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Thread: Best times for fall turkey

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Best times for fall turkey

    Turkey hunting is a bit of an afterthought for me, and I couldn't even do it last fall due to falling on deer youth weekend.

    In the spring, I sit all legal hours, but I don't want to be doing that this weekend. Assuming my cameras don't help much, can anybody give me pointers on the best times/strategies for fall turkey? I will be using a shotgun (20ga, so no long range).

    I see NH Archer's post kneeling in front of a blind. I wasn't planning to use a blind, but I do have two blinds set up for deer season, so that is a possibility.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igloo View Post
    Turkey hunting is a bit of an afterthought for me, and I couldn't even do it last fall due to falling on deer youth weekend.

    In the spring, I sit all legal hours, but I don't want to be doing that this weekend. Assuming my cameras don't help much, can anybody give me pointers on the best times/strategies for fall turkey? I will be using a shotgun (20ga, so no long range).

    I see NH Archer's post kneeling in front of a blind. I wasn't planning to use a blind, but I do have two blinds set up for deer season, so that is a possibility.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Start walking....They can be anywhere in the fall typically and I've had the best luck just walking and calling.
    This year, because there isn't a lot of feed in the woods, I'm seeing them in fields and on the sides of roads everywhere. We tried with bows last weekend and were close but couldn't get close enough. We're headed out this weekend with shotguns.

  3. #3

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    I've shot a ton of turkeys in the fall in a different part of the US. 2 or 4 a year for at least 15 years of my life.

    The hunting is a lot different in the east because you can't see as far and the leaves are very noisy, (and I hear the turkeys are wayyyy spookier) but I just always spot and stalk to ambush them in a canyon or saddle judging on where I think they're going, or get them patterned out and just sit for them. In my experiences...fall turkeys kind of do a circuit related to food and where they are roosting that night. About every 3 or 4 days, they'll circle back around and pretty much take the same route to or from a roosting point. I'll get them there just by sitting. They will use these places year after year. I kind of stand hunt them like really dumb whitetails.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Instead of getting out there at dawn-30, I'm now thinking more like 8am and looking around until 2-ish. I know that I don't have the endurance for back-to-back full days, and then back to the daily grind.

  5. #5
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    I hope I don't step on toes here.... but.... it's not deer hunting. The best time is while it's raining, they come to the fields.
    You don't have to go for first light or last light. They eat what deer eat, acorns etc. Right now, the boys are hanging together and
    the hens are with poults. (that are the same size (typically) as hens now)
    If you are hunting with someone and see a flock, run at them at 2 different angles (not together) to break up the flock.
    Stick out a hen decoy and start yelping.... don't set up on where you broke them up, as the most likely won't go to where they were spooked.
    I could go on.... good luck!!!
    There comes a time in the life of every program when it is necessary to shoot the engineers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH-Archer View Post
    I hope I don't step on toes here.... but.... it's not deer hunting. The best time is while it's raining, they come to the fields.
    You don't have to go for first light or last light. They eat what deer eat, acorns etc. Right now, the boys are hanging together and
    the hens are with poults. (that are the same size (typically) as hens now)
    If you are hunting with someone and see a flock, run at them at 2 different angles (not together) to break up the flock.
    Stick out a hen decoy and start yelping.... don't set up on where you broke them up, as the most likely won't go to where they were spooked.
    I could go on.... good luck!!!
    When did you start worrying about stepping on toes?

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

    I will be hunting alone, and based on your and others comments, I plan to get out there around 8am, not dawn.

    About the decoys - I normally use a jake/hen combination. Are you suggesting that I ditch the jake and go hen-only? I was planning to mix things up a bit - Sit and call (with decoys) in the morning, then walk and call later. I won't have access to any fields where I'm planning to go. The closest I'll have is some logging roads.

  7. #7
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    Last weekend there was a flock right outside my camp at dawn, scratching in the cornfield. Some people like to sleep in, but if you aren't one of them, get out there at sunrise, or you're just wasting time, in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    About the decoys
    Right now the boys are hanging together, while the women have the kids. So, I bring both, hen and jake, but only use 1 decoy depending on what flock I'm after.
    If you see (or feel) hens/poults are in the area, just use a hen, if you are on a bachelor flock, use the jake.
    There comes a time in the life of every program when it is necessary to shoot the engineers.

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