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Roost Questions

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I finally found where some birds are roosting. I found about five or six turkeys in the trees this morning. I set up about 30 yards away from thier roost but when they flew down, they all flew down in different directions. I stayed for a couple hours after their fly down and didn't hear as much as a gobble. They were gobbling their heads off on the roost but once they flew down I didn't hear a thing.

Now the questions:

Do I have to find where they fly down to, and then hunt them from there?

When do gobblers go back to their roosting trees?

How should I find them if they're gobbling on the roost but silent once they leave?

Any insight is appreciated by a frusterated hunter confused.gif

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Sounds to me like you were too close.

I am sure they had you spotted when you came in. This could explain why they clamed up when they flew down.

I, generally, try to set-up no closer than 100 yards from the roost, and to me this depends on the terrain. I open country 100 yards is still too close.

Just my .02

DL

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Like woody, I'm in agreeance that you were probably too close. What's surprising is that they'd gobble at all? I've been too close on numerous occasions, but only once did they continue to gobble before flying down the other direction.

If you did any calling that close, most likely they scrutinized the location of the calling and either picked you off, or realized that there was no hen in that spot, and moved on.

As woody stated, I would venture no-closer than 100 yards (maybe 75 with full vegetation and good cover?), put your back against a good tree with an open space in front of you. Thinking ahead, and knowing thy land, as well as what their typical patterns are will help greatly. Many times, the birds will fly down and work their way to a strutting/feeding area. If you set up in between, your odds just got alot better. Another good route is to use a barrier or obstactle such as a large creek, brusy fenceline, or ultra-thick cover as a "block" right off of the roost. Eliminating areas they won't venture into brings them closer into range for you.

My records show that myself or the people I'm taking out kill 1 of 5 birds we roost well, meaning if I know exactly where he is, and there's a good setup to be had (sometimes there isn't), we're still only successful 20% of the time. Lesson here is don't despair. These birds are difficult to kill, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Quote:

When do gobblers go back to their roosting trees?


Depending on weather/cloud cover, it's usually about sunset or slightly thereafter. However, I find a better way to hunt them in the afternoon is to locate gathering areas they like to loaf in the hours previous to going up to roost. They're more likely to respond to calling here as they've got some time before they head up to roost. If they're roosting on a ridge, this is usually a hillside "bench" or field below the ridge.

Quote:

How should I find them if they're gobbling on the roost but silent once they leave?


That's the million-dollar question, with a very complicated answer. It's a tough task to locate birds that make themselves scarce, and don't react (vocally) to calling. I try to cover more ground, while slowing down all at the same time. I rely heavily on my scouting and hit areas of known popularity amongst local birds, and slow down my hunting sets. 30 minutes per calling spot, 20 min at a minimum, esp. if it's a birdy-area. I make bigger moves between spots, and often times, abandon properties altogether in the hopes of more willing birds on different properties. I call sparingly per-spot.

When the woods are quiet, often-times birds are still responding to your calling, they're just not doing it vocally. Train yourself to be still, as these are the days when the gobbler you never heard is suddenly 20 yards to your left in full strut.

Good luck out there, you're close and are in the game being so close to those roosted birds. Back off a bit, and try to put yourself between the roost location and where the birds are likely to work towards. The best callers in the world make that call from a location that the turkeys already want to be.

Joel

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I also agree with the Woody and Joel. I've only taken one bird that I've been inside of 75 yards on and there was heavy vegatation and darkness on my side. Roosted ain't roasted!

I've hunted silent birds alot this spring. You're relying on your scouting before and during your season to give you the confidence to stay put or make the right move. Half the days I hunted I never heard a gobble this spring. The other days I had some early gobbling followed by silence. Yet we managed to harvest a few birds and see many.

Look for spots that gobblers either travel frequently or end up for long periods of time. In most cases you'll be looking for travel cooridors/funnels or strut zones.

Good Luck!

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