Wyo turkey

WyoBowhunter21

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Casper, Wyoming
My hunting partner and I decided to take the plunge and try turkey hunting before I start work and he heads to Alaska. We need some advice on what to expect, calls etc. Any help will be appreciated. We are going general turkey in unit 2.
 

CtP

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This will be my first season as well. S.E. Ga archery turkey opens end of March. Picked up a slate call and a hen decoy. I watched a bunch of youtube videos on calling. Seems like the key is to not call too much, it will drive the Toms away. I'm gonna grab a crow call as well, for a locator call. Seems the Turkeys will respond when a crow calls in the area. I have no experience with turkeys, just doing alot of research, here,old Gobbler and on AT.
 
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WyoBowhunter21

WyoBowhunter21

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This will be my first season as well. S.E. Ga archery turkey opens end of March. Picked up a slate call and a hen decoy. I watched a bunch of youtube videos on calling. Seems like the key is to not call too much, it will drive the Toms away. I'm gonna grab a crow call as well, for a locator call. Seems the Turkeys will respond when a crow calls in the area. I have no experience with turkeys, just doing alot of research, here,old Gobbler and on AT.
Well good luck to you sir. I hadn't thought of YouTube. In your research did you find it better to have a hen decoy or Tom?
 

MOcluck

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Missouri
Get your basics down, 3-5 note yelps,clucks and purrs your cadence and rythem are more important then tone asfar as the crow call goes you can shock gobble a turke with a lot of things a dog whistle (the ones humans can't hear) owl hoots, (work good in the morning) or coyote howls ofrom a distance), i.ve also used a short reed goose calls as there are a lot of breading pairs of canads around.
 

CtP

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Well good luck to you sir. I hadn't thought of YouTube. In your research did you find it better to have a hen decoy or Tom?
From what I've found out. Spring is the mating season. Toms will react to the hen and jake or tom decoy differently.
Hens usually approach the toms once they start strutting, so it may be difficult to get him in real close. kind of working against nature luring the Tom to the hen.
if a tom sees another tom or jake in the decoy set up with some hens, he may try and push him out of there, which will bring the big boy in alot closer.

This is all stuff I've learned through researching. There are some fanatics out there about turkey and have alot of knowledge.

I'm gonna try a hen decoy to start and see how it goes. Hopefully I can catch 'em in a roosting area and be ready to knock 'em over when they ground themselves.
 

IAHNTR

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Feb 26, 2012
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Eastern Iowa
Is where you're hunting really wide open or lots of woods? Do you think you will be finding them (on the ground) and then trying to setup in their path or are you going to be in their early to find them on the roost and try and call them in?
 

MOcluck

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Missouri
In most situations runin a jake and hen decoy together will keep most toms from hanging up but if you get a satalite tom whose had his butt whipped a few times they might shy away from the jake deke. I suggest get both and take them along on every hunt better to have them and not need them then to need them and not have them. Feather flex makes a very lite and easy to carry decoy and there cheap too look'em up
 
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WyoBowhunter21

WyoBowhunter21

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Is where you're hunting really wide open or lots of woods? Do you think you will be finding them (on the ground) and then trying to setup in their path or are you going to be in their early to find them on the roost and try and call them in?
I would say a mix. It's going to be small junipers with open meadows with mix of forest. I am going to guess I am going to try and set up in there paths.
 
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WyoBowhunter21

WyoBowhunter21

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In most situations runin a jake and hen decoy together will keep most toms from hanging up but if you get a satalite tom whose had his butt whipped a few times they might shy away from the jake deke. I suggest get both and take them along on every hunt better to have them and not need them then to need them and not have them. Feather flex makes a very lite and easy to carry decoy and there cheap too look'em up
Perfect idea! If I can I would rather have them both out there then wish I had them. I will check out feather flex. I was looking at carry lite and flambeau.
 

Lukem

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Mar 1, 2012
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North Platte, NE
Get your basics down, 3-5 note yelps,clucks and purrs your cadence and rythem are more important then tone asfar as the crow call goes you can shock gobble a turke with a lot of things a dog whistle (the ones humans can't hear) owl hoots, (work good in the morning) or coyote howls ofrom a distance), i.ve also used a short reed goose calls as there are a lot of breading pairs of canads around.
Elk bugles work good to shock them as well, if you're hunting them where there's elk. You can use the same diaphragm call as well. Really messes with other hunters though.
 

