How to Hunt Turkeys in Any Weather

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BY STEVE HICKOFF AUTHOR OF TURKEY BLOG WITH STEVE HICKOFFMARCH 12, 2020

Not every spring day is clear, calm and warm. In fact, those days are the exceptions. But never fear. Here's your guide to turkey hunting in any weather.

Even in the worst weather conditions, turkeys are out there somewhere. But finding them requires thinking like those birds. Paying close attention to weather patterns and developments – and understanding how turkeys are likely to react to them – is often what it takes to kill a bad-weather gobbler.

Read full story here: How to Kill Turkeys in Any Weather
 

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Finding them requires looking out my window. I counted 31 this morning. 3 big toms were all puffed up and strutting their stuff. The rest were scrounging around in my compost bin and under my bird feeder. One of them challenged his reflection in my truck wheel to a fight. The reflection won. Those are some wiley birds.IMG_20200317_174202065_HDR.jpg
 
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KBCraig

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Something I learned earlier this year: when NH restocked with wild turkeys, it was on a one-for-one trade with West Virginia for Fisher Cats. We sent them live fishers, they sent us live turkeys.

It was on the order of 30-something total, and based on that one population, turkeys went from effectively extinct in NH, to the huge population boom we have now.
 
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Something I learned earlier this year: when NH restocked with wild turkeys, it was on a one-for-one trade with West Virginia for Fisher Cats. We sent them live fishers, they sent us live turkeys.

It was on the order of 30-something total, and based on that one population, turkeys went from effectively extinct in NH, to the huge population boom we have now.
never heard this story...the account on the NH F&G website is the original birds released in NH in '75 came from NY and Penn...
 

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Something I learned earlier this year: when NH restocked with wild turkeys, it was on a one-for-one trade with West Virginia for Fisher Cats. We sent them live fishers, they sent us live turkeys.

It was on the order of 30-something total, and based on that one population, turkeys went from effectively extinct in NH, to the huge population boom we have now.
Wild turkey re establishment is one of the greatest conservation success stories in this country.
 

45collector

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There are huge, fat turkeys all over my neighborhood. They occasionally roost in the trees in my back yard. When I open the back door to go square away the chickens first thing in the morning, I can get the turks to shock gobble just by closing the door. As far as I know, there is no place in my immediate area to legally hunt them. I need to look into it further though, as there may be a way to get into one small area legally.

I pretty much gave up hunting them several years ago though. I could never locate them in huntable woods. Bastards are always in woods that are off limits. I still have all the gear I need to get at 'em though. Maybe I'll try again this season.
 

basskleff

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Thanks for the link. I learned last year to shock gobble them the night before with a predator call. It works great in Mass. You have to know where they are the night before, or you're stabbing blind and likely wasting time in an unproven spot, regardless of weather conditions.

Now, that's half the battle, because if they're gobbling to live calls in the next morning's hunt (still a great time even if no ultimate bagging), you still have to get them in. If they're not gobbling at all, your share is interesting as to maybe why.
I like this quote from the full article from your share,
"In the first scenario, simply wait them out if you can handle a long sit — or sleep in, arrive late and try to strike a bird with cold-calling. " Yeah, I've had a number of dank, cold, rainy or windy mornings where I've been up at 3:30 gotten to the spot an hour away at 5am, sat for 3-4 hours and heard nothing, only to see a fat tom by the side of the state road, driving home, when things have burned off. And think about jumping out and shooting 'em.
They are bastards in Mass. And mark my word, they DESERVE to get shot- cocky, strutting, teasing, evading....
 
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Dennis in MA

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1. Put on appropriate clothes.

2. Go to Hannafords

3. Hope the old folks from 8-9 didn't take all the turkeys.

I haven't researched it myself. The version I told was from a F&G official, in a hearing about some bill or other.
Turkey restocking in the Northeast began in the 50's after we all but decimated the things between 18xx and 1940. We had to capture and move turkeys - non-wild turkeys didn't survive the wild.

Here's a good Aud of Bon article on it all. IIRC, 1957 is actually when capture/release began in some parts of the country.


I wanna say we're at 50-70% of what pre-Colonial times turkey #'s are nationwide.
 

connor

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Down the cape I see them everywhere. 5-7 in my yard multiple times a day, no idea if they are the same ones. About 3-5 at my office. I almost hit one pulling out of a parking spot the other day.
 
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I haven't researched it myself. The version I told was from a F&G official, in a hearing about some bill or other.
It's a cool story...the West Virginia part seemed a bit strange, because hauling live trapped birds from WV to NH is a bit more effort than hauling them from NY state or even Penn...I know the original Mass birds came from birds trapped in NY in the early 70s...
 

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It's a cool story...the West Virginia part seemed a bit strange, because hauling live trapped birds from WV to NH is a bit more effort than hauling them from NY state or even Penn...I know the original Mass birds came from birds trapped in NY in the early 70s...
If things slow down (I'm "essential" in my day job, still working every day), I'll dig through my notes to see if I jotted anything down. I don't even remember what bill it was about.
 

Mountain

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Finding them requires looking out my window. I counted 31 this morning. 3 big toms were all puffed up and strutting their stuff. The rest were scrounging around in my compost bin and under my bird feeder. One of them challenged his reflection in my truck wheel to a fight. The reflection won. Those are some wiley birds.View attachment 339832
You'd swear they have good intel regarding the start of hunting season. Seriously, dumbest damn bird any other day but they seem to turn their brains back on during hunting season.

Try hunting them (legally, in season) and get back to us. [smile]
 

Wickedcoolname

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You'd swear they have good intel regarding the start of hunting season. Seriously, dumbest damn bird any other day but they seem to turn their brains back on during hunting season.

Try hunting them (legally, in season) and get back to us. [smile]
You're right. There is a flock of 13 that spends the whole day in my back yard. Then at dusk they'll head across the street to roost in the tall pines. But every single night one of the big toms will stand right on the yellow line in the middle of the road and prance around all puffed up, completely oblivious to the cars swerving to avoid him. If someone beeps at him he just gobbles and keeps standing there.
 

Wickedcoolname

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That bird needs to be taken out.

When they hold up traffic, they should be put on the open season list.


.
Maybe so. But I'm kind of growing attached to him. When I'm raking or working in the garden he follows me around like a dog. And when he's not doing that he likes to squawk at his reflection in my truck rims.
Other than that the only real downside is 13 turkeys shit a whole lot. I spend about twenty minutes every evening scooping poop.
 
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