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Advice to young hunters

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I've been thinking about this the last few days, after talking to some young hunters & a lot of older deer hunters who have never hunted turkeys or have not been very successful.  I got to thinking maybe it would be good for guys to share in a thread what they've learned.  I'll throw out what I know or at least based on my experience what I think I know & others of course should chime in:


My first advice is don't be afraid to try something.  Turkeys have great vision, can run like the dickens, & are generally pretty spooky, but they really aren't all that intelligent.  I suppose some older birds remember something that happened to them in a certain spot, but not much.  Turkeys are definitely NOT deer.  Here's some SIGNIFICANT ways they're different:


1.  you do not have to worry about scent

2.  they not only don't mind being in the middle of an open field, they generally prefer it

3.  they don't really care it it's windy, they're still out moving around unless maybe it's 25mph our higher

4.  they don't seem to stay anywhere very long, they may come out of the same trees most days & go to roost there most nights, but they might be 2 miles away a couple hours after daylight

5.  they can't see through hills or trees, if you can put something between you & them & get closer, they have no clue

6.  if you can see the top of their fan, but not their head, they can't see you

7.  even if they're in the open & clearly visible to you, if they don't look in your direction at least somewhat at longer distances, they either don't see you or aren't concerned

8.  as long as you're not moving & don't look like a person or a predator to them, you & your blind virtually don't exist, they just don't care


Turkeys are very stalkable/ambushable, but you have to be careful there are no other hunters doing the same thing as you are in the same immediate area, same field, whatever.  I would only advice this on private land where you know you're the only one hunting or perhaps even on public if it's wide open where you can see there's not another hunter.


If you call somewhere for a bit & then move to another spot even a few yards away you sound like a moving bird much more than a hunter & they may respond to that.


Try different calls even of the same type, I've shot 2 or 3 birds that wouldn't come to a call I've called in lots of birds with & I switched to another one that had worked in the past, that bird that wouldn't come liked it & here he came.  It's probably not dissimilar to you liking the sound of one girl's voice over another's.



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Another thing I meant to say, is don't be afraid to drive around & knock on doors if you see turkeys.  You can't just hop out & go after birds if you see them, but you can sure try to find the landowner or the neighboring landowner & get permission.  In the spring especially it's not that difficult.  Most people in the central part of the state don't care about turkey hunting.  It's a long time from deer hunting which almost everybody cares about, but turkeys unless they got a friend or relative who's hunting they don't care.  Especially too if you're hunting the later season, yeah well  so & so always hunts, but he got his bird 2 weeks ago, there's still 12 out there most days, go ahead.


I'm 50 & the first time I could hunt turkeys around here was when I was 33.  There are not that many people older than me in this part of the state that hunt turkeys.  Naturally there are some, but if you just ask the guys you know over 50 in central MN who hunt deer if they hunt turkeys the biggest chunk will say no.

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