2021 Spring Turkey hunting

Gellar

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The warm weather has me anxiously awaiting the start of the Iowa Spring turkey seasons. We have 4 seasons in Iowa which we can participate in 2 of the 4 seasons. Licenses are over the counter for Residents and I hunt season 1 which is April 12-April 15 and season 4 that runs from April 28-May 16.
1 month before the start of the season I begin listening for turkeys gobbling in the morning and watching turkeys. They are still in their winter patterns for the most part and flocked up until the beginning of April. The hens are in large groups of 10-15 birds and the toms are in groups of 3-7 Toms and they are still around winter food sources. When I scout for turkeys I drive the road around the large piece of public land that I hunt on. at areas that are allow me to stop I will pull over and listen for 5 or 10 minutes for birds. I note the temperature, wind, cloud cover, and time of morning. As we get closer to the start of the 1st season I will also drive by the area in the afternoon time after work noting any birds that are in the private fields surrounding, or since it is mostly timber turkeys will use the gravel road area to strut and do tom things too.
When the season starts I hunt a run and gun style of turkey hunting, chasing gobbles. In the morning I will set up in an area where the birds have been in my scouting based on the conditions. In the afternoons I will blind call in open woods or along the few trails/logging roads that are in the area I hunt. I don't care to set up a blind and find a large tree or log that I can conceal myself behind. I carry 1 hen decoy that collapses down easily and I can carry it in my pouch. If I set up the decoy I will often times set it up 15-20 yards in back of me and to the side of the area I think a turkey will approach from. Ideally I can set my decoy behind a small rise in the terrain so that the turkey has to crest the hill in shooting range of me to find the hen that is calling. I use a box call and a diaghram call to do hen yelps, puts and purrs. I change my calling sequence on how I think the tom is acting. If he is excited, I will be more aggressive with the calling, if he is gobbling lazy I will not get to aggressive with him. When the tom is answering my calls, but is not moving closer I will quickly and quietly pack my gear and move 25 yards away from the turkey. I will call a few times and then move 25 more yards and keep doing this until I lose the tom or he begins moving in my direction.
If you have any questions about turkey hunting feel free to ask, or share how you like to turkey hunt as well! I will try to keep a running thread of what I am up to and seeing scouting as a lot of people inquire about turkey hunting each Spring.

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std7mag

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central pa
PA's season doesn't start till i think, May & runs to June.
First couple of weeks they have a time limit. No hunting after Noon.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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The Driftless Area
PA's season doesn't start till i think, May & runs to June.
First couple of weeks they have a time limit. No hunting after Noon.
I had never heard of that law until I moved to Illinois for a few years. I’m not a huge evening hunter, but I think hunting between 11-3 can be deadly. Especially on public ground when the other hunters have left. I like to sit in open wooded areas and call for 45 minutes, move a little and do it again.
 

Gellar

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Jan 31, 2014
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The Driftless Area
Rainy days! Today is the first warm rain we’ve had in this warm spell, I hate to call it spring because we have another good month we could get heavy snowfall. The turkeys are out in force on my scouting route this morning. If I see rain in the forecast I try to hunt that day. Turkeys love to feed in a light rain or just after it’s done. If it’s a longer season it will keep the hunters home too!
 

Pups

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Feb 18, 2021
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Flathead Valley, MT
We're starting to hear gobbles in MT! We saw a group of overzealous jakes firing off the other day. Blows my mind that turkey season is almost here...


I love the snow bird picture. I was able to tag one in the snow two years ago. I had elk, mule deer, and (luckily) turkeys all come up to the decoy that morning. I won't be forgetting that one any time soon.
 

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Gellar

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The Driftless Area
We're starting to hear gobbles in MT! We saw a group of overzealous jakes firing off the other day. Blows my mind that turkey season is almost here...


I love the snow bird picture. I was able to tag one in the snow two years ago. I had elk, mule deer, and (luckily) turkeys all come up to the decoy that morning. I won't be forgetting that one any time soon.
I love the white tips on the merriam's!

I haven't heard any gobbles yet, but they will be starting any day.

I shot the snow turkey at about 3:45 in the afternoon on opening day. It was April 15 or 16 and was damn near a blizzard when I woke up that morning. Even though it was opening morning I went back to bed. I snuck out early from work and got set up on the edge of a grass crp field. A couple little yelps and two toms were gobbling a couple hundred yards away in the bottom of a valley. As soon as they hit the open it was a race to the decoy!
 

