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Old 05-14-2020, 08:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New to Turkey Hunting

Hi All, my name is Jim. I am new to hunting and the forum. I learning about turkeys now and hoping to do some big game hunting in the fall. I am an avid reader so I have poured over the the last few years of posts to learn everything I can from you all. Thanks for all your wisdom shared. You advice in invaluable for those of us learning to hunt, who have no support network of friends or family to help us learn this amazing lifestyle.

I have a few questions. Please answer any if you are comfortable discussing.

1) Apparently, I should have been scouting a month ago or so to have better odds locating turkeys. Am I just screwed now? Are turkeys even locatable at this point in the season? Are they still gobbling? I have scouted tons of ground in Spanish Fork and hobble creek. I have seen a little sign but heard not a gobble while using a locator call.

2) As with a lot of folk who work 8-5 type jobs and live in Salt Lake County, I don't have a lot of time to get out. Mostly weekends. Do you have any advice for e-scouting? What do you look for on a map? I've looked at the DWR Turkey layer, which is better than no information. But I've now spent days wandering trails in Spanish Fork Canyon and it feels like I am doing something wrong. People are posting about seeing 20 birds a day I haven't seen a feather on the ground... Is there a way to optimize e-scouting?

3) Lastly, if anyone would be interested in mentoring a new hunter I would welcome the opportunity. I understand that "spots" are worth more than gold. So my approach would be to pick locations to scout and then we could scout new ground together.

Thanks in advance for all your help. I am so psyched to on this journey learning more about the animals that make our country so unique and beautiful. And for the opportunity to more actively participate in managing those animals and utilizing their flesh to feed my family.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, the turkeys are still gobbling. They were very vocal this morning where I was (public land and lots of pressure). Now is a great time to be scouting...with a gun in your hand. If you're not hearing or seeing anything, keep trying new spots. Be in position 30 minutes before shooting light.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Where i hunt turkeys they are still calling.
Most actively in the morning, then a few random gobbles between 12 and 1:30 (I like to call them who needs a nooner call), and usually the last 1 to 2 hours of light. After that u can get them to shock gobble when it is dark, sometimes. if u are not hearing them I would move to a new spot or get to a vantage point and glass.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspiring_hunter View Post
You advice in invaluable for those of us learning to hunt, who have no support network of friends or family to help us learn this amazing lifestyle.
I get it. Nobody in my family hunts turkey's. I've had to teach myself.

Quote:
1) Apparently, I should have been scouting a month ago or so to have better odds locating turkeys. Am I just screwed now? Are turkeys even locatable at this point in the season? Are they still gobbling?
Yes you can locate turkeys at this point. Yes they are still gobbling. If i don't already know where they are, I can usually find them by the end of the day. The key is know the area your working, WALK, and occasionally call as your walking. If you walk, you'll hear, and see things you won't in a truck or 4 wheeler.


Quote:
Do you have any advice for e-scouting? What do you look for on a map? I've looked at the DWR Turkey layer, which is better than no information.
Whatever area you decide to work, there's a few key things your looking for. Fresh running water, roostable trees that turkeys can glide into, and plenty of green grass, and wild flowers. Turkey's move around a lot. Just because an area is great habitat doesn't mean they'll be there. They start the day at their roost, seemingly walk in a large loop, and end the day at their roost.




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Where i hunt turkeys they are still calling.
Most actively in the morning, then a few random gobbles between 12 and 1:30 (I like to call them who needs a nooner call), and usually the last 1 to 2 hours of light. After that u can get them to shock gobble when it is dark, sometimes. if u are not hearing them I would move to a new spot or get to a vantage point and glass.

I punched my tag at 3:30 PM this last sunday afternoon on mother's day. I never would have believed it. I still don't. Laying up at camp, trying to take a nap, boots off, feet up, and some gobbler was shock gobbling at some motorcycles going up and down a nearby road. Grabbed my gear and put on my boots in a hurry, circled around him, set up, called, and he came in hot . Hearing him gobble behind a tree 10 yards away had my heart going. From the time I left camp, I walked back to camp 30 minutes later with him slung over my shoulder. I've NEVER had that kind of luck turkey hunting. I think that Tom decided the world was just too cruel, wanted to end it all, and decided to suicide by hunter. Haven't measured the beard yet, but I'm guessing 8 inchs.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very, very glad to hear that it is not impossible to find turkeys for now. I'll keep trying to learn more country look for birds. What amazing luck to find/hear a big Tom from camp after 2pm. That's awesome!

Honestly my goal is just to lay eyes on even a Jake before the season is over.

I have been avidly hiking around. Trying to read sign and hear Turkeys. I am new to hunting, but I don't really believe in road hunting. According to my fitbit, I put in about 10 miles during my last scouting (with gun in hand) day. I just call it scouting because I don't yet know where the birds are.

I also tried some glassing, I was thrilled when I spotted a two big birds off in the distance... until I looked through the binos to see they were geese haha

I will do some research to find out what a roost-able tree is.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences. I realize how your knowledge was won with diligence and sweat.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What you need, is to find an area that is huntable, and historically has turkey's in the area. Then learn that area over a few years. Where I hunt turkeys and where are hunt elk or deer are in two completely different places, though I have seen turkeys on an elk hunt.

To start off, you'll probably have to road scout, covering as much ground as you can to find a general area. No shame in that, everyone does it. If you drive down a backcountry road in the early morning after gray light, you might see a hen on the side of the road somewhere. Make a note of that. My last scouting trip, I found 3 hens, just off the road. They were spread out, but they were there.

Where turkey's choose to live, could (depending on the birds) change over the course of may. At the start of the month you'll find them low. At the middle of may, you may find them up high. I know of one group of turkeys, I wlll consistently find they have moved from low, to up high on the second week of may as the temperatures warm up. Keep in mind however roostable trees (tall pines up high, cottenwoods down low), running water, green grass. Put all that together, look at a map, and take a walk there just before gray light, listen, look for scat, tracks, scratchs, and walk around for a bit.


I'll drop one name for free, because my wife forbids me to hunt there anymore after having some jackwagon on private take some pot shots at me on public (fair warning to you). Wanroades canyon road. Last I hunted that area was maybe 2017, and there were turkeys there, and at least one gobbler I was trying to get ahead of. I was having some good luck in the area until I started hearing *SNAP* *WIZZ* go by me a few times. Maybe the natives there have settled down by now.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it makes you feel better, I've been hiking my behind off in multiple spots that have turkeys. I haven't heard a single gobble or seen much sign beyond a few tracks. They'll still gobble until the end of the month. Keep trying.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Also, after another day of long hunting and seeing not a freaking feather... this is what I saw two doors down from me when I got home.
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Last edited by aspiring_hunter; 05-18-2020 at 01:51 PM.
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