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

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  • charlie elk
    replied
    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 [email protected]
    Good hunting and have a grand time building a relationship with Max.
    later,
    charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    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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  • charlie elk
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    Vic is deer colored, he blends in really well so he usually wears a wide reflective orange collar or orange vest which easily slips off for setup. During cold weather, because of his short hair mrs elk made some camo vests to keep him warm. Vic has quite the wardrobe, snow, brown, gray,green camo and orange vests both nylon and fleece. Depends on the weather and where we are going to hunt.
    Glad you asked, I have been meaning to post some pics of him in his camo on my website. I'll try to get that done this weekend.
    In Steve Hickoff's book he describes how to get a dog blind/bag tolerant.
    later,
    charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    Charlie Elk
    Do you use a bag for Vic? Max is white, so we have to use the bag. Any suggestions for getting him to like the bag?

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    Each dog has a different personality and they each seem to understand our language and inflections with differing levels of comprehension & excitement. So as long as the dog comprehends what is necessary the chosen command does not matter. As long as the master is consistent in its use.
    Usually Vic busts the flock on his own. Only when I spot the field flocks do I take control. Otherwise I trust Vic will sniff em out and charge on his own, just wish I could figure out how to get him to bark and let me know about it.
    I do like to use different commands than those in the "book" for safety reasons. Like "kennel" I use a different word when its time to get in the truck. Around here there is an unusually high incidence of hunting dog theft. Also, I allow Vic to be a little aggressive toward strangers, I ask companions to not give him any commands.
    That way, hopefully if someone stops and orders Vic to Kennel he'll bark and find me or bite them if they try to grab him.
    later,
    charlie

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    Charlie Elk
    I will check into that leash. Thanks for the nuts and bolts. I like the idea of "sneak" and will see if Max will take to that. I have been contemplating the command for charging the flock and will probably try " bust 'em." Any thoughts on what you wish you had done for your first "dry run" or what you did do that worked very well?

    Leave a comment:


  • charlie elk
    replied
    I have never used a check cord, too long in woods and as a turkey dog first, Vic needs to range wide. We just use a 4' leash. My favorite for turkey hunting is the Mendota British-Style Slip Lead in 4 foot length, do a search on Cabelas to see it. For Vic and I this is just the right size on turkey setup and when necessary for spin down time. It is fast to put on as it slips over his head so you don't have to find the clip and loop on his collar.
    During Vic's first season, hopefully only because of his youth, he would get over stimulated (spun up) and start dashing about, obviously not hunting just going through the motions at a high rate of speed; this is an example of leash time for spin down. I don't treat this as punishment, I talk to him a sympathetic soothing tone telling him what and how we need to hunt. When he sees this lead in my hand he now comes over and sticks his head through the loop as it signifies something really good might be getting ready to happen like a turkey becoming dead or I'm taking him to a more game rich area.
    The lead was used to teach Vic to "sneak". Sometimes turkeys are feeding on the other side of a field; if the dog just charges across at the turkeys they flush as a group. The better strategy is heel the dog and sneak in as close as possible ideally so Vic can run into the center of the birds to scatter them all directions. My command to Vic for this is "sneak", he knows the difference between heel and sneak. It is cute when he sneaks, he crouches down with me and pads lightly.
    Another leash scenario is when hunting private land you must be careful of the property lines in order to maintain good neighborly relations. So Vic gets leashed when we are getting close to the lines. I preferred hunting large tracts of public land during Vic's rookie year in order to avoid these.
    Trust me, when you need to leash your pup, you'll know it.
    Yesterday, Vic and I went out scouting we encountered a flock of about 20 feeding in hayed barley field. Told Vic to sneak, we did the crouch to the end of an adjoining cornfield. On command "Turkeys Get Em" - Vic slipped 2 rows into the corn and charged down the row until he was opposite the turkeys, turned into them...
    It was a beautiful heart warming sight all those turkeys, surprise putting & cackling, flying to different areas.
    The kee-kees and assembly yelps started before we left the area, clearly those turkeys would have been callable to the gun.

    Leave a comment:


  • Turkey hunter 39
    replied
    Charlie Elk
    Good tips. Do you have a suggestion on leash length? I have a 20 foot check cord that I let him explore with, especially when we're someplace new. That really isn't conducive for a hunting situation though. Of course, I have a 6 foot leash as well. I have found that he does calm down when I leash him, so that might very well work. I guess in my mind, I am having trouble imagining the scenario. I still don't know if he will point, then flush; point only; flush only. In the leash scenario, are you putting the dog on the leash after the flush, so he calms down for the calling? I know Jon will leash his dogs until he gets to a promising area, and I can see leashing the dog for the walk out when the hunt is over. Can you give me a scenario when you would put Vic on a leash during the hunt?

    Leave a comment:

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