Turkey Hunting - How Easy Do We Want It To be?

Aaron H

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
IMG_5558.jpg We all want to be successful during turkey season and there's a ton of things being made to sell to us to help get that gobbler. Great chokes and super ammunition to reach out further with a shot and fancier decoys- some that are automated. My question is simple.... how easy do we want it to be? There are those who bait illegally and many that would bait if it were legal. I think most of us realize that turkey hunting is a challenging hunt but with each new innovation it seems the challenge is diminished. To me, without the challenge the gobbler would mean far less. I don't mean to step on toes here, just thinking about how far do we want this all to go? My picture is from Spring 2019, I watched these two put on a show for about half an hour in Chatham County.
 

cuppednlocked

Eight Pointer
I can look at the beards and spurs from each bird I've killed and recall the hunts, but the ones I never had the chance to put on the wall still haunt me. It's the bag of tricks I use to fool the bird that makes the hunt. Sometimes I can figure him out quickly, other times not at all. The ones that beat me live forever in my mind.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Many must want it to be easy, the country stores that had corn from August-Jan setting up front then it was gone have it back out front again. They must be getting requests for it again.
 

buckshooter

Old Mossy Horns
They way I see it turkey hunting really requires the hunter to use his skills in being stealthy just as deer hunting does. One complements the other and helps keep those skills sharp.

turkey hunting is more about up close and personal interaction with the quarry as well.

it’s a real rush to get a bird to honor your calling and even a bigger one if he shows up.

as far as easy , using any and all legal means of taking a bird is actually up to the individual.
 

Brad_Colvin

Six Pointer
Unfortunately in my opinion the definition of success has gotten skewed. Today success is defined by only carrying a gobbler out over the shoulder. To me just being out there is a success, everything else is gravy. I don't want it to be easy. I have had easy gobblers and I'm thankful for every one of them, but the truly memorable ones are the ones that were challenging.

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oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
That is a wonderful question. "How Easy Do We Want It To Be."
Some states think we have already made it too easy, so easy that the flock was damaged. Season, Limits, fees have been adjusted to decrease the kill. SC has been very frank and aggressive in addressing this.
As for personal ease in killing you have folks with different goals and abilities and situations in play.
That'll determine the method they use.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
I'm odd ball to way many would hunt. I don't want one that I don't call in, I don't one 50 plus yards away. I'm not fan of blinds or deke. I will never shoot one from same spot 2 years in row. I alternate public lands or sections every year. I have zero desire to sit over a food plot day after day on small piece land. 90% time I don't hunt any land under thousand acres and its public. These are just my preferences that I enjoy I've passed on many a bird that did not meet my criteria especially as I've gotten older. Basically I just enjoy hunting turkeys if I kill one then that'll be alright if I don't that'll be fine also. Its the interaction that keeps me going.
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
The only thing that I want to get easier are the long walks I take up and down these hills and hollers here in the mountains. Getting rough on a middle aged fellow.

Teaches me to enjoy a good flat land hunt every now and then.
Amen to that my back already aching thinking about getting up a 0300 next week and doing that hour walk but I'll be there on that mtn top to listen by 0630
 

dlbaile

Ten Pointer
I love being in the spring Turkey woods, most hunts end up as learning lessons and that's fine because in the end we are doing it because we love the outdoors and interactions with all wildlife, being successful from time to time is just a bonus of the passion for it. most days for me are a success just to here a bird and make it to the woods,don't use many calls, stick with old single shot 12 , don't really want or use all the hitect stuff in turkey or deer hunting . good luck to all Hitect or not.
 

ka30270

Six Pointer
Well...... I have been turkey hunting for over 20 years and finally killed a jake 2 years ago. I have hunted with some great turkey hunters and we just couldn't make it happen. I would LOVE for it to be a LITTLE easier, at least for a short while. I think it would be A LOT easier if I hunted a place that had enough birds on it. Finally had enough birds to hunt the land I grew up hunting and I lost it the following year due to a sell off.
 

Part-time hunter

Ten Pointer
I don’t know what easy means to anybody else but using everything that’s legal still doesn’t make turkey hunting easy. That’s what makes it worthwhile to me. This reminds me of a buddy who said he was going to open a store a name it DSHWB, Dumb S#$t Hunters Will Buy. Every year at the DDC there is the latest toy that we have to have to improve our hunting experience.
 

Wv67

Six Pointer
IMO. If you hunt any critter long enough and pay attention , it becomes easier with experience , But I don’t care how good you are , Your gonna always have easy hunts and hard hunts because in the end it’s all up to the turkey
 

TravisLH

Old Mossy Horns
How hard it is now (just a hen decoy if any) is why I both love turkey hunting and how it frustrates me so. I’ve got some really nice decoys but at the most I keep a simple foam hen for times when I think it’s a must. I personally enjoy the interaction between us and the birds since it’s so much different than that of a deer.


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MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
I know turkey hunting and populations are different all over, but the very few times I have been I just didn't see where it was any harder than any other kind of hunting.

Granted I've been probably 5-7 times in my life and only like half those times did I NOT have a Tom within range. Just not my thing, but just about everyone I know loves it and says the exact opposite of me. They are beautiful when strutting but other than that I don't see the allure and consider them a nusiance during deer season...lol
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
I know turkey hunting and populations are different all over, but the very few times I have been I just didn't see where it was any harder than any other kind of hunting.

Granted I've been probably 5-7 times in my life and only like half those times did I NOT have a Tom within range. Just not my thing, but just about everyone I know loves it and says the exact opposite of me. They are beautiful when strutting but other than that I don't see the allure and consider them a nusiance during deer season...lol
I feel the exact same way about deer. can kill one most any sit and absolutely think it is boring beyond measure.
The only "challenge" to it is to be somewhat selective in what you kill. otherwise you may as well just shoot a cow, about the same degree of difficulty.

