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alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




I spent a gorgeous morning in the woods yesterday trying to hunt turkey birdwatching and enjoying the scenery. (No really I saw a hooded warbler and a rose-breasted grosbeak all within a few feet of me, it ruled). I just keep striking out on turkey despite quite a few attempts over the last 3 years

Scouting-wise, I saw, with my own eyes, a male turkey cross a hiking trail 2 weeks ago so I went back to that spot and found a nice little clearing within 1/4 mile of the sighting, set up there, and called out every 15 minutes or so. I didn't hear a thing all morning. I thought I heard a very distant gobble at one point but wasn't sure if it was my imagination. When I didn't hear anything for hours I tried hiking around in a roughly 2 mile radius, occasionally stopping to throw out a few yelps, and still heard nothing but the songbirds.

I've gotten decent at yelping (btw thanks for the Georgia Peach call recommendation Flatland, it's way better than my last lovely one). I can cluck and purr too but I didn't do any of that because I don't know when is the best time to deploy those sounds so I figured for a novice, less and simpler calling was better.

Anyway I've just had no luck on turkey and I'm wondering if it's bad luck or if I am doing it wrong. Last year I had a different area of the park where I would consistently hear gobbles, but I never got anything to come close to me. This time despite a very recent live turkey sighting, I didn't even hear anything. Any time I try to read turkey hunting tips for beginners, people describe stuff like finding the specific tree they roost in and generally scouting at such an extensive level that they must be hunting their own backyard and not public land.

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HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Seeing a bird waking through the woods isnít necessarily a strong indicator that he hangs out in that area. He was likely just passing through.

Iíve found that if I donít hear anything off the roost, the best thing to do is to cover as much ground as possible while calling to see if I can spark up a hot gobbler. Often this includes driving around and checking fields, but you may not have the benefit of having that much land to hunt.

Another strategy some people like is to setup on a field with some decoys and sit all morning, but Iíve never had the patience for that.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Also I should add, if youíre hunting public land, thereís a very high probability that somebody has been messing around with those birds, so theyíre probably super call shy and will be tough to get talking.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




This was on day 2 of the season - I was hoping to get to them before they got too shy. I didn't see anyone else out hunting there either.

So it sounds like you're supporting what I was leaning towards - covering a (much) wider ground until I hear something, rather than sitting near where I saw one 2 weeks ago and hoping he comes by. It's also less boring

When you're exploring and trying to stir up a gobble, do you throw out yelps, or what?

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


alnilam posted:

I spent a gorgeous morning in the woods yesterday trying to hunt turkey birdwatching and enjoying the scenery. (No really I saw a hooded warbler and a rose-breasted grosbeak all within a few feet of me, it ruled). I just keep striking out on turkey despite quite a few attempts over the last 3 years

Scouting-wise, I saw, with my own eyes, a male turkey cross a hiking trail 2 weeks ago so I went back to that spot and found a nice little clearing within 1/4 mile of the sighting, set up there, and called out every 15 minutes or so. I didn't hear a thing all morning. I thought I heard a very distant gobble at one point but wasn't sure if it was my imagination. When I didn't hear anything for hours I tried hiking around in a roughly 2 mile radius, occasionally stopping to throw out a few yelps, and still heard nothing but the songbirds.

I've gotten decent at yelping (btw thanks for the Georgia Peach call recommendation Flatland, it's way better than my last lovely one). I can cluck and purr too but I didn't do any of that because I don't know when is the best time to deploy those sounds so I figured for a novice, less and simpler calling was better.

Anyway I've just had no luck on turkey and I'm wondering if it's bad luck or if I am doing it wrong. Last year I had a different area of the park where I would consistently hear gobbles, but I never got anything to come close to me. This time despite a very recent live turkey sighting, I didn't even hear anything. Any time I try to read turkey hunting tips for beginners, people describe stuff like finding the specific tree they roost in and generally scouting at such an extensive level that they must be hunting their own backyard and not public land.

Turkey hunting is really nuanced and I canít imagine going at it without a few years with a mentor. I was lucky enough my dad is a really good turkey hunter but even then when I started doing it on my own on public land I lost some momentum.

