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Scott M

Scouting your 2008 hunt/Bird Activity Reports

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huntmup

Same thing is going on in Southwest MN. This past Saturday we watched a mixed flock of 6 longbeards and 27 hens feeding in the neighbors corn stubble.

Joel, thanks for sharing the pics. I was so fixed on all the birds with my binos, I didn't even think about the camera crazy.gif.

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bmc

My brother is in Hudson, WI and talked to his friend in Zone 19 where I hunted last year. His buddy saw a huge winter flock the other day, probably 40-50 birds he said. My brother drives from Hudson to Treasure Island for work and he's not seeing the big groups of turkeys he had been seeing all winter, looks like they're starting to disperse some. How long till May?????

Brian

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1runhotshot

2 Toms all puffed up like Volkswagens this am on the driveway as I pulled out.

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Write-Outdoor

I was down by Jordan/New Prague on Friday and saw a field full of turkeys. They were flocked up in mixed groups but there was some definite sparring going on. I was late to meet somebody for some ice fishing so I couldn't stop and watch but from what I saw there were some nice Toms out there and the Jakes were the ones sparring at a distance. None of the Toms were posturing.

In a field by my house in the northwest metro, there's been a consistent group of turkeys working the field with some longbeards in the mix. Sat and watched them a few times but no posturing yet.

I can't wait! Only 17 more days! I usually hunt season D or later so I'm excited about my A season draw!

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brittman

Still winter where I hunt. OK I have another 35 days or so to go.

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WallyGator12000

Yesterday I was thinking to myself as I was driving along highway 96 (going East) in Arden Hills, "man I would love to see some turkeys in the Army Reserve Land". Not two seconds later I look to fields and spot a strutter 15 feet from the service road that runs to Arden Hills City Hall. Of course I immediately turned and stopped on the side of the road to watch this big tom strut his stuff, and this was a very big, very nice bird. He dropped down a gully and I drove forward 10 feet to keep watching him, when I spotted the 3 hens he was trying to impress walking single file down this 15 foot gully in front of him. When the ladies reached the bottom of the ditch (where there was a 2 foot wide water drainage ditch with very weak ice) they each flapped their wings about 2 times and jumped the ice. The tom was not quite as smart, and it just goes to show you what happens when us males think with something other than our brains...Rather than jumping the ice, this big ol' boy still in full strut tried to cross the ice on foot, and halfway across he broke through. I couldn't believe what I was watching, the though literally crossed my mind that this bird was going to drown 25 feet from me and I wasn't going to be able to do anything about it (seperated by an 8' barb wire fence). He couldn't fly out, though he tried, but his wings could only move about 6 inches before hitting the ice (imagine yourself trying to do a jumping jack sitting in 5 feet of water). After struggling for about 30 seconds, he finally broke enough ice in front of himself to touch bottom with his feet and scramble up the embankment, and then ran to catch up with his hens...where he proceeded to start strutting again...unbelievable

On a side note, also cool to see a strutter with three hens this early in the season...

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DonBo

Pretty cool to witness something like that.

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HateHumminbird

Very cool, know right where you're referring to. More and more birds there all the time. There's typically a youth hunt there every year.

Great story!

Joel

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harvey lee

Looks like the scouting went well. Also looks like DD will be getting on a turkey with your guiding support and knowledge.

Good luck Dietz.

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HateHumminbird

Tom:

I'm going to snipe it before DD can! \:\)

We'll be hunting late season, perhaps a limited amount of days? We'll have to see how much time we can put into it.

Hope you get out this year with your bow.

Joel

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harvey lee

I plan on getting out and have a pretty darn good spot. I just hope I get out more than once or twice. Maybe I will get lucky and will only need one trip.

Time will tell.

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woody1975

Hey jnelson,

How is the action down in SE MN? We live about 3 hours away, so we can't get down to scout.

Thanks

DL

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HateHumminbird

Been making the rounds and seeing birds all over. Lot's of activity going on. Birds hit on the highway (toms, argh). Flocks are breaking up IMO, but with recent heavy snows/weather, they're not entirely sure it's spring out yet :).

This morning, some good strutting with hens surrounding, always a good sign. Multiple locations.

