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IceHawk

Spring Turkey

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IceHawk

Well who else is going after long beards this spring? I was drawn for season B again no surprise. There were surplus tags left as there were last couple years.  Really like the new approach to not having to apply for the later seasons spreads the hunters out and gives guys like me the opportunity to get after them early :grin:  Been out doing some scouting and been seeing some big wintering flocks one I was glassing other day had over 60 birds in it! They have really been working over the picked corn lately.  Oh cant wait to hear the first gobble of the year ;)

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Wanderer

+1 here. :)

I miss the hills of SE MN but when I have birds walking through my yard it’s hard to leave Central MN.

Its not like they’re gonna be super easy but I’m trying to get my first with a bow, and that’s not easy.  Not yet anyway.  The more days I can get in, the better.  And sticking around home makes THAT part easier.

When I first started hunting turkeys it took me three seasons to kill a bird.  Then every year after that was a score with the shotgun for about 20 seasons maybe?  I’m going into my second legitimate season of effort with my bow.  Hoping two times is a charm.

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Bisonguy

this will be my first time chasing Minnesota turkeys. Any tips on where to go around Lake Lida area? 

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IceHawk

First off welcome to the site ! Fish that area quite often and have seen some good flocks around there.  I would get out and do some glassing in the area , especially around some picked corn fields. Right now they are wintered up but will break  apart once spring gets closer. Maybe hit up a local bait store and ask around if anyone knows of a spot. Or look at the landowners list that received permits in that area. They legally have to grant permission to hunt there land but unfortunately a lot of landowners will tell you they are full even if there not :( Good luck in your search. 

Edited by IceHawk

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Hoyt4

It's go time, i pretty much have all my gear ready for end of March for NE. Our first hunt is archery only then I get to come home and get even with the pipe bomb.

Good luck Wanderer once you get that first they just start to drop after that. Bow or shotgun they are a blast.

Bisonguy, Scout scout scout. The more you know what the birds are doing and want to do will help. Being a better woodsman and knowing your land and what the birds are doing will put more birds in the dirt then great calling. Patience is another huge part of turkey hunting. I am 1st to want to start running and gunning and give up on a bird i've been working but over the years have got a lot better and just need to give some setups a chance before moving. Good luck be safe.

Edited by Hoyt4

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monstermoose78

I will be at it with archery gear. It took some time to get the first one with the crossbow but the last two years I stuck a turkey. Watch for the turkey contest here as it is fun times. I can’t wait to see all the photos of turkeys soon.

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gimruis

I did not draw an early season permit.  I may be able to snag a surplus season B, otherwise it will be a later season for me this spring.  The birds are getting SMART.  They have refused to listen to any calls and they are decoy shy so I haven't been using calls or decoys for a while now.  Rather, I just sit there and wait on a travel route and hope they walk within range (sort of like deer hunting I guess).  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Scouting is obviously important.  What has also really helped is the use of Winchester Longbeard XR ammo.  I have harvested turkeys out to 60 yards with it in recent years.

Edited by gimruis

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ANYFISH2

will definitely be hunting turkeys again this year.  Love chasing these birds.

Intend to go the archery route this year for the first time.  I have 2 kids that always are excited every year, until a couple of early mornings wain thier enthusiasm!  Figuring archery will allow me go on those days the kids dont want to wake up and I think I have something figured out.  Hope my skills will be up to the challenge.

 

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Capt. Quicksteel

Darn you guys!!   How am I supposed to stay at work and pretend to be interested now? There's nothing better than bow hunting turkeys in the spring after a long winter!

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IceHawk

Anyone one of you guys ever use Dave Smith decoys?  They sure look realistic but wow come with a price. I like the avian X and I have a couple custom painted from a artist friend that look real good also.  Yes I  realize  a lot of people  don't use decoys. And I realize there is a time and situation for that  But I'm kind of a decoy junky lol! i rarely find my self going with out any. :grin:

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monstermoose78

Decoys sure have come along ways from the foam things my grandpa used. I bought some Avian X decoys and retired grandpa’s foam things. I have noticed I am getting more birds into range with the better decoys. 

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IceHawk

Have to Agree moose the turkeys are becoming a little smarter each year. Better decoys have definitely upped my odds last few years. Seriously considering those Dave smiths or some Avian X.  Moose what are you using for a setup combo with those Avians? My customs look nice but always looking for something better :grin:

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monstermoose78

I have 3 avian x hens two feeders and one head up. I gave semi strut Jake as well. 

I want to get a full strut

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IceHawk

I've used a full body full strut before can be good or bad depending on a birds mood at the time. In certain situations they can be a killer, 

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IceHawk

I'm really leaning to buying a mojo scoot and shoot amd trying that this year talk about a adrenaline rush. 

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monstermoose78

I have two boss toms at my dads and I think a strutter might be the ticket

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paceman

I will also follow the archery route. I have been successful the last 4-5 years with the Bow. I think I am actually more successful with the bow as it is pretty tough to run and gun with it. It's makes scouting more of a priority as I need to be where the birds are. I will stick out a few cameras as soon as soon as the snow is gone. There is about 2 feet on the ground. I will focus on field edges, strutting zones. Once I find an active area we will simply sit in a blind and be patient. I have had really good luck with a hen and Jake set-up. However I really would like to add a strutter.

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Capt. Quicksteel

Great minds think alike. We use the same approach for scouting and set up. We've used the hen and Jake decoy set up and have a pretty good streak going. The scouting makes it work.. The you get to relax in a blind. (nice not have to worry about scent!)