I'm just playin MJ74: :) it is a shame that you have the birds and dont give a poop about them.
 

MJ74

Old Mossy Horns
I feel the exact same way about deer. can kill one most any sit and absolutely think it is boring beyond measure.
The only "challenge" to it is to be somewhat selective in what you kill. otherwise you may as well just shoot a cow, about the same degree of difficulty.

I'm just playin MJ74: :) it is a shame that you have the birds and dont give a poop about them.
I've about gotten that way with deer hunting too......shooting a doe is about like shooting a can of paint.
Only thing that keeps me going is the hopes of a big mature deer (buck or doe).

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roundball

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I was never all that great in general turkey hunting but had it on my so called bucket list of wanting to master it enough to take some with both smoothbore & rifled Flintlocks.
Learned enough to punch tags like the settlers did and have some good memories...
 

Part-time hunter

Ten Pointer
When I'm standing in the woods or at the edge of a field just before sunrise and hear a hot tom gobble in response to my owl call I get chill bumps and the hair (if I had any) on the back of my neck stands up and I get the same thing as buck fever. Then the real fun begins when I have to calm down and decide where and how to get close enough to set up and call him into gun range. I have had just enough success to keep me coming back every year, and I don't mean the killing. One of my favorite hunts was where I called one into a field where I was in a buddy's ground blind and we "talked" back and forth for probably 45 minutes or more. He kept trying to go into the woods on the other side of the field but he would turn back towards me when I called. He strutted back and forth at 50 yards but that wasn't close enough for me so he lived to be hunted another day. He even gobbled at my calling as he got further away into the woods, kind of like he was saying good bye or maybe he was just teasing and trying to get me to follow him.
 

Aaron H

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
From the responses here it's clear that turkeys affect some people quite differently than they do others. NOTHING else that I've hunted has as much suspense or wonder in it. Just my feelings. A hunt that starts in the dark with those gobbles going back and forth between roosted gobblers stirs my heart in a big way. Calling softly just to let them know where I am and getting strong responses makes the hunt amazing even before they fly down. Sitting against a tree in a lightly brushed natural area and having a long beard come looking for that "hen" is so exciting. Watching that head while looking down the barrel of my turkey gun as he closes inside 40 yards and stands tall to look..... that's a moment I'll never get tired of. For me, "easy" is not what I want. I want challenge, and making the extra effort to get in the right place to call him closer makes the hunt. My all time favorite turkey hunt was just shy of 5 hours of calling, me moving several times and that bird gobbling.... before the shot. Way better than easy.
 
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oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
When I'm standing in the woods or at the edge of a field just before sunrise and hear a hot tom gobble in response to my owl call I get chill bumps and the hair (if I had any) on the back of my neck stands up and I get the same thing as buck fever. Then the real fun begins when I have to calm down and decide where and how to get close enough to set up and call him into gun range. I have had just enough success to keep me coming back every year, and I don't mean the killing. One of my favorite hunts was where I called one into a field where I was in a buddy's ground blind and we "talked" back and forth for probably 45 minutes or more. He kept trying to go into the woods on the other side of the field but he would turn back towards me when I called. He strutted back and forth at 50 yards but that wasn't close enough for me so he lived to be hunted another day. He even gobbled at my calling as he got further away into the woods, kind of like he was saying good bye or maybe he was just teasing and trying to get me to follow him.
did he 'shake himself off" before he went away?
When they do that your odds of calling him back may be low.
when you see him do that try and maneuver to a better spot. you dont have anything to lose.
he may have hung up in the field because he couldnt see another turkey. if you had followed him into the woods, he would have had to get closer to you to "not see" a turkey. Then he would die. :)
 

turkeyfoot

Old Mossy Horns
If you want turkey hunting to be real easy get on property with an abundance of them. If you wanna challenge hunt lower populated areas. True story I gave up a piece of land in Neb because you'd drive 22 hours shoot limit by lunch be done very unsatisfying. I prefer to get my but kicked in Pisgah with occasional success when I finish a hunt there I know I've been hunting hard sleep like baby afterwards to. A good hunt means different things to different people its reason I don't gripe about anyone's style gun shell or whatever else
 

CutNRun

Six Pointer
I can only recall a few "easy" turkey hunts I've had and they all involved being set up close to roosted two year old suicidal turkeys or over a decoy. I didn't know they were 2 year olds until I picked them up (though I sort of guessed by how they acted). I've enjoyed every turkey hunt I've been on because of the challenge, the adventure, and the interaction with the turkeys. Heavy rain, hail storms, and fire ants don't do much to improve turkey hunting, but it takes the bad days to appreciate the good ones. The toughest hunts I've had were with hung up stubborn birds that could see a long ways or on experienced gobblers that seemed to have an extra sense and got really close.

I probably remember the toughest hunts the best, though one of the easiest hunts I ever had was after a tough season the year before and the (2 year old) gobbler gave me a textbook hunt that only lasted 13 minutes from his first gobble on the roost until I tagged him with a 19 yard shot. Also had a smallish two year old take around 85 minutes to come in range after my initial call. I could hear him drumming close, but couldn't see him approaching & thought he was the boss by how he acted. He finally hopped up on the opposite end of the log I was sitting up against and blew up into full strut just 17 feet from me. He was tiny, had little spurs, and didn't have much of a beard, but the show was spectacular! I could have shot him 10 times once he hopped down off the log, but I let him pass because I didn't want to spend my last tag on a game, small bird so early and be done for the season in the first week.

Jim
 
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