Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:28 PM
I got this from another fourm. The fellow who posted it is an avid turkey hunter and also a game warden so has seen his share of stupid things that have occured. Here is a great post in his words. Some things I think we should cover about safety and tactics. Nothing is absolute, but the safety is NEEDED, and the decoy placement is what has worked for me.......by trial and error, mostly by accident and recognizing what worked!No doubt about it......turkey hunting can be dangerous. We are all running around in camo, at ground level, with shotguns, looking for a bird that's about the size of our chest when puffed up. And furthermore, the distance and size of dark/black objects is a hard thing to judge.You can never be TOO safe about a strutting decoy. You are CARRYING WHAT THE OTHER HUNTERS ARE AFTER!Carry the decoy (and all of your decoys) in some kind of bag that especially contains the head, and the fan.If you're moving in the woods, I would at the very least, have on an orange hat (your head's kinda the most important part of this whole safety in the turkey woods thing, and people LEAD with their head......so the first thing another hunter should see is ORANGE).The orange thought is ESPECIALLY true if you are getting into the black outfit craze of hunting in blinds! NEWS FLASH! GOBBLERS ARE BLACK OBJECTS MOVING THROUGH THE WOODS! DON'T BE A BLACK OBJECT MOVING THROUGH THE WOODS! Wear a little orange!The last thing a turkey hunter shooter in a hunting incident often says is.......I saw the turkey, saw the beard, I shot, and the turkey screamed. The shooter STILL believes he shot a turkey! Our mind can do some CRAZY things to us when we are LOOKING for a turkey. DO NOT LOOK LIKE A TURKEY! Don't wear under shirts, or have other parts of your socks, undies, etc. showing that are red, white, blue or black.So.....carry your strutting decoy in a decoy bag that's brown, tan or forest green. Primos B-mobile decoys come with an orange bag with backpack straps, FYI. Be sure ALL HEADS are in the bag!Crazy to think about.....but there ARE people out there in the turkey woods that shoot the first black bird they see.......gobbler, jake, hen, crow.........you... ...... Be defensive against stupid people, the same way you are when you drive!So.......placement of this decoy.........Worst position: facing the decoy away from you. The gobbler will hang up, posturing against your decoy. Don't allow them to do this!If you're in the woods, and your decoy is in the field, face the decoy back towards the woods. I overly prefer quartering towards me......ALMOST facing me directly, but not quite. And, I want to GUIDE the turkey to where I want it to be, so I face the decoy quartering towards my LEFT shoulder because I am RIGHT handed. The gobbler will tend to approach from the direction of the side of the decoy that's facing away from you (my left shoulder in this case). This allows me to swing my gun the way I expect them to approach easier.The gobbler wants your strutting decoy to KNOW he is there, and your decoy is on HIS turf.Be sure when you are setting up hen decoys, that you think about this guiding-in too. Don't get a hen decoy in the WAY of the gobbler approaching like this.When I set up 2 or 3 standing/feeding hen decoys, I set them up perpendicular to all the different directions I think a turkey may come from. This allows for the most coverage of turkeys being able to see those decoys from a distance, and confirms for a gobbler, that your decoy is holding HIS hens with him.If you are setting up a laying hen (I hardly ever do, but I hear it works well) position this hen between you, and your strutter. Again......don't let this hen decoy be a barrier to him coming in they WHOLE way.DO NOT put the decoy really in close to you if you're in a woods setup, or a woods edge/field setup.If another hunter is going to come in, and shoot your strutting decoy, you do not want the pellets to hit you before they hit the decoy. Always set up at a tree that covers your head and chest. Better yet, one that's wider than your shoulders. This way, if they shoot, the pellets strike the tree you are sitting at, not YOU, and your body isn't adding movement into the overall picture that the other hunter is seeing right before he decides whether to shoot or not.Also, with this position of the turkey decoy towards you, a hunter that is approaching you in the woods, they will not be able to see the head of your decoy very well, if at all. This is another little thing that would hopefully KEEP them from shooting the strutting decoy, and getting you struck by the pellets that go past the decoy.If you see another hunter approaching your setup, HOLLER at them. NOTHING else in the woods TALKS! Just say, "Hey, hunter here!" And keep repeating it until they respond. Lots of stuff whistles and clicks! Hunters are around gun fire quite a bit! We're not a really keen-eared group of folks!#2 of this distance setup.......shotgun chokes these days are TIGHT. if you have your strutter at 12 yards, your bird will more than likely be at 10 or less when you shoot at it. CLOSER is not better in turkey hunting! Set up.......especially for youth and new hunters........so you/they have a 18-25 yard shot.....giving their pattern time to expand.So.......set your strutter up at 23-25 yards. Walk this distance out in the morning. If you don't walk it out.......I can just about bet you, you will set your decoy up TOO close in the dark. Judging distance in the dark is a whole different animal than what we are used to.I limit young/new shooters to 30 yards, so I also walk out the 30 yards total, and put a stick in the ground, so we both know where the limit is.This distance will allow for the shot on your turkey to be at 18-23 yards.......perfect distance for most turkey chokes to have an OVERLY good pattern.If you're in a blind in the middle of a field.......try to get so far in the middle of the field that other hunters would be a LONG ways away to shoot from the edge of the woods.And again......for keeping that head from being exposed much to hunters in the woods edge, or from the gobbler, keep the decoy's butt/fan pointed towards the woods edge.If you're BOWHUNTING in a blind, then position your decoy for a closer shot......if you want an 8 yard shot, put your decoy at 10 or 12.When you're in the middle of a big field, use your BLIND as a BARRIER for the gobblers, so they can't circle you from a bad angle. Only let them face off with the decoy in a spot that's going to be good for your shot. You can use your hen position to your advantage in this too.......or it could hurt you, if you set up wrong. Facing your decoy DIRECTLY at you in an archery setup will help you be able to draw without being seen also.......because the gobbler's butt will be towards you when he faces off with your decoy.And one last thing......wear your orange when you're setting up your decoy, or taking it down if its light in any matter. REMEMBER! You're adding MOVEMENT to a strutting TOM when you're standing out there messing with it!When you pack up and leave, pay attention again, to be sure your decoy heads, and your DEAD GOBBLER head, is not exposed to other hunters. And pop your orange victory hat on your head.
Handmade Calls by Braz
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.. But I repeat myself."--Mark Twain