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  • #31
    Land #4

    I saw a group of about 4 Toms about 3 Miles south west of the public land. They flew across the road as I was leaving the land. I snapped a photo of them but my cell phone can only zoom so much and I was only able to visible see 1 with my phone.

    the place is kinda more out there, next to big properties. Only issue is I had to drive through a suburb to get there. It was maybe only 10 min away from that suburb. I also saw some tire tracks in the parking lot.

    It had a creek running through it as well.

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    • #32
      Land #5.

      This land is great, has a creek and all different types of woods. I’ve attempted to go small game hunting on this land before. So I have walked through a portion of this land.

      This land looks promising. Only problem is it’s the closest piece of land to the metro area. It’s only 30 min away from me and I’m in a suburb north of the twin cities.

      It seems to be located near a warehouse district and some corn fields. It’s got a creek running through it as well.

      I would love to hunt here but, not sure if it’s gonna get slammed. It is a smaller piece of land so maybe that would make some people skip over it?

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      • #33
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        • #34
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          • #35
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            • #36
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              • #37
                Some nice-looking woods, and that's great that you actually laid eyes on some toms!

                I don't know your area, but I wouldn't stress too much about whether you're going to have other hunters around. It's just a part of it, like ticks and bad weather. If you have some weekdays to hunt, that'll help free things up for you. Also, on those mornings when you're frustrated at seeing trucks in every parking spot, remember that a lot of hunters get out there first thing, but then leave by mid-morning. Mid-to-late morning is a great time to hunt, because after the morning love-sessions, the hens head for the nest. Oftentimes, the gobblers are still looking for action and might be even more likely to come to calling than they were at sunrise.

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                • #38
                  Alright fellas! I’ll report back in a few weeks. Let the snow die down a little, get closer to spring. I’m gonna be out there covering some ground scouting for turkeys.

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                  • #39
                    Good luck with that snow melt !!

                    Does Minnesota do a turkey harvest survey ? If so that could "possibly" help as that could give you where (what county, private or public land) & when (what season) they were harvested.
                    For contacting private landowners, I prefer knocking on doors. Play the first time hunter card 😀 and maybe try to just set a time when they can talk. Also depends on how well you can carry on a conversation with someone you just met. Stay away from politics & religion !!
                    The place with the large lake may not have the hunter traffic you think, might be more folks just fish than do other stuff.
                    I agree with most of what M37 noted.

                    The issue for this spring is it could be much later than normal, finding viable food sources would be critical.
                    The hens will still be active on any available food source, just as all wildlife are right now.
                    Look forward to more reports !

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                    • #40
                      Here’s some photos I got from today on a new piece of public land I went to check out.Click image for larger version

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                      • #41
                        I went to check out a new piece of public land today. Didn’t scout it or anything, still too much snow out there, not to mention it has been raining non stop in Minnesota right now. But I still like to drive to the pieces of land and scope out the environment and all that.

                        So so here’s what I got on this new land.

                        Right before I arrived at the parking location, maybe about 100 yards before the public land started, about 250 yards to the right of the road on someone’s piece of land I saw the most turkeys I’ve ever seen on my life. I maybe saw a group of just shy of 50 turkeys!

                        The public land is near farms. This person seemed to have an open lot of dirt where all the turkeys were just digging through.

                        I know the picture is horrible because this was the best my phone can do. I know it doesn’t look like much but I brought my binoculars with me and I could see all those turkeys, it must have been at least 35.

                        Then as I began to walk up to the public land I saw what I believe to be a gobbler dropping. There’s was a few of them around. I’m not 100% sure if it was in fact, or how fresh it was, but I still took some pictures to post online because I’m sure you guys can tell me.

                        Cons about this land was:
                        - it doesn’t seem to be really out there, what I mean by that is it only took me about 10 min to get to a populated suburb. Not mega metro suburb, it was smaller of course. And on the way to the land I saw homes a lot.

                        Once I got about 3 miles from the land I started to see farms. Which that of course doesn’t bother me. But again, I’m thinking about the whole potentially crowded hunting grounds.

                        When I went to the land there were truck tracks there. Not sure how fresh but it was just 1 track.

                        Theres a no firearm zone in the northern part of the land. Which is where I was and where the turkeys were. Again not sure if this may prove to hinder my hunt.

                        Pros: most turkeys I’ve ever seen, closest to the land, and I found some droppings officially on the land.

                        Opinions? What do you guys think?

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                        • #42
                          With that population of birds, dealing with other hunters will likely be worth it. And like I said before, you're probably not going to find a place that you'll have all to yourself all the time. Just try to maximize those "off" times: Later in the morning (or day, if MN allows afternoon hunting) and weekdays.

                          When you do have other hunters in the woods, try to be the one who sounds the most like a real turkey and not like a guy using a turkey call. By that I don't necessarily mean the one who makes the best yelps or purrs or whatever. I mean, oftentimes some soft, subtle calling is more convincing -- especially when the toms are hearing yelps hammering back and forth across the land. I personally don't really believe that toms get "call-shy," the way that term is generally used -- but it surely has an effect when toms hear lots and lots of calling, go to it, and then a). don't find a hen there, b). get spooked, or c). get shot at.

