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Handsonthepole

Help with quiet toms

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Handsonthepole

Anyone know what the best approach is when toms go silent? We have a large population on our farm and the last 3 days has been dead silent. Can't get a tom to gobble on the roost in the morning at all. I know they are there as I see them throughout the day. Any idea why they are so quiet now and any suggestions on how to approach this? My blood is starting to boil as my season starts this Wednesday? Thanks!

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benbosh

Call every half hour-45 mins and wait them out in a spot that they use.

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2044Mustang

Not to change the subject but I thought the B season started Monday(today) and C season starts on Saturday? Either way good luck to you, they can be very frustrating when they are quiet. Find that spot where you see them during the day and wait them out.

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Handsonthepole

I am hunting in Wisconsin so our 3rd season begins Wednesday

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Borch

Set up in those spots that the toms eventually end up. I like to hit travel funnels and strutting zones. There's a lot of breeding going on right now so less gobbling. Gobbling should pick up again in the next week or so.

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NWBuck

Crow call will probably get them to gobble, but may or may not help you kill them. Previous posts about setting up in areas they like to frequent is solid, although these areas are not always easily identified or consistent from day to day. Good luck.

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IlliniWalli

they could be roosting elsewhere and coming onto your property later in the morning.

i have found they almost always gobble on the roost, even on those days when they go silent after hitting the ground. the times i have seen them not gobble on the roost was due to weather - wind, rain or cold.

another thing that will cause them not to gobble on the roost is calling to them too early. i always let them gobble on their own first, then maybe a tree yelp or two, but usually i dont start workin them until they hit the ground.

this is the "peak of the rut," so to speak. hens everywhere waiting to be bred, so not much gobbling needed to attract them.

but i still hunt the way i always do - not necessarily cuttin and runnin but moving slowly from spot to spot, looking to spark a gobble and being alert for one to come in silent.

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Cheetah

If the toms are silent, chase the hens. Might have to set an ambush or get in front of a moving group and call very lightly to see if you can pull the tom away from his hens.

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brittman

They went silent in the area my son is hunting too. Yesterday heard 5 separate toms from the road before sunrise. Today - nothing. Even where I know they flew up last night. I agree they usually gobble from the roost, but some days it is once, other days it is occassional, and some mornings non-stop. If they are roosting with hens nearby - they probably gobble less.

I have also noticed that the hens usually fly down first - any one else observe this ?

It also appears the birds are staying in the woods or openings in the woods. Fields were rather bare on the way home today. Saw plenty Sunday and Monday around the same time.

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brittman

If the toms are silent, chase the hens. Might have to set an ambush or get in front of a moving group and call very lightly to see if you can pull the tom away from his hens.

A strategy that works best in the wide open west. As you well know. wink

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Wallydog

Scaup,

Don't worry bout their level of vacalization if you know they are there. I hope you haven't been using turkey calls to get them to gobble?????

You obviously know what they tend to do. Set up in a blind ideally, in an area they will be near or at after flydown time. I basically call the same way every time I am set up.

I broadcast a series of calls every 1.5 min for first 15 minutes after flydown, every 5 min for next 30 minutes, every 7-10 minutes for the next hour, gradually decreasing frquency thru mid day but never less than every 30 minutes. This timing ofcourse applies until a gobbler commences communicating with you whereupon you need to take his "temperature" to establish what he likes. Silent birds cause many a hunter to prematurely go seeking their whereabouts only to bump them and squander your opportunity. Be patient, even tho they may not be vocalizing they are still in the midst of their breeding season.

Selent birds test even the most seasoned hunters!!!!

Good luck, you'll get him.