Last night, mature tom with two jakes in-tow heading away from where the rest of the flock was to roost in a separate area about 1/2 mile away. That was interesting to me. It was almost 7pm, so you know they were heading off to roost.

Establishing pecking order already? Never can be sure, but it's always a good sign this time of year to see toms ranging away from wintering grounds and generally being more active. Nothing is for sure or carved in stone, but depending on the weather these next few weeks, A-season could be smack down the middle of some great activity! Warmer/milder weather the rest of the way out could also mean some seriously henned up birds the first few seasons.

Joel

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woody1975

My thoughts exactly! This first season is always a hit or miss type of situation IMO. I like to see upper 50's in the forecast, but your right - - If it heats up too much that could mean they'll be henned up. We've waited 3 years for these tags though and we're hoping that the "well, they've killed a bunch of nice birds here before you got came" will be becuase of us instead of to us.

Thanks for the report.

DL

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NELS-BELLS

On my way home for lunch today, I spotted a bunch of turkeys by an abandoned farm site. There must have been at least 8 mature toms and probably the same amount of hens and jakes. The toms were strutting and chasing each other.

What really caught my attention was a big Tom on top of a hen. He wouldn't let her up and he stayed on her the entire 10 minutes that I watched them. The other Toms just strutted and chased each other around him. Its too early for them to actually breed isn't it?

Nels

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HateHumminbird

NELS:

I've seen breeding activity as early as late-March. When the DNR moved our seasons back a few days two years ago, part of the reason was to ensure that more hens were bred in this early part of the season. Quite a bit of breeding happens well before our seasons even open! We're about two weeks away from the A-season, so that jives with past observations. Clear and warmer weather will really ratchet up the breeding activity.

Joel

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NELS-BELLS

Has anyone been hearing any gobling yet? The past couple mornings I've seen the same group of birds out in the field by the farmsite. I think some of the Toms have left the group because I only saw 3 that were fanning and strutting this time. I stopped and shut the car off to listen if they were gobling but didn't hear anything. I even whistled at them and honked my horn but nothing.

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Tippman

I was ice fishing near Pillager yesterday and there was gobbling coming from the woods in a couple directions. Later I saw a group of one tom, one jake, and about 10 hens. I'd imagine its really starting to go further south though.

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HateHumminbird

Yesterday was the beginning of spring as far as I'm concerned. Multiple groups in many directions, strutting. Flocks are integrated for the parts of the SE I traversed.

Hen and gobbler separated from main group, breeding, in several locations.

Gobbling midday, and at 4pm today, as well as tons off the roost.

It's on folks!

Joel

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goblueM

I'm going scouting south of the cities (land not open to hunting, unfortunately) early tomorrow, tune up the ol' box call, get a walkabout going, and just generally enjoy spring. I'll let y'all know how it goes

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Borch

Birds are still flocked up here in central mn with some strutter establishing dominance. Should start happening fast know.

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goblueM

Well, went out this morning 30 minutes south of the cities. What a beautiful day.

Saw a small flock on the way down, near Coates on 52... didn't get a good look. Walked about 3 miles, alternating sitting and calling with just sneaking around. Man it felt good. Saw two longbeards on a ridgetop about 1/4 mile away, never got any closer. Heard one gobble at 10 AM from private land across the road. Did see one solitary tom strutting in a field on the way back, that was encouraging.

What a day though! Saw great blue herons, sandhill cranes, about 200 snow geese, a couple meadowlarks, several different hawk species, a turkey vulture, a couple rooster pheasants cackling, and at least a few dozen deer. Spring is here!:)

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DonBo

Man, that sounds like a nice day...some of us are at work just dreaming about it.

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bmc

DonBo,

Been over to zone 19 yet? I'm gonna be down there the weekend of the 19-20 and do some binocular scouting of my areas.

Thanks,

Brian

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DonBo

We were down a couple weeks ago to get permission on our farms. (got all of them sewn up again) Didn't see any on our places, but they were still flocked up pretty good then, lots of snow yet covering the picked corn, etc. I'm not worried that they'll be there when we get around to hunting. Have you been scouting anywhere else in the zone? Seems permission is getting easier and easier to come by.

Shoot me another email and we can talk more about it.

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