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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I went and did it. After thinking it over seriously for the past couple of years I bought a NH turkey permit with my combo license. I have no experience hunting gobblers. Spring Tom season is underway right now, for the next few weeks. I have a Primos box call, I have some camo (but maybe not enough yet) and there are plenty of turkeys around everywhere. I don't really want an owl call or a crow either. I have close encounters with turkeys about half the time I am out woods walking, including Toms, so I expect Murphy to show up in style when I go out, and that I probably won't see a legal bird while my shotgun is in my hands. Has to be bearded. I'll be using a basic 870 12 gauge, one of those combo guns that comes with 2 barrels. I have a full choke insert that I can pop in to the barrel as well. If this becomes something I want to do every year, I will most likely soon buy a black powder double barrel with exposed hammers and use that instead.
Anyone want to offer a turkey novice some free advice? Should I quit while I am still sane or what? Muchos gracias amigos!
 

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Try to roost a bird the evening before the morning hunt. Always helps to know the approximate location of a good bird. Also lets you know how to approach his position in the dark. Avoid crossing open areas. He WILL see you even though its dark. Fog is great cover if you get there late. Wait for him to gobble before you call since you don't want to use a locator or shock call (owl & crow). If he hasn't gobbled or flown down by decent light,call SOFTLY with a few tree yelps followed a few minutes later with a fly-down cackle. If he's a hot bird,he will answer. Answer him ONCE. He knows where you are now. PRECISELY where you are! If you're using a decoy,it should just be a matter of time. BE PATIENT! Avoid unnecessary movement. So much for the imaginary perfect hunt.
Now,if you haven't been able to roost a bird,but know the approximate location of one,or more,LISTEN for a gobble. If you hear one,move as close as possible to the location without exposing yourself. Get set up BEFORE you call to him,if possible. Repeat calling process described previously. DO NOT call too frequently! If the bird is answering you,he knows where you are and he will come,or not,in his own time. BE PATIENT!
If he is henned-up,your best bet is to try and attract the hen to you (difficult at best). If she is yelping or clucking,cut or cackle on top of her. She may just get irritated enough to come and investigate the competition. If she does,the gobbler will come with her. Your chances of calling him off the hen is virtually impossible. He'll answer,but he AIN'T comin' without that hen!
If you haven't mastered the basic sounds of the hen,just cluck,yelp or purr occasionally,VERY occasionally! Try to learn to use a diaphragm call. It leaves your hands free for close calling.
What I have left out would fill VOLUMES! Just get out there and have fun. When you hear one blow the woods down,I defy you to say it isn't one of the most remarkable experiences you've ever known.
Good luck and let us know how you fare.
f.t.

p.s. FULL CAMO. Buy a Jelly HEAD choke. Pattern your gun and KNOW the effective range!
 

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Fat Tom you should do some writing about turkey hunting all the different calls and how to use them . Best guns and loads to use all the good stuff that would take some one for ever to learn on there own.I cannot speak for every one but I would be printing it out and studying it.
 
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F.T.

Well Done, Sir :)

Geoff has the right mindset having become acquainted with Mr. Murphy...and in his case ~ I'll bet the first turkey he see's will be named Jake Murphy :mrgreen:

Any day spent in the woods is generally successful as it lowers the blood pressure while letting you put your head back together. These days, with all the stress of the economy and the direction things are going in....well, I bet we all could use a few days of woods walking.

giz
 

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I'm not a hunter, but this is what I saw when I looked out my office window yesterday. The turkey was walking along my office wall then turned towards the woods. I ran for the camera and snapped this just before he disappeared over the ridge and down the gully behind my house.

 

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Geoff,
I bought a box call from a guy on the Right Coast a while back .. I think his name was Foley? Foleys Calls? Something like that. It is made of butternut and the work is VERY nice. Only cost me a Jackson and was WAY NICER than the Primos it replaced.
The only turkeys I have shot happened to be walking right past my set-up. Must be your bird Murphy has (had) friends.
Good luck!

Fat Tom,
Nice write up!
 

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Geoff can you you take some pics so we can see once you get out there.Fat Tom is the man for sure. If I get to go turkey hunting some time I will be picking his brain if he lets me.He gave out some good advice but betrayed a mind full of knowlege barely tapped.
 

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As I knew he would, Mr. Murphy showed up. Went out til noon yesterday, 3 different places. Each has consistantly been the location of several turkey sightings each week for months. I did not even so much as hear a turkey yesterday! Not a single call!
nbhaof
 
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