Gellar

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Has anyone ever heard people say that it is impossible to call a turkey across a fence or up a hill or across a creek? I remember when I was a young turkey hunter I always heard more experienced turkey hunters, including my dad, say those things. I have proven that wrong several times calling birds uphill and across fences. There aren't any big creeks or rivers where I hunt, but I don't see why that would be true either?

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bradr

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Iowa
Has anyone ever heard people say that it is impossible to call a turkey across a fence or up a hill or across a creek? I remember when I was a young turkey hunter I always heard more experienced turkey hunters, including my dad, say those things. I have proven that wrong several times calling birds uphill and across fences. There aren't any big creeks or rivers where I hunt, but I don't see why that would be true either?

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Yup, I heard the same thing when I was new to turkey hunting. And I believed it......until I called two toms across a river one day. Sometimes they'll do it, sometimes they won't. It's kinda like when ya hear someone say, "elk bed on north slopes, way back in." Well, we busted a nice bull and two cows bedded on a south slope on a sunny 80 degree day this past September, less than a mile from a trailhead and a busy road. Fact is, animals will do whatever they want, when they want has been my experience. Nice photo, gets me cranked!
 

R.K.

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MT
My plan was to hunt Missouri with my dad, but work had other plans- vacation request denied. Looks like I'll be chasing thunder chickens exclusively in Montana this spring, unless some luck comes my way.

I have a spot with educated birds that I think I can get one, but I need to go poke around more for other birds that aren't as pressured- maybe go knock on some doors. Hoping to get my first Merriam's this year.
 

Gellar

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My plan was to hunt Missouri with my dad, but work had other plans- vacation request denied. Looks like I'll be chasing thunder chickens exclusively in Montana this spring, unless some luck comes my way.

I have a spot with educated birds that I think I can get one, but I need to go poke around more for other birds that aren't as pressured- maybe go knock on some doors. Hoping to get my first Merriam's this year.
I hope whatever you get the opportunity to do you are successful!
 

archerynut21

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I was able to harvest my first two turkeys in a day last November. I’ve hunted them a little bit in the spring for a few years. I’m hooked! Hopefully I can find a day between running bears to hunt them a little. I would love to call a gobbler in! Hopefully one that tops my 10” beard, 1.5” spur gobbler from last fall!
 

TheGreek

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Apr 14, 2017
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Chicago
I was able to harvest my first two turkeys in a day last November. I’ve hunted them a little bit in the spring for a few years. I’m hooked! Hopefully I can find a day between running bears to hunt them a little. I would love to call a gobbler in! Hopefully one that tops my 10” beard, 1.5” spur gobbler from last fall!
10 inch beard and 1.5 inch spurs is a good tom. Post some pics.
 

TheGreek

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Chicago
And I just found out I drew a site to hunt private land for a season here in IL through the IL DNR IRAP (Illinois Recreational Access Program. Hopefully the land doesn't suck. Spring is in the air.
 

Dougfirtree

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Adirondacks
Has anyone ever heard people say that it is impossible to call a turkey across a fence or up a hill or across a creek? I remember when I was a young turkey hunter I always heard more experienced turkey hunters, including my dad, say those things. I have proven that wrong several times calling birds uphill and across fences. There aren't any big creeks or rivers where I hunt, but I don't see why that would be true either?

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I've called turkeys across a small river several times (about 30 yards wide). I like to use the fade-away for that (and for any hung-up turkey). I move away from the turkey, calling periodically. After I've gone a few hundred yards, I'll quickly and quietly jog halfway back and wait quietly to see if I hooked them. Works about 25% of the time, but that's not bad and I've killed turkeys doing it.
 

Jc2020

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Ks turkey season starts in April I’m chomping at the bit to get out and get after it
 

Gellar

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I was able to harvest my first two turkeys in a day last November. I’ve hunted them a little bit in the spring for a few years. I’m hooked! Hopefully I can find a day between running bears to hunt them a little. I would love to call a gobbler in! Hopefully one that tops my 10” beard, 1.5” spur gobbler from last fall!
Fall turkeys!! Very impressive!
 

Gellar

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I've called turkeys across a small river several times (about 30 yards wide). I like to use the fade-away for that (and for any hung-up turkey). I move away from the turkey, calling periodically. After I've gone a few hundred yards, I'll quickly and quietly jog halfway back and wait quietly to see if I hooked them. Works about 25% of the time, but that's not bad and I've killed turkeys doing it.
Awesome! I know it’s possible but I’ve never been in a situation to call a turkey across a river. Maybe that will be my goal this season!?
The first moose I called in came across a river and we were set up about 15 yards from the bank when he came out of the river!
 
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