Black Hills Turkey w/ Kid

elktacos

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
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13
Hey everyone, somehow my 13yr old daughter has been showing interest in going turkey hunting with me this year. My gut tells me to get her out as soon as the season opens before she changes her mind :) She used to do all kinds of outdoors stuff and shoot with me until she turned 10 and I she kinda went a different direction so I don't want to mess this opportunity up. I'm planning to hit the Black Hills either April 8-11 and/or May 9-12. The weather will dictate when we go but I could use a little guidance on what to expect so I can plan accordingly. Mainly since she's only 13 I'm concerned about what style of hunting she'll be able to do given the terrain. Do you think we could even consider spot and stalk or trying to get ahead of birds if they're moving away from us? If we were limited to only trying to call something in, would you consider early April or are these birds just too hard to call in this early?
 

DoubleDropMuley

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
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106
I’m taking it as black hills on the Dakota side? Wyoming don’t open till April 20th, but like mentioned above weather, I’m planning heading over on Wyoming side myself toward end of April 1st of May, sometime. Like to get it done then so I can concentrate on spring bear most of may. Whatever ya decide get her out 😃 New at this Turkey stuff myself so can’t help to much on tips or tactics lol been 2 springs now and still haven’t got it accomplished yet, been close but one thing or another has put a halt to success, Anyway good luck and hope ya get some shooting in !!
 

jmez

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Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Piedmont, SD
Terrain isn't that bad and a 13 year old should handle it fine. They should be a little easier to call in May but will respond either time.

Plan on all hunting tactics. I shoot most of mine in the hills by sneaking around and up on them. I have kids younger than yours in tow and it has never been a problem.

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 
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deerhunt1988

Well Known Rokslider
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Oct 15, 2017
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613
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MS
Definitely plan on May. Birds will be flocked up pretty good in early April and a lot of them won't have made it up higher in the Hills yet. Lots of flocks will still be hanging around private pasturelands. I've gotten snow in the Hills multiple times in MAY, enough to have access hindered. So consider that too if you go in April.
 

Cobie33

Junior Member
Joined
May 15, 2016
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28
Location
Iowa
Exactly what deerhunt1988 said. Go in May, the birds will be more dispersed and you won’t be staring at large groups of them on private property that they don’t want to leave.
 

Wyobohunter

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Dec 23, 2021
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1,585
I’m taking it as black hills on the Dakota side? Wyoming don’t open till April 20th, but like mentioned above weather, I’m planning heading over on Wyoming side myself toward end of April 1st of May, sometime. Like to get it done then so I can concentrate on spring bear most of may. Whatever ya decide get her out 😃 New at this Turkey stuff myself so can’t help to much on tips or tactics lol been 2 springs now and still haven’t got it accomplished yet, been close but one thing or another has put a halt to success, Anyway good luck and hope ya get some shooting in !!
I hate that they moved the WY opener to April 20th. I’d say go as early as you can.
 

tbowers

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
142
I'd say go as late as you can to avoid potential blizzards. That said, last two years I have gone out there I was rained out, weather was absolutely awful both years. In 2020 I went May 13-15Th(was supposed to be a week). I made it 2.5 days, it was 45 degrees and never stopped raining aside from a 1 hour window were the sun came out and luckily I killed my bird.

Last year I went memorial weekend, but ran into the same thing. The clouds/fog never lifted, rained, cold, I made it 1.5 days and bailed as the forecast didnt call for any improvement. Sucked as it was a 10 hr drive. Still birds gobbling but I was solo and sitting alone in the truck waiting for downpours to stop will make a guy lose sanity.

I guess what I'm saying is pray the weather holds, springtime in the BH is especially erratic. That said, I'm going back again this year and figure 'what are the chances I get rained out three years in a row????' haha, prepare for the worst.
 

