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New Turkey hunter- what to get?

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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 13, 2007
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Central, IA
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Im awful. I’ve never called one in ever or shot one in spring. My son wants to go & want to have supplies. We have guns & clearly all basics like blinds & so on …..

What are some suggestions on decoys & calls for beginners?

On decoys- I see crazy expensive ones & more basic. What should a guy get that:
1) a case where could say this “if it helps to buy the better ones for double or triple the $ I’ll do it. If it’s being fussy - clearly ok with saving $”. What would u buy? & then- do u want a sitting hen + Jake + standing hen or what? No clue so any help on specifics- I’ll pick it up.
2) calls…. Basic & easy - what’s some decent examples that sound ok for a guy with the IQ of a squirrel?

Got an excited 11 year old (& nephews) so I will accommodate to make this fun!
Thx!!
 

Hawk32

Active Member
Nov 2, 2004
511
223
43
Pella
By no means a turkey guru but here ya go.

Get a couple Avion X hens and a Jake from Boyd and you will be set. I'll usually put out 1 or 2 hens and Jake with a bedded hen in front of him both facing blind. Hit and miss on Jake and bedded hen though. Not the cheapest by any means but not near the most expensive either. Get a couple different slate calls with a good striker. I think striker is key. Lastly get ya good owl hooter for the boy to practice with around the house to make momma happy. Then set the boy up with an iPad to watch YouTube videos for hours practicing calling. Momma will love that too. FYI I have an 11 year old that is absolutely obsessed with turkey hunting and this is what he has been doing everyday for a month. Told me this morning he is going to be a professional turkey hunter and start a company like primos. lol Hour later he jellied a nice one.
 

Spysar

Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2008
245
142
55
Upstate NY
You don't have to be a good caller if you know where the turkeys want to be. Diaphram calls take a while to learn, I'd say a box call is easiest. I think the diaphram is the best sounding, but a box should work. A slate call isn't that hard to learn either, and sounds realistic and nice.

If you can roost them in the evening, you know they'll be there in the morning. A good palmers hoot tube is really good. Mouth owl calls can be tough, if your not good at it they won't answer. A crow call is good locator too.

Turkeys don't give a crap about blinds. You can set them in a wide open green field and they won't care. In this senario a jake decoy, or a jake and hen work good. If they don't see a deek, they might not come to calling from a wide open blind.

My favorite is just calling in the woods leaning against, or standing behind a tree. In the woods a deek isn't nessesary . You can usually make them look for you.

Head nets, and gloves are a must for me. They will see you blink, so no moving when a turkey is in sight.

Good luck
 
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IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 11, 2014
3,720
2,735
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SC Iowa
I've got all the answers.

Give your boy Rozenboom a shout and lets get the rules changed. You are going to want hand grenades, bazookas, and 338 Barrett. Get on your highest hill and take out 20 in one sit after they raise the limits. I heard Friends of Iowa will throw their full support into said regulations and already have the legislature bought 97-00. Also Nathan Gibson and IFC are on standby to lend their hand in getting this fast tracked by Wednesday. All you need.
 

Darrin

New Member
Oct 24, 2019
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50039
I shot my first 2 last spring so I’m with you on beginner tactics.

I bought a cheap hen and jake set from walmart, but never ended up using them. I hunted in the timber though so by the time they would have seen them they’d nearly be in range. I could see it be useful for open fields.

For calls I got familiar with a mouth call years ago so I didn’t have to go through the struggle of learning how to use them last year. I did spend a lot of time practicing though and it doesn’t take long to start sounding like a turkey. That’s what I called both of mine in with. Woodhaven ninja hammer.

I picked up a woodhaven crystal call this year so I’m excited to try that out.

For locator calls I had good luck with a crow call. I also have a hoot flute for the owl calls (still trying to figure that one out without a call).

Good luck. It’s a blast. I’m definitely hooked.
 
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Bow_and_Arrow

Bow_and_Arrow
Mar 1, 2004
95
97
18
41
Iowa
I love to turkey hunt - started with the gun but use the bow for me and call for friends and family who gun hunt. I had old terrible looking Delta decoys from college but upgraded to a Dave Smith jake with an old hen and it’s made it noticeably easier to get them in close. I’ve had countless toms come in and attack the decoy - I usually put it about five yards from the blind and they come right in….
 
Hawk 32 basically answered your question exactly how I would of. Get some Avian X decoys, the newer HDR's look great. I have a full strut, jake, feeding hen, and breeding hen. My son shot a bird off the full strut decoy last weekend. Ipad was key in keeping him in blind until 10:15am. Turkey don't care about blinds so no need to brush in. Pick up a friction call (slate, crystal, glass, etc.) and maybe a box call. Decoys at 15 to 20 yards depending on what type of shell. If TSS (not necessary) you might sight your gun in at 30+ yards. I am not a great turkey hunter but I find that you will either kill a bird immediately after fly down or between 9-11am. I like to be completely set up at least 30 minutes before shooting time.
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
Nov 2, 2008
1,529
457
124
Central Iowa
I've turkey hunted a few years now. Its a blast. Love hearing all the sounds of spring in the morning along with not having to worry about your scent like with deer and its a lot warmer out. Setting up in the middle of an open field with a blind and setting decoys out 10 yards in front of you will work. I've just used some cheaper decoys and calls. I bought a 3 pack of decoys, its called 'the flock' by HS strut and I got a cheap HS strut slate call. 4 springs in a row and I have shot a tom each year. Last year was the first year I was not able to call any into the decoys, i had to get in the timber with them and call one in. Each way is fun for sure.

It seems everyone that uses Dave Smith decoys or Avian decoys swears by them. The HS strut flock deocys I got comes with a jake, a feeding hen, and a standing hen...I think it was like $120 for all three, all come in one box. I've had birds come into them easy, except for last year, so maybe a higher dollar decoy set up would have been better.
 

Nightvision

Member
Oct 5, 2021
49
45
18
My “decoy” for years has been a gobblers fan cable tied to an old arrow. Don’t fall into the trap of needing a expensive decoy.

Patience kills more turkeys than anything. Just get a slate call. Very easy to make turkey music with it. If hunting hilly terrain, try and setup above the turkeys. Easier to call them up hill versus downhill. Be still. Very still. Imagine him having a gun and him shooting you if he sees you. Most beginners do not give their eyesight the respect it deserves.


Wish I were closer. I love calling them in for young hunters more than shooting them. When you kill one, cut the breast up in small pieces and soak in your favorite hot wing sauce for a few hours then fry it up.

Good luck. If the bug gets you, it can get you bad. I used to HAVE to hunt multiple states each year.