Got my first bow; now what? (turkey/hog/deer in SFL public land)
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  1. #1
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    Got my first bow; now what? (turkey/hog/deer in SFL public land)

    I've got my safety course done, license, and permits. I picked up a Cabela's Fortitude compound bow, and a combo of arrows, field points, and mechanical release. Once it's delivered, I'm going to go to the Bass Pro in Dania Beach to get it set up for me. I'm cross-eye dominant, so I'm going to have to learn how to shoot left handed (I have some archery experience, but longbows, so I've never had to use a sight). I'll start putting together a target to get some steady shooting practice in.

    My goal is to be ready to go after spring turkey and wild hog (deer next season). But here's where I'm trying to figure out what to do next. I don't have an atv or 4x4, so I'm going to be limited in gear to what I can comfortably carry. I'm not sure where to start with decoys, calls, scents/blockers, camo, etc. etc. I'm looking for any tips on what kind of gear, skills, and knowledge I need between now and March.

    To put it shortly, I don't know what I don't know. What should I be asking/thinking about?

  2. #2
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    I've never hunted off a vehicle, and you're not going to need anything you can't carry in. For turkey hunting, I'd start by:
    -If you haven't already, get a call and start practicing now. Box calls and push calls are easy enough to figure out. I think you still have time to learn a mouth call, too. Learn a basic yelp and cut. That will be good enough to earn admission to the show this year. Listen to call sequences on the internet. Practice. Practice. Practice. Also read up on calling strategies. There are times to call the bird and times to shut up. It's a tough thing to figure out, and something you can only learn through trial and error.
    -Start scouting next month. Find places where the birds are roosting, feeding and occupying. Most of the times, they will be there come Spring. I see the most turkeys when I'm deer hunting out of a tree stand, so maybe you can fit some scouting time in during a hog hunt.
    -Since you're bow hunting, consider getting a ground blind to conceal your movement while you draw your bow. Turkeys have an incredible sense of sight. It's tough enough to kill one with a shotgun. (Have you considered hunting with a shotgun?)
    -Other things: turkey hunting vests come in handy when hauling all your stuff around. They have pockets for calls, water, bug spray and a big pouch in the back for decoys and dead birds. If you use a blind, you'll want a chair. Wear camo everything. I wear full camo, hat, face mask and gloves. Decoy is a personal call, certainly don't need one to put down a bird. My personal advice for a beginner would be to leave them at home; it's just one more thing to worry about. I would never use one on public land.
    -Catch up on your honey dos, sleep and social life now. Once you're hooked on turkey hunting, everything else will take a back seat. It's a wonderful endeavor to be involved in but for most turns into a true obsession.

  3. #3
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    Chongg you nailed it! I have killed a lot of deer and a few hogs with my bow, but after trying for 2 seasons years ago, to shoot a turkey with my bow I went back to my 3.5" 12 ga. Too many early mornings and turkey interaction to keep carrying a bow and come home empty handed. I know a lot of people can do it, but I could not get it done... Good luck for sure!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chongg View Post
    I've never hunted off a vehicle, and you're not going to need anything you can't carry in. For turkey hunting, I'd start by:
    1) If you haven't already, get a call and start practicing now. Box calls and push calls are easy enough to figure out. I think you still have time to learn a mouth call, too.
    Got any recommendations for one of each? Low cost, if possible?

    -Since you're bow hunting, consider getting a ground blind to conceal your movement while you draw your bow. Turkeys have an incredible sense of sight. It's tough enough to kill one with a shotgun. (Have you considered hunting with a shotgun?)
    Any recommendations on a packable blind? Am I looking for something like this? As for the shotgun, I've considered it, but I wanted to take up bowhunting so that I could stick with one "platform" for the widest variety of species. Also, my hearing is very sensitive (bad tinnitus that's gotten worse over the years), so guns are not as enjoyable as they used to be. I don't mind if I come away empty handed this year; I just want to make sure my time out there is put to good use and not spinning wheels in the mud.

