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First Time Turkey Hunter


The Bronco Kid

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Hello everyone, this year will be my first time ever turkey hunting. I need some info to get me going. I have a license for Apr. 30 to May 3 (or something like that) for the west half of Wright county. I know a guy that owns about tens acres(has owned for about a year) and he said that he once saw turkeys there along the road. The land has some old corn rows, some wooded area, and two ponds.
What shells should I use?
How should I set up?
What do I need for decoys?
What type of calls are good to use?
And anything else that you feel would help.
Thanks

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Here for all you mortgage needs!
Jess T. Kline
[email protected]

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Hey Bronco Kid...woh, where does a guy start?

First, I'm no expert in turkey hunting but I take every hunt seriously and like you dedicate some time dialing myself in. I have been blessed the last season (H) 3 of the last 4 years with a bird and here's what I'd suggest from a beginner's standpoint.

1. Pay the $5 (??) or whatever it is and go to a DNR sponsored information session. They'll let you try calls, they'll show you how to use calls, how to set up, etc.
This is a great place to talk one on one with a few individuals that have mastered the sport.

2. Get out there. Go scouting, watch birds, and most importantly make sure you're patience is honed!

3. Have fun. I felt a bit discouraged after the first few days of my first hunt after getting duped from a few of the critters. If you stay on them and keep a good attitude you'll have a good chance at pulling the trigger on one.

Good luck!!

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Yep, I agree, take that DNR sponsored class. Make sure to spen some time in your area scouting, find out where the birds are roosting at, at night. This will give you an idea of where to set up on opening moring.

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Good post Buckblaster!

I agree with the DNR session....it'll jumpstart you and get you access to info. that's tough to come by. Another thing you could do is find an older turkey hunter who has some seasons under his belt. They're usually more than willing to share information for a small bribe of the milwaukee variety.

Scouting is incredibly important. Another is stamina! Hunt all day if you have the time. Hunt all day for 5 days, and by the time you pull off the moss growing on your back, you'll have a bank of experience to draw from. Use a map and/or aerial photos when scouting if possible, you'll learn what to look for more quickly, and gain a better understanding of the area you're hunting!

As for the other questions, much of it is personal preference. We could all write a book here, but so much is just absorbing your observations and experiences.

Good luck, and post pictures if you get one!

Joel

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Can't tell you which shells to use because it depends on the gun your using. I had good luck with 6 shot, 3" Remington Turkey loads, copper plated, through an Undertaker Choke through my Remington 870. Each gun will handle different shot sizes differently so your best off to spend a few bucks on shells of different shot-sizes, shell-lengths and manufacturers (identical spec. shells by different Mfg. will sometimes perform differently through the same gun. Pattern your gun, take a shot at a large piece of cardboard or paper to see how your pattern is. Some guns may through the pattern left, right, high or low, patterning is the best way to be sure you know what your gun is doing and the best way to find the right shell.

Scouting, get out an hour before Sunrise and sit down, near the place you intend to hunt. Be quiet and just listen and watch, try to establish the normal travel patterns of the birds.

Don't call birds before the season, you may educate them if you call one in and it doesn't find a hen.

Slate calls are probably the best starter call due to ease of use. Try the Primos Power Crystal. Get a mouth-diaphragm call and practice as much as possible, this will give you hands free calling.

If you get a bird coming in and you think it's fairly close or sounds like it's coming, only call enough to keep him interested. Some birds may come in silent so be cautious about moving if a bird is responding and then shuts up.

Turkeys can see color and movement so be careful.

Check out Jesse's Hunting Page for a whole section on How-To for turkeys.

BEst of Luck!

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WOW, I would like to thank everyone for all of the wonderful and very educating informaiton that has been shared. I am already a more educated hunter just from getting your information.
Thanks

------------------
Here for all you mortgage needs!
Jess T. Kline
[email protected]

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Thanks jnelson, I thought it a bit vague.

I'm glad Tombow put the shell post in. That's one thing no expert will be able to tell you. He's absolutely correct.

My .02 is since shells are about $10 a box it's really nice if you're hunting with a few other guys. Each guy buy a box or two of different shot sizes (4's, 6's, and 4x6's) from different manufacturers. Test shoot all of them in your gun to find the best pattern.

I seem to remember a general rule as a minimum 7 BB's in the neck and head combined for a clean kill....anyone second this?

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I would try and gain access to as much hunting land as possible 10 acres doesn't leave to much room for error.

Good luck

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I second that motion Adaylate.

Look to gain access to at least 3 different groups of birds if possible. Hopefully, that gets you a few hundred acres, but that may not be realistic with the season starting in a month. Start ASAP, as many hunters already have their spots lined up. Invest in a plat book and good map....you'll be well on your way.

Good luck!

Joel

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Broncokid,

Based on your description it sounds like your hunting the 419D season April 29-May 3. Same zone and season that my kids and I are hunting.

Feel free to shoot me an email. I may be able to help you out with more specifics than I can here. First of all I'd start scouting and knocking on doors of places you see turkeys in. Pick up a plat book for wright and stearns county(that'll cover a majority of 419). You'll want to add to those 10 acres. I currently have about 1200 acres to hunt and I'm still trying to get onto another 120 acres. You hate to be limited if the birds aren't working or just aren't on the property that you have permission to hunt. If you don't have access to a place to pattern you gun I can help you out there too. I also have an assortment of turkey loads that my guns/chokes don't care for that if I can find them you can have some to see what works in your gun.

As far as guns go any 12, 16 or 20 gauge will kill a turkey. Butthe use of tight turkey chokes give you addition yards of lethal patterns. The turkey chokes I use cost between $18 - 50. All shoot great patterns once I found the load the gun/choke combo liked.

Decoys: I like to use then when hunting fields or open pastures. Otherwise I don't use them. I've had too many nice toms hang up or just plain spook because of them.

As far as calls are concerned and given the late date I'd opt for friction calls like a boxcall or a slate. They are easy to use good sounding calls. Mouth calls are great but generally take most hunters a while to master. Goi ahead and pick up a thin read double reed and see if you can master if. Again, I have a calling cd you can borrow if you want to.

Send me an email at [email protected] with a phone number that I can get ahold of you at. I'm in the St. Cloud area.

Borch

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