The best way I can describe turkey hunting is that itís either hot or cold depending on the time of spring and whether or not toms are actively breeding hens plus hunting pressure. There are years I pour a ton of effort into turkey hunting and completely strike out because the birds are quiet, or itís windy or whatever and then the next year I kill 3 turkeys in 4 trips out. Hunting public land for turkeys can be pretty brutal especially after the first week of the season.

This year I got good and hosed since both of my high success out of state turkey hunts got derailed thanks to the ĎRona. This year Iíve spent a pretty good amount of time attempting to hunt highly pressured public land in TN (gently caress hunting in the South generally) with no luck while my dad has hunted roughly the same number of days on Private land in KS and MO and killed 4 turkeys.....I even managed to roost a tom the evening before opening day, he flew down within 100 yards of me, didnít come my way despite decoys and calling and then another hunter spooked him from the opposite direction....

One upside to turkey hunting is nationally only about 20% of deer hunters turkey hunt and permission to hunt private land is quite a bit easier to come by. In my opinion turkey hunting is worth pursuing private access or lower pressure states for public land more so than deer.

As far as blind calling tactics go I will let out a 5-7 note yelp and a few clucks every 15 minutes. I will switch up calls in rotation until I get a response and then stick to that call. Calling Conservatively 4 times an hour will let birds around you know you are there and they will come in if they feel like it.

As far as a beginner tactic goes I like putting out a few decoys on a field edge where I have seen turkeys before and call occasionally. Just sit tight either in a blind or well hidden against a tree and donít move. Iíve called in a few birds in big timber but thatís a no decoy call heavy game. I vastly prefer hunting field edges with decoys and can speak to those tactics a lot better.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


alnilam posted:

This was on day 2 of the season - I was hoping to get to them before they got too shy. I didn't see anyone else out hunting there either.

So it sounds like you're supporting what I was leaning towards - covering a (much) wider ground until I hear something, rather than sitting near where I saw one 2 weeks ago and hoping he comes by. It's also less boring

When you're exploring and trying to stir up a gobble, do you throw out yelps, or what?

If you donít have a good historic idea of where turkeys are at you should be covering ground from during the first and last hour of the day calling with either yelps or shock gobble inducing calls like owl, crow, etc.

Historically turkey roosts are often in trees along creeks or on the ridges coming out of a creek bottom.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


When Iím walking around, a crow call and a box call are my most used. Still a good idea to mix up calls though, sometimes they love one call in particular for whatever reason, and then the next day that call doesnít work for poo poo.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




Flatland Crusoe posted:

Historically turkey roosts are often in trees along creeks or on the ridges coming out of a creek bottom.

This lines up with where I saw that one 2 weeks ago.

drat, wish I had ordered a crow call when I ordered that mouth call last week. I don't know if a crow call is worth the shipping cost and it won't come for a week anyway.

Would it be silly to just caw caw with my own mouth? I'm not awful at it.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


alnilam posted:

This lines up with where I saw that one 2 weeks ago.

drat, wish I had ordered a crow call when I ordered that mouth call last week. I don't know if a crow call is worth the shipping cost and it won't come for a week anyway.

Would it be silly to just caw caw with my own mouth? I'm not awful at it.

I've seen it work. It's less important that it sounds realistic (I've heard some really lovely crow and owl calls) and more important that it's loud and sudden. They'll shock gobble (particularly while they're on the roost) to pretty much any loud noise. I've heard them on many occasions give a shock gobble at a car horn.

Basic Poster
May 11, 2015

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

On Facebook


Are crows and Turkeys mortal enemies?

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


Basic Poster posted:

Are crows and Turkeys mortal enemies?

No itís just a common loud noise in the woods. A wound up turkey will gobble at anything to the point that the meateater crew made a T-shirt of all the things that they have heard a tom shock gobble to.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Basic Poster posted:

Are crows and Turkeys mortal enemies?

I feel like crows are just the kind of bird thatís always looking for a fight. Theyíre the drunk assholes at the bar looking to start poo poo with anyone.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




HamAdams posted:

I feel like crows are just the kind of bird that’s always looking for a fight. They’re the drunk assholes at the bar looking to start poo poo with anyone.

