Tag is good for anywhere in the state. $35.00 for the tag. Adult hunt starts Monday. You can shoot any bearded turkey. Use a shotgun or bow. Shotgun must be between 10 and 20 gauge with BB to 8 shot. You will be in for a total blast if you go. Here is a list of tips that I wish I would have known about my first hunt.
1. Turkey's are smart. They have eyes like a spy satelite. WEAR CAMO. FULL CAMO. INcluding a face mask or net if you have it.
2. If something looks wrong a turkey will run like you wouldn't believe. They are fast.
3. There are tons of ways you can hunt them. You can try stalking them. (Good luck with that). You can watch them and try to ambush them by simply getting in their way. You can set up decoys and try to call them to you. You can find where they roost at night and set up where you think they will come out of the trees and hope they land near you.
4. You binoculars are as important as your gun. This was my biggest mistake. I figured I could see the buggers or I would get lucky and run into them. Use your binoculars to find them and don't go after them until you know where they are and have a game plan. Watch and learn. They are creatures of habit. They will tend to stay in the same spots. They move around a lot. They could make a 3-4 mile loop during the day just moving around. So find them, watch them, then figure out how to go get them.
5. If you can find where they roost, get up early and go set up and hide in the same spot they flew into the trees the night before. They seem to come out the same spot they go in. (FYI, you can NOT shoot them while they are roosting in the trees). They will find the biggest badest trees they can to roost in. They are amazingly good flyers.
6. If they see you and run, game over. No point trying to catch them. They are way to smart and way too fast.
7. If you call, don't over-call. A couple of yelps or purrs every 15 minutes is really all you need. If a tom gobbles at you when you call, SHUT UP AND DON'T CALL AGAIN. He knows where you are. He will come to you. Don't over-call.
8. Did I mention using binoculars? Scout them out.
9. Aim for the head. Max 50 yards if you have a 12 gauge. These are TOUGH birds. TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH. You have to hit them in the head and you have to do it with everything you got. I like 4,5, or 6 shot with a turkey choke. Use a full choke if you don't have a super full or turkey choke. Use 3" or 3 1/2" mags if you gun handles them. The more lead you throw at them the better.
10. Did I mention binoculars?
11. Mornings and evenings are best. Hens sit on their nests mid-day typically.
12. If you have a blind use it. If you don't have a blind get one. If you don't get one, WEAR CAMO and do your best to blend in and don't move.
13. Decoys are hit or miss. Sometimes they seem to attract the birds, sometimes they seem to scare them off.
So what is my game plan? My boys are 9 and 12. They challenge is going to be to keep them quiet and patient. I have been scouting this last week and know exactly where the birds are. I set my blind up today. We will be up and in the blind by 6AM... probably earlier. Then we will sit until the turkey's wander in to where we are. That could be 6:30 AM .... or PM.... who knows. The blind helps hide our movements which is the biggest benefit. The place where I know where they are I can't figure out what trees they are roosting in. IT's too thick. So I just picked the best spot to hopefully get in their way as they mill around. My buddy and helped 2 guys take toms in the same spot already this year in the early hunt. Anyway, good luck. Post any questions you have. Did I mention binoculars and finding the birds before you go after them?