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Clueless1

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Brad Eden
7 hours ago, Clueless1 said:

Illegal to stalk in PA.  It really wouldn't matter since I have so little experience on turkeys I would completely screw it up anyway.  I did find out there were some gobblers in one field I never made it to Saturday.  I will be there a couple times this week early before work.  Until 7-7:15.

 

Have to ask.  Sunrise at 6:15 this week.  What time should I be there, what time do they fly down?  Was thinking set up by 6 gives me an hour.  Will that work?

 

Illegal? Wow.

 

Generally gobblers will gobble on the roost on their own any time from an hour before sunrise until sunrise and after. But that's generally depending on a load of factors. In Maine legal hours are 1/2 hr before sunrise to 1/2 hr after sunset. So If doing the early morning thing I'll try and get to a listening spot 1 hour before sunrise or 1/2 hr before legal time. If nothing gobbles in its own I do Owl locator calls starting at just before legal and before they might fly down. The gobbles are louder and easier to get a line on when they are in trees as opposed to on the ground.

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Clueless1

In spring, I'm pretty sure.  Gotta remember the hunter density in PA.  Thanks Brad.

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Brad Eden
2 hours ago, Clueless1 said:

In spring, I'm pretty sure.  Gotta remember the hunter density in PA.  Thanks Brad.

 

OK, I always forget the regional angle. I rarely run into any other turkey hunters in either the Maine spring or fall season. Maine biologists actually reported they need more turkeys killed and not enough Maine hunters hunt them. We are a deer hunter state and although many deer hunters I know tried turkey hunting, it never took. If the population stays robust I'm guessing the MEIF&W will be increasing the limits which are now 2 bearded birds in Spring and 2 of either sex in Fall. They have repopulated in almost the whole state save for the furthest north areas.

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salmontogue
2 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

 

OK, I always forget the regional angle. I rarely run into any other turkey hunters in either the Maine spring or fall season. Maine biologists actually reported they need more turkeys killed and not enough Maine hunters hunt them. We are a deer hunter state and although many deer hunters I know tried turkey hunting, it never took. If the population stays robust I'm guessing the MEIF&W will be increasing the limits which are now 2 bearded birds in Spring and 2 of either sex in Fall. They have repopulated in almost the whole state save for the furthest north areas.

 

I very seldom see other bird hunters, upland, waterfowl or turkey.  We have three distinct flocks of turkeys traverse our fields most everyday with a combined total of nearly one hundred fifty birds.  I know of only three other turkey hunters.  In the fall, there are rafts of ducks and geese here that are seldom hunted.  I see three young women who hunt together and two older gentlemen who hunt singly.  Most any upland bird hunters with dogs are from out of state.  Sadly, the majority of deer hunters travel the roads in their pickups.  Once you leave the major logging roads, hunters are scarce.

 

Perk

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kgb
6 hours ago, Clueless1 said:

In spring, I'm pretty sure.  Gotta remember the hunter density in PA.  Thanks Brad.

 

I didn't mean to state for the State that stalking wasn't done by common agreement, but thought it was illegal for the Spring and allowed in the Fall.   From what a friend told me, if a hunter were to creep toward the sound of a Spring "turkey" putting or gobbling in Missouri it wouldn't take long for someone to get pattern tested. 

 

The practice of an orange band around the tree you're sitting under might be required in some states and sounds like a good idea for spring hunting anywhere.  

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Clueless1

I did check, stalking illegal in PA in spring.  Did not find an orange requirement for spring.  There are also a few other rules that probably are not on the books elsewhere. 

Cannot pull in brush to make a blind, in fact cannot alter the landscape such as to make a 'natural blind'. 

Any blind must cover 360 degrees and have a roof, such that your head is not exposed.  From a post on another site from a retired PA CO, he is under the impression that one cannot even 'brush in' a blind. 

So any type of burlap or camo that is knee high or waist high that I've seen people carry to throw up quickly would be illegal as it doesn't cover the head. 

 

Those are my understandings based on reading yesterday.  I'm not sure how they could actually prosecute brushing in a blind as I could make a few arguments that at least make sense in my mind, but knowing that CO's interpretation I'm not going to push it.  There may be others with actual turkey hunting experience in PA that may be able to say how things actually work.

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Clueless1

Decoys question now.  I have a cheap foam jake and a cheap foam hen.  Does teh quality of decoy matter?  I have read some say yes and some say no.  What to put out when too?  My calling has been getting much better. 

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Coalman

In my experience I have not found one gobbler who knew the difference between a $20 and $150 decoy.

We give them way to much credit.

 

I have two cheap foam Featherflex hen decoys. They have performed well over the years.

 

Saturday's double. Note Henrietta on the right. The other is off frame to the left.

