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Brad Eden

Maine Fall Turkey Season

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Brad Eden
4 hours ago, Randy S said:

I think the split them up and call 'em back was just a "Woodland Myth" perpetuated by outdoor writers. In Iowa's first fall season I tried that routine on several flocks. It only took a couple of efforts to realize that no matter how close I got they were already reassembled before I got situated to call them back. Considering that I was in shotgun range when I went yelling after them I decided to just pick out a bird and shoot it. 

 

Fall turkey have always been meat hunt diversion while chasing other upland birds, but I still feel a little pride when I sling one over my shoulder. I don't know if it's the poundage or just realizing there are very few hunters who even try. I think of them as eastern sage grouse. 

As I mentioned I can't get a good scatter either. But the few times I did, setting  up in the "hub of the wheel" and doing basic yelps was highly effective. Them turkeys are a gregarious bird and hate to be alone. I think using a dog to rush and scatter them like they do down south must be very effective.  I agree on the meat hunt diversion for Fall Turkeys. I'm gonna head out in a spell to do my morning PO Box and errand run, and will take the long way around in hopes of spying some turkeys that can be snuck on or intercepted...Might even take a small poult and pluck and brine and smoke like a chicken!

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Treerooster

I have scattered turkeys and called them back in. I like that over sneaking, intercepting l, or just blind calling. It's just more fun for me as the birds have more reaction to my calling.

 

Agree with Brad tho that it's hard to get a good scatter without a dog. I have done it, but it is easier if the birds are roosted. I wait until dark (either predawn or after dusk) and scatter them from the trees.

 

I have a buddy (in Wis so it's not just a southern thing) that has turkey dogs. He kills a bunch of turkeys every fall with his T dogs (Viszlas) and prefers the fall hunt over spring because of the dog work.

 

My PP is a good turkey scatterer. He will point upland birds fine but when he hits hot turkey scent look out. He starts barking on the hot scent and doesn't stop until he finds the flock and scatters them (I did encourage the behavior). He will even go to a tree they landed in and bark up the tree until they fly. I don't use him to hunt turkeys much, but in Wis if we run into a flock I always have a mouth call with me...and a turkey tag.

 

The scatter method for fall turkey hunting is not done for the efficiency, it's done for the experience IMO. Calling turkeys in, for some hunters is where it is at. I would compare it to pass shooting ducks or decoying them. Both methods can result in dead ducks but decoying is much more involved and a LOT more pleasing for some hunters. Much more interaction with the game you are after, and I will add more knowledge is required too. Which I think is part of the rewarding experience. Throw a dog into the hunt and we all know how that can make a hunt much more rewarding.

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BBlizzard18

My fall turkey hunting consists of me losing a couple arrows from my deer stand...

 

My pup had a nice point a couple weeks ago, then relocated and pointed again...I was thinking grouse, I walked in to flush and a hen turkey took off.  That was a first.  

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Cooter Brown
11 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

As I mentioned I can't get a good scatter either. But the few times I did, setting  up in the "hub of the wheel" and doing basic yelps was highly effective. Them turkeys are a gregarious bird and hate to be alone. I think using a dog to rush and scatter them like they do down south must be very effective.  I agree on the meat hunt diversion for Fall Turkeys. I'm gonna head out in a spell to do my morning PO Box and errand run, and will take the long way around in hopes of spying some turkeys that can be snuck on or intercepted...Might even take a small poult and pluck and brine and smoke like a chicken!

I thought you used your springer to hunt them in the fall?  Or are the ones you've killed with them incidental to grouse/woodcock?

 

Is it a range thing with respect to using your dogs to scatter the birds?

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Brad Eden
9 hours ago, Cooter Brown said:

I thought you used your springer to hunt them in the fall?  Or are the ones you've killed with them incidental to grouse/woodcock?

 

Is it a range thing with respect to using your dogs to scatter the birds?

IMG_0043.JPGIMG_0371.JPG

 

Incidental while gunning grouse and Woodcock. I don't advise to wingshoot turkeys although a romantic notion for Upland hunters who don't actively pursue wild turkeys. They are armor clad and if you don't hit the head they will likely fly to the next country and won't be recovered. I could probably use Cash to scatter but I don't want him concentrating on wild turkeys. Pretty basic concept, spot a flock rototilling through the woods; let loose the hound, that runs into the flock and they fly in all different directions; set up at center of scatter, hunker down, with dog, some people cover the dog with a tarp or something; do some gathering calls/kee kee/lost hen yelps, and sit and wait for the bobbing heads to appear as they gather back up. Boom, boom, boom.