Lukem

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North Platte, NE
Never heard of the elk bugle idea. I may have to try that theory out. Sounds interesting.
Put it more into the obnoxious fun category than "tried and true tactics". I've done it a couple times in NW NE, and it worked, but I'm pretty sure a Tarzan yell might have gotten them to sound off as well.
 

IAHNTR

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Eastern Iowa
I would say a mix. It's going to be small junipers with open meadows with mix of forest. I am going to guess I am going to try and set up in there paths.
I hunt easterns here in Iowa, but have heard that merriams are more vocal than the easterns, especially when they are on the ground. I don't' know this for a fact though, for I have never hunted that species.

This is a typical hunt here. Get into where you think or know they are roosting. The birds are the most vocal (gobbling) when they are still on the roost. As it gets light out and the woods start to wake you can use some type of shock call, I use a crow (mostly) and goose call, to entice the birds to give away their position. If you don't hear any then keep walking and try the shock call again. During this time you don't know where the birds are and are waiting for them to tell you where they are. When/if you do hear one, or more, pick the one that sounds the most "fired up" and try to quickly and quietly get to within 60 - 100 yards from their roost and set out the dekes. I try and set the dekes around 15 yards. That way if they hang up and won't commit they should still be within shotgun distance. I have tried to keep getting closer and closer and have got busted because of this. It's not worth getting ultra close. Very rarely will they fly down into your spread anyways. Now there isn't a lot of time to find these birds on the roost and get into position. On a usual morning they will be gobbling on the roost for maybe 15 to 20 minutes before they fly down and typically shut up.

Now to actually calling to the birds. I have found that less is more. You want to play hard to get. While still on the roost I will let out a few tree yelps (imagine a hen just waking up from sleeping all night and these are the first words out of her mouth, softer and like she is still half asleep is how I picture it) and will usually get cut off by multiple gobbles. Once you know that the birds know that there is a hen over there you want to shut up. I might throw out another series of yelps if it has been ~8+ minutes and they are still in the tree. I want to remind them that I'm still there before they fly down. When you stop hearing gobbling it usually means they have flown down and are now looking for hens to mate with. I will throw out another series of yelps when I know they are on the ground. These yelps will be a little louder and more excited than the tree yeps. I will then wait a good 15 minutes before throwing out another series of yelps and maybe a few excited cuts. If you get a bird that is cutting you off you want to get them fired up and then stop calling. Their curiosity will kill them.

Like elk hunting you want to get the toms so curious that they want to come and check it out. If you can't seem to call in the toms, do some aggressive purring with some puts and yelps and try to call in the hens and hopefully the toms will follow.

During the day you can throw out excited yelps and cuts and hope for a tom to respond. If you don't hear anything, walk another 150 yards and throw it out again. Sooner or later one will answer, hopefully. During the day the birds will have hangouts where they try and pick up chicks. If you know these areas you can always set up there and wait.

Now keep in mind this is how I hunt easterns in Iowa, where I am either setting up in the woods or on field edges. I have never hunted merriams so they might be totally different, but I doubt it. This will give you a place to start at least. If you have any questions or if I didn't explain anything clearly just ask. How is Laramie these days? I lived there for 2.5 years while getting my masters at the University. I miss the place.
 
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WyoBowhunter21

WyoBowhunter21

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I hunt easterns here in Iowa, but have heard that merriams are more vocal than the easterns, especially when they are on the ground. I don't' know this for a fact though, for I have never hunted that species.

This is a typical hunt here. Get into where you think or know they are roosting. The birds are the most vocal (gobbling) when they are still on the roost. As it gets light out and the woods start to wake you can use some type of shock call, I use a crow (mostly) and goose call, to entice the birds to give away their position. If you don't hear any then keep walking and try the shock call again. During this time you don't know where the birds are and are waiting for them to tell you where they are. When/if you do hear one, or more, pick the one that sounds the most "fired up" and try to quickly and quietly get to within 60 - 100 yards from their roost and set out the dekes. I try and set the dekes around 15 yards. That way if they hang up and won't commit they should still be within shotgun distance. I have tried to keep getting closer and closer and have got busted because of this. It's not worth getting ultra close. Very rarely will they fly down into your spread anyways. Now there isn't a lot of time to find these birds on the roost and get into position. On a usual morning they will be gobbling on the roost for maybe 15 to 20 minutes before they fly down and typically shut up.

