Help for a first timer

Rating - 100%
67   0   0
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
692
Likes
91
Location
North Shore, MA
I'm looking to start hunting for the first time. Took the hunting class and all that stuff but learned absolutely nothing in it. I heard that is hunting Turkey you need to wear the blaze orange out to where you're going camped, but the class never touched on such a thing. All of the mass websites are hard to get around on. If if anyone would have five to ten minutes for me to pick their brain that would be greatly appreciated. Just pm me thanks.
 
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
527
Likes
152
re: turkey hunting -

No orange Ever for turkey hunting, no one wears orange and the turkeys would see it a mile away.

scout some areas and in an ideal situation, sit around and watch the area your gonna hunt the evening before and if u see them right before dark, then you know they will be roosting nearby once it gets dark.
Arrive early, well before first light and set up against a nearby tree. put out a hen decoy 20 yards away and hope old Tom turkey flies down at first light and comes for your hen. you can use your box call to call a little to get the message out there that there is a hen nearby, but dont over do the calling. calling poorly or too much will drive the birds away.
I would suggest using a pop up blind as a new turkey hunter as you can relax in there on a comfortable seat and scan the area better without the birds seeing you move around.
when im out hunting without a blind, i wear a 3D leafy suit, mesh camo face mask, mesh gloves, and a camo cap or 'boony' hat to keep sun out of your eyes. Ive got a vest, a pad to sit on, and a boxcall.
I have one of those gobble shake calls, but i rarely use it, and would recommend a beginner not even carry one. I would NEVER use the gobble call if i was on public land or thought other unknown hunters were in the area. (some hunters will try to sneak up on a gobble thinking they will get at the bird but that almost NEVER is successful and is VERY dangerous because unknown hunters tend to be quick to shoot and have been known to take pot shots at birds you are working or ive heard stories of dummies shooting other hunters decoys)

Turkey hunting has a reputation for being dangerous because inexperienced hunters will try to sneak up on gobbles or even sneak up on someone using a hen call. The rule is to NEVER try to sneak up on a turkey you HEAR.
1) because you will NEVER be successful, they will see you and run away.
2) you might get shot by the hunter who may unexpectedly shoot at a bird
3) you might accidentally shoot a hunter who is doing the calling.
4) you dont want to be the moron that shoots a hunters decoys.
5) you might shoot at a decoy and hit the hunter who is sitting nearby.

If you hear birds, SIT STILL and wait them out, getting up and moving to a better spot when you think they are around will almost always fail.

Once you get geared up, just get out where the birds are and give it a try. Trial and error will get you up to speed quickly. See some birds, see your mistakes and you will learn quickly.
 

exojam

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
3,809
Likes
610
If you guys want to find out more about hunting checking out http://www.thehuntingbeast.com/. Probably the best hunting website out there.

Great group of guys over there that hunt mostly everything but whitetails seem to be the most. Be forewarned that the tactics they get into are pretty crazy. The guy who runs the site also has a few a DVDs you can purchase and he goes over all sorts of stuff.

Here is a small picture of his wall:
Dan.jpg
 
Rating - 100%
67   0   0
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
692
Likes
91
Location
North Shore, MA
Can anyone suggest how to go about hunting on private land. I'd be willing to pay the landowner to let me do so. It seems that it's not the best idea to hunt in public parks.
 

dgrafton

NES Member
Rating - 96.8%
30   1   0
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
2,709
Likes
957
I'm looking to start hunting for the first time. Took the hunting class and all that stuff but learned absolutely nothing in it. I heard that is hunting Turkey you need to wear the blaze orange out to where you're going camped, but the class never touched on such a thing. All of the mass websites are hard to get around on. If if anyone would have five to ten minutes for me to pick their brain that would be greatly appreciated. Just pm me thanks.

Not required during the spring turkey season at all.

Not sure about fall season, as a lot more variables involved, with location and dates, and don't know off the top of my head.

If you want a better answer about fall, post up and I will decipher it for you. 30+ years of reading the abstracts front to back has helped figuring them out.

FWIW, don't depend on an EPO to give you a proper or correct answer. My rate of success has been about 25%. I'm not bashing any EPOs, I do understand they have a lot more to worry about than just the hunting laws.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dgrafton

NES Member
Rating - 96.8%
30   1   0
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
2,709
Likes
957
Can anyone suggest how to go about hunting on private land. I'd be willing to pay the landowner to let me do so. It seems that it's not the best idea to hunt in public parks.