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Cooter Brown

I guess I forgot you were shooting some of those on the wing.

 

My only exposure to it is from the American Gundog show, the one with the fellow Harley.  What they did was pretty much as you described.  I think they were using a pointer/hound mix that gave tongue when it busted a flock, so they could find it.  The hunter would then go to the where the dog had found the birds and call to regroup them.  They actually put the dog in a black tow sack while trying to call the birds in.  Your dogs might not stand for that!

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Brad Eden

IMG_1249.JPG

 

Another dead critter Inspection...A good sized Tom; 17 pounds, 10" spindly beard and 1" Spurs. Won't taste as good as a Poult or small immature hen, which is frankly what I am after to try brining and smoking. In my morning travels, I spotted a large flock of birds pecking about a small overgrown Field that hadn't seen its second haying. Loads of blueish white hen heads and a few red heads bobbing above the grass. Watch them for a spell, then park out of sight. Creep, creep, to within 50 yards along woodline, undetected. Do some mouth yelps using my own vocal chords and sounded like a strangled frog. Some broke off and started my way slowly. The first to be in range was this one. They all flushed and ran at the shot so I couldn't double up.

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Brad Eden

IMG_1256.JPG

 

We couldnt resist a heel and a sneak on a group of birds spotted on the way to our first short grouse hunt. (Had second cortisone shot in knee this morning and maybe, just maybe, this one took). This is it for me, really feel like I should be shooting hens and not a Tom and a Jake to ensure a good spring Gobbler hunt. But the opportunity was too prime to pass and try and pull it off with Cash. One taken with a little wind beneath its wings, the other ground pounded. No grouse were abused on our cover hop after this double.

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Tim Frazier

Couple of Octobers ago I did the sneak thing on a flock of 20 some birds.  Took the first close bird and the others just ran around while I stood over the dead one.  Certainly could have shot another, maybe more.  I try to be gentle on them since there on "our" property but none the less that flock has been single digits for 2 years now so likely shooting more than one would not make a difference.  I think the baiting of deer around here has really affected our turkey numbers but that's nothing I'm going to change.  Maybe this will be a good winter and maybe thinning my "flock" of 6 coyotes will help a little!

 

 

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Brad Eden

IMG_1260.JPG

 

This should be it. 18 lb Tom. Bachelor group came into a quick woods set up to yelps after I spied them off a side road on errand run this morning.  I have one more tag but this 5 bird Fall limit is overkill. Hadn't planned on taking any more with grouse and Woodcock now in full swing, but my daughter took home some wild turkey after a visit this weekend: I'm supplying my turkey hunting buddy Scott some wild turkey, since he hasn't been able to hunt this fall; and always gift some wild turkey to my Springer breeder and friends who want to try it.. So it won't go to waste and I want to smoke, as in cook, a couple more breast on bone birds. Maybe one for Thanksgiving. 

 

 

 

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WMassGriff
On 9/30/2019 at 6:57 PM, Brad Eden said:

IMG_1256.JPG

 

We couldnt resist a heel and a sneak on a group of birds spotted on the way to our first short grouse hunt. (Had second cortisone shot in knee this morning and maybe, just maybe, this one took). This is it for me, really feel like I should be shooting hens and not a Tom and a Jake to ensure a good spring Gobbler hunt. But the opportunity was too prime to pass and try and pull it off with Cash. One taken with a little wind beneath its wings, the other ground pounded. No grouse were abused on our cover hop after this double.

Whatcha take them with, especially the one on the wing? Very impressed!

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Brad Eden
2 hours ago, WMassGriff said:

Whatcha take them with, especially the one on the wing? Very impressed!

My 28 gauge RL bird gun stayed in the truck when we spied the bachelor group of wild turkeys. Grabbed the 20 gauge HeviShot dedicated 870. Synthetic camo, fiber optic open sights, HeviShot turkey choke. 3" "Magnum Blend" HeviShot loads. That's my everyday 'shootem  in the head on the ground' turkey shotgun. Dont be too impressed. It was a lumbering bird taking flight from a maniacal spaniel flush. 

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WMassGriff
2 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

My 28 gauge RL bird gun stayed in the truck when we spied the bachelor group of wild turkeys. Grabbed the 20 gauge HeviShot dedicated 870. Synthetic camo, fiber optic open sights, HeviShot turkey choke. 3" "Magnum Blend" HeviShot loads. That's my everyday 'shootem  in the head on the ground' turkey shotgun. Dont be too impressed. It was a lumbering bird taking flight from a maniacal spaniel flush. 

Yes but that's like shooting a rifle at a moving target. (Of course I assume that you made a head shot!!)

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