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monstermoose78

I agree the hen and Jake set up has been effective, but the big boys don’t fall for the Jake. Ok they did once for my nephew but he got turkey fever and shook so bad he never got a shot off.

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gimruis

I prefer using a blind instead of just sitting on the ground in a ghillie suit.  Its dry if it rains, I can drink coffee, look through binoculars, etc and not worry so much about my movement.  The downside is that its not as mobile.

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monstermoose78
7 minutes ago, gimruis said:

I prefer using a blind instead of just sitting on the ground in a ghillie suit.  Its dry if it rains, I can drink coffee, look through binoculars, etc and not worry so much about my movement.  The downside is that its not as mobile.

I agreed and when I take the nephew it allows him move. O yeah and you can bring the heater with!

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brittman
Posted (edited)

Killed Toms 4 of the past 5 seasons.  Almost always D or E.  Only blank season is when I tried Season B ... not again.

Son shot his first Tom last spring.  Hunted a few times early.  Took his gobbler at 20 yards (Season E).   Called in two nice birds for a friend and his son the weekend of season E.  

I do not even think about applying for an early permit.  Pick season based on work schedule and weather patterns.

No issue pulling long beards in later in the season even on public land.

Around the metro, I notice plenty of bird movement through the entire month of May.

 

 

Edited by brittman

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brittman

Forgot to say last year I shot my Tom on the last Saturday of May.

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IceHawk

Have to agree the later seasons can be good. Have a bud that always get his bird those late seasons.  I'm totally opposite. I have taken a Tom In all of the last 10 years in all but one in B season. I'm personally lucky in that I have permission and access to real good private land. The later seasons  never have interested me in that  the misquitoes  and bugs can be horrible.  Plus during that time of the year the fishing can be lights out, so I'm usally sitting in my boat rather than a turkey blind. 

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Borch

I've shot birds in every season with the exception of "B".  Then again it's the only one I've never hunted.  That may be changing this year.

As far as decoys go I used a strutting Jake with a real fan or no decoys.  I don't use hens as they tend to hang up mature toms as they strut and gobble out of range until the real girls show up and they leave.

Calling is always based on reading the bird I'm working.  I usually fire them up early and when they get closer get quiet.   Has worked well for me over the years.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • gimruis
      This story is part of the reason I try to avoid public hunting areas.  Hunters showing up late, setting up nearby, shooting at birds out of range, etc just ruins the hunt.  Put it this way: if there is a chance other hunters will be around, I won't be.  You've got a good threshold of patience Wanderer.  Way more than I do.
    • Wanderer
      We checked there second - it was way too crowded for what we were looking for.
    • Wanderer
      I have several friends that either live there or have cabins in the area.  And I now drive through Hill City when I go to Ely.   We’ve been deer hunting around Emily for quite a few years now.  I guess you could say I spend some time there. 🙂
    • leech~~
      Word, Yak Bowstring. 😉
    • Big Dave2
      Wanderer, do you frequent the area often?
    • Fishouttawater
      Anyone know what water temps are recently? Hoping they start dropping quick
    • Wanderer
      Well we’re back home and tired!   We tried to get lost as best we could in the Itasca/Cass counties area.  Looking for carry in accesses to kayak into duck hunting heaven. 😅  So was everyone else and they had jon boats with mud motors.   We had a great time despite some negative highlights that really affected everyone’s hunting.  We found a roost during scouting on Friday, along with a great campsite to stay.  The roost and campsite were 2 miles apart though.  We scoped out the closest spot we dared set up the following morning cuz, Don’t shoot the roost, right?  Paddling by 3:30 am we got our spot, not flushing too many birds out.  Sure enough a boat with 3 guys churns past us later and deep into the roost.     Sure enough again, birds blow out but settle back down.  We still think we’re in a good intercept spot with a convincing decoy spread laid out.   Low and behold, 8 minutes before legal shooting hours the three guys open up a barrage of shots that starts scattering everything to the wind.  Birds are whizzing by us but we hold our shots.  5 minutes to go and they open up again.  At 2 minutes to go the rest of the groups in the area start popping off.  Everything is flying high now and showing NO interest in decoys.  We have birds going over us but too darn high.  Not for everyone else though, they’re blasting at birds higher than the tree tops.  Sigh...   The three guys churn back by us maybe an hour into the day - limited out I’m sure.  We were the last ones back to the “carry in” access and were greeted by a group of 4 with 2 boats that scouted Friday also.  We know where each other were hunting.  They had that look on their face like they were expecting some answers.  That was enough for us to say “It wasn’t us!”     It was a civil conversation after that. Local guys, upset with the shenanigans as well.  Three groups were able to get just half a limit with the tough shooting after the blowout.  All pass shooting; nothing coming to the dekes.  Those birds are spooky and know their safe distances.  Such a difference than expected.   We put plenty of miles on the truck and about 15 miles paddling looking for Mecca.  It’s a tough game around there that needs some more time to figure out.  But it’s a fun area to look at.  Short of not coming back with limits of ducks, it was a good, long weekend.  
    • ozzie
      good to hear!  How were ya catching them?  Redtails, trolling, jig n leech?  what depths were ya finding them at? on weedlines or over structure?  I don't want to know the spot but some more detailed information can help us all!😎  Thanks for posting!!
    • moneyback2
      walleye fishing was pretty good on lake alexander this weekend.
    • thunderbirdprince