Not much to it. Knock on the owner's door and ask. Dress neatly (not in camo), be polite and courteous. I try to go on a Saturday, early afternoon. Seems that is least hectic time for most people so they may give you a few minutes.

In my part of MA, results are very low, but I have found a couple spots. I don't bring anyone to those spots, and hit them solo.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

lancecolonel

NES Member
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,272
Likes
1,927
Location
NOT in mass. finally.
I'm looking to start hunting for the first time. Took the hunting class and all that stuff but learned absolutely nothing in it. I heard that is hunting Turkey you need to wear the blaze orange out to where you're going camped, but the class never touched on such a thing. All of the mass websites are hard to get around on. If if anyone would have five to ten minutes for me to pick their brain that would be greatly appreciated. Just pm me thanks.

i was lucky in my hunter ed class, we had a guy talk about turkey hunting who basically said everything quoted below plus to never wear red, white, blue or black while turkey hunting. also, his personal success rate went up when he set up in a corner of a field just inside the tree line with 2 hens and a tom decoy out in the open ~25 yards away. i believe he said he used a "purr" type call that hens make when they are content. all good info

re: turkey hunting -

No orange Ever for turkey hunting, no one wears orange and the turkeys would see it a mile away.

scout some areas and in an ideal situation, sit around and watch the area your gonna hunt the evening before and if u see them right before dark, then you know they will be roosting nearby once it gets dark.
Arrive early, well before first light and set up against a nearby tree. put out a hen decoy 20 yards away and hope old Tom turkey flies down at first light and comes for your hen. you can use your box call to call a little to get the message out there that there is a hen nearby, but dont over do the calling. calling poorly or too much will drive the birds away.
I would suggest using a pop up blind as a new turkey hunter as you can relax in there on a comfortable seat and scan the area better without the birds seeing you move around.
when im out hunting without a blind, i wear a 3D leafy suit, mesh camo face mask, mesh gloves, and a camo cap or 'boony' hat to keep sun out of your eyes. Ive got a vest, a pad to sit on, and a boxcall.
I have one of those gobble shake calls, but i rarely use it, and would recommend a beginner not even carry one. I would NEVER use the gobble call if i was on public land or thought other unknown hunters were in the area. (some hunters will try to sneak up on a gobble thinking they will get at the bird but that almost NEVER is successful and is VERY dangerous because unknown hunters tend to be quick to shoot and have been known to take pot shots at birds you are working or ive heard stories of dummies shooting other hunters decoys)

Turkey hunting has a reputation for being dangerous because inexperienced hunters will try to sneak up on gobbles or even sneak up on someone using a hen call. The rule is to NEVER try to sneak up on a turkey you HEAR.
1) because you will NEVER be successful, they will see you and run away.
2) you might get shot by the hunter who may unexpectedly shoot at a bird
3) you might accidentally shoot a hunter who is doing the calling.
4) you dont want to be the moron that shoots a hunters decoys.
5) you might shoot at a decoy and hit the hunter who is sitting nearby.

If you hear birds, SIT STILL and wait them out, getting up and moving to a better spot when you think they are around will almost always fail.

Once you get geared up, just get out where the birds are and give it a try. Trial and error will get you up to speed quickly. See some birds, see your mistakes and you will learn quickly.
thank you!
now if i could just get a post this awesome relative to deer hunting it would make my day. i am thinking the whitetails require a lot more effort though.....
 

lancecolonel

NES Member
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,272
Likes
1,927
Location
NOT in mass. finally.
i have no idea. i plan to learn first as i have no idea what works in what area. like i said, i am a complete newb when it comes to hunting but it is a skill i really want to start learning. it would be cool if i could tag along with someone in the northeast corner of the state once all my certs/license come in.
 

45collector

NES Member
Rating - 100%
133   0   0
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
13,264
Likes
8,677
Location
Massachusetts
You can start on your woodsman skills right now. Get out into the sticks and just start walking slowly, quietly. Alternate between looking all around you, and looking at the ground in front of you so you don't step on a loud-ass snappy twig and alert the entire area of your presence. For the most part, you aren't sneaking up on a deer but it can happen if you're down wind, quiet as hell and you see it before it sees you.

Once you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, take a break and sit down for a while. Be perfectly still and silent and just watch and listen. You may have a bird land on your head. It happened to me 2 Springs ago during Turkey. Little chickadee-like bird sat on my head for about 10 seconds until I moved and he took off. [grin]
 

dgrafton

NES Member
Rating - 96.8%
30   1   0
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
2,709
Likes
957
What 45collector said.

