NH Fall Turkey

338 Bear Hunter

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Forgive the noobish question, but I only took my first turkey this spring.

In NH we get one week of shotgun turkey, and its coming up. We can take one bird, no matter its pronouns. We can hunt sunrise-30 to sunset+30. I have decoys, but where I hunt (woods with trails), they've been very ineffective. While bear hunting last weekend, a group of three turkeys waltzed right in front of my blind. They were spaced far enough that, had season been open, I could have taken one easily without hitting the other two.

My main question is, were I to pick a time of day, which is most promising? I simply don't think I have the stamina with work to hunt the whole 11+ hour period for three days in a row. I should be able to hunt Friday through Sunday. Also, even though hens are legal, is it worth it to hold out for a tom? They sure seem a lot bigger out here than hens.

Love to get thoughts on this from people who succeed in the fall.
 

longbow

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Sounds like you have a good start with seeing some birds while out hunting.

Fall hunting is a little different” bird”, pardon the pun. If you are doing half day hunts then, I would hunt afternoons until dark near their roosting areas if you can figure that out. Usually on a side of a ridge where they can fly off into the top of the trees easily. You can try making some calls but it might not be effective, more like deer hunting in the fall wait and let them come in.,

Of course there’s the traditional method to scatter a flock and then call them back, That can be effective if you can find a flock to scatter. Sounds like you know where some birds might be, if you know where they roost that’s the best place to be sitting right before dark.

Of course if you see or know of spots where they are feeding in the morning or midday then you would want to set up there.

A Tom would be nice, but you will get some decent meat off a big hen.

Good luck.
 
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338 Bear Hunter

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Sounds like you have a good start with seeing some birds while out hunting.

Fall hunting is a little different” bird”, pardon the pun. If you are doing half day hunts then, I would hunt afternoons until dark near their roosting areas if you can figure that out. Usually on a side of a ridge where they can fly off into the top of the trees easily. You can try making some calls but it might not be effective, more like deer hunting in the fall wait and let them come in.,

Of course there’s the traditional method to scatter a flock and then call them back, That can be effective if you can find a flock to scatter. Sounds like you know where some birds might be, if you know where they roost that’s the best place to be sitting right before dark.

Of course if you see or know of spots where they are feeding in the morning or midday then you would want to set up there.

A Tom would be nice, but you will get some decent meat off a big hen.

Good luck.
Thanks. I have some idea of where they might be roosting, but since I've only been out in the afternoons recently, my data may be dated.

In past years, calling was pretty ineffective in the fall. I have good results in the spring though.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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How was the bear season?
Was? Was?!? Just because baiting is over doesn't mean bear season is over! I'll go to November 30th if I have to!

I had a bear on camera, but left him alone to leave for my daughter. This could have been a terrible mistake, as he stopped coming in. But he eventually returned.

In the past ~10 days, he's been coming in right after I left. Looks like he patterned me. Last time I went out, I left the blind early than snuck back in to the nearby woods to see if I could fool him. Didn't work, but I only tried it once. (It didn't help that the woods was VERY crunchy).

Back in 2020, my daughter got a bear after baiting season ended. We went out the next weekend and used scents, hoping the bear would think we brought more food (apparently they don't read NH guide books). It worked, and she took him. The same weekend is coming up for me (baiting ended yesterday), so I'm going for a repeat. As you know, the weekend after that is shotgun turkey, so the bears get a break from me.

If none of this works, there is a bear on my new property that comes in somewhat consistently on a trail. I'll try to get him.

Did you have any luck?
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Sorry to hear it. I assume you have a tag?

When I snuck in to the woods, the plan was based on trail cam footage that showed the bear coming in from the North. As I walked in, I saw a big pile of bear poop on the way. So perhaps my assumption was wrong.
 

NH Hunter

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Sorry to hear it. I assume you have a tag?

