Talk to me about Mountain Birds

Mountain Hunter

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I got out of Turkey hunting about 10 years ago because I was sick of competing with other hunters for flatland birds that could be seen from the road.

About two years ago we moved into the mountains, bordering GMNF land. Seeing a nice Tom on NF land this spring has me wondering, what is the best approach for hunting mountain birds?

Use a locator call and sneak in? Roosting these birds at night may be difficult.
 

lester2

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My house sits at 2195’ with many thousands of acres of state WMA bordering. The birds are here just as surely as they are near you but damn, they are hard to locate. Every season I take a morning or two away from the farm fields below and try to entice a mountain bird. Once, several years ago I had a bird talk back to me, but that was it. In 8 years I’ve had a few jakes walk thru the yard, including a couple this spring but surprisingly I’ve never seen a mature Tom up this high. I guess my advice is run and gun, cover a lot of ground and be vocal. Good luck!
 

NH Hunter

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What works well as a locator call?
I personally use a box call while I'm wandering about. If you find a bird that will respond I have a diaphragm call in my pocket ready to go. I don't think an old fashioned owl hoot can be beat, if you're set on a "locator call" or a "shock gobble".

Roosting them is pretty much nonexistent I think. There's nights where a bird might gobble once and you have to be there to hear it. Although they'll gobble like a bastard in the morning with the assistance of a crow or woodpecker. Find a ridge you can hump up in the dark that allows you to hear the valleys or other ridges. They'll give themselves away. Now......whether they have a hen already or are interested in being talked to is another. But that's turkey hunting.
 

lester2

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I’ve never had much luck with owl or crow calls to get a response. A diaphragm is my go to. Tuck it in my cheek like a plug of Levi Garrett as soon as I hit the woods and it’s there all morning when I need it. On a still morning a series of loud yelps carries pretty far, especially if you’re up on a ridge or knob. Yelps and clucks are the only sounds I can make with one so I keep a slate handy if I have a bird coming in and need to cut, purr, etc.
 

longbow

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What I would do is get up high at first light and listen. If you hear one move in and set up. If you don't hear one keep moving and use a combination of crow and box call. If you have a good crow call and blow real loud, CAW, CAW, CAW, loud and fast, they will usually answer. It carries a lot further than the box call that I aslo use to locate when running and gunning.
 

Shooter Buck

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I hunt a lot of woods birds not necessarily mountain birds. If you can figure out the sections of woods they like to hang out in they usually spend a lot of time there. I find them up on the hill tops more in the early spring before the leaves all pop. Once the leaves come out they are more in the newer logged areas that are still open. I would try and get up on some hill tops early before daylight and try and figure out where they are roosting and then move in. Once you are able to locate a few spots they like to roost you should be in business.
 

Meatseeker

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As others have said, get up high early in the morning or at last light. Cover as much ground as possible. I like to use a call that really carries across the valleys below.... my favorites are a coyote howler in the evening, and pot call with either an aluminum or acrylic surface in the morning. I've had a lot of success locating distant birds with both of those calls. I don't like to use a coyote howler in the morning because I'd be concerned that it might discourage a bird from coming in that direction if you strike one. Owl hooters work good too, but the sound wont carry as far as a coyote howler or really loud yelping on pot call.
 




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