Get out as much as you can starting now. You will start to notice environmental clues on where you bump animals, cover thickness, vegetation type, elevation moisture etc.

As the year progresses, you will also start to see seasonal location changes. These can be due to weather or forage. Also activity levels by time of day, and weather.

Do not necessarily avoid nasty weather. The animals are still out there. You will start to learn where they go for protection. You will also generally have the woods to yourself, which is always better imo.

Edited to add: Be very aware of tics! You do not want to get Lyme disease. Not sure how bad they are up in northeast MA, but they can be brutal on the southcoast and Cape. I prefer not to use any spray, I just keep an eye out for them and do a thorough check of scalp in shower that night.

Tics DO NOT hibernate. They become lethargic in the cold, but will become active on a warm January day even with a foot of snow on the ground.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

northny

NES Member
Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
1,455
Likes
1,455
Location
Breathing Free Air in Pennsylvania
OP had it right in first post. No blaze while on a stand calling but definitely wear blaze while walking in and out to stand and a MUST while carting out your big Tom. Do this even on private property as people trespass or get " lost". Yes turkey see blaze but they will see you moving in full camo. I do this turkey bow and duck hunting when I am walking to blind. This is what I taught in my hunter safety class. I read every hunting accident investgation report for years and if you want to maximize the chance of being shot move through the woods in all camo. Especially just before sunrise.
 
Last edited:

HuntMaine

NES Member
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
6,682
Likes
4,180
Location
2A Supporter
I'm in the same boat. Hunter ed completed but no real clue how to actually "hunt". Any help would be appreciated. I have the abstracts and know how to read them already.

Hunter Ed is not about techniques on how to hunt , rather being a responsible hunter, safety, basic familiarization. Best way to learn is a hunting buddy or hire a guide for a few hunts. Nothing replaces being out there in a variety of conditions and terrains.

Sent from the blind
 

HuntMaine

NES Member
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
6,682
Likes
4,180
Location
2A Supporter
Can anyone suggest how to go about hunting on private land. I'd be willing to pay the landowner to let me do so. It seems that it's not the best idea to hunt in public parks.

You cant pay to hunt private, it makes them liable for you once they do that. Make up small professional card that explains who you are, address, number, picture etc. Make the rounds at various properties asking them about huntin their property. Youll get some no's but youll get some yes's. Hunting public can be fun , I dont go much in Mass but Maine NH has some great lands to hunt. Takes some research but can be done.

Sent from the blind
 
Rating - 100%
67   0   0
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
692
Likes
91
Location
North Shore, MA
So I've been out a handful of times this season and have yet to see any action. Scouted out Boxford National Park this week and found an area with quite a few tree stands set up within about a 1/3 mile radius with water etc around. I figured it would be a good spot to spend the day today, boy was I wrong! Didn't see or hear any turkeys all day.
 

whacko

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
13,559
Likes
14,206
So I've been out a handful of times this season and have yet to see any action. Scouted out Boxford National Park this week and found an area with quite a few tree stands set up within about a 1/3 mile radius with water etc around. I figured it would be a good spot to spend the day today, boy was I wrong! Didn't see or hear any turkeys all day.

I too started hunting last year. Learned quick that starting with turkey hunting is jumping in to the deep end with no water wings right off the bat! I think Turkey is the toughest game to hunt in New England. Read some research on Turkey hunting and found out fewer than 10% of hunters that buy a turkey stamp are successful! They are wiley critters! What I did last year was start with Squirrell hunting! Zones 1-9 open in early September.....I think on the 9th this season. Take a 20 Gauge shotty or 22lr with a well zeroed scope out to zones 1-9 and have a ball. Squirrel are good eating.......pretty easy to find. Plenty of articles out there on squirrel hunting and how to do it. Sounds like jumping into the kiddy pool I know......but my boy and I had a blast last year doing it after work / school each day. Then get into pheasant hunting when that opens up. Find a group of guys to hunt deer with as well. Then rabbit and squirrel hunting lasts till Jan/Feb. Plenty of hunting to do from fall to winter! I was not successful at deer last year (the guys I was with filled a few tags though so I got to watch and learn) but the other small game was a great time to be in the outdoors and put a little food on the table from time to time.!
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
27   0   0
Joined
Apr 25, 2013
Messages
2,448
Likes
437
Location
South Coast MA.
I'm looking to start hunting for the first time. Took the hunting class and all that stuff but learned absolutely nothing in it. I heard that is hunting Turkey you need to wear the blaze orange out to where you're going camped, but the class never touched on such a thing. All of the mass websites are hard to get around on. If if anyone would have five to ten minutes for me to pick their brain that would be greatly appreciated. Just pm me thanks.

