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To All New & Fairly New Hunters, especially WMA

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To All New & Fairly New Hunters, especially WMA
Every year at Big Lake WMA, we see would-be turkey hunters try to sneak up on a gobbling bird, simutaneously calling away. They never kill the bird, and usually mess up the veteran hunter who had been working that bird all morning. The new hunter unless he has someone to show him the ropes, really has nothing else to go on, and really does not know any better. The videos out there are all BS, and these new hunters are being duped- fed the wrong info.

So, with the season quickly approaching, you new guys remember: if you see a truck parked on the road, or a bicycle on the ATV trail where a gobbler is cutting up, don't rush in and mess it up. Think ! That other guy is probably in there working that bird. Give him some room. You are NOT going to sneak up on a gobbler and kill him. And for god's sake, don't shoot at the flushing bird. I did sneak up on a big Tom in Tensas and I killed him, but I had him pegged every morning for a week straight before opening morning, and I knew EXACTLY what he did, and when, and I have been at this since the early 80's, but for the most part, you are NOT going to sneak up on a gobbling bird and kill him, so please, think for a moment; that other hunter is in there calling . Leave him alone and find another.

I firmly believe that Big Lake has so many turkeys because not very many get killed each season BECAUSE of this running on top of one another that goes on there. If a few veteran turkey hunters were turned loose in Big Lake without the newbies running around spooking everything, they could really put a hurting on the gobbler population.

Bottom line- hunters mess up other hunters, and NO turkey gets killed. I have learned how to avoid this. I of course, won't say how here, but yall new people, yall can learn. Just slow down a little, and think when that gobble goes off. Just stop for a moment and think: That truck is parked right there where he is gobbling. Has been all week. Man, think! Don't go in there and commence to calling. That other guy is in there.

We know it is public land and we know that this activity cannot be stopped, but I would hope that ethics and respect played a part in one's decision-making. Respect the other guy. Just stop and think for a moment: " I heard that gobble but that red Chevy is parked right there. " Think- that's all.

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Over the years I've never had that problem in Western La. People respect that unwritten rule. Our problem here is wild birds. They let Hog hunters go on Clear Creek with dogs just before the season and that screws up the whole works for the tukey hunters. Plenty of birds, few hunters but they are so shook up from the hog hunters (by the way everybody cant hunt hogs, just these guys) they wont come to anybodys call. I have has many a good hunter tell me they didn't know what was making the birds so skitish...after watching the hog hunters while scouting I think this is th reason.

Uncle John
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Lamplighter:

They call it common courtesy. Most of the goof-balls on here that present themselves as experts with sponsors, etc. have probably only been hunting a couple of years, had a little success, and think they know it all. You can pick'em out pretty easily. Take heed experts.

LB2
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lamplighter its not only novice turkey hunters that do such things i know of two different bunches of turkey hunters who ride around and find a vehicle parked and either come on in on top of you while your working a gobbler or wait until you leave the park right where you were hunting and stay all day and be back in the morning before you get to your spot. Had that happen a few times last year. Bad thing about it lamplighter some of these people claim to be your friends but in my book friends dont do such a thing.I watch what i say around people that way no one nows were im hunting. good luck this spring
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Lamplighter,I will be new to turkey hunting this year.Iam a 45yrs old deer hunter who respects the ethics.With that siad i know nothing about turkey hunting except that i've been seeing them everytime i go in the woods for the last 3 yrs. In the same place on a WMA and now i want one.So if any of you VETS would like to take a new guy under your wing for a few hunts all input would be great.like i said i know the area there in just no idea how to close the gap thanks and good hunting.
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Well said, but it will happen again and again. I have never hunted on public land in La for turkey. I will never do it again for deer as I did in my younger days.

I am what is considered a rookie turkey hunter and at our lease, I ask the old timers where will they be hunting and go the other way. Last year, one of the old timers put me on a bird they had been working for over a week, with no success. Two mornings in a row, same thing, gobble from the tree and then nothing once he pitched down, we never did kill that bird. I try to respect my "old timers" and it comes back when they teach me how to hunt these birds.

Good luck this year!
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lamplighter...I'm sure you're a nice guy, but there is something in this post that just get sideways with me. it's almost sounds like an excuse before the season opens. I've never had anyone cross me before or have I crossed someone else. I guess it because I hunt private and we have a few rules in place....Good Hunting..!
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lamplighter ive had more probs with the so called experienced hunters doing that to me....if a new turkey hunter does it it is usually by mistake..a lot of new turkey hunters dont relize u need more room to turkey hunt than u need to deer hunt. if u see a truck in the reserve while deer hunting and go down a couple hundred yards farther you are usually allright but for turkey hunting u need a little more room....but then again it is public land.. im not going to set up on top of some one else but just saying..and if some one sets up on me its not because they came in on me where i parked...i usually park at least a half mile or more away from where i am going in at..for 2 reasons... the turkeys and the other hunters......good hunting to all...............
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the best advice is not to go turkey hunting in any public area until after the first two weeks of the season. many casual turkey hunters will only go the first two weekends and then go fishing! the sincere turkey hunter will hunt all the way to the end of the season. i have killed many a gobbler on the last couple of days of the season. it also usually takes a turkey hunter a couple of weeks just to figure out the birds to begin with.
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   iron man
hunting has lost its ethics and respect. other hunters see someone and rush right in not really caring because they are on public land. back then, if you saw someone in a spot, you got far enough away from him so that you do not disturb his hunt and mess it up. me, when i see someone elses truck on public land, i find another place to go. if we pull up at the same time like what happened in december, i offer the other guy the spot i was going. i tell him where ima go and if that'll be enough room and i be on my way only to walk out at the same time. moral of this story is public land or not, keep your respect and ethics.
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Hogheaven6:

Your two week idea is not a bad one. But one thing that I have never been able to understand is a "casual turkey hunter." I know some, but I do not understand how anyone could be one. Casual deer hunters, bass fishermen, rabbit hunters I can understand.

