Each time I go out, I've been hearing turkeys nearby. My wife suggested maybe I should get a turkey permit to have in my pocket too. Ultimately, I decided not too - they seem a bit expensive and I thought it might distract me from my primary goal: a deer. So of course, yesterday morning as the woods began to come alive, I realize I'm set up right underneath a big roosting area. For two solid hours I had dozens (felt like hundreds) of turkeys making the most racket all around me. Stomping through the dry leaves like clumsy hunters and yelping like there's no tomorrow.
I hadn't seen a single deer until, when finally around 10:00, the turkeys began to meander away. A small buck came from my right, and worked his way in front of me angling away and to the left. I thought he would come through the openings I had to shoot, but angled slightly away behind some vegetation. When he was nearly out of sight, I grunted and sure enough, he paused, turned around and started coming back. This time he was on a trajectory that would take him walking broadside 25 yds away across my shooting openings. I got my body turned, my bow up, was preparing to draw......when along came a couple more turkeys. They were startled by the buck, began flapping and squawking up a storm. The buck turned and high-tailed it outta there.
At first, I thought I'd chalk this up to bad luck, but then I thought, maybe I need to learn a lesson from this. I didn't see deer until most of the turkeys had finally cleared out and quieted down. And when I did see a deer, it was easily scared off by the confrontation with the turkeys. So, are deer afraid of turkeys? And do deer avoid moving through areas where turkeys are making a hell of a racket? Maybe they realize it will be tough to detect a predator between all the leaf parading and yelping? Perhaps I need to make sure I'm set up further away from this area when I'm hunting deer.
I'm hunting Cheney wildlife area, to be specific. I've been seeing a few deer every sit, but most have been very young, or have managed to keep some bushes between us. I guess a tree stand would help. In the mornings, I've been seeing the most movement between 930 and 1030.
About 100 turkeys were doing their normal fly down chase around when a small 8 point buck came walking down the farm road. Two of the strutting toms moved over and chased him off. First time I’ve seen it, though. The noise can bother them, but most days hey share the same fields.
Turkeys are dumb, deer are smart and know that turkeys eyes are great to have around.
One of my most memorable hunts was when I had a small flock of Toms, a mature doe with fawns, and a mature buck all come by within bow range on the same sit... felt like I conquered the woods that day.
Usually when I see deer with them it’s with a small group of Toms.