Although turkey hunting alone can be exciting and challenging, there may come a time when a friend wishes to tag along. In these situations the two hunters must work as a team. Here are a few tips for success.
The key to hunting with a buddy revolves around communication with the two hunters. This should be worked out prior to the turkey hunting taking place. There needs to be signals discussed as to what actions will be taken.
For example, when a turkey comes in, which hunter will take the shot. A good suggestion is to divide the area in half. A turkey that comes in from the left belongs to the hunter seated on the left side. A turkey that comes from the right belongs to the hunter seated to the right.
There needs to be signals on when to shoot also. Generally, a soft verbal command will be effective as long as the hunters are in close range of one another.
Depending upon the experience of the guest, there may be a need to explain what turkey can and can not be taken. Spring hunting requires that only gobblers be harvested. It is important that the friend understands how to identify a gobbler from a hen.
It is also often important to extinguish between mature gobblers and young gobblers. This may come into play when hunting areas that are controlled for the purpose of trophy hunting.
Identifying what turkey is to be harvested needs to be discussed prior to heading into the field to hunt.
Another thing to consider is the skill level of the guest. Most importantly is the safety factor. Always go over general safety rules as well as rules that apply specifically to turkey hunting safety.
There also needs to be attention given to the shooting ability of the guest. It is best to have the guest practice with the weapon of choice in the presence of the experienced hunter prior to the hunt.
This will determine the best distances for making a clean and accurate shot. This information is then used to be better prepared in the field.
Explain The Hunt
The experienced hunter should also go over how the turkey hunt will take place. Explain the calling process as well as the need to sit still and be quiet. It is important for the friend to understand each step involved in the hunt from beginning to end.
Be willing to discuss the turkey hunting steps and answer any questions that the friend may have. Doing so ahead of time will allow for less issues during the actual hunt.
By preparing, turkey hunting with a friend can be a great experience for both the hunters involved. Remember to have fun and enjoy the companionship.
No matter where turkey hunting takes place, more often than not there will be some form of a brush thicket found in the area. Although avoiding these areas can be helpful, sometimes it is better to use them to the hunters advantage.
In most cases, the turkey will avoid the use of the brush or sapling thicket. The turkey will usually circle around these areas to stay away from predators.
Often, if a hunter hears a turkey gobble on the other side of a thicket, the hunter will want to try and get on the same side as the turkey. While sometimes this type of hunting tactic works, many times the hunter will spook the turkey by doing so.
Instead of trying to go to the other side, use the thicket as a wall. Move to the far end of the thicket and setup there.
Pick a location that allows for more open terrain and a better field of view. This will be a benefit for the hunting position and make the turkey more likely to respond.
Try to have the setup positioned in a way that the turkey can be seen as it makes its way around the edge of the thicket.
Place one or two decoys out facing away from the direction of the turkey. Many times the turkey will circle around to face the decoys. This will put the turkey between the decoys and the hunter.
Use soft yelps, clucks, and purrs to lure the turkey in. Muffle the volume of the call when the turkey gets close and stop calling when it appears.
Make sure to use good camouflage tactics as the turkey will be alert and actively seeking the hen.
These tactics can be used in hunting situations with other types of obstacles as long as there is open ground along the edges.
A vital part of turkey hunting is the position of the hunter. The hunter must be in the best possible location for proper set up. Positioning is often more important than calling skills.
There are two basic positioning methods for turkey hunting. These are while the turkey is still on the roost and after the turkey is on the ground.
When it comes to roosting position, it is often best for the hunter to get as close to the roosted turkey as possible. This is done quietly before sunrise. It is important not to get too close as to spook the turkey.
Another factor to consider when positioning near a roosting area is the hens. The hunter should try to get in between the gobbler and the hens whenever possible.
An additional thought to consider is where the gobbler is most likely to go after fly down. By scouting the area to be hunted prior to the hunt, the hunter will have a good idea for proper hunting positioning.
Finding a good set up spot for after the turkey fly down is also important. Sometimes even the best roosting set up will not work. The hunter then has to be prepared for hunting once the turkey hits the ground.
For the most part, the gobbler will be seeking strutting areas and food sources. The hunter must be familiar with or at least be able to locate these areas for proper set up.
Often these areas are found near fields, logging roads, farming roads, or food plots. Once found, the hunter should set up in these areas and wait the gobblers out.
In most cases the gobbler will arrive in these areas later in the morning after the hens have left him.
Calling skills, camouflage, and other factors will apply while turkey hunting. However, often it is the ability of the hunter to find good set up positions that make the difference in success.
The ability to pattern a gobbler often is the only way for a hunter to find success. During times when gobblers do not respond to calling or are with hens, turkey hunting can be tough. This is when patterning a gobbler will come into play.
To pattern a turkey for hunting, the hunter must learn the daily habits of the gobbler. This is done by being in the field while listening and observing the turkey. Basically one is gathering information as to where the gobbler is likely to be throughout the day.
Often a gobbler will fly off the roost without ever making a sound. This may be the result of turkey hunting pressure. It could also mean that the gobbler is already with the hens. The hunter must then use patterning skills to locate the gobbler.
In order to find the gobbler, look for signs left behind that indicate that the gobbler frequents the area. This may include tracks, wing or tail fan feathers, strut marks, scratchings, or droppings. Hunting in these areas or along food source areas increases the chances of seeing a turkey.
Another advantage of patterning a turkey is finding strutting areas. These areas are excellent for hunting. They may be found near field edges, agricultural or logging roads, or other open type terrain.
