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In turkey hunting stories we hear and read about a tenacious hunter who matches wits with an old gobbler day after day, in some

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  • In turkey hunting stories we hear and read about a tenacious hunter who matches wits with an old gobbler day after day, in some

    In turkey hunting stories we hear and read about a tenacious hunter who matches wits with an old gobbler day after day, in some stories year after year. How does a hunter know if it is actually the same bird?

  • #2
    Good question. I guess many times we never really "know", we just make educated guesses, and besides, it makes for a better story . I've personally gone up against two "smart ones", one for 3 years, the other for 2. I am 99% sure the 3-year one was the same bird because he had a very unique strutting pattern - he would always strut in a big triangle, over and over again all morning, every day. The strut zone was on a different property where we couldn't hunt, and he would never come in to calling, even though he would gobble lustily at every call. Finally one day my dad shot him when he made the mistake of following a hen over onto our property. Looked to be a 5 year old bird.
    The 2-year smart one was call-shy, and I do mean call-shy, if he was coming toward you, and you called - yelp, cluck, purr, anything - he would immediately turn and walk straight away. We never saw him with hens either, so he must've just been an antisocial bird. Never did get him, just disappeared one year.
    How about you charlie, you go up against any "legendary" birds?

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    • #3
      -I'm not sure how to explain it...humans have what, 18 senses? Maybe the answer lies somewhere in there. -I've never seen the same bird more than once(that I know of), but I do believe I have seen antlerless deer on different occasions in different locations(same situation, how can I know for sure?).

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      • #4
        huntfishtrap, All the birds I take out are legendary. LOL Certainly the storied battle with a veteran gobbler makes for good story telling.
        Now this question nags at me because-
        A few years ago during a late May hunt I thought I was after the same gobbler for 3 days, with great satisfaction I killed him on the morning of day 3 filling my last tag. Weary from a long spring of sleep deprivation I thought this would be my last hunt of the spring and had planned to go back to work. However, the next day at sunrise a gobbler sounded off from the exact same tree!? But I thought I had killed that gobbler. Of course I bought another tag to pursue this new/same gobbler. Killed him the first morning out.
        later,
        charlie

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        • #5
          I had one Tom that would gobble like crazy at every call I would make for over a week. I could tell that he was just strutting back and forth on a saddle about 75 yards ahead of me. There was no way to get any closer to him, so I had to try to call him off of where he wanted to be. After no luck and too many days of frustration, I gobbled at him with my diaphragm call. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for obvious reasons, but I was on very isolated private ground and the only other person on the farm was sitting right next to me. Right after I called, he double gobbled and literally came running over the rise to us. The only way I know this was the same turkey was that he happened to be strutting in front of my trail camera the entire time and I have dozens of pictures of him. The best print is the one taken as he passed by the camera within a minute of when I shot him.

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          • #6
            Hey Charlie....
            Great question and one that I've asked myself dozens of times--not sure that I've ever been able to answer it with 100% certainty though.
            Here's what I can tell you: I've been fortunate to chase turkeys with some pretty good hunters over the years and what each has said is that each gobbler has a distinct voice and their ears can somehow distinguish one gobbler from another. They can also tell if they're hunting the same gobbler(s) in subsequent season. For the past 3 seasons, for example, Ray Eye and his buddies have been hunting a bird they call "Chop Gobble." To Ray, at least, his voice is very distinct. As for me? All gobblers sound pretty much the same.

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            • #7
              Gerry,
              I've read Ray's last book and agree with most all he writes about turkey vocalization & calling. Who am I to argue with Ray Eye. Just charlie, so here goes...
              From my observations individual turkeys do have distinctive voices, however, their voices seem to change from week to week or season to season. Mostly, I think, as the mating season progresses, social/pecking order & flock structure changes so does the tempo, base, length and pitch of their calls. So without pictures as 4everAutumn had, how do you pin down a turkey's voice? Eve if you are a "pro"?
              Distinguishing the sex and age (juvenile or adult) of a turkey from their sound is fairly simple and accurate. I sure would love to go afield with someone of Ray's calling caliber in order to pick up some of those finer points.
              later,
              charlie

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              • #8
                Hey Charlie---
                I've hunted with Ray for longer than either one of us cares to remember (1984) and I still don't hear or see what he hears and sees--and I've been paying close attention to exactly that!!! Think I'll always be a novice in his eyes.

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                • #9
                  Oh I don't know about that "care to remember" there Gerry, I've read many of your pieces and you not only like to remember but you also "feel" those memories. Harkening back is good for the soul.
                  You too have been a lucky man. And you know what I find really cool? After all these years hunting I'm still learning stuff. Maybe one day the God of the Hunt is going to whack us upside the head and we'll finally understand.
                  later,
                  charlie
                  P.S. Have you found time for your next turkey dog yet?

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                  • #10
                    How does the coyote know he's after the same roadrunner.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                      Gerry,
                      I've read Ray's last book and agree with most all he writes about turkey vocalization & calling. Who am I to argue with Ray Eye. Just charlie, so here goes...
                      From my observations individual turkeys do have distinctive voices, however, their voices seem to change from week to week or season to season. Mostly, I think, as the mating season progresses, social/pecking order & flock structure changes so does the tempo, base, length and pitch of their calls. So without pictures as 4everAutumn had, how do you pin down a turkey's voice? Eve if you are a "pro"?
                      Distinguishing the sex and age (juvenile or adult) of a turkey from their sound is fairly simple and accurate. I sure would love to go afield with someone of Ray's calling caliber in order to pick up some of those finer points.
                      later,
                      charlie
                      Well, if you hunt long enough (for a yeras) of course you would recognise a prticular bird or animal. Just experience, nothing else.
                      http://onlinehuntinggames.net/

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