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Discussion Starter #1
I am going next week for the second time in my life. I have a hen and a jake decoy, a slate box, and an owl call.

I was planning on setting up in my blind on the edge of the woods where I am hunting. The property is small but the birds are there every morning, and I have permission.

What is the best approach?? Should I use the slate box?? Or just wait and let them come out?

Thanks
 

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Go with your instincts...try your luck calling it's the only way to get experience...worst comes to worst you'll have to wait til they're in the fields and then just ambush them as they come to your dekes. Keep an eye out for hens if you're going to ambush them as they'll pick you out while you're focused on the tom. Some times you can just let your dekes do all the calling. Good luck. You've already won half the battle by getting access.

My big worry will be getting busted or shot on public land.

Jonathan
 

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if you can see them and they're headed your way i would not make any noise that would draw attention to my position and risk spooking the birds. if morning breaks and there's nothing doing you might try little clucks an purrs every so often. good luck!
 

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Just from my personal experience... Are they roosting near your location? I would hit the owl tube at first light just to see if you get a response, depending on what you hear I would give a few hen yelps lightly with your slate no feeding purrs this early as birds are still on roost. If you get the goobler fired up then sit quietly until you them come off roost.

Just from my experiences.... I shuffle the leaves around a bit like a turkey scratching for food and lightly purr (after roost) I like to get the goobler fired up and curious before he leaves roost. If he has hens with him he atleast heard you earlier and after he courts hi hens he will come back to check you out. Hopefully he will come to you right off the roost[wink] If you are real close to their roost when setting up in the morning you have to be SUPER careful not to spooke them off the bat, ie. flashlights, setting up dekes making noise.

Feel out the bird and if you get him fired up on the roost 7 times outa 10 he is a comin'!

Good luck...You huntin in western md?
 

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In my experience, if you are in a place where the turkeys are being seen everyday don't risk anything to spook them. Setup your blind and decoys early and just wait until they come out naturally.

The biggest bird i have killed so far i hunted almost every day for a week. I tried everything to get withing range with no luck, he was always with hens. In the end i did just what i said. I set up on the edge of a field where i had seen him a couple days in a row. He came out a little after light about 200 yards down from me with a couple of hens. It only took a few soft purrs and he saw my decoys. He was still a little stubborn coming in but it only took about 10 minutes for him to make his way down. WHen he got about 50 yards out he made a full speed run and knocked my jake decoy over. He was so close i had to wait for him to get a little farther out before taking the shot. It was a clean kill, my biggest bird yet, and i had him mounted. He weighed in at almost 21 pounds 11 3/4 inch beard and 1 1/4 inch spurs.
 

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If they are there every day just don't do anything to change their routine and they most likely will walk right to you. Depending on how close your spot is to the roost you can use the blind or not. Mine is a little noisy going up so I'm hesitant to get too close even 1 hr. b4 light in fear of spooking them.

I like to set out my hen & jake decoys on a stake w/ a 2nd hen on a short stake under the jake. Be careful not to put the decoys too far from the blind 15 - 20 yrds bc he may hang up and you'll still want him to be in range.

If you're in the right spot he'll hopefully come running for a fight when he spots the jake getting in on his action. When to call, when not to call, how loud, how soft, how much to call ..... that's what makes turkey hunting so much fun bc it changes every day.

Look forward to your successful report !
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the responses. I'm not sure where they are roosting, it can't be too far from where we see them due to a nasty marsh/swamp, that surrounds the backside of the property. I am going to get in quietly, then give a owl hoot before first light to see if they are roosting near by.

When do they usually come off roost??
 

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All depends on their mood and the weather. I would say 20-30 mins after sun up after their morning gooble and preen!

Its getting close!!!![excited]
 

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Take as many different calls as your vest will allow. It always amazes me how one call will work one day and not at all the next. I have gone through (literally)6-10 different calls a day until I find the one that sets him off.

My favorite call is the "click". Its the one just in front of the trigger guard. If I have to use it, its time to fire up the fryer.[grin]
 

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Get set-up in your spot 30 minutes before the birds start talking, make a few calls until you get somone to respond and after they gobble at you about 4 times, sit and wait for about40 minutes before you make another call. Repeat this for about 2 hours and be on the lookout for them
 

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I took a boy huntin the other day that doesn't turkey hunt, but he owns land. So I took him out on his land. Never been there before. He took us to a small field that he sees birds in everyday. I could not get one to shock gobble, never heard a noise until daylight. I give a couple quiet, sleepy tree yelps. Heard a gobble on the opposite side of the field. 15 minutes later, birds were flying in the field from all directions. We walked under 12 birds and didn't even know it. They congregated in the middle of the field and started walking away from us to a big cutover where they would dissappear for ther est of the day according to the guy with me. They payed no attention to my decoys or my calling. As they started to file into the cutover, in desperation I used my mouth call and my slate call and called as hard and loud as I could with both. One of the 2 large toms in the group started double and triple gobbling. Obviously he was the dominant bird. The boss hen became angry with me and started coming to my decoys. Another hen slipped into the field on the other side of us. The 2 hens met and began fighting 40 yards away. The 2 toms saw the catfight and came running. They were 20 yards from us doubling up and the boy with me moved, a hen saw him, the birds were gone.
That was the most exciting moment of my turkey hunting career. My friend and I will be back in that field this weekend and I feel we will come home with 2 trophy toms. Moral of the story: sometimes you have to get aggressive to a bird that won't respond because he's henned up. You wil make his boss hen very angry and she will come looking for a fight. It can work, I've seen it.
 
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