Now to actually calling to the birds. I have found that less is more. You want to play hard to get. While still on the roost I will let out a few tree yelps (imagine a hen just waking up from sleeping all night and these are the first words out of her mouth, softer and like she is still half asleep is how I picture it) and will usually get cut off by multiple gobbles. Once you know that the birds know that there is a hen over there you want to shut up. I might throw out another series of yelps if it has been ~8+ minutes and they are still in the tree. I want to remind them that I'm still there before they fly down. When you stop hearing gobbling it usually means they have flown down and are now looking for hens to mate with. I will throw out another series of yelps when I know they are on the ground. These yelps will be a little louder and more excited than the tree yeps. I will then wait a good 15 minutes before throwing out another series of yelps and maybe a few excited cuts. If you get a bird that is cutting you off you want to get them fired up and then stop calling. Their curiosity will kill them.

Like elk hunting you want to get the toms so curious that they want to come and check it out. If you can't seem to call in the toms, do some aggressive purring with some puts and yelps and try to call in the hens and hopefully the toms will follow.

During the day you can throw out excited yelps and cuts and hope for a tom to respond. If you don't hear anything, walk another 150 yards and throw it out again. Sooner or later one will answer, hopefully. During the day the birds will have hangouts where they try and pick up chicks. If you know these areas you can always set up there and wait.

Now keep in mind this is how I hunt easterns in Iowa, where I am either setting up in the woods or on field edges. I have never hunted merriams so they might be totally different, but I doubt it. This will give you a place to start at least. If you have any questions or if I didn't explain anything clearly just ask. How is Laramie these days? I lived there for 2.5 years while getting my masters at the University. I miss the place.
First off, thanks for writing such a detailed post!!! That info will help a LOT!!! I may have some questions for you soon. Writing a presentation right now. Oh good ole laramie is cold and snowy. What did you get your masters in?
 

HOT ROD

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Casper Wy
The advice is spot on. The hens are to go to the gobler. That's why he gobbles in struts. If u strike or blow a bad note. No worries. Cadence and rythem are the key. Try not to call to much when they are in the tree. Like it was explained. I have had them just sit in the tree and gobble. If it foggy they mite stay in the tree longer. Don't be afraid to get adgrisive with Ur calls. Once they have flown down. Try a different call. Mouth reed slate box. What ever U have. He mite like one over the other. U could cut him off. When he gobbles, with some hen calls.. U have to feel him out. Take his temperature so to speak.if u get a hen to call back. I try to mimic her. Note for note. Piss her off. She will bring him along...
 

bradb

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Jan 8, 2013
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I think IAHNTR nailed it very good. I do feel that the birds out West tend to roost more consistently in the same place then the birds here in the midwest, so if you do some scouting and figure out there spots you will be ahead of the game. You can get a pretty good pattern on most birds, so if you do some scouting you should have a good idea on roost areas and areas they tend to hang out. I tend to be a pretty patient turkey hunter and set up in areas I know they go to a lot, get set up and do a little calling and wait them out. Most of these spots are morning strut areas, so the birds will typically be there soon after fly down
 

bradb

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You don't have to scout that early!!! They will probably change patterns when they start splitting out of winter groups. We are getting a foot here today. That's why I am going to FL. My buddy from there just called and said if we are done early he will take me hog hunting, deep sea fishing, or to his Georgia land for turkeys. Can't wait
 

IAHNTR

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Feb 26, 2012
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Location
Eastern Iowa
First off, thanks for writing such a detailed post!!! That info will help a LOT!!! I may have some questions for you soon. Writing a presentation right now. Oh good ole laramie is cold and snowy. What did you get your masters in?
Right now the birds are in their winter groups here. There is a spot not a mile from my house that is small and holds like 8 birds during season, but as I was driving by there the other evening there were at least 25 in the field corner. I have no idea where they came from but they will break up shortly. So, no need to scout for awhile. Did you say if you were gun or bow hunting?

I got my MS in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, now called Ecosystem Management I believe. My office was in the basement of the Ag building. Room 8 and my advisor was KJ Reddy.
 
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