BoltActionBrotherhood

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Feb 5, 2021
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288
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Nor Cal
Obviously, avoid horrible weather. But it you make it fun and almost a game it won't matter.
Bring snacks and things you know she loves. Tell her for every turkey she spots you will give her "X" could be cash money. I started taking me oldest son out when he was two, and when I say taking him out I mean full bore, hiking miles. His reward was suckers, and he loved it. I also make sure to let him make some of the decisions, "Should we go this way or this way" "should we sit and wait or go look around" etc He is now 3 almost 4, and the kid almost goes on every hunt with me now without a handicap. We got a buck in the rain together on opener doing a all-day spot and stalk hunt. He walks 5-6 miles with me when turkey hunting and scouting, he is a little savage. That being said I know nothing about girls, but I am sure there is a way do it where she will love it and make it into a Treasure hunt of a game of sorts.
Dont push her to hard either,because if its not fun she wont want to do it again.
After the hunt reward he again, whether its to take her to get Ice cream of a dinner date with dad at her favorite place.

Just a few things that work for me! =)
 

tbowers

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
142
Obviously, avoid horrible weather. But it you make it fun and almost a game it won't matter.
Bring snacks and things you know she loves. Tell her for every turkey she spots you will give her "X" could be cash money. I started taking me oldest son out when he was two, and when I say taking him out I mean full bore, hiking miles. His reward was suckers, and he loved it. I also make sure to let him make some of the decisions, "Should we go this way or this way" "should we sit and wait or go look around" etc He is now 3 almost 4, and the kid almost goes on every hunt with me now without a handicap. We got a buck in the rain together on opener doing a all-day spot and stalk hunt. He walks 5-6 miles with me when turkey hunting and scouting, he is a little savage. That being said I know nothing about girls, but I am sure there is a way do it where she will love it and make it into a Treasure hunt of a game of sorts.
Dont push her to hard either,because if its not fun she wont want to do it again.
After the hunt reward he again, whether its to take her to get Ice cream of a dinner date with dad at her favorite place.

Just a few things that work for me! =)
I pretty much follow these guidelines when I drag somebody along on a hunt, no matter the age!
 
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elktacos

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
13
Thanks everyone for the info. I think we’ll just roll the dice and go for it in April if the weather isn’t terrible and hope they’re at least a little bit vocal to make it fun.
 

jmez

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
6,633
Location
Piedmont, SD
They are already starting to gobble. That part won't be a problem.

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 

wyosteve

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
1,311
I always had my best success in the Wyo. Black Hills when the season opened in early April. Easy to call them in then. My analogy is to elk. Early, all the boys are looking for girlfriends. As the season progresses, they've found the girls or the 'rut' is winding down and they don't respond as well to calling.
 

tbowers

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
142
I always had my best success in the Wyo. Black Hills when the season opened in early April. Easy to call them in then. My analogy is to elk. Early, all the boys are looking for girlfriends. As the season progresses, they've found the girls or the 'rut' is winding down and they don't respond as well to calling.
The exact opposite can also be true, early in the season they are more flocked up and can be really tough to call away from hens. Why would a tom want to leave a hen to find a hen? Later in the season they are much more spread out, and the Toms are often solo looking for a hen and way more susceptible to calling then they are in early season. You may hear a bunch more gobbling in early season but way tougher to call in. You can kill birds early but if I had a preference I'm going later in the season every time.
 

UpTop

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
113
Our experience has been similar. The flocked up turkeys have been tougher to get in. They gobbled back more aggressively earlier season but didn’t come is as willingly.
 
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elktacos

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Messages
13
Quick update, the weather was perfect day 1 and just a light snow day 2. We were 2 for 2 with finding gobblers and getting them to respond. 1 came in real close gobbling like crazy. Never had to put in any effort into finding them but we just were not able to connect. Maybe spent 2hrs each day in the woods is all. We were at the lower elevations. I did have both kids with and they were pretty excited with the experience and want to go again.
 

UpTop

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
113
Quick update, the weather was perfect day 1 and just a light snow day 2. We were 2 for 2 with finding gobblers and getting them to respond. 1 came in real close gobbling like crazy. Never had to put in any effort into finding them but we just were not able to connect. Maybe spent 2hrs each day in the woods is all. We were at the lower elevations. I did have both kids with and they were pretty excited with the experience and want to go again.
Very cool! Hope your able to keep at it and seal the deal.
 

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