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deerfishin

New to turkey hunting have a few ???

18 posts in this topic

I just got drawn for my first turky liscence. I wondering what would be my best option for calls. I bought a few diaphram calls last year to play around with and can make noise out of them but dont kno if they r the right noises. If someone has a lil advice for me it would b great. Also do u think a decoy is the way to go, and is a blind a must? Thanks for any feed back

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deerfishin,

You have some excellent questions. All will bring you many answers, possibly. One thing to remember when turkey hunting is that every time you turkey hunt there is a good chance that it will be different from the last one.

These are my opinions on your questions:

Best option for calls: I truly like the freedom the diaphragm call gives. It allows you to have both hands on your gun. However, I've had many times where other calls have had better responses. Don't always think that the sweetest sounding calls are the best. Sometimes, rough, raspy calls will be better. You've accomplished the first step in making sounds. Now, get yourself a cd to listen to other hunters giving instruction. I have one from Primos that came with a set of mouth calls and I feel it does a great job teaching how to.

Decoys can be very useful in certain situations. I often use just two decoys. One hen and one jake decoy usually captures the interest of the local toms. I usually point the head of the jake toward the hen so it looks like the jake is interested in her. One thing to consider is to never point your decoys so they are looking at you. The first thing the real bird is going to do is look at what they're looking at.

I feel a blind can be beneficial at times, especially when bowhunting. Almost a given when bowhunting, actually. I don't use a blind personally, because I hunt large areas of land and tend to move accordingly. I do have some camo netting with sticks that stick into the ground. That way I can cover up the bottom part of me anyway.

I hope to read what others think as I'm sure you'll get other different opinions.

As I stated earlier, every hunt is a little different in its own fun way.

Good luck,

MJ

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Even the push button has called in several Birds for me.

Don't think its over just cause you didn't see or hear them early in the morning, keep trying sometimes you get them a little later.

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Like MJCatfish said, great questions and you are sure to get a ton of good advice.

Calls: I am pretty much a diaphragm guy, although I have found that carrying a slate/box call is a must (sometimes they just don't like a certain sound). I also bring along a duck call, some people use owls, to try and locate them once they stop calling. It's pretty neat to hear a tom gobble at a mallard.

Decoys: I use 3, 2 hens and a jake....one of the hens being a feeder. To me it makes the feeding hen look uninterested in the jake, hopefully making the tom think he has a chance. MJCatfish is right, don't point them at you! I have been busted one time from that and I never did it again.

Blinds: I have never used a blind, mainly because I have yet to bowhunt for them. I prefer to sit directly on the ground (with a pad) with my back to a tree. A lot of times I'm runnin and gun (so-to-speak) and don't neccesarily have time to throw out a deke and set-up a blind. I may try one this year as I just got a new camcorder, but it'll depend on the hunt.

Turkey hunting is VERY addicting, so be careful grin.gif The first tom I saw on my first hunt a couple years ago came running in, stopped, let out a gobble and started running at as again. It was a pretty neat to see how excited he was over this "hot and heavy" hen......Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes.

Nate

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Wow already some good advice...thank you...Im hoping it is as addictive as u say but my girlfriend prolly duznt...between bowhunting whitetails and chasing walleyes almost all year long i dont kno if she can handle another one of my hobbies...non the less im pumped to try it out....again thanks alot guys

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Hey Deer....what area did you get drawn for?

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Definitely worth learning how to use a diaphram call. Like others say it leaves your hands free. It is my go to call and I have called in ten times more birds with mouth calls than any other. Box and slate calls are my next favorite.

Depending on where you are setting up and possible bird hang ups, decoys and blinds have there place. I have been turkey hunting for over twenty years and I use a decoy maybe 10-15% of the time. I am usually not in one place long enough and don't like carrying it around. I also like the tom to look for me and not be able spot the bird from way off. Toms naturally expect the hen to come to them. So if the tom can see the decoy, it can expect the decoy to see it struttin around and expect the decoy to come to him. There are times when I have used a dec and it made the difference. I like one hen and a jake. Then I might just go with the hen, depending on space. I usually put one at 20 yds and the other at 40 yds. Never have either straight on to me or with each other. I usually have on slightly left and the other slightly right. That way the incoming bird hopefully won't be staring straight at me for very long if at all.

