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  #1  
Old 04-01-2010, 9:32 AM
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Default new to turkey hunting

i am planning on doing my first turkey hunting trip, but i need to know the basics of the basics because i just got my license a month ago (heh) and none of my family or friends are hunters.

i have my shotgun, but dont know what steel shotshells to purchase or exactly what choke to use?

what calls do you suggest purchasing?

should i buy decoys?

do i need to buy camouflage?

i was planning to hunt in wildlife areas provided by the California DFG, but are there any other spots where i can hunt wild turkey?

Spring turkey ends on may 2nd, so i want to get going out on the field as soon as i have day off...thanks!
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:00 AM
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For a choke you want something that's going to give you a nice tight pattern and more range. You will need to be in full camo. That includes hat, face, long sleeve shirt, gloves, pant, and some sort of black or brown boots. If you can camo your gun as well that helps. you basically want to be completely concealed. Do not use anything that could potentially be shiny or create a glare. Turkeys spook easily. Decoys are not completely necessary but can help increase your chances. I would recommend a Jake and either 1 or 2 hens. As for a call, Pick yourself up either a box call or a slate/glass call. They are both fairly easy to use and easy to reproduce the proper sounds with. Shot size to me is all personal preference. You should be fine with standard turkey shot from your local dealer.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:05 AM
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cammo up good and if you see birds, don't move. Use a nice and loud hen call to try to call them to you. You will need a very tight choke with some powerful shot. I use a full turkey choke with federal 3" number 4's. You should check your pattern on paper to make sure you have a tight pattern that can fill the head and neck with BB's to at least 40 yards minimum. If you are new to an area, move quiet and concealed. Use your loud call to try and get a response. When you do, evaluate the distance and either hunker down, or close the distance if they are way off. Sometimes, tom's need a loud call to reply back and will not answer vocally to quieter calls. They will still come in however. Decoys can help, but they aren't necessary if you plan on covering a lot of ground. If you do use them, make sure the decoys aren't looking in your direction.

good luck.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:21 AM
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any specific area you were thinking of hunting?
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluhathol View Post
any specific area you were thinking of hunting?
hmm...a few places...

Putah Creek Wildlife Area, Rector Reservoir Wildlife Area, Cedar Rough Wildlife Area and anywhere in the Solano, Napa, Sacramento county areas.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:26 AM
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both of these guys have covered it pretty good. The only thing I would add it to get a diaphram (mouth) call and practice making yelps and the very least. this will give you a chance to get a struting tom out of his strut once he is in range. Also, if you get good at it...you can use this call more often, and you don't have to move your hands. Which means you can already have your shotgun ready.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:34 AM
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Mouth calls are a little tricky. I wouldn't recommend trying to call turkeys in with it right away. Definatly get some practice in with one though. Its a great tool to learn how to use. Make sure you can use it to make a decent call before you use it on a hunt though. Don't want to scare all those turkeys away.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:36 AM
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Welcome to turkey hunting my friend!!! To me, its the most addictive hunting there is. Its frustraighting, fun, and frustraighting more. The above guys covered it pretty well. +1 to them. If you get a diaphram call, and cant figure out a way to use it....dont worry, not everyone can. I started out calling with a box call and moved up to a friction call. If your not sure what sounds to make, find some sound bites on the internet of turkeys calling, then reproduce the noise.
When your in the field, patience is your best friend...just cause you dont hear a tom gobbling back, doesn't mean there is one near buy. Dont move or make sudden movements, turkeys can see well. Good luck and post your hunting outcomes!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:41 AM
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If you hear a gobbler on public land (it could be another hunter) haul *** to it b/c somebody else will move in on it.

I gave up trying to do the classic hunt on public land that is crawling with guys. I now hunt them like deer.
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Giving lewdogg21 advice on hunting. Thatís like David Hogg giving advice to the NRA.
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Disagree. Been trying to teach lewdogg21 how to hunt. It's like trying to teach Steve Wonder how to see. Not sure we're ever going to get there.
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Old 04-01-2010, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluhathol View Post
Mouth calls are a little tricky. I wouldn't recommend trying to call turkeys in with it right away. Definatly get some practice in with one though. Its a great tool to learn how to use. Make sure you can use it to make a decent call before you use it on a hunt though. Don't want to scare all those turkeys away.