                          If it's a crowded day in the woods, I would listen for a gobble, get set up, and then just call softly, lots of contented clucks and purrs, some leaf-scratching maybe, and play it cool.

                          If a hunter is already setting up on a bird you've heard, and you don't hear another to go after, then that's where all this good scouting you're doing will really come into play. Go to the spot where you've found gobbler sign or seen them moving or strutting*. Put out your decoys if you're using them, get settled, and just call at infrequent intervals, soft and contented, clucks and purrs, maybe a series of yelps every now and then. Resist the urge to call a lot; any turkey that hears you won't need constant reminders.

                          * -- While scouting, look for strutting areas. Drag marks from the tom's wing-tips, lots of tracks going back and forth, maybe a feather or two. On days when you don't hear gobbles, or someone else beats you to a bird, that strutting area is the place to set up. (Assuming of course that it's not in the direction of where you know another hunter to be)
                          Last edited by MattM37; 03-14-2019, 12:32 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by MattM37 View Post
                            With that population of birds, dealing with other hunters will likely be worth it. And like I said before, you're probably not going to find a place that you'll have all to yourself all the time. Just try to maximize those "off" times: Later in the morning (or day, if MN allows afternoon hunting) and weekdays.

                            When you do have other hunters in the woods, try to be the one who sounds the most like a real turkey and not like a guy using a turkey call. By that I don't necessarily mean the one who makes the best yelps or purrs or whatever. I mean, oftentimes some soft, subtle calling is more convincing -- especially when the toms are hearing yelps hammering back and forth across the land. I personally don't really believe that toms get "call-shy," the way that term is generally used -- but it surely has an effect when toms hear lots and lots of calling, go to it, and then a). don't find a hen there, b). get spooked, or c). get shot at.

                            If it's a crowded day in the woods, I would listen for a gobble, get set up, and then just call softly, lots of contented clucks and purrs, some leaf-scratching maybe, and play it cool.

                            If a hunter is already setting up on a bird you've heard, and you don't hear another to go after, then that's where all this good scouting you're doing will really come into play. Go to the spot where you've found gobbler sign or seen them moving or strutting*. Put out your decoys if you're using them, get settled, and just call at infrequent intervals, soft and contented, clucks and purrs, maybe a series of yelps every now and then. Resist the urge to call a lot; any turkey that hears you won't need constant reminders.

                            * -- While scouting, look for strutting areas. Drag marks from the tom's wing-tips, lots of tracks going back and forth, maybe a feather or two. On days when you don't hear gobbles, or someone else beats you to a bird, that strutting area is the place to set up. (Assuming of course that it's not in the direction of where you know another hunter to be)
                            All good info there for him Matt 👍
                            You must be a supreme turkey slayer 😀
                            I am guessing he may still be fighting snow covered ground when his season starts.
                            Ours starts April 8th here, we have lost most of ours in eastern Iowa with warm weather and rain but the northern areas got a lot of snow there 10 days ago.
                            Lots of flooding and closed roads happening now.

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                            • #44
                              Thanks for the advice Matt! I appreciate everyone taking the time to help me out!

                              Yes snow is still kinda a problem for me but hopefully it will get pretty low soon.

                              I do have 1 hen decoy, I’m not sure if I should use it or not. I hear decoys on public land is a big NO. What do you guys think?

                              I was gonna go out with no decoy. Just to potentially avoid any trouble.

                              How many pieces of land do you think I should scout? Obviously I can’t scout them all. I may narrow it down to the 3 pieces of land where I saw turkeys.

                              When would you say is crunch time? I was reading that the only scouting that matters is about 2 weeks before the season starts.

                              Im kinda just going now to get familiar with the land.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                I think hunting without a decoy will make you a better overall turkey-hunter. I've pretty much quit using decoys altogether. I found myself thinking more about finding the perfect decoy spot and set-up, rather than thinking about the turkeys. That's just me of course. Safety-wise, no decoy is certainly a safer way to go. I don't think a decoy on public land is a major no-no, especially if you have that blaze-orange swatch on your tree, but you never know. There are some real hoople-heads out there. I've heard of painting a blaze-orange stripe on a decoy, and heard that it doesn't bother the gobblers any, but never tried that myself.

                                If you've actually laid eyes on a good number of birds, I'd stick with those areas. Not broke, don't fix it. As the season goes on, who knows? You've got other places to try if your first choices aren't working out. If you don't have time to scout them all ahead of season, that's fine. There's no law against in-season scouting, and if you've got your gun and tags along, you can swing into action if you happen to hear a gobble. Do a little calling every so often as you scout about, same as a regular walk-and-call hunt -- just moving along, calling, then setting up when you get a response.

                                Only problem with that, on public land you might spook a bird somebody else is working, or the gobble you hear might be a tom responding to that guy's calling. It's an ethical issue that doesn't have a clear-cut remedy. When I'm moving through state land, I just try to listen for anything that might be another hunter calling, and if I get the sense somebody's around, I just head back the way I came and go elsewhere. And I always wear my blaze-orange hat when I'm on my feet.

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