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Gofishleech

area 349????

12 posts in this topic

I am going on my first ever turkey hunt in area 349. Going with a friend that has been there before. I was conserned about the very high quota. Is this good or not-so. The number is much higher then most area's. No big deal it will still be fun just looking opinons.

Also how is the deer hunting in this area? I hunt north woods and was wanting to do a little scouting for some southern mn bowhunting spots.

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349 is a Jekyll/Hyde zone.

I've hunted it twice before with mixed results. It is in arguably the very best habitat that MN has to offer, with perhaps the most birds in any permit area. It's a large zone as well. The convergence of all these points equals high permit availability. Obtaining permission to hunt the private property in this region, while not easy, isn't difficult either; with many landowners that I ran across eager to let you hunt the birds so long as you were respectful of their farms/operations. Couple high permit availability/applicant-success with the other factors and willing landowners, and you also have high hunting pressure.

That said, I think alot depends on where you're hunting (if it will be hunted before you), and what time period you drew. Even with worst case scenario, there's plenty of ways to kill pressured birds that aren't as willing to gobble.

It might however, take a bit more work on your part in terms of scouting. If it's for my bird, I like to "pre-hunt" late season or spooky birds, just as one would pre-fish a bass or walleye tournament. I go out there (WITHOUT MY CALLS), listen, observe, and learn. Glass fields, possible strut zones, and open valleys to look for travel routes and patterns, and try to figure out pinpoint roost locations. Most hunters are doing this as they "hunt" anyway, with the negative effects of spooking to go along with it.

As for the bowhunting, folks are quite a bit more protective down there of their deer hunting smile.gif But yes, it's incredible.

Joel

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Let me know if you need a sweet cabin to stay in with access to Turkeys just outside the door.

I'll be down for the 349C weekend. Isolating them in smaller woods seemed to work the best for us down there. The larger woods and valleys seem to offer to many options for them to escape. grin.gif

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My group drew 349A this year and I was curious about the cabin offer you mentioned. Would you care to give me some info on the cabin please and how many acres it sits on?

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Congratulations.

349A is a premium tag!

Joel

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That's what I've been told, I can't wait!!!

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Thanks for the info jnelson and the cabin offer outdoornut. I will be there for the B season. I will be bringing my son with who is in a wheel chair. I assume it will be chalanging to get him on a bird. He will be in blind. I have seen it done many times on TV but im sure its not that easy. Have any of you used a blind with any success? The buddy im going with has permission on a couple of farms and a house to stay in. The only thing in question is the accessability of the cabin but I will be checking that soon. We may have to stay in motel which I am told is 1/2 hour away.

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Leech:

Kudos to you for getting your son out there hunting these birds. He'll have a blast!

I use a blind almost exclusively with younger hunters and/or older folks that I've taken out over the years. Movement is concealed and should the weather turn a bit south, you have a bit of cover on your side as well.

As for putting him on birds, the challenge will be in finding the right setups and locations, perhaps not so much the hunting. I'd say that a good portion of Minnesota turkey hunters hunt in a stationary manner, more relating to daily patterns and typical movements of turkeys. This is a phenomenal way to kill a turkey, depending upon the quality of the funnel or travel corridor one might be hunting.

Start looking at aerial photos right now of the farms you will be hunting. NorthStar Mapper is a free online GIS program that you can use to view updated color aerial photos for all of Minnesota. Updated imagery to Google Earth provides some good looks as well for much of MN. Both will require high-speed internet connections.

I'd be looking for smaller, out of the way openings that turkeys might frequent at all times of the day. These areas will not be visible by any road (the Google Earth 3D function is great for this), and they won't be too far away from good roost locations (high ridges, points, with groves of good oaks). I personally am a fan of the high-hillside hayfields in this zone. Contour strip farming that goes on down there provides many hayfields on benches just below the top of the ridge. You could also focus on small hayfields/cornfields that extend out to a point of a ridge. These spots are classic strut zones.

See if you can get permission to drive into the field for easy/quick setup. With a spot just below the ridge, be careful about bumping roosted birds (put them to bed if possible), and if you do drive out there, make sure to do it EARLY, and park the truck back down at the bottom of the hill out of sight. Birds will spook from the truck. Drive a tractor right past a flock of them, but the shine from a parked truck flips them out at 300yds. A spot like this might be worth sitting all day in.

I would love to borrow you my DoubleBull, but my period is "B" as well. Feel free to set it up in the wide open, and use this to your advantage. If birds are roosted nearby, you won't be able to walk into the middle of the field, but if setting up just above them and out of sight, setup so that you'll be covering a max. amount of open area with the gun.

Never lose hope and confidence. Your luck turns on a dime out there; going from not a peep in the woods, to worried about being surrounded and evicted from the property by turkeys. This is what makes those morning so magical.

Good luck, and let me know how I can help.

Joel

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Thanks much jnelson, very helpfull info!! We have 2 double-bulls and looking forward to useing them on the southern birds. I hope all this snow were getting is gone by the time we go scouting.

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Outdoornut: We also have a group going down and have been asked to gather some information on the cabin you mention.

Thanks.

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Check back a page for my email and send me a note, I'll get you the info.

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