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josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
This is my second spring Turkey season and I'm certainly still working on connecting the dots. I've struck out both weekends so far this season but I definitely feel like I'm learning. I was able to get myself seated in my palmetto blind both days this weekend before sun up. Heard a fly down both days in the opposite direction of where I was setup. Very light calling 3-5 low yelps with a slight increase in volume on the final two yelps no more than every 30-60 minutes

I never saw a bird from my blind but several times I started to hear what my brain kept saying has to be drumming. I don't know how to describe it better than something that sounds like a car with a big stereo from a distance. I would hear this faint beat beat beat or bump bump bump. I did consider if it was some flat brimmer driving into the area but each occurrence was random and short lived of no more than 5-10 seconds each.

I know even asking this it's going to be about next to impossible but can anyone describe how turkey drumming sounds to the ear or give me an idea.


  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 773 Officer
    How close to the road are you? I have mistaken many things for drumming including Air Force reserve test bombing in the Ocala national forest. Once you hear and feel a Tom drumming within 20 yards it’s unmistakable, you can feel it in the ground. My humble opinion. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,000 Captain
    I’ve only ever heard drumming when the birds were under 20 yards. Back when I used to rifle hunt turkeys I’d lay prone with my gun on a bipod and often had them walk by me close enough to reach out and touch with my gun. That’s when I’ve heard and felt them drum and it is a strange experience. 
  • joekat46joekat46 North PortPosts: 2,506 Captain
    edited March 30 #4
    If one is very close and I'm wearing Walker Game Ears I can hear it.  Sometimes it is more like "feeling it".  Good luck.
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
    I was a good mile or more from the road inside the wma. 8-10 miles from country/city roads. The only other way I could describe the sound would be similar to the sound of one beating his chest. I can hear the thump thump replaying in my head.
  • Ruff OneRuff One HomosassaPosts: 2,073 Captain
    Unless you are set up in a jungle, if you hear drumming you will see the gobbler. The sounds? You'll know it went you hear it.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,171 AG

    That's what it sounds like. If you hear it he is well within killing range. 
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
    edited March 30 #8
    I was setup with my back to a pine tree and a palmetto head about 20ft in diameter to my back. I'm wondering if he was right behind me on the other-side of the palmettos. I couldn't see what was just on the other side.

    Could also be my mind playing tricks on me
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 1,859 Captain
    edited March 30 #9
    Drumming you will feel more than hear. Its like a 1-2 second vrooooommmmm. The spit before it you will hear before it but it is very fast. Basically like the bird rattling/snapping its wing tips just before the vrooooommmmm. 
  • hoggatorhoggator Posts: 357 Deckhand
    Sounds to me like you had a gobbler right behind you.  Only hear/felt drumming once. My son shot that bird under ten yards.  I could hear him from within 20 yards before I could see him coming from behind. You do feel the drumming in your chest as much as you hear it.  Good luck. 
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
    I could feel it. That is what made me relate it to like a car stereo from a distance. The sound in my head though was like the sound you hear internally if you hit your chest with a closed fist. I kept saying to myself, "that has to be drumming" I couldn't equate it to anything else.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,599 Captain
    Pretty cool man.  I pray that I'm not one of the people that can't perceive the drumming.  And that I get a chance to hear it myself one day. 
    Question, are osceolas less vocal with drumming as well?  That is, are you more likely to hear a rio or eastern spit and drum?  I'm def going after an eastern next year.  Have an open invite to an amazing property in NC.  Tempted to drive up there right now considering I don't have much else going on work wise atm  :)
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 791 Officer
    I don’t think Osceolas are less apt to do it.  I do think that terrain plays a big part in your ability to hear it.  In the thick, he is close.  That said I watched one die last week that spit and drummed the whole way across a pasture, I could hear the drumming once he got to about 100yds.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,000 Captain
    Something else you can hear one do when its very close is flex its feathers when it puffs up to strut. Especially when they do the thing where they walk a few normal steps, blow up, step again, blow up, ect. It makes a very strong “woooooosh” noise when they do it. 
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 1,859 Captain
    Something else you can hear one do when its very close is flex its feathers when it puffs up to strut. Especially when they do the thing where they walk a few normal steps, blow up, step again, blow up, ect. It makes a very strong “woooooosh” noise when they do it. 
    The spit. 
  • Sixth GenerationSixth Generation Posts: 288 Deckhand
    Sounds like he has a spot that he likes to strut in.  Mid day walk around to the other side of the pond and look for strut marks.  Tracks and lines from the tips of his wings.  If you see that where you heard the drumming set up so you can hunt that spot and be there before daylight.  Good luck!
  • bottom feederbottom feeder Posts: 1,119 Officer
    Something else you can hear one do when its very close is flex its feathers when it puffs up to strut. Especially when they do the thing where they walk a few normal steps, blow up, step again, blow up, ect. It makes a very strong “woooooosh” noise when they do it. 
    I had one at 5 steps once made all the spittin, drummin and struting noises.  Then he gobbled and it blew the hat right off my head.

    Leaving Florida... take a developer with you!

  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,603 Captain
    With my bad hearing I don't know if Ive ever heard one drumming.  Id have to see him at the same time to know for sure. 

    Back in HS when I had hearing, I heard then saw A Ruffed Grouse on a log drumming up in NC mountains.  
  • meateatermeateater south flaPosts: 475 Deckhand
    the spit sounds like a clic to me   hard to describe but once you hear it and watch one doing it you will remember   drumming same thing hard to describe   almost like a buzzing sound      i can hear them on a calm morning if within 50 yds  
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,445 Officer
    I can hear them spitting, but I can’t hear drumming. I believe your ears can either pick up that sound or they can’t. ....I really wish I could hear it.
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 808 Officer
    there were couple Tom's and 2 hens right behind my house tonight. First time I ever seen them around here 
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
    Shheeesh, Who makes a decent pair of chainlink camo :)
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 808 Officer
    Shheeesh, Who makes a decent pair of chainlink camo :)
    Ya tell me about it by this time next year that entire field will be gone. Putting in a cancer center 
  • swampdogswampdog Central FloridaPosts: 760 Officer
    Often they will have a strut zone where they strut back and forth gobbling and waiting for the hens to join them. When he goes right, you need to quietly go left and set up. Give a couple of light yelps or clucks and get ready. Can often work (well maybe not often ;)). 
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,603 Captain
    For some odd reason gobblers know to stay about 60-100 yards away...
  • josh_scott84josh_scott84 ClearwaterPosts: 460 Deckhand
    Sunday I set up about 20 yards from the area he was in but never saw or heard him. Thought they might be more vocal due to the cold front but I think the rain played a part too.

    Bumped a bird on the way out in the darkness that was roosted way closer than expected. No way to know for sure but probably was my bird.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,659 Captain
    The spit and drum I have witnessed the closest was from a turkey hunt Pro .... shucks, just having lunch together at the local restaurant this guy can do vocals..... amazing.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 808 Officer
    I've drove by that field I took the pics in couple weeks ago every night since and have not seen a longbeard one there. Quite a few hens and these 2 trouble makers but I'm pretty sure these were the 2 that I saw strutting in the field. Maybe next year fellas your probably still shooting blanks😆
  • joekat46joekat46 North PortPosts: 2,506 Captain
    Gobbling at a premium during the season but the birds were there.
    Lots of gobbling during our pre-season scouting.  Just the way it was this year.  I probably got out 12 mornings and on ten of them only heard early roost gobbles.  Weird year.
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,146 Captain
    Same here. Either no gobbling or a couple roost gobbles and then utter silence.
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