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Ryan Becklund

Bowhunting for turkeys...last 2 seasons

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Ryan Becklund

For those that didn't get drawn (including me) and are going bow hunting one of the last 2 seasons. I have never bowhunted for turkey. Just got my bow last summer and am now addicted. I was going to bowhunt for them no matter if I got drawn anyways. I guess my question for all is is it a lot harder calling them in in those last two seasons? I will be hunting private land but they will already have been hunted by others as well. Just wonderin what I am getting myself into...thanks!

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Bucksnort101

To answer your question about if Turkeys are harder to call in the later season I would say Yes, and then no.

Last year I had birds come right into calling, but still out of my bow range. Hang up its what they call it. Other times they just shut up and stopped making a noise when I made a call.

That's what makes turkey hunting, well, fun. You never know what to expect.

When a Gobbler hangs up and will come no closer they are generally waiting for the hen to come to them, this is thier natural state. Sometimes you will need to just stop calling, or move away from the bird and call, then sneak closely back to where you were and hope he comes by. Something else to lear is to call to the hen instead of the Gobbler. See if you can get her mad at you and come to you so as to get into a fight with the gal trying to steal her man, the Gobbler may be in hot pursuit of his girlfriend this giving you a shot.

The thing I suggest most is to read as much as you can on Turkey hunting.

Good luck and welcome to the acciction;) I'll be out there with my stick and string for the Archery season too.

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DonBo

This could be a fun post if all the turkey nuts want to add their $.02 worth on how to bowhunt turkeys.

I'll start with a couple thoughts.

It is much easier to draw on a bird if you are in a blind or hide of some sort than if you are not.

If that blind is where a tom wants to be, it is that much easier. Pre scouting is very important late in the year, especially if you are carrying a bow. If you can not get to your hunting spot ahead of your assigned time period you may want to waste the first morning set up in a spot where you can see a large area to get an idea of where the birds are coming from/going to.

Decoys may or may not work late. You'll know the first time a tom sees them weather or not they are a help or a hindrance. Personnaly, I will ALWAYS try them first. Maybe a jake and one hen, maybe just a hen. I like to set up on a field edge and call sparingly, let my decoys be seen from a long ways off.

When bowhunting, put them close. 10-15 yards is good. Plan on the tom to be right in the decoys.

Again, call sparingly unless a particular tom wants more. That's the fun of turkey hunting. Every bird is an individual. If you can see a bird coming, most often I'm gonna shut up and let him come. By this time of the year they've heard it all, best to just shut up.

I'll get comfy in a blind and sit all day if I have too. If you've got lots of land to hunt you can chase those boistrous toms down the valley, but with the bow it is tough to get close enough without good cover. I believe patience is the key to sucessful bowhunting. If you've done your homework you've got to trust your choice of spots and sit down and shut up. You can always move the blind later if there is more action elsewhere.

You'll get lots of advice on tackle for birds. Again IMO I believe in the larger mechanical broadheads and a lowered poundage on your bow to get the arrow to stay in the bird. Again others will argue, but I have shot lots of turkeys with my bow and they will not go as far with the arrow in them. The bright fletch helps to find a wounded bird if nothing else.

I'll let others chime in here. Bowhunting turkeys is exciting, but also very frustrating. Good luck!

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Ryan Becklund

Thanks for the reply. Last spring was a tough one for me with the shotgun. I had birds everyday at least a couple a day close but just could not get things to work out. I get so mad.....drives me insane...but I keep coming back and get more excited everytime I think about it. Last year I had at least 6 times when they came in silent behind me and then busted me just as I noticed them. No clue how long they were watching.....see how addicted I am....psycho

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Tippman

Very good info Donbo. I bowhunted late last season and this pretty much sums up how it went. It really payed to do your scouting and know which areas the birds were using. This year I'll be bowhunting season B.

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Bucksnort101

I said this in a previous post elsewhere, but sometimes and unconventional approach can work as well, ecspecially with birds that are educated late in the season.

Just read about a guy that could not call a bird to him, even though he had won a few local calling contest. Finally let his buddy, that was less that a good caller. Buddy proceeded to just do a long series of just Kee Kee calls. Birds started coming, another long set of Kee Kee's and they came even harder. A few more long series of Kee Kees and in ran his Tom.

Moral of the story is you never know what may work on a paricular bird. This scenario completely contradicts the "less is better" in late season, but sometimes something different may work.

Best to start slow and quiet, you can always get more agresive with your calling if needed.

Hunting with a partner can be an advantage with the bow as well, have the shooter sit between the bird and the caller and try to ambush the bird as it makes it's way to the person calling. Wish I had someone along last year when the birds kept stopping short of me and going down into the the ravine as they got close to me.

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mnmuzzleloader

Boy I love the archery season, I like the option of being able to hunt in different places. although I have not shot one with the stick and string yet it is fun. I like to be able to take my boys out since it is later in the spring and temps are warmer. Can not wait!!! Decoys are a plus but like DonBo stated you need to pattern them. Most of the hens will be nesting all day so you might run into small groups of Toms and you will forsure run into the super Jake groups that run longbeards out of the area. Two years ago we had 3 jakes run a long beard off I am sure after a couple of months dealing with those little craps and fighting he had had enough and turned and got out of dodge.

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Ryan Becklund

Been watchin the gg and bullhead videos on youtube. Wow that is cool. Might have to get a bullhead setup and do some practice. I am getting pumped for archery turkey hunting!

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cherokee

I've hunted the bow season a couple of times and both seasons the birds reacted differently. One season they answered the calls and marched in. The other season they ran when called to. I've also hunted South Dakota once towards the end of their season and yes the birds were call shy and decoy shy. Had to use the terrain and setup in front.

If calling do so sparingly and gauge the bird by his reaction. A lot of times in late season they won't gobble on the roost. Have faith in your scouting. I shouldn't have to worry this year as I got drawn for the 1st season. Yee Haa.

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