By patterning the turkey prior to hunting, one will have a good indication of where the turkeys will be headed. Set up in these areas and wait patiently for the gobbler to arrive. Use soft yelps, purrs, and clucks calling methods to entice the gobbler in.
The deer rutting period has ended and all the breeding has occurred. The bucks will rest and return back to more normal routines. This period is referred to as the post rut stage.
The bucks will again be using a bedding to feeding schedule to regain much needed food and rest. For the most part, the bucks will be focused on regaining strength and energy from the exhausting rutting period.
The bucks will be feeding heavily and in most cases often. This period offers a good opportunity for the hunter. Setting up stands in and around available food sources can provide a hunter with a good chance at a late season buck. This will require the hunter to be aware of current deer food sources in order to be effective.
The morning and evening deer hunting approach comes back into play. If the area to be hunted offers quality cover nearby, bucks may even head out to feeding areas throughout the day.
Deer hunting near the bedding areas can be another way of taking a buck. The bucks will be more sensitive to any pressure put on the bedding areas so make sure to use proper scent control and not get too close. Hunting near deer bedding areas is often very productive during the post rut period.
Another idea to consider is still hunting from the ground. By using good still hunting tactics, a hunter can slowly and methodically cover more ground that is suspected of holding the deer. This also allows the hunter to stay current with any fresh deer activity.
Since the season is coming to a close soon after the post rut stage, a good deer drive may also offer hunters late season action. Just remember to be careful and use safety precautions.
The post rut stage can provide hunters with an opportunity to harvest a late season buck. Just because the rutting period is over doesn’t mean the deer hunting is finished. There have been plenty of nice bucks taken during this time of the year.
After the first breeding period, there will be some does that were not bred. These does will come into estrus again about a month later. This period is known as the second rut stage. This time can again offer increased deer hunting chances for the determined hunter.
The second rut stage does not usually provide as much heavy activity as the first. However, there will be some, and the bucks will again be searching for and finding these estrus does. The hunter needs to be alert and aware of these changing conditions.
The bucks have had some time to regain strength and energy. They have been resting and feeding heavily for several weeks. The bucks will again be on foot searching for the late season estrus does. The sightings will begin to increase for a second time.
This secondary rut stage can be hunted, often as effectively, as the first stages of the rutting period. There will be fewer does in estrus, but any remaining bucks that were not previously harvested will be active. Good observation skills will keep the hunter aware of increased activity.
When it comes to deer hunting, the hunter should locate current doe feeding, traveling, and bedding areas and set up accordingly. The bucks will be traveling and monitoring these areas in search of the remaining estrus does. Pay attention to deer movement and be willing to adjust if need be.
The hunter needs to stay active as the second rut stage can be productive and offers another late season chance for success. Stay focused, hunt hard, and make the best of the remaining rutting period.
After the initial stages of the rut, and the majority of the estrus does are bred, deer activity begins to decrease. This is known as the lull rut stage.
Both the bucks and does are exhausted from all the running around and breeding activities. For several weeks, the bucks will be bedding and visiting food sources in an attempt to rejuvenate much needed rest and energy.
This is often a tough time for deer hunting. Daylight sightings of bucks will decrease. However, it is still possible to be successful.
The best bet for a hunter is to locate the remaining food sources in the area. Setting up near and hunting these feeding areas or along nearby travel trails leading to these locations. This of course requires the hunter to be familiar with the terrain and to know the deer food sources.
In many cases, hunting during the evening hours will be more productive. The bucks will be bedded down for most of the day and venture out just before or after dark. Morning hunting occasionally works but is usually less effective.
Although the lull rut stage is normally less productive than other times of the rutting period, there is always a chance at seeing bucks. It is best to continue using good hunting skills in order to remain in the hunt.
Once the bucks have searched for, located, and chased after an estrus doe, then comes the time to breed. This is known as the breeding stage of the rut.
The bucks are now glued to the estrus doe and do not let them out of sight. Wherever the doe goes, so to goes the buck.
Buck and doe sightings are more frequent to hunters that stay in the woods all day. Although the bucks are still cautious, they do seem to let their guard down a bit if only slightly.
Does will generally seek out areas away from the other deer when it comes time to be bred. Secluded grassy or wheat fields, small patches of woods, or thickets that are away from other deer activity can offer good setup locations for deer hunting.
Rub and scrape line deer hunting is less effective during the breeding stage. A doe decoy used with estrus scents can still work if placed near food or bedding areas. The use of grunting and rattling can sometimes bring in bucks that are still seeking companionship.
The rut breeding stage, as well as the entire rutting period, is prime time to hunt all day and usually offers great success.
After the first does come into estrus, the bucks will begin following the does around waiting for the opportunity to breed. This period is known as the chase stage of the rut.
The bucks will stay close to the does chasing them from one place to another until the doe is ready to be bred. The bucks will become relentless during this time often becoming more visible during daylight hours.
When preparing for deer hunting, The hunter needs to locate bedding, feeding, and travel areas that are being used by the does. Tall grassy fields, small sapling thickets, and funnels that lead to these areas are excellent locations for a deer hunting setup.
The hunter can also use a doe decoy that is placed where it can be seen. Put the doe decoy in areas that are frequented by the does. Use doe in estrus deer scents placed in canisters around the decoy in a circle. This technique will often bring in bucks that are roaming the area.
The hunter can also use a set of deer rattling antlers. Use a series of short, soft sequences of up to a minute. Then pause for ten minutes or so to allow time for any buck in the area to respond. Add a grunt call to the mix before and after rattling. This can be an effective way to draw in a buck.
The rut chase stage is very exciting and allows the hunter to be aggressive during the rutting period.