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  • Looking for help

    New to turkey hunting this season and I have no clue wtf I'm doing. My roommate-and-long-time-best-friend and myself decided to get into turkey hunting this year when we started hearing a bunch of gobblers around our regular camping area in botetourt co (jefferson natl forest)

    So far we've been going out to our camping spots the night before and getting up before sunrise and heading out to different spots in the area. We've set up in a few different locations through the area, with two that really have me optimistic. One of the spots we 'scouted' (I say scouted b/c we didn't kill anything only heard or saw at a distance) was a game clearing along what looks like an oooollllldddd logging trail or fire trail. We heard a gobbler moving around us in the trees but never got eyes on him and eventually his gobbles faded away into the distance.

    The next time we were out there we went a few miles further down the road, hopped a locked gate (closed to cars, open to foot traffic) and went walking up a hill to a clearing near the top. We had never even been in the area before and thought the clearing would be a good place to start looking for birds. We were right I guess, as soon as we crested the top of the hill to the clearing, we saw a turkey just inside the tree line on the other side of the clearing. Unfortunately though the turkey saw us first, either we were making too much noise and moving too fast or he saw our backpacks which were not camo (I've since purchased a real tree print bag and ditched the dark blue bag, It holds my never-used-anymore paintball equipment). The turkey took a few running steps, hopped up on the air and glided from our hill top over to the next hill top. Not sure if it was a hen or gobbler though.

    When we spooked off that bird we immediately set up in a sort of natural blind, some down trees and other debris near the edge of the clearing, and started calling hoping we could lure it back. The bird we scared off was gone.. but we almost immediately got a gobbler to respond from down over the other side of the hill near where a creek runs through the area. We had a conversation with him via our calls and his gobbles but he never showed himself, we only heard him.

    Eventually we ran out of time (only hunt till noon before the 5th as you all know) and had to pack it in and head home. Grr for no hunting on Sundays or I would have been back the very next morning since this was only about 3/4 mile from where we were camping.

    Since then, we've been back at it every weekend. My roommate is a full time student and I'm a full time worker so it's hard for us to get out and spring gobbler hunt during the week. I have to work and spring time is exam time for him. The last 2 Saturdays someone has been getting to that spot before us. Like I said, our campsite is only somewhere between 1/2 mile and 1 mile from where we had our best luck finding turkey so we've been going back there. 2 Saturdays ago someone drove down the road just while we were getting our gear together at camp. We thought maybe he kept going since the road goes from one end of the valley to the other and the gate we park at is at a dead-end of a small access road that branches off the main dirt road. We got down there and sure enough he had parked right there at the gate and we knew he was in that clearing. So we decided we would just scout out some new spots, there is a game-trail-type-trail leading from camp that goes up the side of the mountain and there are a bunch of other game trails that branch off so we thought we would walk it and see what we could see and try that good spot the next week.

    So, this past Saturday we were out there again and decided to get up a bit earlier to try and beat that guy... sure enough same damn jeep comes down the road again while we're getting food in us at camp.. We got up earlier and just by luck he showed up even earlier ****

    Any advice to a new turkey hunter would be great, I'm very accustomed to smaller game birds like dove and quail but this is my first time going after turkey.. which is obviously a very very very different style hunt from mourning doves.

    Currently only have a 20g but I'm eyeballing a 12g pump at sportsman's warehouse. I've got some equipment to setup a ground blind (camo netting type stuff) but I'm not currently sporting any decoys. I've read that decoys aren't as effective this late in the season and may actually work against you? I'm used to using decoys for doves, we usually will setup an entire 'clock' of them in cut corn fields to draw in passing birds.. I'm using hybrid mouth call, not an in-mouth call but one that you hold in your hand and blow through.. I don't know if I like it.. either I'm not using it correctly or the noise it makes is very odd and 9 out of 10 times doesn't sound very natural.. it's also not a very consistent call. Idk if it's my technique though, very good chance I'm just a noob (which I am) at turkey calling. I've watched some videos of hen strutting and calling to get a feel for how they call, the rhythm and such. I've also tried watching tutorials about using in-mouth calls, but I nearly choke on them hahaha I can't figure out how to use them from the videos I've seen and I either end up nearly choking on them because I can't get it to stay pressed up against the roof of my mouth or I end up making really weird blowing noises and don't even get the reed(s) producing any sound..usually just struggling to keep from swallowing it or from blowing it around/out of my mouth.

    Help? :)


    brah <-- really? awesome smilies on this forum!
    Just another hunter in the Blue Ridge Mountains

  • #2
    Sorry for double post but it kept telling me I had 7 images and wouldn't let me edit the OP

    I forgot I had some pics to share

    From the top of the hill behind one of our campsites (look close, there's an old tree stand) Everything you see in this picture is public land and natl forest. I can't wait for deer season here, I see deer and signs of deer every time I'm up here, from actually seeing the deer or finding deer kills from predators or finding deer droppings all over the place.

    This one was a mistake but turned out cool, we were taking a quick breather while hiking back to camp. I was trying to take a pic of a gnarly spider and web I nearly got caught in but you I got this pic of my roommate instead.. damn him and his blue bag (we both had blue bags but I have my camo bag now)

    Ofc the epic campfire picture.. lol

    last but not least, I would like some feedback on these glasses. I have a hyper sensitivity to bright light and it can cuse me to sneeze like 10 times in a row multiple times for hours on end or even trigger migraines, so I keep polarized sunglasses on me at all times. They've just become like another piece of clothing I put on every day. My concern is the silver reflective lenses may scare off a turkey? Should I switch to black lenses or maybe yellow for hunting? I really need to keep sunglasses with me but I don't want them to be the chink in my armor if you know what I mean..

    Just another hunter in the Blue Ridge Mountains


    • #3
      Hey man everybody is knew to the sport at some time. I am no expert but I can try to help you by telling you what ive learned. I would lose the reflective sunglasses because anything that shines is bad, and also wear all camo with no bright logos. Turkeys eyesight is its top defense so if you are unsure whether a turkey can see you or not it can. They also have very good hearing and one of my best calls especially for older gobblers is simply scratching in the leaves to sound like a hen feeding. A slate pot call can also be a fairly easy call to master and will do all you ever need to do. I would also pattern your shotgun with a turkey target to see where your max range is. My favorite way to hunt them is first thing in the morning as they start gobbling around 30 minutes before sunrise. If you can find one gobbling early on the roost then set up as close as possible without him seeing you and in the general direction you think he wants to go. Lastly I like to keep calling to a minimum and call just enough to let him know where I am. I think turkey hunting is more woodsmanship than it is a calling contest. Good luck the rest of the season


      • #4
        I'd have to agree with Chris s. here. This is my third season and I've been busted so many times by birds seeing me. Any type of movement and I mean any...they are gone. I swear for being dumb birds they sure are smart sometimes haha. You can over call...I've done that before too. In reality the birds aren't all that vocal so if they hear something that is constantly sounding off it immediately sends out a red flag and you guessed it...they're gone. In my brief, minimal experience the key is not so much about how great of a caller you are (there are many, many calls that will bring in a bird provided it can make at least a yelp) but three things. Can you beat the competition to your spot, two, can you get there without being seen , and three when you're there can you stay motionless long enough to bag the ol bird. Good luck with this remaining week.