LB2
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I wanted to add something to the "advice" for the newbies. Please, please, PLEASE do NOT, I repeat, do NOT call to the birds before opening day. All you are doing is educating the birds and making them wiser and tougher to hunt. They are hard enough to kill already, no sense in making it harder, especially for the people that spend the time and effort to do their homework and pattern the birds. I'll never forget the day I saw a Baton Rouge city slicka riding around on a bike in Tunica 2 weeks before the season with a call in his mouth. I was off the trail and just watching him. He would stop every 50-100 yards, do a couple of series of hen yelps, wait 2 minutes, then move on.
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   Gerald
Something to remember.....

Even in thick woods, on a quite morning a Tom gobbling on the roost can be heard a 1/2 mile away.
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Where do you hunt ? I would be glad to show you if you are within range. My camp is at Tensas, and I hunt there, and occasionally right here by the house in the Bogue Chitto NWR. Limited out in 2 days in Tensas a couple years ago. Last year they opened the season too early, and the Gobblers had hens with them all day. I watched them 10:00 am on, in the middle of Tensas's roads, strutting in circles around sometimes six hens. I circle around in the woods and try to pop out legal distance from the road in the woods even with them. Call a little, and wait for a passing vehicle to run them in the woods. It never worked, because you have to be right on. Later in the season when the hens go to sit on the nest at 10:00 am, that is when the getting gets good, and when many are back at the camp eating eggs and deer sausage. Oh, I have gotton quite a few like that. This year hopefully with the end of March opening, the hens will be sitting early. Then it is on. I start early March, sometimes late February combing the woods looking for them, listening, and cataloging fresh big buck sign on the GPS. A week before opening, I key in on what I learned both earlier in March, and over years of hunting the same areas. Pay special attention to where they go AFTER flydown. When they fly down, and shut up, keep listening as late as 10:00 am. Usually around 8:30 am you will hear them crank up again, especially if they are alone. THAT is the strut area. That is his mission after flydown. You may want to consider setting up there in the dark with decoys and waiting, despite hearing him earlier in the tree. Fight temtation to run to the roost. Unless, you KNOW other people know about him. Then, you will likely get messed up. What I would do if I set up in the strut area, then heard someone ( most use mouth calls, and sound like crap, so you will know) calling near the roost, I would get up and ease that way too. I would call some too, sometimes purposely making a "bad" call to let the other guy know you are there. Probably, more so than not, the gobbler will go silent and stay in the tree longer. Call some more, some purposeful bad calling. Eventually the other guy will get fed up and go to another gobbling bird ( which usually can be heard). They want action and gobbling. NOW, sneak back to the decoy setup in the strut area, and do not call. STAY there till 12 noon at least. You will likely get a shot.

The above is just one of many tactics to use on heavily hunted areas, both leases and public. You have to try to think like the gobbler. They are NOT like deer. They don't care what made that strange noise and do not want to know. The are leaving town at the first suspicion. BUT, they will get back on course after things settle down, a course you learned during mid morning pre-season scouting.

TAKE CAMO SERIOUSLY Camo was originally designed for turkey hunting not deer. The best I have found was Mossy Oak's Full Foilage. Not Available anymore. I had many deer and turkey stare right through that stuff up in Kentwood. I have tested many patterns in turkey hunting situations using a camera and "friends go find" methods. Right now, the Mossy Oak Obsession is tops right now. I did sneak up on a gobbler, a big one , in Tensas and killed him on an internal woods road. I had him pegged all week b/4 season and I set up in his strut zone like I explained earlier. He came in like clockwork, but just hesitated to come in range. I monitered his movement by his gobbles. When he got to the other end of his zone ( 100-120) yards, I got up and made a semicircle through the palmettos, quietly and slowly. I saw the woods road, a grassy road, but didn't know where he was since some time had passed. I froze since he had to be close. Suddenly he gobbled again and he was on top of me. I saw him and I was kind of in the open with a tree behind me. It was green- up pretty good that year, and I was head to toe in Mossy Oak Obsession. Headnet leafy, gloves, and my Encore with red dot scope was wrapped with Obsession cloth like a sniper rifle. He raised his head and kinda cocked it sideways, I thought he saw me, but again, he looked right through the camo. I discovered later he was looking at my decoys ( closer than I thought). So he put his head down, pecked the ground and walked behind a tree. Well, you know what happened from there. It is not usually possible to stalk up on a gobbler, but this special circumstance I had him pegged all week, had total camo concealment that BLENDED, and I have been at this sneak game on deer too for many years. But usually, NO, you won't successfully sneak up on a Tom. It is not one of my regular tactics. It just became apparant in that special circumstance and I knew I could pull it off.
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