 

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Brad Eden

You can shoot the mighty ruffed grouse with a single shot hammer H&R 12 gauge with a full choke and 30 inch barrel too. But they aren't as nice to look at as a decent double gun and an AvianX deke... ;)

 

I get your point Dave, and agree we largely give gobblers too much credit. But I do give credit to the no less than three I worked this morning, well, "worked" is stretching it as they weren't even luke warm.

 

As far as decoys there have been times when I was watching a flock in a field in the sun and couldn't help but think small black plastic garbage bags staked to the ground would look startlingly like those shiny birds. I've had a few different decoys from cheap to my current AvianX hen. They all work, I just like the aesthetic of a lifelike well designed decoy. (I also have a half strut Jake can't remember maker, but it's very realistic. But it's big and bulky and I rarely use it unless Im hunting with a bow, since those are deadly in getting a Gobbler in close.)

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OKhunter
2 hours ago, Clueless1 said:

Decoys question now.  I have a cheap foam jake and a cheap foam hen.  Does teh quality of decoy matter?  I have read some say yes and some say no.  What to put out when too?  My calling has been getting much better. 

 

Whether or not decoy quality matters depends on what kind of interaction with the birds you want.  For example, if you are hunting with a shotgun and once the bird gets within range you shoot it, then just about any decoy will work.  If you are trying to get the birds to come within 10 yards consistently and be completely distracted allowing you to draw a bow, then I think decoy realism definitely matters.  Growing up I used cheap decoys and the birds would come in and leave shortly thereafter, sometimes hens would look and just leave.  Now that I am using really nice decoys it isn't uncommon for birds to stick around for several hours in the decoys a few yards from my blind.  Below is a video from several years back that shows why I use very realistic decoys.

 

Turkey Interaction with decoys

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Clueless1

Well, I haven't shot a turkey in my life yet.  As soon as a legal bird gets in range of a shotgun I'm shooting.  Plus, I have had the alarm set for 4 mornings so far, and only made it out once at 7am after turning off the alarm and waking up on my own at 6.  Don't know what it is, for deer I get up before the alarm and dressed and out.  For turkey I get up before the alarm and turn it off.  I want to be passionate about it, if that makes sense :/ 

For now I will stick with the cheap foam, and if I get one and begin to get more into it will upgrade. 

 

Thanks all. 

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Brad Eden
8 minutes ago, OKhunter said:

 

Whether or not decoy quality matters depends on what kind of interaction with the birds you want.  For example, if you are hunting with a shotgun and once the bird gets within range you shoot it, then just about any decoy will work.  If you are trying to get the birds to come within 10 yards consistently and be completely distracted allowing you to draw a bow, then I think decoy realism definitely matters.  Growing up I used cheap decoys and the birds would come in and leave shortly thereafter, sometimes hens would look and just leave.  Now that I am using really nice decoys it isn't uncommon for birds to stick around for several hours in the decoys a few yards from my blind.  Below is a video from several years back that shows why I use very realistic decoys.

 

Turkey Interaction with decoys

 

Good post and video. Thanks for posting. The Jake deke in your video is the same style/position as the one I have and exactly the same as Member Mike Stenstrom has. He's almost 100% traditional bow for turkeys now and I'm pretty sure uses that Jake and a hen for most all his up close set ups. 

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OKhunter
2 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

 

Good post and video. Thanks for posting. The Jake deke in your video is the same style/position as the one I have and exactly the same as Member Mike Stenstrom has. He's almost 100% traditional bow for turkeys now and I'm pretty sure uses that Jake and a hen for most all his up close set ups. 

 

Thanks, glad I can help a little. 

 

There have probably been a lot of turkeys shot (by myself, dad, Granee, Granddad, and a couple friends) over those 2 decoys in the last 8 years and all but 2 have been shot at less than 20 yards.  They have worked so well for me that my Granddad, who hardly spends any money, bought the Jake and Hen a few years back.  They can be a hassle to carry if you have to walk far, but most of the time it is worth it.

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Brad Eden

IMG_0286.JPG

 

Hen deke right out of the box.

 

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Same hen decoy a couple days ago. Tom and Jake down compliments of my friend Scott and his daughter Chelsea. I acted as "guide and caller" and could have shot the last two Jakes if I was inclined. We were caught a tad unaware just after flydown by a Gobbler going off pretty close. Had to scramble to set up and place the decoy. (I'm not a fan of putting a decoy in the wide open, and typically set them next to an edge or a stonewall etc., but had no time) After I placed it I saw it was spinning like a top due to gusty winds. I ran back out to put a stick in the ground near it to stop the spin, but the bird went off again and it was real close so scrambled back to my tree. That Gobbler never showed but 3 Jakes and a strutting small 2 year old Tom marched in silent and to our surprise to our left right to the decoy. I hissed to Chelsea to take the strutter when they separated. She did and her father took a Jake. The other two didn't want to leave their fallen comrades until we got bored with them and got up.

 

 

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