Range question?

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by smhmc6, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well, today I had a real nice bird come in. He was in full strut the whole time coming in for 100 yards. It was really an awesome experience for only being my second time turkey hunting. I passed on that bird because he only came into 40 yards and there was a little too much brush between me and him most of the time. But there was a moment for about 25 seconds when he came out of strut and peeked around the bush a little that I think I probably had a clear shot. I think he just got spooked by the fact that I wasn't using a decoy and he didn't see a hen, so he just turned around and walked off. My question is how do you guys determine your range... because now I think about it, I think I could have shot him in those 25 seconds right after he came out of strut. When I patterned my gun, with the load and chock I'm using I could get between 15 and 20 bb's in the neck and head (mostly in the neck) at 40 yards (on a lifesize target). Is that enough to kill a bird at that range (I'm also using a 20 ga.)? I guess I'm second guessing my decision even though if I was in doubt I know it was the right one... but am I being a little too conservative?
     
  2. tkyhnt

    tkyhnt New Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Missouri
    Being to conservative is not a bad thing in these cases. From the sounds of it you probably did the correct thing. 40 yards is getting out there for a 20 guage. I commend you for not taking that shot now you can go after him again and with any luck this time you will be able to take the shot you are comfortable with. Some of my most memorable hunts are ones where I did not take the shot. Just remember that its better to pass on a shot than to take one you are not comfortable with and miss or even worse cripple these great birds.
     

  3. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well it happened today again. I'm pretty sure I've found a strut zone or something, because every time i've been out there at about 7:30-8am there are gobblers eager to come check me out. They all seem to want to stop about 40 yards away. I really think I can make that shot the only thing is, due to the ice storm we had back in January (if i remember right) there always seems to be a branch or downed tree between me and that bird. I'd really like to get them about 5- 10 yards closer, but I think the problem is I'm not using a decoy and they get in to 40 and don't see anything. Is there something else I can do (since I don't have the money to go out and get a decoy right now)? Maybe set up close to where the ridge falls off so he might think she's just over the hill? I have tried to purr a little (even though I'm not as good with the mouthcall at purring as I am with a slate call). It is kinda hard to use the slate call for me when I have my gun up, I just think i'll spook them anyway reaching back and forth to my slate and then back to my gun. I guess its a little frustrating... don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely having a blast with these birds coming in and strutting in front of me, I'm just worried that I'm going to make them really call shy if they just keep coming in and not finding a hen.
     
  4. jlcclh

    jlcclh New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Virginia
    You should shop around a little. I found some Delta decoys on clearence at Wal Mart for $3.50 a piece. Just a thought.

    I would say...if you are not 100% sure that your shot will be fatal, I would pass him up. 40 yards is pushing it for a 20 gauge. That is a pretty far shot for a 12 or 10 as well. You could try moving back into a little bit thicker cover. If the terrain is thicker, and he can not see that there isn't a hen present, he will come in closer for a look. Also, you could try calling really soft. That may make him think your call ("the hen") is further back than it really is. Then you will be right in the middle to cut him off. One more thing you could try is, to quit calling completely when he gets close. He may think the hen is leaving or not interested, and go looking for her. just a few possibilities. Remember though...No two birds are the same, and no two locations are the same. At least for the most part anyway. Good Luck! Let us know if you get him!:smile2:
     
  5. jlcclh

    jlcclh New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Virginia
    There is an accessory called the "panhandler" made by Hunter Specialties. It straps to your leg, and 4 plastic claw type arms hold your call firmly, making it easy to use with one hand. I use on when hunting by myself. I like it pretty good.
     
  6. Wil

    Wil New Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    State:
    Minden Nebraska
    i usually set my decoys out at 25 yards and estimate from there, i can kill one at about 45 yards i found out saturday evening so if he gets close and i have a clear shot... dead bird. get a decoy and use it for a marker. it works well
     
  7. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    I also use decoys, but I set mine out at 15yds. I put a pile of stones in the field I hunt at 40yds. I know myself and my gun can kill at 40yd, but I want them in at 30yds. I got one yesterday, it was a 20yd. shot. DEAD BIRD!
    Sparky
     
  8. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well I broke down and got a decoy the other day. Its a delta "hot hen," I eventially want to get at least a jake to go along with it, but for now hopefully just seeing a hen will ease him just enough to come in another 5-10 yards. I ordered it from Cabela's cause there is not any place around here anymore to get things like that. Walmart for some reason took down all their turkey stuff (with the exception of a few things) and replaced it with baseball gear and stuff like that. The local outdoor store around here got their roof collapsed on them from our ice storm this winter. I'm hoping it comes in the mail before this weekend (I ordered it sunday night), cause I can't get out until then anyway. I'll for sure let you guys know if it works! Thanks for all the tips.
     
  9. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well like I said above, I got my decoy and I was excited to get out this morning. Because school has been really busy this last week I wasn't able to go any during the week. So today I went to this creek bottom that they had been roosting for almost 2 weeks pryor. This is where I need some verteran understanding. To me, if they had roosted there the two weeks before, logic says that the hen's nests aren't too far from that area. They may not be sitting on their nests yet, but don't they kind of stick close to their nests once they start to lay eggs to protect them? Also, if this is true, wont the boys want to be close too? Well I know they don't roost in the same tree every day and all that, but using this logic I thought they'd still at least be in the same area. So back to my story... I went in at dark and waited for them to gobble off the roost, nothing. I thought this was strange... I got the feeling that they weren't just henned up, I got the feeling they were gone. Well, after miles and miles of walking this morning to a strut zone and pretty much all over the place, I didn't hear a single gobble this morning, and I was out there nearly till noon. Now it did rain one or two days before and pretty much all night last night, but stopped at about 3... and today was a beautiful spring day. Would the overnight rain cause them to roost in a different area? I'm kind of confused... where have they gone? Well maybe some of you verterans have experienced this before and can share some insight. Thanks
     
  10. Luke Clayton

    Luke Clayton New Member

    Messages:
    831
    State:
    Texas
    Luke Clayton here. I've been hunting turkeys for years and have seen them do most everything. Some days they are vocal. Some days they are quiet. Some days they stop, gobble and strut every time they hear a hen yelp, sometimes they "sneak" in on a caller. Please read my turkey stories posted here. This is the newspaper column I do for papers here in Texas. Read about my buddy Bob Hood and myself hunting in the Texas Panhandle. Bob had turkeys running over him the first part of the hunt and mine, only 5 miles away would not gobble but rather sneaked in on me.'
    Turkeys are crazy critters, especially during the breeding season. They are challenging to hunt and, to be truthful, I've found there are few hard and fast rules when it comes to hunting them.
    The best advice I can give is to stay put in an areas you know is holding birds and don't move around too much and spook them. I killed my bird in the Pandhandle of Texas by having confidence in the area I was hunting and staying put until he finally came in to my hen/jake and calling. Good luck, you are "into" a very challenging and FUN sport!
     
  11. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks Luke, will try and read your articles. I enjoy reading about and watching shows about it as much as an actual hunt... haha, well almost. I just thought it was strange that I didn't even hear a gobble on the roost, figured it was strange and maybe they moved out of the area. Being a newbie at it, I guess I got a little bit too worried... I mean it is just one day. What you said makes sense, I know these birds are hard to understand. Will keep at it though! Thanks again.