  5. #5
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    Go to Bass Pro and try out calls they have on display. I like to use two different slate calls. One with real slate, and one is a crystal surface, a Primos Power Crystal I think. It is a higher pitch and louder call. The slate one is softer and a little raspier. I also have a box call, Lynch I think. A mouth call is also good for when they get in close and wont catch you moving, but as Chongg said a push call can also accomplish that for you. I will say one thing I swear by is the Sawyer Bug Spray. you can get it in Walmart back in the camping section. You spray your clothes and boots with it and it lasts for a few washings. You can say good bye to ticks and chiggers once you start using it. Mosquitoes will not land on it as well, but the thermacell still gets used since I cant stand sitting there listening to them buzz all around. Again, good luck to you and hope you can get it done on a turkey with a bow!

  6. #6
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    -I think mouth calls are tough to recommend, it's all about what fits the roof of your mouth and to a certain extent getting one that was part of a good batch. Just drop $20 on a few packs and see what works for you. I use a Quaker Boy Hurricane box call. There are so many calls out there, you could debate what's the best until the cows come home.
    -Search for pop-up blinds. Some are made specifically for archery.
    -Just my .02 cents: I think a shotgun should be a part of every hunter's quiver. Between that and a bow you'll be be able to effectively hunt every game species in this state. Hell, where I hunt, you have a better a chance of killing a deer with a bow. But taking a shotgun into the turkey woods is going to make your life so much easier, allow you to move without setting up a blind and eliminate one more thing you'll have to master. I'm not necessarily trying to steer you away from bow hunting turkeys, just trying to explain that it will make it much more difficult. There's more to hunting than filling a tag, but at the end of the day that's what we're all trying to do.

  7. #7
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    Turkey hunting - I think everyone else covered that pretty well. Get you a call and they are going to be near water. I'd recommend hunting rivers or streams and sitting and calling every 50 yards or so and wait about 5 minutes for a response. I guess it really depends on how much land you have to hunt.

    Hog hunting - Cheapest method is going to be getting you a couple bags of corn and putting it out in an area that's already rutted up. I'd recommend getting a hog hunting light such as outrigger outdoors red eye hunting light. It's remote controlled, runs off a portable 12 volt deer feeder battery, 10,000 lumen brightness, and can change between white and red. Order them here: https://outriggeroutdoors.com/produc...controlled-led I hunt with them quite often and have had a lot of success with hogs as well as calling coyotes/bobcats/fox. If you are into predator hunting, Foxpro is worth every penny. www.gofoxpro.com for their calls. Outrigger Predator Light + Foxpro Game Call = ultimate predator package, pretty affordable. Don't have to worry about buying consumables such as corn.

    Deer hunting - Either get you a grunt call for during the rut, feed corn, or hunt an area near a farm (or food plot). They're everywhere but they are going to be most abundant where the food is.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    GigUm you are probably a nice guy out there in West Texas just trying to promote your website and product.....just don't lie about it. Id be more inclined to try something your are selling if you were honest about it. Just sayin....

  9. #9
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    To the OP its tough enough to lure a Gobbler in gun range. Throw in the movement and limitations of a Bow....on public land....yikes

    I going to disagree with Chongg - learn soft clucks and purrs first. If you are gonna Bow hunt Turkeys, especially the ultra quiet Osceolas you are probably gonna be "deer hunting" them. Which means long sits in a spot with heavy cover or a blind to cover your draw movement. Remember a Turkey can see and hear better than a Deer. If they could smell, you would probably never get close to one.

    A good box call is easy to run but a slate will sound better. Forget about mouth calls for now.

    Being in the woods is the best teacher.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinman View Post
    To the OP its tough enough to lure a Gobbler in gun range. Throw in the movement and limitations of a Bow....on public land....yikes

    I going to disagree with Chongg - learn soft clucks and purrs first. If you are gonna Bow hunt Turkeys, especially the ultra quiet Osceolas you are probably gonna be "deer hunting" them. Which means long sits in a spot with heavy cover or a blind to cover your draw movement. Remember a Turkey can see and hear better than a Deer. If they could smell, you would probably never get close to one.

    A good box call is easy to run but a slate will sound better. Forget about mouth calls for now.

    Being in the woods is the best teacher.

    Good luck!
    Solid advice!..... also scout, scout,scout.
    And know the capabilities and limitations of the weapon your using. I would avoid using the bow for turkey hunting until you get a few under your belt. They are very wary birds and will pick you off quickly.

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