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Turkey Hunter Interactions

winmag

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
837
Location
Colorado
I know this happens all the time, but I just don’t get how this happens.

I’ve walked into peoples setups before… always because they were on the trail, but only once in 10 years of hunting have I gotten to within 50 yards of someone and not noticed until they said something. ( dude in a tree stand in CO, elk hunting… was not expecting it)

How do you not notice folks? How do you mistake a person for any game animal?
I know what you mean. I don’t really understand it either. I get excited while hunting but not delusional.

The guy that lost his eye is actually now friends with the guy that shot him. I’ve heard them both tell the story. The shooter said he was on a bird that kept going away from him and he was pursuing it. My friend was sitting motionless calling every 15 minutes or so. He was wearing full camo, the only exposed skin was what his facemask didn’t cover around his eyes. My friend never knew the shooter was there. The shooter said he was 100% certain he was looking at a turkeys head. And then he shot someone in the face at 32 yards. And in an instant he realized it wasn’t a turkey.
 

wllm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2015
Messages
15,894
Location
Boston
I know what you mean. I don’t really understand it either. I get excited while hunting but not delusional.

The guy that lost his eye is actually now friends with the guy that shot him. I’ve heard them both tell the story. The shooter said he was on a bird that kept going away from him and he was pursuing it. My friend was sitting motionless calling every 15 minutes or so. He was wearing full camo, the only exposed skin was what his facemask didn’t cover around his eyes. My friend never knew the shooter was there. The shooter said he was 100% certain he was looking at a turkeys head. And then he shot someone in the face at 32 yards. And in an instant he realized it wasn’t a turkey.
So this story... then the muzzy guy who blasted a bow hunter in CO.

You can't tell a human from a turkey/elk under 50 yards, but you were sure enough, to pull the trigger, that you were looking at a Tom/Bull?

You have to gender both species, how the hell do you gender another hunter's eye as a tom?
 

Pucky Freak

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
4,132
Location
Iowa
Last fall I was accessing a large chunk of public through a narrow trail. On the way in I see a hunter with a crossbow sneakily moving ahead of me in the same direction. I looked to see if there was an animal he was stalking, and there was not. He was just “hunting his way in”. I made a bird sound to get his attention. No response. Walked closer, and repeat. Did this 3 times total. He was so “in the zone” he didn’t notice me at all. I could not fathom how he did not hear me crunching leaf litter, or whistling like a fake bird. Anyways, I’m about 20 yards behind him and quietly say “hello” - he about jumped out of his skin.
 

WoodMoose

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Messages
311
Location
N.C.
I think I may wear an orange hat turkey hunting now though, at the very least maybe it would keep me from having to shout at someone to alert them to my location.

I carry a 8”x24” piece cut off a V-17 panel (fluorescent orange) rolled up in my possibles bag - I’ve had to flash it at a couple of folks coming to close
 

Jackson Smith

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2022
Messages
39
Yesterday was the opener for Colorado Turkey and I was successful in getting a Tom within the first hour of daylight which we all know never happens. My wife was with me this time and we also had an interesting experience with another hunter that could have ended dangerously.

We parked at the end of a dead end road and planned to continue on past the no motor vehicles sign where there is a trail that follows an old road grade. When we parked we saw a truck with a tent set up about 100 feet away with a light on in the tent so my thought was that it was likely another hunter getting ready. I like giving people space but this is where we had planned to hunt and I also wasn't absolutely positive it was a hunter so we stuck with our plan. About 1/2 mile from the truck it was starting to get light out and we were already hearing turkeys nearby. We got closer and set up on the edge of a larger clearing and when it was light enough to shoot I started calling. We quickly realized there were quite a lot of Turkeys in this group with several gobbles and lots of clucking from hens as well. I started calling and the group came a little closer and there were over 20 in total. The turkeys were so active with each other though that I couldn't get a Tom to leave the real hens and come to my calls but they were all in front of us moving around in the scrub oak. The Toms were all gobbling and fanning, it was an impressive sight and cool experience. About 20 minutes into this and we heard clucking coming from behind us that didn't sound very convincing and I immediately knew it was another hunter. The calls got closer and closer and eventually I look back and see the guy creeping closer so I turned and waved my hand at him so he would know my wife and I were there. At this point he's maybe 15 or 20 yards from us and there is nothing between he and I but my wife was about 15 yards away from me - but slightly closer to him - hidden in some scrub oak. Neither my wife or I wear anything camo, just earth toned clothes so we are fairly visible compared to most turkey hunters. He's now just standing there looking right at me and so I continue waving more emphatically. I wanted him to acknowledge me just so I knew that he knew we were there for safety reasons. I was not trying to wave him out of the area or be rude about it, it was the type of wave where if you saw your friends from across a large room at a party or gathering and you were trying to get their attention. He then creeps forward another 10 yards or so, posts up against a ponderosa and starts calling, with my wife only 10 or so yards from him. At this point I stood up and in my regular loud voice told my wife to get up and follow me out of there. I didn't feel comfortable with the situation at all now. Not wanting to walk any closer to him we just quickly walked the opposite direction toward where the turkeys went. We get about 75 yards away from the guy and crest a small ridge when we see all the turkeys out in the open. I see two Toms off to the side all fanned out so I quickly rose my shotgun up and shot one. The rest all flew down the mountain. At this point the other hunter couldn't not know someone was there, but about 2 minutes after I shot the turkey we hear him still calling away. All is well that ends well I suppose, but I think I now see why people say turkey hunting is when most accidental shootings happen. I can't convince myself that the guy didn't see me and my gut tell me he did and was just ignoring me so he could try to get on the same turkeys first. If he truly didn't see me, then I question his eyesight enough so that it worries me he had a gun in his hands. Maybe he had turkey fever so bad that his mind ignored me kinda like the exercise where you watch the video of kids playing basketball and a person in a gorilla suit walks through the game but you don't see it because you're busy counting the number of passes. He was likely the guy in the tent we parked next to and was possibly pissed that we were there, who knows? We never saw him again and we had the turkey back home, butchered, vacuum packed, and in the freezer before 11am which was a first for me on opening morning. In hindsight what I should have done was disregard my hunter instinct to not scare game away and just yelled out to the guy really loudly and forced him to acknowledge me. I think I may wear an orange hat turkey hunting now though, at the very least maybe it would keep me from having to shout at someone to alert them to my location. Stay safe out there everyone! View attachment 218540
Congrats
 

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