I recently did the class, they recommended that you wear orange out to your spot but it is not law
 
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
527
Likes
152
I personally wouldn't turkey hunt an area that I didn't see turkeys walking around regularly.

Like I said earlier, ideally you want to scout and see them right before they roost in the evening and set up hunting there the next morning before dawn.

Going to a spot that "looks" like it might be good isn't enough, you gotta see birds there either the day or two before or your wasting your time.

Randomly going into the woods and calling is difficult at best, it can be done but its a hit or miss tactic that I've seen used when your regular "good" spots have no birds for some reason.

people usually sit in their best spots for first light, and if they see and hear nothing, then maybe they will take a walk later in the morning. if you are in a spot that deffinately has birds but haven't come your way yet, just sit tight for a couple hours in your blind, they will probably come by at some point in the morning.

if u want to try "running and gunning" as we call it, you'll need all your best camo and head into the woods where you think birds are. you quietly walk in to an area and sit down in a good spot and call a little. if u hear a gobble, stay put and try calling him in. Do Not go to him, stay still and call as little as possible try to get him looking for u. once he's looking for u, stop calling. too much calling will drive him away. u can stick out a hen decoy, but u don't have to. if u have no decoy he'll wall around looking for the hen he hears calling.
if u hear nothing after half an hour or so, get up an walk to another spot. walking around is probably the least effective way to hunt turkeys, but it deffinately can be done.

good luck, hope this helps,


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I847 using Tapatalk 2
 
Last edited:

StevieP

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
9,470
Likes
6,153
Location
Gone to Carolina in my mind...
OP had it right in first post. No blaze while on a stand calling but definitely wear blaze while walking in and out to stand and a MUST while carting out your big Tom.

OK so wearing orange on the way out might keep you safer than without. But if another hunter mistakes a person in camo for wildlife, I don't have much hope for our future.

Wearing orange on the way TO your hunting spot (or walking from spot to spot) will likely help turkeys see you (they are NOT colorblind, as are deer), and pretty much guarantee you won't have any hunting success.

But to be sure, there is absolutely no legal requirement to wear blaze orange in MA, other than during the two-week shotgun deer season, which is well AFTER fall turkey season.

While turkey hunting (spring and fall), I'm in full camo head to toe, face net, camo gloves, etc. Everything.
 

whacko

NES Member
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
13,559
Likes
14,206
OK so wearing orange on the way out might keep you safer than without. But if another hunter mistakes a person in camo for wildlife, I don't have much hope for our future.

Wearing orange on the way TO your hunting spot (or walking from spot to spot) will likely help turkeys see you (they are NOT colorblind, as are deer), and pretty much guarantee you won't have any hunting success.

But to be sure, there is absolutely no legal requirement to wear blaze orange in MA, other than during the two-week shotgun deer season, which is well AFTER fall turkey season.

While turkey hunting (spring and fall), I'm in full camo head to toe, face net, camo gloves, etc. Everything.

Then you have plenty of reason to have little hope. Ask the women that got shot with a .50 cal muzzle loader by a state trooper a couple of years ago! My understanding is he mistook her ****ing dog for a deer.......and ended up shooting her in the hip!

EPIC FAIL!

The only hunting I do not wear orange for is turkey......I do wear an orange hat out to the blind and then remove it when I get there......and do my walking waaaay before legal shooting time to be even safer (not that I trust all hunters not to take a shot before sunup.......hence the orange hat).
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
58
Likes
20
Location
So. NH
Brace yourselves - [smile]

Here is another one for you, just the other day in NH:

May 10, 2014Man Shot While Turkey Hunting

http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/2014/Q2/hunting-related_shooting_051014.html

This guy literally just tried to kill his friend.

Never underestimate the stupidity of other people. As hunters, we all go into the woods with the intention of killing something. As unbelievable as it seems, there are some who also go into the woods with no intention of first positively identifying what it is that they intend to kill. Orange is not required in NH, where I hunt, but I wear it all the time and it has not kept me from being successful.

