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Ice Storm Revisited

Image003-2 Promised to post some photos of the horrendous New England ice storm of December 12. Here are a shot of the road out in front of my camp. Know that there was a flock of turkeys roosted up behind the house in the days leading up to the ice—what's become of them is anyone's guess. Turkeys are tough, but I'm not sure that they could have survived it. Will be surveying the damage in the days ahead and post some shots.—Gerry Bethge

Comments

Dirty

I just got back from deer huntin this mornin, I sat down and called a buddy that was still on the stand. He told me he had been watching 4 turk's all mornin on a highline that his stand is on. 3 longbeard's and a jake. He said that 2 of the longbeard's were double-bearded. They came out at 20 yard's and half-strutted and ran around in circle's, I guess establishing pecking order, they wondered off and out of sight 2 hrs and 250 yds later.
We still have till Feb 28!!!! What should I attempt??? Do you think these bird's will stay in the area come spring??? I've never taken a double-beard, and in the fall, with a bow, WOW!!! Any tip's, Gerry? Steve????
Dirty

Steve Hickoff

Hey Dirty,

I'm gonna treat your question like we're in turkey camp, and shootin' the breeze. So here goes . . .

(1) Find the roost. Find the favored food source. Set up between the two locations.

(2) Simply return to the spot, if your buddy doesn't mind, and call like those gobblers. One trick: make fighting purrs, rowdy gobbler yelps, and even gobbles, safety of the location permitting. And get ready: they may come running in. I've had that work a time or two.

Is it private or public land?

Gerry, any thoughts on the great situation our fellow SZer is in? Btw, that ice-storm pic puts mine to shame.

Steve


Dirty

Private land. They were roosted about 50 yds off the high-line. They were doing alot of fighting purr sound's. I'll have to wait till the end of fire arm season (end's Dec 31) till I go in there, they said. I guess they are bugging that high line. That's the only food source I can think of. 73 degrees here right now. You fellas think there gonna roost in the same general area, I'm not acustomed to these fall bird's. Letmeknow.
Dirty

Gerry Bethge

Dirty.....

Sounds like you've basically got forever (Feb. 28) to get those gobblers figured out--I'm envious. I'm not as familiar with fall Rio tactics as I am with Easterns. However, I do know that in some areas of Texas, the Rios migrate completely out of the area in wintertime. Not sure if that's the case where you are or not, but it might be something to look into and might help answer the question as to whether the birds will be there in spring or not.

Because of the amount of time you've got to hunt, I'd go with Steve's suggestions. Don't press them too much and do all that you can to find where they're roosting---that is the real trick. If you've failed at busting a bird after flydown, try to bust them up. Remember, though, that although gobblers will re-call and try to get back together again, it might take a day or two. Get ready to sit for a bit.

Dirty

Gerry, Im back in AR now, so these are eastern's.
Dirty

Gerry Bethge

Dirty.....Gotcha, brother.....I'm certainly not the most patient hunter in the darn woods, so if I had my drothers, I'd give one or two roost hunts a try and if that didn't work, I'd go for a flock bust. Of course, the whole key is to find their roost area. Wait for an evening with perfect conditions and listen---hard. Listen for them to fly up and that's your head start.—GB

Dirty

Thanks fella's,
Go ahead and educate me though, Do fall eastern's primarily roost in the same general location from day to day, as they do in the spring? Will these bird's be there in the spring? Should I bust the roost? Should I call to the roost? What's your preference in call's during the fall, box? diaphram? slate? gobble tube? Should I use decoy's? Your input is greatly appreciated. I think I can do this. Just filled my last deer tag yesterday evening.
Dirty

Gerry Bethge

Dirty.....

I'll try to give you my two cents worth question by question....

1--Fall roost locations: Hard to say. This past season in New York, I was on a flock of gobblers that were pretty reliable and would roost on the same ridge four days out of the week. Where they were on the other days, I'm not certain. The reason they were there was because of acorns. So, if you're birds are hard on a food source, you can pretty much count on them being there until the supply is exhausted.

2--Will they be there in the spring? Maybe though might also be 3 miles away, too. Depends on the hens, Dirty and there's just no telling.

3--In your specific case, because they're gobblers, I think I'd try a couple of roost hunts first. Get to the roost at least 1/2 hour before fly down time. Start with the soft stuff and listen. if they're there, I prefer to sound like the first bird on the ground. If they're vocal, imitate exactly what they're doing with what ever call you need to use to imitate them. In the fall, I'll empty out the vest and I'm rarely afraid of calling too much.

4--Decoys---Hmmmmm.....can't hurt.


Steve? What say you?

Gerry Bethge

Dirty.....

I'll try to give you my two cents worth question by question....

1--Fall roost locations: Hard to say. This past season in New York, I was on a flock of gobblers that were pretty reliable and would roost on the same ridge four days out of the week. Where they were on the other days, I'm not certain. The reason they were there was because of acorns. So, if you're birds are hard on a food source, you can pretty much count on them being there until the supply is exhausted.

2--Will they be there in the spring? Maybe though might also be 3 miles away, too. Depends on the hens, Dirty and there's just no telling.

3--In your specific case, because they're gobblers, I think I'd try a couple of roost hunts first. Get to the roost at least 1/2 hour before fly down time. Start with the soft stuff and listen. if they're there, I prefer to sound like the first bird on the ground. If they're vocal, imitate exactly what they're doing with what ever call you need to use to imitate them. In the fall, I'll empty out the vest and I'm rarely afraid of calling too much.

4--Decoys---Hmmmmm.....can't hurt.


Steve? What say you?

Steve Hickoff

Dirty,

You mentioned that they were making fighting purrs . . .

Get on that roost the way you would in spring. Sit tight. Listen for them waking up, flying down. Make some gobbler yelps (yawp, yawp, yawp). I love a slate for this, especially when they're out of sight. Progress to some clucking and purring. I like to run a mouth call and slate at the same time in these moments.

Don't overdo it. Think like a turkey. Since you're bowhunting, if you run that slate and they're close enough and respond, put it down. Wait. Watch. Be patient. There's a decent chance they'll check you out.

Draw, pick a wingbutt feather, and let fly--unless you aim for the head or base of the neck.

The thing is: time with these winter turkeys will teach you how to hunt them.

Keep us posted!

Steve


Dirty

Thanck's fella's! I'm hiped up! Gonna give it a try and I'll keep you guy's posted!
Dirty

Dirty

Steve,
I wanted to send you some pic's from this past spring. Here's my email. safetyjake@yahoo.com
Dirty

Steve Hickoff

Hey Dirty,

Here's the contact e addy:

thestrutzone@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Steve

Steve Hickoff

Hey Dirty,

Here's the contact e addy:

thestrutzone@yahoo.com

Thanks!

Steve