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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Can someone please explain the appeal? I see all these hunting shows where the hunters have thousands of dollars in camo, specialized shotguns, dozens of calls, decoys, etc. They spend God only knows how much on tags, travel, and lodging. If I want a turkey, I'll spend $5 on a special unit tag, step off the porch, walk up and grab one by the neck.
 

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it is the difference between shooting a deer at the city park, and going out into the woods and hunting one.
 

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Well, from personal experience, there is a certain guilty thrill from spending thousands on a fine shotgun, camo, boots, calls, jacket, gloves, face mask and ammo. I spent over a hundred on six different kinds of shells, and a week of shooting to pattern and document which shell produced the tightest pattern. I sat on my porch practicing with the calls, trying to coax the turkey swarm on the other side of the valley to approach my cabin. I walked the dog for miles to break in my boots, and have nothing but good things to say about Lacrosse. I sent my name into the lottery for permits, and finally got my days assigned.
On my days, it rained and rained and rained. My vehicle did not have the traction to get to the hunting grounds. Finally, on the last day, cold, tired, wet and hungry, I stood there as still as I possibly could, invisible in my surroundings. I shifted my eyes left and right, not turning my head, and did not give away my position as I scanned the terrain. I had clear sides and backdrop, and, ever so slowly, moved from my position and grabbed the 14-pound Butterball out of the freezer rack.
The clerk liked my camo, and the boots were warm. Turkey was great too.
 

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It's like anything else. You can have the crazies that spend their money on what they do.

Spring Turkey hunting (in Texas) is extremely challenging. However when I did it 30 years ago, I had a $200 Winchester shotgun and bought a $20 turkey call box. Listened to the included cassette tape for 30 min., walked to my blind, and was back in hour and half with 2 birds. Hunting with rifles, much easier. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Turkeys here are more of a nuisance than anything else. The other day, I had to get out of my truck and chase a flock of at least 30 off the road, just to get to work. I don't mind them, I see them as an emergency food supply for my family. But there's no skill in hunting them whatsoever. The flocks are so big that predators don't attack them, and they have no fear of man. Grouse hunting on the other hand, can be quite a challenge.
 

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I have hunted turkey, but it's been a long time. I just stick to deer anymore. I like to eat what I kill, and I actually prefer the taste of store bought turkey over wild.

I hate to admit that, but it's true.
 

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that's because the store bought turkeys are soft and injected full of chemicals.
 

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Turkeys here are more of a nuisance than anything else. The other day, I had to get out of my truck and chase a flock of at least 30 off the road, just to get to work. I don't mind them, I see them as an emergency food supply for my family. But there's no skill in hunting them whatsoever. The flocks are so big that predators don't attack them, and they have no fear of man. Grouse hunting on the other hand, can be quite a challenge.
I've never seen them in a huge flock during the season though.
And there are different types of turkeys in different areas of the country.

Some are more difficult to hunt than others.
IE: some are kinda dumb, and others are smarter.
 

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I don't mind them, I see them as an emergency food supply for my family. But there's no skill in hunting them whatsoever.
Come to Indiana and hunt them. Southern Indiana has plenty of turkey and they freakin evaporate like the morning mist when hunting season starts. I will go one step further. Come to Indiana and I will hunt with you. If you get one the first day I will pay every single cent of your expenses to and from the Hoosier state. My dad was a very good hunter. I grew up on deer and antelope. That is what we had in our freezer the way others have a side of beef or a hog. When my dad started hunting turkey his first year he never fired a shot. Not one. He never got a gobbler close enough for a guaranteed kill shot, which he insisted on. In regards to the lack of skill...you are way off. BTW, compared to deer hunting, back when I hunted with dad it didn't hurt my feelings that we hunted turkey in good weather.
 

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As for the appeal, for me it was just an excuse to spend time with my dad. Like you, I prefer my birds have a pop up timer. But it was exciting to hear a gobbler way off in the distance and then try to call him in for a shot. Hearing him get closer and closer. They are not nearly as stupid as domestic turkeys, but certainly not going to pass the SAT either. They have some crazy built in defenses to make up for it. Those big toms don't grow those long beards and spurs being so easy to kill. Many times we called in big toms only to have them get hinky and haul ass before they got close enough for the shot. If you like hunting at all it is pretty fun.

