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Anyone planning to use a dog for fall turkey hunting this year? If so, what breed?

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  • #31
    Charlie Elk
    I really need to order that book. Thumbs up to Mrs. Elk for making the vests. My wife also sews and is making some custom bags for me. I need something really lightweight for early season and a fleece one for late season. I checked out that leash you recommended online and I think it is available at my local Bass Pro Shop so I will check it out in person. There is one thing in particular that I haven't decided on and that is water transport in the field. Max drinks a ton and I am not sure a couple of bottles of water in my vest is gonna be enough. I will be dealing with warm weather for a lot of my fall turkey season, and a good water source isn't always readily available in some of the areas. How much water do you carry and how do you do it? At this point, as I go through the mental checklist, I feel like I need to take a mule with us. LOL. Water, blind bag, leashes, calls. Have you encountered the same problem or do you have a minimalist approach you would like to share?

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    • #32
      Minimalist while turkey dogging? Let me know when you figure that out. My vest gained at least 30 pounds and doubled in bulk when Vic joined me.
      I have my calls down to 2 wingbones and a slate.
      Water is heavy and necessary for an extended warm weather hunt. I carry 2 one quart water bottles, mostly for Vic I don't drink much.
      Tried one of those bladder type re hydration things too cumbersome to operate.
      On really hot days we woodlot hop with a couple gallons of water in the truck or boat.
      As far as container I just lug the proper size plastic juice bottles and when they get icky throw em away.
      later,
      charlie

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      • #33
        Charlie Elk
        I am laughing because I keep looking at the gear and I am wondering just how I am gonna haul it all. Glad to see that I am not alone. I have actually been thinking about how I can divide up some of my hunting so that we circle back to the truck. I am also considering carry a tub with water in it as a dunk tank for Max on really warm days...I might see 90 plus degree days. Circle back to the truck, hydrate, and dunk him to cool him off. For the fall, I use wing bone calls, mouth calls, and a tube call, so they are not that bulky. I basically need shells, calls and a therma cell. No blind, no decoys. Realistically, how long do your hunts average? Some of my places we could cover in an hour or two, some we couldn't cover in a full day. Do you feed Vic between wood lots when you are putting in a long day? Have you ever tried to run Vic and harvest a turkey with a bow?

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        • #34
          Well TH39, Jon uses a backpack, he carries all the stuff we do plus a pop up blind and chair.
          On really hot days I plan a series of shorter hunts and return to the truck or boat. Many hot day hunts take place in river valleys. Not only does Vic need resting, I need resting more than he.
          If I need food on a hunt then I offer Vic food too.
          No on the bow; I have killed numerous turkeys with arrows and have found I just don't care for it. This may sound strange but I do not find any extra challenge in taking a turkey with a bow. For it is about the same as shotgun, so I just use the shotgun. Plus with a shotgun the turkeys do not flop away requiring tracking. Although, with a turkey dog tracking is no big deal.
          Last spring a neighboring hunter arrowed a gobbler but it got back up and ran away. He mentioned this to me, I told him about my turkey dog. In about 10 minutes Vic found the turkey dead 250 yards away from point of shot. The hunter had thought the turkey survived.
          later,
          charlie

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          • #35
            Forgot to answer your question about how long does hunt last.
            Vic was a pup last season, his attention span was short so at first a couple of hours at a time or less depending on his attention. Sometimes we just leash timed out, spun down, while we practiced being setup with some cold calling. Other times Vic would start hunting for himself rather than with me.(very bad habit for a hunting) Then it was back to the truck, until he recovered and settled down.
            Typical day last season; I would go out bow hunt deer early morning until 10. Come back get Vic and hunt until 3-4 in the afternoon. Then Vic spent resting time with mrs elk while I went back out deer hunting.
            later,
            charlie

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            • #36
              Charlie Elk
              Thanks for all the helpful advice. I have noticed a change in Max over the last week or so, it seems he is starting to understand what I want him to do. Not perfect mind you, but he seems much more focused when we are going through exercises. I have noticed from your comments that you really focus on Vic having fun along with getting down to business. I decided I would relax some and Max has responded well. I mentioned bow hunting for turkeys due to season length. With the exception of Campbell, both of my typical states have really short shotgun seasons. With a bow, I have months. I have considered just taking Max and putting him in a blind with me, a little bonding, and let him get good and excited over a fresh kill. I plan to take him out in a week or so and see if we can't get on a flock...see what he does with it. I have roughly 6 weeks until we could potentially start chasing birds on Campbell. I am planning to run him, carry a gun, keep expectations low and see how he does. A lot of trial and error headed my way. I guess I am a little unsure and don't want to mess him up, as he is a good dog.

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              • #37
                TH39, this has been an enjoyable exchange, thank you.
                If a bow was the only way I could turkey hunt, well then bowhunt it is. Please do not let my comments about that discourage you and anyone else who is reading. I am not against bowhunting turkey. In WI we are blessed with a 3 1/2 month fall season, bow or gun, I just choose gun.
                If you would like to write about Max and your experiences, Jon would love to post them on www.turkeydog.org and of course www.charlieelk.com complete with any pictures you would like to share. The more turkey doggers the merrier.
                Good hunting,
                later,
                charlie

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                • #38
                  Charlie Elk
                  I too have enjoyed the exchange. I have learned a lot. It has been nice to get practical advice. I plan to post our adventures as the season progresses. I will keep you posted on the training and Max's antics. I hope others who are interested will come across these posts and join in on the fun of turkey dogging. Good luck this fall. Check back periodically, as I am sure I will need additional advice. LOL.

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                  • #39
                    Oh yes Th39 there will some Max antics and I will love to hear about them.
                    During hunting season I become what the OL editors lovingly refer to as a ghost.
                    So if you have a story or two you could also email me at elk@charlieelk.com
                    Good hunting and have a grand time building a relationship with Max.
                    later,
                    charlie

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