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HateHumminbird

Lonelier Toms

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HateHumminbird

Monday morning marked the first time this season that I've seen the hens WITHOUT gobblers at a particular property I'm watching. It was early, about 6:30 and 5 hens were down on the gravel picking away, with their gobblers nowhere to be found.

Where were the toms? This is a group I've been watching for months now, and rarely are the birds without one-another.

5-6 evenly-spaced gobbles across the hillside above me answered that question. That meant that even a few jakes were up there gobbling away as well. When I headed back through on my return trip from work, I stopped the truck and heard gobbling in the same location within 5 minutes of flipping off the key.

Another property that same morning/night, I saw hens but no toms as well. However, the next morning, I did hear some yelping mixed in with gobbles. It's different everywhere, even a mile down the road. That said, I'm expecting hens will be spending more and more time nesting as the days go by.

Away for the weekend and things changed a bit. Hopefully it means that we'll all be working some lonely gobblers in time. It seems a tad-bit early to me, but the weather has been warmer than average, and in my neck of the woods, that shot of rain really greened things up!

One of my best friends just got work he'll be heading to Iraq, so he's coming home to spend a week with family and friends. Being on-leave from a base, he get's a free turkey tag. I'll be spending the early part of next week trying to help notch his tag (if his wife lets him get out), as he doesn't turkey hunt much. Then I'll be heading to WI for a 5-day hunt in some truly godforsaken country! smile.gif

Joel

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Cooter

I know last week on Wed I found a lone tom on the roost that cooperated and then 3 on Thurs the same spot alone. My uncles brother-in-law hunted last Wed - on Tues he sat in his blind just to scout. He had so many toms and hens in the area he had to sit til 11am to leave without spooking them. Come Wed morning all the hens were around but only one tom and he was struttin by himself about 300 yards away. Talk about a day to day change!

Plus, last night we were planting some trees and saw and heard numerous hens. Right after flyup time I let loose with some yelps and cuts and no response. Not to say there was no tom in the area but that would be a likely conclusion. 2 more weeks til my second season rolls around grin.gif

On a side note, not only have I always liked the 4th(this week) and 5th seasons in WI because the birds seem less henned up but its so much nicer to move and setup on birds now with some foliage in the woods.

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Powerstroke

Joel I found a nest last wed that had 8-10 eggs in it already. Thats almost a full nest. Depending on the bird density in your area, there could be some very lonely toms. I saw way more males than females during my week of hunting.

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Scorp1

Hey Guys,

I hunt in permit 420 and I got drown for Season H the last

possible season. With this nice weather in all and some of the henns already nesting how will this affect my hunt.

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Powerstroke

hard to say. Usually the last week or two is more about location and less about calling. Since breeding is winding down, toms seem less receptive to calling since they have been without some breeding for a week or more. Sometimes you find a tom that wants to make it last as long as possible. Its all in feeling out the birds and seeing what they like.

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Greybeard53

Scorp1,

Early season Tom's have one set of distractions; mainly too many receptive hens. Later season Toms have other distractions; such as bad experiences with hunters earlier in the season, or perhaps they got pounded by a dominant Tom one too many times. One common link though, is that Tom's are almost always interested in a receptive hen. It's true MOST of the hens will be nesting and unreceptive, but not all. With fewer hens around, Toms tend to expand their territories a bit in search of those hens that are still receptive. Probably a bigger factor than the weather will be the hunting pressure previous to your season.

In my opinion, Powerstrokes comment about location and calling applies more to fall seasons. I'm only basing this on my own experience, but in the late spring seasons, since the birds don't rely as much on specific strutting locations and tend to travel more, so do I. I tend to run and gun a little more in search of a gobbler. The extra foliage makes that easier to do. Once I locate a Tom, calling can be just as effective as early seasons.

Just my opinion, so take it only as that. I've hunted turkeys for enough years now to know that I don't know nearly enough. Guess that's why I'm still after them.

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HateHumminbird

Grey:

I'm in definite agreement. I end up hunting quite a bit the late season, esp. with the advent of the bow-tag, and those birds can be real roamers.

However, even in situations when they're not, I'm the same as you in that I love to take advantage of the green-up with all the cover and sound-protection it offers you. Your step is lighter, your mistakes in distancing gobbles can be greater, and quite honestly, at times the birds can be more receptive in the later seasons than all year to calling.

In areas with more depressed populations, where a handful of toms do all the breeding, sometimes those birds can be on the verge of death, and quite simply, can't chase every yelp in the woods. In MN, and areas most of us hunt, I think there's more than enough 2-3 yr olds, let alone jakes, that have been waiting for their turn for quite some time.

Untouched or lightly hunted land in the late season, public or private, is a real premium due to pressure, as already mentioned. Here is where you'll find the ranks of gobblers ready in the waiting that were either subordinates or dominant birds that bred unfettered and aren't spooky. While it's diffucult for me to do, I put a couple properties on-ice for much of the gun season, so I can give the bow-guys better cracks at birds. There's a few places that are so good for turkeys, year-in and year-out, that I won't even mushroom hunt out there. The first people they see, if they see me, should be the last.

Joel

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