Why did the gobbler cross the road?

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Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby FMFdevildoc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:07 am

Before you read my rant - if you have experience coaxing birds across terrain like roads, or creekbeds, please opine on whether I am being crazy over a lost cause here. I have had decent success over the years with turkey, but these birds at my turkey spot have been haunting me in my sleep since this past spring. And maybe, I am just crazy...

I usually limit my questions on forums - I prefer to scout in real life, virtual scouting on the internet drives me nuts.
But I am in the midst of waterfowl madness - once the season ends, I take a break (fish my ass off / coyote hunt) then in March spring turkey starts...

I couldn't get a pair of toms (maybe jakes - never got a visual on them or saw tracks) to come across a road....
So how to get these jokers across a road? I know they cross it - they cross it evey morning to feed and every evening to roost. So the answer is simple right? Get in front of their path and catch them en route to either location !

- Tried that... no lie, put in 40+ hours trying to get those jokers
- They would come close to the road, this im sure of, but wouldnt cross

I have a semi - permanent blind there (private land permission) and the arent too afraid of people, so I am not convinced they had me made. I do decent on calling birds in and it was the same hustle with these birds everytime: Locate call = gobble. Yelp = gobbles closer and closer; then the road and = no more action...

- I have figured it's either I need some hen decoy in my spread or ??? I have been putting out a pair of jakes, one feeder one upright, as my suspicion is that these birds are older toms.


I have thought about it and it's drove me crazy - cause if these are the same gobblers that frequent the ranch a 1/4 mile up the road (which is very likely) these are BIG MATURE BIRDS that look like T-rex dinosaurs with gobbler beards dragging on the darn ground.... So needless to say, I would like to whack one of these birds !
Why? One inquires why? Because, AMERICA !!
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby brktrt-18 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:35 pm

Ok, I will ask the obvious question first. Can you set up on the other side of the road? Now that I asked that I will assume you can't or you would have. I would try not calling or calling softly to try and pull them over. If they want to go that way they might do it on there own you your calling is holding them back. Other option is to pull back further from the road to try and pull them over. Get their interest, then back up calling to look like you are a hen moving away. Might just be you need to get them in right mood on the right day and they will fall in your lap.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby FMFdevildoc » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:42 pm

Thanks for the ideas - I've tried to persuade the landowners to give me permission, yet they're reluctant to let anyone back onto their pastures. They got burned by some yahoos, so I can't blame them.

I will give the hen-on-the-move tactic a try, I do have a game cam. Yet I am resistant to using game cams, they can be really valuable aides to hunting but shouldn't replace scouting & doing my homework. Plus id end up with tons of pictures of grazing livestock on this property.

I appreciate it - have to see what happens this spring!
Why? One inquires why? Because, AMERICA !!
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby gtismasher » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:44 pm

When spring comes around I'd love to go out there with you. better odds!
It doesn't matter how many duck I shoot anymore. It only matters how many ducks my pup brings back to me.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby keep_m_kupt » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:08 pm

how big of a field are they feeding in on your side? Can the toms see you where you setup before they cross? If you can keep eye contact let them cross the road first then do some calling. Just enough to get there attention. Then shut up. If they are the boss toms they will come check things out. I had a similar issue with 2 boss toms. these guys were smart. They would stay in the middle of the field for 4-5 hours strutting away having hens come to them. Quick the operation they had. I ended up waiting for them to enter the bush doulbe back get them fired up again and wait. 45min later we had the two of them down. The absolute largest scoring birds either of us had ever seen.

kupt.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby goosetalk » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:47 pm

Fighting Purrs. Make them want to fight.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby jpostx3 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Get a pop up blind and set up 40 yards from the road or wherever you can still see the other side so you know where they hang
Up if they do. Anyways then take a b-mobile and put it in-between you and the road. Ever since I got my b mobile turkey hunting has been easy. They don't seem to spook one bit from a pop up
Blind like deer do also. Heck you can throw one up in the middle of a
Field and whack em when other people think they are "hung up". If you are scared to try something crazy then instead of a pop up blind use your lay-out blind and camo it in for lower "concealment". To eachs their own though. Like I said sometimes you have to try something crazy, the unthinkable and you'll
Be surprised with the results!
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby jpostx3 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:59 pm

Oh and if you're calling and it isn't working then shut up because your calling sucks. I don't care if you win a calling contest every year, if the birds don't like it then it sucks(for those birds). I am by no means a good caller. Hell I get told I sound like a sick duck when I use my diafram call, but I've killed many birds for myself and other people using it. Keep in mind what won't work one day might the next day. Must have patience, that is the key to killing turkeys.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby Indawoods » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:46 am

Are they across the road in a field or woods? How far are you from the road? Early, late or middle of your season?
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby carolinagreenhead » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:08 am

In my experience, turkeys are funny that way. I have yet see one cross a road, river, creek or any natural barrier like that. Heck, sometimes they won't even cross a log. I had one a few years ago come right up to the river I was hunting along but wouldn't cross it. I knew he wouldn't as soon as I saw him. I was able to get closer to him to make the shot but that didn't work out either. I know this doesn't help you but I don't really have an answer on that one.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby Indawoods » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:41 pm

carolinagreenhead wrote:In my experience, turkeys are funny that way. I have yet see one cross a road, river, creek or any natural barrier like that. Heck, sometimes they won't even cross a log. I had one a few years ago come right up to the river I was hunting along but wouldn't cross it. I knew he wouldn't as soon as I saw him. I was able to get closer to him to make the shot but that didn't work out either. I know this doesn't help you but I don't really have an answer on that one.


