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Fall turkey tips/tactics

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I recieved my permit 2day in the mail, not sure if I'm goin with a gun or bow yet, but wanted to know how you hunt these fall birds. I've done alright in the spring but am yet to get within 100yds of em in the fall. Basically from what I've heard is you pretty much just hope its your lucky day & your in the path of there next food stop. Any help would be great. Thx smirk.gif

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Congratulations on drawing a permit! At times, the fall permit can be difficult to obtain, esp. if it's a first-season tag. That said, the 2nd season hunt is about the same, and I almost prefer it.

First off, I'll make a shameless plug to attend my seminar at the Lakeville Gander, on Monday October 15th, at 7PM. I'll be going over what I talk about here in much more detail, give alot more examples, and answer whatever questions I can.

You are correct in your statement regarding food being of primary interest. Food sources however dwindle as the hard killing frosts start taking out grasshoppers and tender green shoots. Also, many of the edible berries have either fallen or been covered up, or are higher in trees that are more difficult for turkeys to feed on.

However, luck has only a small part to play, as fall birds can be quite predictable. This brings scouting into the equation. Even moreso than the spring hunt, scouting is vital to success.

In the spring, toms are responding to sexual stimuli almost exclusively, and hens in many instances are put off by it except during peak breeding. The net result is toms wandering near and far in search of a harem of hens willing either to breed, or tolerate their presnece until ready to breed. In the fall, all birds are on the same page in trying to build up fat stores for the winter. It just so happens, there are a number of field and mast crops that have reached maturity.

I've watched two toms and several hens in separate groups near my house take the identical path down a large hill, through beans, and onto my land where they spend a large portion of their day. At night, they climb the hill once more to roost. 10 to 1 odds they've found the patch of wild plums that grows not 200 yards from where I see them twice daily, and heavily feed on the great grasshopper crop on their way through the beans/grass. Will they be there come hunting season? Doubt it.

While they're very predictable in the fall, they are directly tied to favorite food sources. With hard frosts, and farmers picking crops, you need to be constantly scouting to monitor them and pick up on the switch that will happen.

I liken it to a story about my brother. He's a goose guide that's had quite a few great fall seasons. Two of them in particular stand out away from all others by far. They were the years he broke his foot, and the year he had surgery on his hand. Why you may ask? Because he had nothing better to do those fall days but scout.

It's the same with fall turkeys. Know thy turkey, and know thy land.


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Great info thanx alot hopefully I'll find a way to get to your sem. Thanx again

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Stillhunting through areas you know they feed in can be a great way to get your fall bird. Just remember, their eyesight and hearing put a whitetail to shame, so go SLOW & QUIET.

My most successful hunts have been when I can find a roost area. As jnelson mentioned, fall birds are pretty much in a routine. Find a roost area and wait them out in the evenings. Or if you know where some have already roosted, wait till after dark and slip in quietly and put up a blind right in the middle of them, or near them if you have a good idea where they may head in the morning. Then get in early, before first light and wait for the show.

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