posts: 423 Member
    Jeeper wrote: »

    Mostly I want recommendations on calls and decoys.

    Luis

    Decoys: I've killed many more turkeys without them, and I've killed plenty with them. I've been using the same feather flex collapsible hen (named Henrietta because my kids wanted know her name over 15 years ago), and she always goes with me, because she's light and decent results. I also have used a jake decoy (kind of hard rubbery collapsible, that I've only been using for a dozen or so years, Delta, think they're out of business) I bought a new one last year after season that I'm really impressed with, Zink Avian Jake that looks very real. Only drawbacks are that they're heavy, (like a heavy basketball), and expensive. (about $100)
    What is nice though, is they are inflatable, which in setting up is a pain, unless you carry them inflated, but they don't have dents in them since air pressure pushes out any dents. I will be using the avian this year. check out this video.
    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/video_popup.jsp?productId=1167567&embedCode=FxeG04MzpK9Rn7TMBsYvlO_agYRYtGOS
    Calls: Diaphram is best since it keeps your hands free. If you can't call on a diaphram well then don't use one. Get a box and simple push button that doesn't require as much movement. I like a simple double reed, which is easier to use than triple/quad since it doesn't require as much air pressure, and I can call quiet if a want to.

    All that being said, Tactics are more important than what call or decoy you are using, but it sounds like you know what tactics you are going to use?
    I'd be happy to recommend tactics if interested!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Killing turkeys over a feeder, and using center fire weapons, is not turkey hunting.

    Yep, about the only less-sporting method I can think of is shooting them off the roost using a spotlight! The gobbler is the quintessential male chauvinist- - - -he expects to be able to gobble, and the hen comes to him for her daily dose of sex. Making a gobbler go against his nature and chase a hen is what turkey hunting is all about. Besides- - - -a Butterball from the grocery store freezer has a lot more edible meat, if all you want is a turkey dinner!
    Jerry
  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Sadly in MaPosts: 424 Member
    Carry EVERYTHING... use one call.. shoot Tom.. LOL Sometimes it feels like that... other times.. use everything.. get nothing to answer... LOL Addicting...
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Yep, about the only less-sporting method I can think of is shooting them off the roost using a spotlight! The gobbler is the quintessential male chauvinist- - - -he expects to be able to gobble, and the hen comes to him for her daily dose of sex. Making a gobbler go against his nature and chase a hen is what turkey hunting is all about. Besides- - - -a Butterball from the grocery store freezer has a lot more edible meat, if all you want is a turkey dinner!
    Jerry

    Well I tend to agree. That's one reason I don't get fired up over it, because they just parade in to get their picture taken. But that's why I said I want to try it with a bow. I never said it was great sport. I'm just not much of a turkey hunter.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I don't use WEAPONS to hunt with. I just use firearms. I haven't seen a turkey or even a deer shoot back at me yet so I don't need to defend myself against them. I use weapons for self defense and home defense.

    And I personally don't go out to shoot turkey in the first place. This isn't some bunny hugger statement either. I don't care if other people shoot them and if it's good for conservation then that's even better. I shoot em, but it's incidental. If they show up, then they have a dedicated spot on the menu because they are damn good to eat. Also, I have never shot a turkey in the spring when decoys or calls work the best during their mating season. I'm too busy hunting hogs then and fishing. Maybe I'm missing out on something, but dedicated turkey hunting is just not my bag. Different strokes for different folks.

    But still, hunting them with a bow tweeks a chord within me for some odd reason. I haven't done it yet, but I want to try it, and try hunting geese with a bow too.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Olsburg KansasPosts: 1,650 Senior Member
    My decoy is henny penny, just a cheap wally world flexible decoy. Most situations a decoy is not necessary, but when is mounted can cause much chuckling and "Let him finish" is often whispered.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    If you're hunting on public land, DO NOT use a jake decoy! Elmer Fudd will shoot at it, and if you happen to be in his line of fire, you're in deep kimchee!
    Jerry
  • Jim TomJim Tom Member South-East KentuckyPosts: 338 Member
    Best success for me comes from sitting against a large tree and sitting as still as posible for long periods of time, so a mouth call is all I use. Where I hunt, the turkeys will often travel 50-100 yards between gobbles if they're coming to my calls, so if I move and fidget I'm going to have a bad day.

    Sure is nice when they are strutting and gobbling all the way to me, though!
  • U TU T Member Posts: 423 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    If you're hunting on public land, DO NOT use a jake decoy! Elmer Fudd will shoot at it, and if you happen to be in his line of fire, you're in deep kimchee!
    Jerry

    Jerry, I agree with you. I've even had my hen decoy stalked in an open field on private property, and almost shot, but I yelled at the trespasser as he was about to shoot. He was road hunting and saw my decoy in an open field. IDIOT!
    I forgot to mention earlier, that I also use a gobble call sparingly on private property too. It sometimes gets a gobbler to come in, when he won't come to a hen call. It's like calling a bull elk with a bugle, or grunt to a buck.
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    You knw cpj, there are things about you I really like. You have a back bone and stand up for wha you believe and that is commendable. Except that your brain doesn't always work right. I don't appease any libtard Antis. Get that through your head. And people like me that USE said head for something besides separating their ears and cooking off steam, will win over a lot more of those in the middle that weren't raised around guns or hunting and simply don't know which way to go. If you keep sounding like a knuckle dragging anarchist they will turn and run right into the fire and grapple the very evil we are trying to prevent. It ain't all about being mr. macho and telling it like you think it is!!! Psychology isn't all BS!!! We need to win people over, not run em off!!! What part of that do not you understand? That ain't being weak, that's being smart!!!
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    What I'm trying to get in your head is that I'm not appeasing anybody, I'm trying to win over the undecided unknowing unwashed masses. I don't even deal with the antis. They're buttheads and when i talk to an anti, I'm condescending and arrogant myself. Because I have no time of day for a true believing anti, I don't care if he/she is kin folks.

    There's no helping them. They are lost souls. What we have to do is win over the middle ground, those that don't really understand either side of the issue and have not made up their minds. I'm trying to show them the light, but if you scare em off, they will run right into the arms of the enemy and we lose.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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