Blinds I have not used much, up until this last spring. We had friends come down from the North shore last spring and I set up the blind and the decs in a crp field. Worked great and had jakes around the blind for over an hour on two different days. Turkeys do not seem to mind blinds in my short experience and from what others have told me.

Anyway, it is a great time to be out in the woods again. With a blind and some chairs you may even consider bringing the girlfriend out so she can experience what you love to do. Or not, we all need our sanctuaries.

Good luck!

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deerfishin just keep in mind if you don't master the diaphragm call that you can still call turkeys in. It is a great tool to have in your arsenal but there have been tons of birds shot over box calls, slate calls, crystal , glass, ect. Get something you have confidence in and practice. As far as using a blind if you are going to sit in one spot for a long period of time they can't be beat. You can get away with some movement plus sitting in a nice chair for six hours beats sitting against a tree any day of the week. One thing for sure is bring plenty of patience along. Guaranteed you will need it.

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As always, lots of good advice here. I would like to throw some of my thoughts in the mix. Everyone agrees a mouth call is a good idea, and it is, but don't get so caught up in it that you feel you need to master one. I used to use little else, but I now find myself reaching for a slate or box more often than not.

Running and gunning sounds like a good tactic, and it can be, IF you have lots of land to roam. Most of us don't. I prefer to sit in a good spot all day. I carry lots of stuff in to make myself comfortable, this includes a blind. I usually set up on the edge of a field. Believe me, I shoot lots of birds this way. You can put a blind anywhere and the birds won't care. If everything you see is in the middle of a big field, don't hesitate to set up right there.

I use decoys most of the time, unless the birds tell me they don't want to come near them. You can usually tell if this is the case in a pretty big hurry. I think decoys are especially usefull if you stay in one spot all day. Put them in the open where they can be seen from a long ways and you may not need to call at all. I disagree with the others who say don't point the decoys towards you. I bowhunt a lot and need that close shot. I have found that if you point the hen(s) towards you, a tom will want to get in front of her (closer to you, the hunter) so she can see the show he is puting on for her. Believe me guys, I've seen this work over and over again.

The other thing I believe in is, put as much time in as possible. We all want to go back home, or camp for a nap, breakfast, lunch, whatever, but the guys that will be carrying most of the birds home at the end of the day are doing it because they kept at it.

You are entering a very dangerous game of addiction, enjoy!

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deerfishin'

Last year was my first turkey season and I had a blast, learned alot, and darn near punched my tag. I had a hard time with diaphram/mouth calls and just couldn't get the hang of it. I mainly used the push button Primos call and called in a tom 3 seperate times, only to miss him 3x with my bow. You didn't say if you were bowhunting or not, but if you are, I'd definitely recommend using a blind. From everything I've read or heard from other guy's, wear black clothing in the blind, leave the window screen down (don't use it), and don't face your shooting window so the sun shines into the blind, making it easier for a turkey to see you in there. Turkeys are not blind shy from what I've seen/heard, so don't worry about your blind sticking out like a sore thumb. As far as decoys go, I'm not sure which way to go on that, need to do some more research and forum reading here. Go to the NWTF site and they have different turkey sounds on their site you can listen too and that will help you know if you're doing it right.

Good Luck!!!

Brian

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Calls-You have time now to work on a diaphragm, so see if you can get good at it. Check out these NWTF Turkey Calling Tips. They can help you learn what a real bird sounds like, so you can see if your noises are up to par. You could probably find a packaged deal of mouth calls, a slate, and a box call. You can get good on the slate and box. There is some really good stuff on internet pages about using those calls. I think I found a good video but didn't bookmark it last year on box calls. The guy just showed a ton of versatility in how he used that box. It was an artform...he covered all the angles on the lid, striking motions, how to get staccato notes...everything under the sun. Depending on when you hunt, your calling may not end up being that important. Find a killer spot by scouting and many times 3/4 of the work is done

Decoys: Depending on when you hunt, you can help yourself out with decoys. A jake and two hens is pretty common, some guys add a few more hens and recently there has been a lot of experimentation with toms. You don't have to go nuts with decoys, but they can help. I don't have a ton of experience with them so I'll leave this advice to others...or better yet page through a few turkey hunting books the next time you are at Barnes and Nobles or Borders or whatever.