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both of these guys have covered it pretty good. The only thing I would add it to get a diaphram (mouth) call and practice making yelps at the very least.
uh-huh
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Old 04-01-2010, 8:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hornet_RN View Post
hmm...a few places...

Putah Creek Wildlife Area, Rector Reservoir Wildlife Area, Cedar Rough Wildlife Area and anywhere in the Solano, Napa, Sacramento county areas.
I was just doing some research on Putah Creek, Rector Resevour, and Knoxville. If you go to Putah, can we get a report on the area?
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Old 04-02-2010, 1:15 PM
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Default Putah Creek

I've been to Putah Creek once in the fall of last year. I'm new to Turkey hunting and thought I'd give it a try on public land first before considering a guide.

There's a road that runs parallel to the creek with several parking lots / campgrounds. Keep following the road to the west until it crosses the creek. There are two parking lots just after this little bridge. These are the best entrances for going scouting for Turkey.

Let me know if you want someone to go hunting with at Putah Creek. I'd be up for it. Make sure you're in shape, as you'll be hiking up a mountain for hours. Google maps will show you how steep the terrain is.
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Old 04-02-2010, 2:12 PM
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How do Putah Creek and Knoxville compare? I haven't been to Putah Creek, mostly because I assumed that the larger size of Knoxville would make it less crowded. But after seeing the large number of cars at Knoxville last Sunday afternoon, I'm wondering about that.
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Old 04-02-2010, 2:14 PM
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No idea. I've never been to knoxville so I have no reference for comparison.
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Old 04-02-2010, 2:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhazbu01 View Post
I've been to Putah Creek once in the fall of last year. I'm new to Turkey hunting and thought I'd give it a try on public land first before considering a guide.

There's a road that runs parallel to the creek with several parking lots / campgrounds. Keep following the road to the west until it crosses the creek. There are two parking lots just after this little bridge. These are the best entrances for going scouting for Turkey.

Let me know if you want someone to go hunting with at Putah Creek. I'd be up for it. Make sure you're in shape, as you'll be hiking up a mountain for hours. Google maps will show you how steep the terrain is.
sounds like we'll be doing a lot of hiking to try and find turkeys?
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Old 04-02-2010, 2:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhazbu01 View Post
I've been to Putah Creek once in the fall of last year. I'm new to Turkey hunting and thought I'd give it a try on public land first before considering a guide.

There's a road that runs parallel to the creek with several parking lots / campgrounds. Keep following the road to the west until it crosses the creek. There are two parking lots just after this little bridge. These are the best entrances for going scouting for Turkey.

Let me know if you want someone to go hunting with at Putah Creek. I'd be up for it. Make sure you're in shape, as you'll be hiking up a mountain for hours. Google maps will show you how steep the terrain is.

hey, i'll hit you up a personal message then, i'm planning to head out there within the next two weeks, work schedule permitting that is.
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Old 04-02-2010, 4:44 PM
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Knoxville was empty last sunday afternoon, you should have seen it saturday. lol



Quote:
Originally Posted by acourvil View Post
How do Putah Creek and Knoxville compare? I haven't been to Putah Creek, mostly because I assumed that the larger size of Knoxville would make it less crowded. But after seeing the large number of cars at Knoxville last Sunday afternoon, I'm wondering about that.
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Old 04-02-2010, 5:13 PM
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Vons has turkey breasts for $5 today.
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Old 04-02-2010, 6:53 PM
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Go by Western sport shop in San Rafael and look for the big bald guy with white facial hair and ask about turkey hunting, You will walk out of there with most of what you need information wise. There is a fish and game book that is free and gives you the run down on turkey hunting. I was up at Knoxville a while ago scouting for pigs and a turkey walked right past us. I could have got him with a stick. Camo up and good luck
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