I've seen them pick a lot of fights with raptors, which, yikes

Chaosfeather
Nov 4, 2008



Kinda bummed I'm missing out on turkey hunting but I did hear a gobble by a river bed on the way to one of the traps I service for my job... If only the 'no hunting' sign wasn't there, I could joke about hunting on my lunch break.

Crow call question - I can actually do a pretty good raven call by myself. If I'm in an area that gets frequent ravens is that a good substitute? I'm less good at crow calling (despite my practice) and wouldn't want to try that. Might give up the game. Definitely have a good 90+% rate on the raven one though.

Not that I should skimp out on proper calls.. Just thought it would be fun to use a call I actually can do and put it to use.

That stimulus check finally hit me and in addition to going to rent, it's going to the basic tags for this fall. I won't go all out this year but I should keep trying for deer and elk.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


What are you guys using for boots. I hunt mostly in the northeast out of tree stands, so 90% of my hunting is done with muck boots.

That said, Iím tagging along with my brothers this fall for an archery elk hunt in NM and Iím in the market for some nicer boots. Theyíre both rocking crispies but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations.

crazypeltast52
May 5, 2010



I would also be interested, I used my steel toed Red Wings last weekend, which is not optimal for hiking.

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009

Postin in the springtime




Corollary question - what, if anything, is there about a hunting boot that a hiking boot doesn't have?

Not ragging on hunting boots, I just came into hunting as an adult after many years of backpacking, and I'm always curious which gear translates over just fine, and which gear really benefits from going hunting-specific.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


HamAdams posted:

What are you guys using for boots. I hunt mostly in the northeast out of tree stands, so 90% of my hunting is done with muck boots.

That said, Iím tagging along with my brothers this fall for an archery elk hunt in NM and Iím in the market for some nicer boots. Theyíre both rocking crispies but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations.

It really comes down to what fits your foot well from a good reputable hiking boot company. To me that means La Sportiva, Scarpa, Salomon, Salewa, Lowa, Crispi, Tecnica, etc.

You will hear people use everything from trail running shoes to mountaineering boots based on experience and personal preference. Itís also a lot different if you are on a private ranch driving around in a UTV and calling or living out of a backpack in the Pecos wilderness.

Iíve been using Tecnica Forge S boots for 2 years now for western backpack hunts in the Rockies with good luck. They are custom molded to your foot which is nice with medium stiffness and good goretex. Before that I used Salewa Mountain Trainer Mids which were stiffer but less forgiving of lace tension. The Italian boot companies tend to be better for narrow feet. Lowa has some better wide foot options.

Really just go to your local REI or equivalent to get fitted for boots. Alternatively Lathrop and sons is a western boot fitting company (out of Illinois?) that sends out a fitting kit, you mold your feet and mail it to them and they recommend a boot/insole combo.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


alnilam posted:

Corollary question - what, if anything, is there about a hunting boot that a hiking boot doesn't have?

Not ragging on hunting boots, I just came into hunting as an adult after many years of backpacking, and I'm always curious which gear translates over just fine, and which gear really benefits from going hunting-specific.

You are correct. Most hunting boots from Bass Pro are utter poo poo compared to typical hiking and mountaineering boots you buy at REI. There are some decent mountain hunting boots but they are just rebranded European mountaineering boots marked up another $100.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010



HamAdams posted:

What are you guys using for boots. I hunt mostly in the northeast out of tree stands, so 90% of my hunting is done with muck boots.

That said, Iím tagging along with my brothers this fall for an archery elk hunt in NM and Iím in the market for some nicer boots. Theyíre both rocking crispies but I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations.

I just wear my Vasque hiking boots for everything. Which unit is it, and when? That'll have some effect on your boot choice... if I'd been wearing northeast treestand-sittin insulated boots on my deer hunt last year, my feet would have been swimming in sweat. On the other hand if you're up near Polvadera Peak (north of Valles Caldera) where I hunted a couple years back, you're talking 10,000 feet of elevation, snow, and some drat cold nights.