WD

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Handsonthepole

Thanks guys.....hitting the woods tomorrow. Saw 48 birds in a field near our attack zone. 5 toms in full strutt. Hopefully the weather holds. Thanks again! Will post tomorrow hopefully with a pic of happy uncle and bird in hand!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • DonkeyHodey
      I eat bass.  I also release bass and typically only keep them to eat when they are by-catch targeting other eaters and I'm in the filleting mood...  (I personally don’t want to keep a bass >~14inches for eating anymore; they don't taste as good (especially in the summer), they have more toxins and I buy the argument that bass help control/balance the bluegill population...) Catch and Release isn’t perhaps the end-all-be-all  for a healthy lake/fishery… Story #1:  My wife caught a nice ~15 incher in mid-May that was missing an eye...--We couldn't keep him then due to season, but it would've been a bit of a dilemma if he’d been caught a week later after full opener.   Do I eat a bigger fish that might be limited to grow big (?mercy killing) or let the survivor continue to survive?   (It did seem likely his lost eye was a result of having been previously caught (?foul hook with a treble hook or removed roughly/carelessly/mishandled?   I could tell stories, and I suppose that could be an interested thread to start:  fish removal techniques you’ve witnessed that horrify you...  This, perhaps, highlights what Del was getting at in terms of harvest vs. annoying the fish…) Agree with Don.  Wasting of ANY fish is awful.  Story #2:  I was fishing this spring in the river and caught a big ol’ beauty of a white sucker (personal best!); when I released it, I was mocked by fellow shore-fishermen for throwing back a "carp" and they advised me the "right thing to do" is pitch it up on the shore...   (there's still alot of fisherman that believe the DNR actually encourages destruction of "rough fish")  I politely reminded them this big treasure is likely providing (through its baby suckers) future countless meals for their precious walleyes…  This argument was laughed at…  But back to bass…--Rodbender—I think you'll find very few anglers interested in a stranger telling them which fish they can or cannot keep...  It comes across as “stop eating MY future big bass!”  A lake is very much designed to thrive with harvest, and I would point out, releasing everything doesn’t always cleanly equal “more big fish.” There's comments here about the northern pike that perhaps highlight this paradox;  numerous lakes in MN had a ridiculous slot limit (release all norts <40 inches) that effectively made nort fishing catch and release (since the central and southern lakes effectively can’t produce a 40 incher and even if it could, eating one would be, well, interesting…).  The goal was to produce more big fish—the end result was lakes infested with <20 inch snakes that no one seems to want (and end up a nuisance by-catch when targeting anything else.)  Furthermore, those numerous small norts grow very slowly (and die of “old age” at 27 inches…)  (…thus, now the DNR is expending resources to try and encourage harvest and hence the (in my opinion) move in the right direction with the 2018 nort regulation changes…)  Yes, I know bass and norts are 2 VERY different species and react differently to lake/season/climate conditions, but lakes/fish/nature doesn’t always behave as we intuitively “know” it will.  A fellow fisher (that is eating “your bass”) might be reducing competition for remaining bass and potentially increasing their growth velocity in the lake.  (I will again repeat:  A lake is very much designed to thrive with harvest--be it humans, eagles, loons, cormorants, bears, snapping turtles, other fish, etc…  I know, we humans tend to be greediest, and take our harvest to unsustainable damaging extremes, but, that’s why we have rules/DNR/etc…  Just my thoughts…) Rodbender—If you want more big bass, there’s a good argument that you should harvest and eat (do not waste!) more small northern pike; they are outcompeting the bass for forage.    (It’ll likely get you farther than trying to guilt/change/bully what is otherwise legal behavior in others…)
    • ozzie
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    • leech~~
      Lol, had this happen many times on lakes in the Brainerd area and north.   One nice quite morning my buddy and I got up before day light to fish for Eye's in a small channel between lakes he has a cabin on.  No one in sight on the lake. About 8:30 am we hear this loud roar coming around the point and about 15 Bass boats with 150 to 300 hp motors flying WOT around the point and right up this small channel!  Thought we were going to get hit or swamped by their wakes! 🤪   I'm all for boys having fun with their toys but asking others to not keep fish they are making a big game out of, not so much! 😕   That being said I have only kept 3 Bass in my life. One's on the wall and 2 I eat to give it a try and never eat another there after. 
    • LoonASea
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      Congratulations. Don't be a stranger around here
    • rodbender27
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    • Wanderer
      My, that’s a pretty fish!
    • Surface Tension
      Sorry to hear that.  I hope the scrap yard has their contact information and they're tracked down.
    • Surface Tension
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    • gimruis
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