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Rookie with questions

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I have never hunted turkey and have a friend that just made me an offer I can't refuse. He has 55 acres partialy wooded and has turkeys roosting and feeding on his property. I know it's probably too late for this spring but I want to try and turkey hunt next year. My question is how do I go about getting started. What are the liscens requirements and what type of call is best for a beginner. Any info would be helpful, Tahnks. Zent

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You're right it is too late for this Spring. There is a fall season in MN.

As far as getting started, there is an application process for Turkey season. Most of the time the deadline for the Spring season is the first part of December. I don't know much about the fall hunt.

With the calls you have just opened up a can of worms. Some will say you should have one of each ( friction - mouth - box ) Some prefer one over the other. My answer is what ever you feel most comfortable with. A Slate or friction call is louder than most and will call in a Tom from a distance. A box call, well I just don't care for them. Then there is a mouth reed or diagphram call. I prefer the reed calls for the simple idea of they don't get wet like a box call or slate call, they free up your hands if the bird is close but not quite close enough. Most reatil stores have sample calls on the shelf, for obvious reasons not the reed calls, try a friction call or a box call. Maybe you'll get the hang of one of those before you know it, you'll be calling in birds from the next county. Be confident in your calling first. Then worry about your choice of weapon, shotgun or bow. Camo from head to toe is a must. A good seat cushion. Talk with some people that have gone before. Ask, and listen, about what has or hasn't worked for them. You have a year to prep for the Spring season. That should be enough to get you thinking anyway. Others will have a full, in great detail, idea for you to 'start off with'.

It should be interesting to see what type of replies you will get.

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Turkey hunting is very habit forming, I figured I better break that to you right off the bat!! I first drew a permit in Minnesota for the spring hunt of 1984. I hunted down by Lake City and the weather was not nice. It was terribly windy and my buddy and I thought we heard gobbles, but never saw a bird. It was pretty sad. But, I didn't give up because my older kept telling me how awesome it was. A few years after my initial hunt, I went again and will do everything in my power to hunt springtime gobblers as much as I can afford. I suggest learning the mouth call and the slate call. I also suggest having someone call for you on your first hunt. Tim Nybo, who is a calling machine, called my first bird to within range down in Red Wing. I have since bagged a number of them and will eventually try to bag one with my bow and arrow. Turkey hunting ranks right in there with hunting whitetails in the rut and big walleyes in October or November/December. I wish you all the best with the turkeys!!

Take Care,


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Dan and Sid - Great advice here.

Zent - If you're willing to try turkeys with a bow, and you're very comfortable/proficient at archery hunting, I'd suggest you just get out in the woods and see what you can do. This year, the last two seasons have over the counter tags avaible for archery hunters only, in zones with 50 permits or more per time period.

While taking them on with archery equipment is a tall order on your first hunt, it'll give you a better excuse to get out there and listen to calling birds. Experience in the woods is perhaps the best teacher, and you might be less inclined to head out there if you only have calls in your hands.

I suggest having a buddy call for you if possible as well. If you do take after them with a bow, I'd suggest a blind in a field/strut-zone setup. Double bull is the best, but if you don't have access to one, others will work in a pinch.

Whatever you do, don't give up. My initial experiences were much like Dan's, struck out two full years before we finally connected. It's been a good problem ever since!


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