Personally I'd just go with a set of decent hiking boots and pick socks based on where I'm going.

charliebravo77
Jun 11, 2003



I have used Two different pairs of Asolos (Fugitive GTXs and Flame GTXs), Danner Pronghorns and LaSportiva Trango TRXs over the years. Like flatland said a good hiking/mountaineering boot is way better than any "hunting" boot unless it's made by someone like Scarpa, Schnees, etc. Of the ones I've used, the Danners are the only ones that are a hard pass - they were hot, created bad hot spots and fell apart after like 40 miles worth of hiking. I really like the LaSportivas right now since they fit my feet well for hikes carrying weight and are full synthetic. I still actually have both pairs of Asolos as backup boots, but the Fugitives have basically on tread since I had them for about 8 years before retiring them. I've been trying some Altras for everyday wear and light hiking lately and really, really like them. I'm not sure I'd use them for hunting outside of something like pronghorn on sage flats, but they do make some higher cuts and have some waterproofing options.

Edit - I did also get a pair of Rocky neoprene/rubber boots last year, finally giving in to my hatred for that style of boot. These actually felt secure on my feet and are primarily on driveway shoveling/taking out the trash in winter duty plus maybe canoeing/fishing and/or turkey hunting location dependent.

charliebravo77 fucked around with this message at 20:50 on May 7, 2020

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


I'm onto my third or fourth pair of steel cap steel blue argyles. They've been amazing for long field days of survey work which is basically hunting for plants with a notepad instead of animals with a gun. Taken me through tropical jungle to just below sub zero mountains without much trouble. If they came with a lighter carbon toe I'd be stoked.

Steelcaps suck rear end for multi-day treking or anything below - 10, obviously. So far they've been okay for day hunts and I'd rather spend my cash on other stuff.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


My Danner pronghorns are OK but itís probably because there isnít a ton of walking (a few miles a day on relatively flat land) where I hunt in PA and I havenít bought anything better to compare. Most of the time Iím wearing rubber insulated alphaburly boots for cold tree stand sits or a pair of light asolo hiking boots for fall tree stand sits when itís above 60F.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


I picked up a pair of Vasque Arrowhead Ultradry's a year or two ago that have become my go to cold weather boots. They carry 200g on Thinsulate insulation which puts them at a happy medium between a heavily insulated hunting boot and a hiking boot with very limited insulation. My only complaint is their toe box is a little narrow which makes it hard to wiggle my toes, which is oddly annoying at times. I think Vasque provides a pretty good option for a solid hunting/hiking boot at a more budget oritented price. Especially if you shop around, REI in particular seems to have a lot of their boots on clearance this time of year.

The boots that have really surprised me though are a pair of Under Armour UA Verge hiking shoes I picked up on clearance a few years back. These are basically a slightly heavier duty basketball shoe upper with a shanked hiking boot insole sewed onto the bottom. They have zero insulation and very little water proofing, they provide competent traction and are lightweight and breathe well. I doubt these would be appropriate for a NM fall hunt temperatures but for warmer regions theyre really the bees knee. I probably spend mot of my hunting time in these and considering I paid $50 for them theyre probably one of the best hunting gear purchases Ive made.

Yuns
Aug 19, 2000

There is an idea of a Yuns, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.


I love my Asolo Fugitive GTX for comfort but I've found that they're not supportive enough or waterproof enough for truly rugged terrain. I still use them but I've gone to the Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker for more serious hiking/hunting duty.

super floppy disk
Feb 21, 2004


Can anyone give me a good reason to get a caliber other than .308 for shooting deer in my back yard? In the woods of northern New England. Typical range would probably be 60-200 yards.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

dominicds posted:

Can anyone give me a good reason to get a caliber other than .308 for shooting deer in my back yard? In the woods of northern New England. Typical range would probably be 60-200 yards.

I hunt deer with a .308 because the guys I hunt with also shoot it, so we can share ammo and generally be lazy. Otherwise though I would probably have gone with 6.5 creedmoor.

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


dominicds posted:

Can anyone give me a good reason to get a caliber other than .308 for shooting deer in my back yard? In the woods of northern New England. Typical range would probably be 60-200 yards.

Because 6.5 creedmoor has 1/3 less recoil than 308, cost the same amount for mid to high quality ammo, is just as readily available as 308 with both ammo and rifles. Less recoil means more confidence in a 7 lb hunting rifle.

The only upside to 308 over 6.5 creedmoor is that 308 does a lot better out of 16Ē barrels than 6.5 creedmoor if you want a brush gun.