Likes: good weather, calling them in, grilling the bird, not having to climb a tree, and spending time with my dad.

Dislikes: there are things I would rather do with my time, people get shot a lot hunting turkeys by other idiots because you sit on the ground with fake turkeys nearby making turkey sounds. Coming home empty handed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We have snipes here. Used to hunt them with a pellet gun. They're easy to spot in the evening. They make a weird call while flying really high. You have to look way ahead of where the sound came from to see them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Come to Indiana and hunt them. Southern Indiana has plenty of turkey and they freakin evaporate like the morning mist when hunting season starts. I will go one step further. Come to Indiana and I will hunt with you. If you get one the first day I will pay every single cent of your expenses to and from the Hoosier state. My dad was a very good hunter. I grew up on deer and antelope. That is what we had in our freezer the way others have a side of beef or a hog. When my dad started hunting turkey his first year he never fired a shot. Not one. He never got a gobbler close enough for a guaranteed kill shot, which he insisted on. In regards to the lack of skill...you are way off. BTW, compared to deer hunting, back when I hunted with dad it didn't hurt my feelings that we hunted turkey in good weather.
If you want to play state by state, you could come out to north Idaho for elk. That's what we get excited about each year.

My first turkey hunt lasted all of ten minutes. Unless I'm starving, I'm not going after them. They're not the best table fare, and if you're not in a "Special Unit", the price of the tag doesn't justify the amount of meat.

Ruffled grouse are cheap and exciting to hunt, and the best eat'n bird I've ever tasted. We have a long season with a 3 bird daily bag limit. Don't need dogs either.

Come to think about it, I don't think I've ever met a dedicated turkey hunter in the Northwest. The popular species here are elk, bear, wolf, moose, mule deer, sheep, goat, etc. Pretty slim chance of drawing a sheep or goat tag though.
 

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Elk hunting would be big fun! Again, I think the audible part adds a lot of excitement. Growing up hunting whitetail and rabbit it is a very quiet endeavor for both the hunter and the animal. I have only heard an elk bugle twice and it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Around here it is not uncommon to hear a deer hunter describe a buck so big "it looked like an elk!" As soon as I hear that I know they are a liar, a little too excited or they have never seen an elk.
 

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It's like white tail hunting but you are packing 25 lbs of meat instead of 250 after the kill. same areas and better weather, usually. Wild turkeys are also all dark meat.


We call them, get to watch the big burly toms kick the piss out of each other, call birds that stay just out of gun range, and all in all its just plain exciting to call something in. I don't have thousands of dollars in camo (hundreds for sure but thousands?) use the same gun I hunt ducks quail and chukar with, and turkey calls are relatively cheap compared to acrylic hand turned duck calls.

When you get one fooled they come in just like a whitetail buck or bull elk in the rut. Strutting, making noise, and all around dumb for the girls. Turkeys don't have their tongues out of their mouths like elk do though, I have seen elk slobbering all over themselves coming into cow calls. By no means are turkeys easy. They are very cautious, have the eyesight of a hawk, and can hear your heartbeat (not really but you get the point) my grandfather claims if they had any sense of smell they would be impossible to hunt. some people get lucky, and others are just plain good at reading the birds and getting them to respond to calls. That's why most places you can go get another tag if you get birds early.


Ps after you see the 3/4" Spurs on their legs and wings that could knock out a dog go crazy, you may think twice about grabbing a live one by the neck.
 

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Our bird dogs would chase turkeys just as quickly as grouse. You could tell when they "hit" on a flock or single turkey vs. grouse and you often had time to get ready for them to come up/over you. Sometimes you got a shot, or two, sometimes not. That was fall/winter hunting.

Spring gobbler season. The only time I got close enough to see a bunch of turkeys was one morning when I was walking into the bottom where we were hunting. I had to take a dump so I walked off the road, found a good spot, leaned my 12 ga. up against a tree, dropped my pants and squatted down with my back against a tree. You know what happened next. There were turkeys on roosts all around me and they began to fly off as I squatted there trying to finish and wipe off so I could pull my pants up and grab my shotgun. True story. They make a hell of a racket flying off the roost in the near dark.
 

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The biggest turkey I have ever seen.......
 
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