Blinds: Unless you don't have a spot with good cover to break up your outline, you can probably get by without a blind. You said you got drawn, so I'm making the assumption you plan on hunting with a shotgun. Use good camo, break up your outline, and in the words of P.F.C. Gump's Sargeant, Dan Taylor, "Get Down! Shut up!"

Keep reading everything that you can and you can absorb enough of the turkey hunting culture to beat the odds and bag a bird your first time out.

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"Get Down! Shut up!"quote]

This might be the best advice yet, you cannot begin to understand how good they can see and hear untill you experience it yourself.

An oldtimer once told me "they can see you change your mind a hundred yards away"

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This is my first Turkey hunt as well. I'm so pumped. I'm kind of a gear junkie so I would like to pick your brains as to what kind of decoys you use. Now I know that sometimes no decoy is the best, but i like to be prepared if all else fails. Happy hunting.

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Any recommendations for call brands? Diaphragm and box?

Thanks

Dan

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I think all of the top brands are good. Fleet Farm will be stocking their shelves soon with their new line of turkey calls. I was in today and found a 3 pack of mouth calls and a cd packaged together for $4.00! I've paid more than that for just one mouth call. Of course, I bought all they had at that price.

Primos is my favorite, overall, but again, they are all good companies: Quaker Boy, HS Strut, Knight & Hale, etc.

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Just got back from another trip to Mille Lacs fishing was slow again. Its pretty cool to see how willing everyone is to hand out advice, i was gone for three days and i come back to two pages of great advice...thanks again and ill be zone 467 using some of the pointers ive gotten from here.

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Nice............I am so pumped that I am starting my scouting this weekend.Too early? Sure but any reason to be out in the woods is a good one I think?

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 Originally Posted By: Dano_the_jigasaurus
Any recommendations for call brands? Diaphragm and box?

Thanks

Dan

  • Diaphragm - Recommendations vary according to experience using mouth calls, as well as mouth shape/size. One you can do something about, the other, not so much. It's commonly suggested that single reed calls (one layer of latex in call) are much easier to blow than the double, or triple reeds, but better/softer latex can trump that advice. However, it still holds typically true that a single reed is easier to play on than a multiple reeded call with fancy cuts. That said, more advanced mouth call users should look towards these calls once you've learned to control your air flow and have put in your due diligence to practice.

    As for sizing? If this is your first foray into mouth calls, buy one or two mouth calls from one or two manufacturers. Trim the tape back so it's comfortable with a scissors. If it still feels too big to rest comfortably on your palate, look towards the youth or small palate sized calls. If the standard sizing seems fine, buy a few more calls from different mfrs. Find the brand that works best for you, then invest more in their calls. All in all, you'll probably end up with a few calls that work well, for about the same price as a nice box or custom slate call.

  • Box - I recommend single sided box calls for most beginners. One playing surface makes for less complication and difficulty. From there, it really depends on how you'll be using a box call and how proficient you are at your other calls. Personally, I use a box call to elicit gobbles from far distances by cutting or yelping hard on it. I also use it in windy or wide open conditions. For that, I'm looking for ultra high frequencies, and volume. The Primos 'Lil Heartbreaker is a stellar call for such tactics. For a first time hunter, not yet confident in their slate and/or diaphragm calls, I'd recomend something a bit more subdued. Something you can cluck and yelp more softly on, and something that isn't quite as loud. You can't go wrong with the old Lynch rubber-banded box calls for soft clucks and realistic quiet yelps.

So I guess it depends on your level of experience, what you'll be using the calls for, and most importantly, how much money the wife will let you spend \:\)

Joel

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