*Generally round selection has no effect on the success of eastern deer hunting.*

super floppy disk
Feb 21, 2004


That's pretty compelling, why did I think 6.5 creed was way more costly? I guess I was looking at minimum prices instead of proper hunting loads

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


I would do 6.5C for sure for your use case.

super floppy disk
Feb 21, 2004


Thanks folks, you changed my mind!

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


You can kill eastern whitetail with basically anything. They are like big groundhogs in terms of how tough they are (within those ranges)

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


dominicds posted:

That's pretty compelling, why did I think 6.5 creed was way more costly? I guess I was looking at minimum prices instead of proper hunting loads

You can get down to ~55 cents a round with the S&B 6.5 creedmoor in bulk but for 75 cents you can get Hornady American gunner bulk ammo thatís legitimately sub MOA ammo. I was shooting 4Ē plates at 500 yards last weekend with American Gunner 6.5 CM.

Sometimes you will get 308/7.62 for ~40 cents around for some cheap steel case or 30 year old imported ammo for mag dumping Cold War battle rifles. When you buy comparable quality ammo 308 and 6.5 have been evenly priced the last few years.

HamAdams
Jun 29, 2018

yospos


Managed to sneak down to camp for a Saturday morning hunt. Knew conditions were supposed to be cold and windy. Didnít expect it to feel like late deer season. Thermometer read 22F when I got up at 4am and there was 2-3 inches of snow.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


dominicds posted:

Can anyone give me a good reason to get a caliber other than .308 for shooting deer in my back yard? In the woods of northern New England. Typical range would probably be 60-200 yards.

My first rifle is in 308 and the cartridge has performed great for me. With that said even cheap steel case 308 ammo isnt as cheap as it used to be, theres really no point in getting a 308 over a 6.5CM unless you are using it for a niche setup like what I use for hunting woods. My original 308 largely collects dust these days despite it being a rifle I really like, so Ill probably be installing a switch lug on it and getting a short barrel in 338 Federal and a longer barrel in 6.5CM just so itll be relevant for the hunting I do once again. You probably wont notice much difference between the two cartridges at those ranges but a rifle in 6.5CM will give you better performance if you take it into a situation where it needs to stretch its legs a bit.

charliebravo77
Jun 11, 2003



The only reason not to get 6.5CM over 308 is if you're getting 7mm-08 instead.

Ophidian
Jan 12, 2005

Woo WOO, Look a Parrot...
LOOK AT IT!


charliebravo77 posted:

The only reason not to get 6.5CM over 308 is if you're getting 7mm-08 instead.

The true caliber for gun buds

Flatland Crusoe
Jan 12, 2011

Great White Hunter
Master Race

Let me explain why I'm better than you


No luck in the Montana Sheep or mountain goat draw this year. Iím up to 6 and 5 points now on the species and my odds are still sub 1% odds of drawing in a given year......

Tune in next Thursday for my post about how I wonít get drawn for my Wyoming elk tag for the 5th year in a row....

Action-Bastard
Jan 1, 2008



Are hunting stories/videos welcome here?

Cool video about a big game hunter in India dealing with a sloth bear:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j86EZmCyl2s

The rest of the channel is primarily about bigfoot and related stories, mostly gems with a few stinkers in between, if that gets your interest.

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tangy yet delightful
Sep 13, 2005



Got an Oregon account setup for hunting licenses and fired off an email to figure out what, if anything I need to do, with respect to hunting safety courses out here (or just using my TN one). Also I read up more and found out you can buy points past the May 15th date, you just won't get the draw for this year if you miss that date. Depending on the speed of their emailing me back I'll at least hunt some non-controlled deer this fall.

I think I would like to buy a dedicated hunting rifle (and possibly scope - might reuse the 1-4x I currently have for this season) to traipse around with. I think CharlieBravo had a rifle he bought after some research and knowledge and poo poo but I'd be up for hearing anyone's thoughts.

Looking at the last few pages I think 6.8CM would be the round choice to go with. I'm left handed but use and prefer a right hand bolt.

Also Portland area goons, feel free to let me know about FFLs you like to use as I may end up purchasing online depending on what's in stock locally.

edit: Ideally whatever I buy can humanely kill deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn. Probably not hunting bears.

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