When I snuck in to the woods, the plan was based on trail cam footage that showed the bear coming in from the North. As I walked in, I saw a big pile of bear poop on the way. So perhaps my assumption was wrong.
I have a tag, but I don't get too serious about hunting them. If one interrupts my deer hunt and is a decent size, I'll try to fill my tag. I'm not a fan of bear meat personally. If I do harvest one it usually ends up on a friends freezer.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Not turkey related, but yesterday I went to my property to try to get that "Just after baiting" bear using scents only. Didn't work.

The real slap in the face was, a big fat grouse sat in front of my blind (~10 feet away) for half an hour, but I FORGOT MY SHOTGUN!

Oh well, next weekend is turkey, and I'll certainly have a shotgun then!
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Ok, another question. As this weekend represents the last three days of our fall shotgun turkey, I was planning to hunt all three (I have Friday off).

However, the Global Warming Network (noaa.gov) is forecasting heavy rain and gusts ~25 mph on Friday morning. Is it worth going in these conditions? Between my raincoat and ground blind, I can handle it, but is there any point, or will the turkeys just hang up and not move? Admittedly I'd rather sleep in than sit in a storm if there is little hope of seeing turkeys.
 

NH Hunter

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I would assume days like Friday generally have the birds in the fields. However that’s just me noticing them as I drive by due to me being a fair weather turkey hunter ,particularly in the fall season. Good luck to you If you go out in that misery I hope you create some opportunities for yourself. You’ll certainly earn them.
 
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Pine-lock

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High winds and rain tend to keep them on the roost much longer. I'd look in fields mid day and hunt known roosting areas later. Covering ground and going to find them is probably a better call than sitting in one spot and waiting while you get soaked.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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I would assume days like Friday generally have the birds in the fields. However that’s just me noticing them as I drive by due to me being a fair weather turkey hunter ,particularly in the fall season. Good luck to you If you go out in that misery I hope you create some opportunities for yourself. You’ll certainly earn them.
That's the admission for me too - I'm not too keen on hunting turkeys in truly awful weather either. Sure, I'll have a blind, but if as Pine-lock says its more effective to move around, I don't see doing a lot of that.

Never scouted for a field either. The bear hunting is better in the woods, and my own places have no fields. If I hunt elsewhere, a poncho would be my sole protection.
 

longbow

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In the spring I am all over calling and hunting. In the fall it is a more of a see them out the living room window go out and get some meat.:) Just sayin....
 

338 Bear Hunter

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In the spring I am all over calling and hunting. In the fall it is a more of a see them out the living room window go out and get some meat.:) Just sayin....
I hear ya. I'll almost certainly do Saturday and Sunday, but I'm not keen on sitting in cold gusty rain all morning. (Friday afternoon is off the table anyway, because my son is making me take him and his friends to see that new Halloween movie)
 

Meatseeker

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High winds and rain tend to keep them on the roost much longer. I'd look in fields mid day and hunt known roosting areas later. Covering ground and going to find them is probably a better call than sitting in one spot and waiting while you get soaked.
This exactly
 

NH-Archer

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Fall turkey, I’ve found to be 2 fold… 1: hens and poults (poults are the same size as hens etc) 2: jakes and Tom’s.
First thing, turkeys will hit the fields in rainy weather. If just going for a bird, use a feeding hen decoy… call using yelps and kee kee with yelps… it’s a kid looking for his mom, no hen can resist.
For me, I love fall turkey hunting because nobody else is doing it. I use a Avain jake decoy, and fighting purrs with an occasional gobble. Any Jake/Tom in ear shot will show up, quietly, until they see the decoy, then hold on!!!! This method has been my go to for the past 5-6 years, as I’m only interested in a Tom. Good luck!!!!
 

mowbizz

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Ran into a flock (literally) in the fog this morning on the way to breakfast…nailed at least one. Hit my truck’s undercarriage like a rock.
Dumb birds.
 

338 Bear Hunter

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Skipped Friday. Went out this morning, almost hit a fawn on the way in (not even in season!)

No action at all this morning, except an eerie chorus of coyote calls around 7am. Trying a different spot tomorrow.
 




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