I've 'persuaded' gobblers to do just this many times. The trick is not setting up right on the creek or road. You have to give them 'room' to come across. They have to be without hens as well, obviously. After they hit the edge, go quiet on them until they come across or move off. Move and repeat until they come. Often they will go up or down the edge to a 'preferred' spot to do so.
assateague wrote:I'm not THAT cheap.


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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby FMFdevildoc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:12 pm

These were mid - season gobblers, when I did see them, the big dinosaur toms were locked up with hens. There are plenty of mature toms, who are on the outskirts of the main property where the big toms & the roost is.
Going to start scouting it next week, season starts 28 March and I want to be there opening day.

Inda - the road is a 2 lane county / paved highway (so its about 50yds. wide or so). My friend, who lives on the property, says he sees them every morning / evening when they're returning / leaving the roost. They go pick through cow $hit then head over to the wine vineyards during mid day. We can't hunt the winery, so were relegated to morning & late day set ups.

According to him, just as you mentioned, I most likely set up 25 yards or so too close to their path of travel. More I think of it, when I had them gobbling like crazy, they were returning to roost.

Oh well, hopefully, couple weeks I can make a longbeard dead.
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby Cujo1 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:21 pm

I have called turkeys across just about every obstacle there is including rivers. I have also seen turkeys refuse to cross a creek 6 inches deep and a foot wide like it was 8 foot tall fence covered in razor wire. I think the problem you have is with the turkeys themselves. Two big longbeards without hens in the breeding season tells me these are probably older birds that are not interested in breeding. If they are interested they are not going to work hard at it like they did in their prime. Solution: You are basically deer hunting this type of turkey. Scout, pattern and set up like you would for deer. Leave the decoys at home and put the calls away. Just because a tom answers a call doesn' t mean he is going to come to you. To many hunters think that if they respond they will come, not always true. I personally don't waste much time on these types of turkeys, I find birds that are ready to die. Listen to them they will tell you when they are ready for the grave. I have killed toms like you are talking about and like the others have said it will probably take something unconventional. Like Inda said give them room to cross the road, If you want to call, I suggest gobbler or jake yelps, but nothing that sounds aggressive or confrontational. keep calling to a minimum. Scout plenty and see if you can gain an advantage by observing a pattern. I have a pair of big toms that act the same as yours. They are around the flock until they break up and then you see them by themselves without hens. These birds are huge! This year I might have time to chase them around a little, but with two sons, my father, my tags and a couple of friends and clients my days are just about all booked. Good luck and blow em up!
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Re: Why did the gobbler cross the road?

Postby Indawoods » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:30 pm

FMFdevildoc wrote:These were mid - season gobblers, when I did see them, the big dinosaur toms were locked up with hens. There are plenty of mature toms, who are on the outskirts of the main property where the big toms & the roost is.
Going to start scouting it next week, season starts 28 March and I want to be there opening day.

Inda - the road is a 2 lane county / paved highway (so its about 50yds. wide or so). My friend, who lives on the property, says he sees them every morning / evening when they're returning / leaving the roost. They go pick through cow $hit then head over to the wine vineyards during mid day. We can't hunt the winery, so were relegated to morning & late day set ups.

According to him, just as you mentioned, I most likely set up 25 yards or so too close to their path of travel. More I think of it, when I had them gobbling like crazy, they were returning to roost.

Oh well, hopefully, couple weeks I can make a longbeard dead.


DO NOT mess with these big birds until late season after the hens have left them. This is your highest percentage chance to kill these birds. Calling to them before then is just educating them. Do not set up close to the roost in the evening at all, if you can help it. They are more likely to veer your way in the morning. Set up within reasonable calling distance along their travel route as far from the roost as possible. This seems counterintuitive, it is not. Further from the roost you are, the more time they have to adjust their path towards you.
If these birds have hens, you're pissin upwind. With the road obstacle to overcome, everything is going to have to be 'right' for it to happen. I wouldn't force it. When I did set up on them, I would use multiple hen calls, fly down cackles and wings/ hen fighting purrs to simulate a flock if single hen calling doesn't do the trick.
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-on the viability of Pabst Blue Ribbon as a thirst quenching barley pop.
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