View Full Version : Turkey Hunting - where to begin?

10-02-2008, 7:41 PM
Hi. I'm a complete newbie but always wanted to kill the Thanksgiving turkey. :) Where does a noob begin? Any good places to learn in S. Cal?

10-04-2008, 6:26 PM

10-06-2008, 3:58 PM
Consider joining the National Wild Turkey Federation.

or perhaps go to a meeting of your local chapter... I'm sure someone there would be willing to show you the ropes.

note.. wild turkey is very different eating than your store bought bird. The birds I get are best just brested out. The rest of the meat is too tough.

10-07-2008, 6:10 PM
Top things for a new turkey hunter to learn:

1. Practice sitting still. Sit down on the floor with knees up and put a quarter on each kneecap, elbow, shoulder, and top of your head. Watch the second hand on a clock tick by five minutes, then ten, then twelve without any of them dropping. That is how still and how patient you must learn how to be--and it doesn't come natural.

2. Learn how to call well but minimally. A 20 pound tasty bird doesn't bang out racket nonstop like the TV shows and company ads would have you believe or know it all twerps in the shop and paid calling contest competitors try to beat into you. He'd be lunch for a couple dozen coyotes in 5 minutes if he did. 5 or 6 notes once or 2 or 3 twice every five minutes tops, most likely 12 to 20 minutes. Turkeys are sneaky critters. They have to be. They can respond 5 minutes (which if you've observed #1 you'll know that's darn near eternity...and if you haven't observed #1, don't even bother attempting turkey hunting in the first place) after you called, or not at all but are still moving towards you. Or they can be reacting to nothing.

3. Practice sitting as you would while hunting. This means several things. Have a good pair of shears to clip vines off of and from around trees. Look for antbeds, wasps and bees, etc. which will make it undesirable to sit there. Find trees with low hanging branches which give you a natural blind. Know the orientation of the field to where light will shine at first light. Learn how your body reacts to sitting motionless as in step #1 for two hours, four hours, and six hours--I've started hunting at 4am and had to wait out a tough bird till noon. You should prepare for no less.

4. Buy calls that are not mass produced if absolutely possible. If it comes in plastic packaging, 85% of the birds in the county have heard it and that means they know it's human. That's BAD. Look around on eBay for small mom and pop made calls. For example, I personally use Bud & Betty's and Johnny Broadway, and I've met those people in person. Someone who doesn't have Bass Pro or Big 5 pushing their calls actually has to care if they kill birds or not because if they don't, they're out of business. Use wingbones--they worked for 5000+ years and Joe Fool who does 90%+ of his hunting on Playstation wasn't in the field last week making every bird associate it with Big Dumb Human.

5. Plan for the hardest birds. So many people try this "run and gun" crap that only works on the stupid ones. If anyone's hunted the areas you're going that loudmouth yahoo racket has been done and anything that still has a head attached knows it. People who don't observe #1, 2, and 3 have educated those birds and they won't show their face with 50 miles of there in daylight. Period. Know for a fact in your head a turkey doesn't have to do jack **** on your time. Play conservative, get in there early--like 4am or 3:30 if you must, get comfy, pray, carry on a silent conversation in your head or sing songs silently, whatever...then go to work as described. Call conservatively--less is more. PAY ATTENTION!!! That gobbler may respond once or not at all--he heard you. You sit still and you don't twitch a single eyelash till there's an ounce and a half of shot going in his face. You plan for the hardest birds and the easy ones will come in, but not the other way around. You simply cannot count on anything but the hardest ones being out there, so don't be stupid and hope to get away with it. Do it right and you'll never have to wonder otherwise.

Anyone who tells you differently isn't worth a wart on a frog's butt.

10-07-2008, 6:43 PM
Fall turkey hunting is different than spring turking hunting....

...a good source of information is Jesse's Hunting Page (website)...

10-07-2008, 8:31 PM
Another tip is to go pattern your shotgun.

10-07-2008, 9:49 PM
Hi. I'm a complete newbie but always wanted to kill the Thanksgiving turkey. :) Where does a noob begin? Any good places to learn in S. Cal?

The number 1 thing you shoud do to hunt in Calif is find peoele with land that have game on it and form a relationship with them and gain permission to hunt.....the rest is worhless with out a place to go....puplic land is for hiking with a rifle or shotgun.

Here are the rules.

1) Kiss their a** because you will realize how lucky you are and how hard it was to get.

2) Hunt ..don't taget shoot....that is what the range is for

3) Dont be an idiot and invite others to hunt......land owners hate to see different faces they don't on their land.....they let you hunt , not start a hunting club...Two invite two more and before you know it... it all over for all 12 of you......Find a good partner and hunt with them only!

3) Don't shoot the place up......hunt only the game in season.

4) Leave it better then you found it and follow all F&G laws to the letter

That's the secret.....

10-07-2008, 9:50 PM
Another tip is to go pattern your shotgun.

this helped me a TON.

I discovered that my gun holds a tight pattern further out than I would have guessed. It helped me get a bird I couldnt get to come in close. It was a long shot, and I didnt know if it would hit, but I got the bird.