I am relatively new to hunting, having only started this past fall, so feel free to take or leave any advice I have. That said, I have spent a lot of time in the woods and appear to be doing something correctly so far, taking 2 deer this past fall, a turkey this spring, and a half dozen or so squirrels. I scout often, and have had many more opportunities to observe these animals and see how they react to my presence.

First off, I do recommend starting off with squirrels. It's what I did, and everyone I introduce to hunting will hunt them with me before anything else. Squirrels are almost everywhere, so your chance of success is high. It will prepare you for almost everything you will experience with bigger game; what it is like to actually kill something, to touch it while it is still warm, to cut into it, gut it, and smell it. You will learn if your knife is sharp enough for the job. You will learn how important the right tool for the job and proper technique and shot placement are when you see how much damage a .22 or shot pellets do to the meat, and you will likely not feel as bad if you end up ruining a good portion of squirrel meat vs. a good portion of your first deer/turkey. You will see exactly why you want to have a good pattern with your shotgun before going into the field on opening day of turkey season. I could go on. I highly recommend it.

Also, squirrels are tasty.

In regards to camouflage, and what you "need" for hunting. I think it is important to remember that people have been hunting for much longer than Mossy Oak, scent-killer (and indoor plumbing), and $7/shell turkey loads have been around. When I buy camo, it's because I enjoy playing the part of the "hunter" when I'm out hunting. When I buy scent-killer, it is because I think "Well...it probably can't hurt" and because it is relatively cheap. I still have not fallen for the $7/shell turkey loads. If your hunting skills are good, I believe you don't need any of this stuff.

I forgo all of the gadgets when I go scouting. Deer and turkey are afraid of humans and motion. The best camo has colors that blend in with your surroundings and break up your human outline. I have found that a completely different top and bottom do this best. When I scout, I almost always wear khakis and a brown or green hooded sweatshirt. For what it's worth, I actually think the best "camo" I own is the khakis and brown sweatshirt. The only reason I don't wear it hunting, is because I think it might look too "animal like" to some other hunters, such as the one mentioned in the above link. If it is hunting season for anything (except coyote - which is year round in NH) I wear an orange hat and vest. When you get to an area where you think there are animals, move slowly. If you hear some turkeys gobbling just over the next rise, and you think you're walking so slow that they might be gone by the time you get there... you're moving at the correct pace.

A while back in the Spring Gobbler 2014 thread, I posted some pictures of turkeys that I saw while out scouting. The pictures were taken during NH youth turkey weekend this year. I was wearing my khakis, sweatshirt, and orange. No gloves, no mask, hood down. There is no way that the turkeys didn't "see" me as I was moving in...they were often looking directly at me. They didn't run away, and in fact, I'm fairly certain they came looking for me, to see what that weird blob making noise just inside the tree line was...maybe it was a hen? They had been walking across a field, made a detour to the woods where I was, walked 10 yards in, and had a look around right next me before carrying on their way. Orange hat was on, vest was on, and I was taking pictures. I even changed lenses while they were 15 yards away. The amount of motion I was making was similar to that needed to ready a shotgun, so had it been in season, I would have been eating turkey for dinner. Move slowly, when they are looking away from you. I called another tom in later that day, and again, he ended up walking right by me as I sat there taking pictures.

The best advice I have is:

1 - Most importantly: Scout. The more, the better. If you're hunting more than you're scouting, you're doing it wrong. I'm fortunate that my girlfriend likes hiking, exploring new places, and finding/watching animals (almost) as much as I do. We usually go for a 2-6 hour walk in the woods, once a week, year-round. Yes, people do walk into the woods on opening day and shoot a deer after sitting on the couch all year. That is 100% luck, but it happens. The more you scout, the less you rely on luck. The best hunters out there will always need a little luck, but they can get that percentage down very low. The two deer I took last fall were the result of varying degrees of luck, but the luck involved getting my turkey this spring was minimal.

2 - Don't look or sound like a human. Break up your outline, whether it's RealTree or khaki. There is no need to break the bank. Move slowly and silently. Wearing an orange vest or hat will not make you look like a human, but it will make sure other hunters know that you are one.

3 - If you're going to use calls, whatever the animal, practice often at home by watching YouTube videos. Do not try to sound like guys from the National (insert animal type) Calling Championship. Find videos of the actual animal making noise, and turn up the volume. Bring your calls with you scouting. When you see an animal, sit down and call to them for a while to see how they react. Are you calling too loud? Too soft? Wrong cadence? Find what works.

Oh, and just wear orange.
 
Top Bottom