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Turkey season is around the corner in Ohio(April 22) and I just wanted to know at what times during the day have you had the mos

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  • Turkey season is around the corner in Ohio(April 22) and I just wanted to know at what times during the day have you had the mos

    Turkey season is around the corner in Ohio(April 22) and I just wanted to know at what times during the day have you had the most success? Also do you guys have any good turkey hunting stories?

  • #2
    The first hour of legal shooting light is often magical...not only is it one of the times during the day that toms are most vocal, giving you an idea if you are near birds, but it is the time of day when the woods come alive with spring sounds and sights. It is often the time of the day when there will be little or no wind, which helps you hear what is going on around you, turkey-wise. Another good time to sit tight and pay attention is the morning hours from 9:00 or so until noon, when hens leave the toms they spent the morning with, and the toms go looking for action. If you know for certain of a roosting area, that is a great spot to start your day, and a great one to end you day, if you can legally hunt evening hours...toms heading to roost at night are often vocal and susceptible to calls. Decoys are iffy, in my book...all too often I have called in a tom who, upon seeing that hen, reverts to normal turkey biology...meaning, he gobbles and struts, out of shotgun range, demanding the decoy hen to come to him. You might save the hen decoy for thick cover, where the tom is within range of your shotgun before it sees the decoy...then it gives that tom a focus point other than you and the small movements you must make to bring your gun up, wait for your shot, flick off your safety and claim your prize. Good luck-

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    • #3
      I've generally also had the best luck in the first hour of the day by locating, moving in on, and then calling a Tom in. But, I've bagged gobblers at 10-11 a.m. too who were silent all morning and then suddenly sounded off to a few yelps and almost ran me over in their haste to come in to a couple of clucks. Like crosbychief, I've never had much use for decoys but other guys swear by them.

      As far as a story: Three years ago, I walked into an area where I'd been hunting a gobbler who was with a group of hens and twice before had flown off the roost and walked away with them. I got set up well before dawn in the area I knew he and the hens were roosting. As it got light, not one, but 3 gobblers sounded off. One was about a hundred yards above me. One was less than 65 yards in front of me (I could see him in the tree) and one was about a 50 yards beyond the closest bird in front of me. There was also a hen in a tree about 75 yards below me that I could also see.

      I'd had at least one of these toms walk away with a hen a few mornings before so I figured I had nothing to lose by calling aggressively to them. Every time the hen would make a few tree yelps, I'd jump in. Each time all three toms would sound off. Even though this was a warm, sunny morning, all four birds stayed in the trees until almost 6:30 and between the three toms they probably gobbled 30-40 times total. The hen finally flew down and walked down over the hill. At this point I did a lot of cackling and cutting as all three gobblers came down. I saw glimpses of two of them and finally got a 20 yard clean shot at one as he stepped up onto a small hump. He turned out to be a decent bird- 1 1/4 spurs, weighed a little over 19 pounds.

      I can say this was my most exciting hunt ever. I've never worked three birds at once before or done that much aggressive calling for that period of time. It's not for anyone with a heart condition.

      Generally, I'm a believer in the idea that less calling is better but ever day is different and I think you have to go with your instinct sometimes. I decided that morning that I was going to be more interesting than the other hen and I was lucky that none of the birds spotted me. I think they stayed in the trees for so long trying to spot the new bird. (Me).

      Good luck on the 22nd. Our season starts the 27th.

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      • #4
        im always in the woods first thing, but rarely do i ever kill a bird off the roost, i kill most of them between 10-12. later in the day the easier it is.

        as stated above, roost gobbling gives you the best idea of where these birds are, then set up accordingly.

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        • #5
          Another vote for early morning. Turkeys are very noisy coming off the roost. I wear a Walker's Game Ear and I turn up the power.

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          • #6
            I quit getting up early for turkey hunting ten years ago -- too many 3:00 am wakeups in a row wear me out. I hunt from the crack of 7:00 to until 2:00 or sometimes a little later. I have shot all my birds since then between 8:30 and 1:00.
            I hunt public land. The early morning crowds thin out at 8 or 9 and I have very little competition most of the time.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys for the answers. Nice story alegmtn, that must have been very exciting.

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              • #8
                I have had my best luck right at legal light. Mainly because I like to put them to bed the night before and setup where they roosted. In Ohio you can only hunt until noon during spring turkey season, so get out there early.

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                • #9
                  Buckeye, that is partially correct April 22nd-May 5th you can only hunt from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 12:00 P.M., and from May 6th-19th 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.

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