Turkey Hunting Guidance

Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior MemberPosts: 1,082 Senior Member
This Spring, I plan to try turkey hunting for the first time. In addition to taking a new hunters course with the state (going over the use of state land and relevant laws), I would like some direction on "how to"?

Can you recommend some books or videos? Basic equipment?

Equipment:
1) my new A5 should be adequate.
2) I will buy some camo clothes/headgear and a padded seat
3) what would be a good, first call and decoy?

Since I can hunt on public lands, what is the best way to comply with the blaze orange requirement?

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,212 Senior Member
    I can't think of a state that would be stupid enough to implement a blaze orange requirement during turkey season...that would be like wearing orange while waterfowl hunting....where do you live?

    For a new hunter, I would recommend a decent slate and striker. A good box call will work as well, as long as you have time to practice and pay attention to the tutorials...

    Decoys? lots of good ones out there - pick a couple...I use inflatables...I can carry a small flock (three hens and a jake) in the space a single standard decoys takes up.

    Yes...your A5 will work...be sure to pattern the thing with a good turkey load (I like coppered #5s but your mileage may vary) you want most of the pattern centered in the head/neck....You also need to determine the max range for your shotgun. (a modifed choke will cut you max effective range some) I use a very tight turkey choke and am good out to 35 yards or so...Forget body shooting a gobbler...they're armor plated...the head and neck are your target...

    While there is a lot of good advice available here...Your very best bet is to buddy up with someone who is a successful turkey hunter and pay attention

    Edited to add: Learn all you can about turkey behavior in general and turkey behavior in our locale in particular...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,032 Senior Member
    A good pair of binoculars and a notebook for pre-season scouting, a gobble call, owl call, or a crow call to help you locate them, some kind of a hen call, some 3D decoy- I have gone cheap and they seem to get in range but hang up, tight choke for the shot gun. A range finder is nice if you are running and gunning, I mostly have just set up.

    A collapsible blind or a Ghille suit, they see ANY movement.

    Something good to sit on, bug dope for ticks and/or a Thermacell, have your gun up and ready. You MUST sight in your shot gun with several loads on a shoot-n-see targets, find your max distance, my guns like Winchester Supreme turkey loads, aim for the head, a scope would be helpful.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I can't think of a state that would be stupid enough to implement a blaze orange requirement during turkey season...that would be like wearing orange while waterfowl hunting....where do you live?

    For a new hunter, I would recommend a decent slate and striker. A good box call will work as well, as long as you have time to practice and pay attention to the tutorials...

    Decoys? lots of good ones out there - pick a couple...I use inflatables...I can carry a small flock (three hens and a jake) in the space a single standard decoys takes up.

    Yes...your A5 will work...be sure to pattern the thing with a good turkey load (I like coppered #5s but your mileage may vary) you want most of the pattern centered in the head/neck....You also need to determine the max range for your shotgun. (a modifed choke will cut you max effective range some) I use a very tight turkey choke and am good out to 35 yards or so...Forget body shooting a gobbler...they're armor plated...the head and neck are your target...

    While there is a lot of good advice available here...Your very best bet is to buddy up with someone who is a successful turkey hunter and pay attention

    Edited to add: Learn all you can about turkey behavior in general and turkey behavior in our locale in particular...

    Thanks.

    Never having hunted on public lands (I grew up in Texas), I am a little scared of hunting public lands for the first time.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,212 Senior Member
    A little more.... Scouting is critical...find where they roost...get out early - before sun up, set up nearby...your best chance is when they fly down... things get more complicated after that. I'm fortunate to be able to hunt behind my house, so around roosting time, I go out in the back yard and do some hen calls - the gobblers will usually give away their roosts if coaxed properly. An owl call or a crow call is handy for locating gobblers. Word to the wise....if there are a lot of hunters in you area (like on public land) a gobble call is a good way to have interlopers move in on your set-up
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    I'll add have some backup plans.
    Because you may know where a certain Tom is and likes to be doesn't mean someone else doesn't also.
    Better to know a few locations.
    Don't over call is big.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,987 Senior Member
    Any shotgun that can shoot the proper ammo should work
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,688 Senior Member
    A turkey's eye sight is said to be the equivalent of looking through eight power binoculars, and they see in color. Their sense of hearing is also superior. They can hear you call from 250 yards away and know exactly where you are, then come to that location. Most new hunters call too much and too loudly. If you get a bird to gobble, in answer to your call, shut up, he knows where you are. If he hangs up, then you can call softly, but don't get carried away. Set your decoy(s) 20 to 25 yards in front of your stand. They apparently don't have a sense of smell, or at least don't use it, which is a good thing for us or we wouldn't have much of a chance of bagging one, LOL. I made a screen, about 3' high, using dowel rods for support for the camo screening. I doubled the 6' of screening to form a pocket for the center pole , then folded each end to do the same. I carry a small rubber mallet, in an orange back pack, that I use to pound the stakes in a triangle in front of me. A good dose of deet, or a Therma-Cell is a good idea. Good luck! Keep yer powder dry.........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    Ok. I have been reading up on the requirements to get a hunting license in my state. I am now signed up for a hunter safety class (I can't find my certificate from Texas). In addition, I am signed up for a Turkey hunting class. Much to my surprise, they are basically free and I should be able to go out for the Spring Turkey season.

    As part of the turkey course, I have to bring my own gun, a turkey choke, and some ammo. Athough there are some extended chokes available, I was planning on using the full choke that came with my shotgun.
    Affordable Ammo suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    Affordable Ammo suggestions would be appreciated.

    The shot pattern and size, not the price, is what's going to matter.
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    Affordable Ammo suggestions would be appreciated.

    The shot pattern and size, not the price, is what's going to matter.

    Exactly. Because I don't have any experience in this area, I need guidance on a few ammo choices to start with. I figured that I would get 2-3 loads to pattern and hunt with the best.

    With my skill level very low, I don't want to start with high end stuff.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Lots of good info above. The basic concept is that in nature the hens go to the gobblers. The trick is to fool the gobbler into coming to you. It's no easy thing to do. And generally speaking they won't cross a fence or a creek when coming in. I used to carry a wad of big hawk/turkey/crow feathers to mimic the sound of one flapping down off the roost. Good luck buddy! It can be the most exciting hunting there is
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    Exactly. Because I don't have any experience in this area, I need guidance on a few ammo choices to start with. I figured that I would get 2-3 loads to pattern and hunt with the best.

    With my skill level very low, I don't want to start with high end stuff.

    4 or 5 shot is usually good. I prefer 4 because it carries further and the larger pellets easier to discern when eating. A good choke and Turkey sight goes a long way towards making good shots. A scope is ok as well. Get lots of paper or cardboard and take you shotgun and sight it like you would a rifle. Find the choke that gives the best pattern. Then find a tape or video of turkeys talking and practice your calling. There are any number of calls and approach. Male's pretty much come to fight or have sex. Females come for food or company
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
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