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Turkey Hunting Etiquette
THis past Saturday was the Special Youth Spring Gobbler hunt in PA. (only YOUTH hunters are allowed to be hunting) The regular season opens on 4/28
One of my buddies took a youth out on Saturday for his first (Youth)Spring Gobbler hunt. They were hunting public land in the Poconos. At 6:30 they had 3 gobblers coming in to the calls, when all of a sudden they hear a truck pull up and park within 80y of my buddy's truck, get out and start calling to the gobblers. Of course the gobblers then take off running!
Later, they had a hen come in and all of a sudden she putted a couple times and took off running. When they got up, they see a different guy in a blue shirt and jeans with a full strut decoy and a CROW call! This was all before 8am.
What is with these people? Do they NOT know it is the Special YOUTH Spring Gobbler day???!!! WHY on earth would anybody go out first thing in the morning, messing up the Youth Hunt????!!!!! I just don't understand some people.................................... : (
Anybody else ever have this happen?
Yes. The mental acuity of some of our fellow "hunters" will astound you. It's just like the rest of humanity, some get it and some don't. I generally don't get too worked up over it. Life is short, take a deep breath, and keep moving on. We had a guy yesterday walk through our set-up. We clearly signaled to him that we were there and yet 45 minutes later he comes walking back through our set-up. We just laughed and shrugged and kept on hunting. We ended up having a pretty good day!
I was out the last weekend of bow season for elk in a draw unit. Two different guys came by my camp, they were out scouting for rifle season. They were cool, we chatted a bit, they were not running around calling or acting a fool. That is the worst thing that's happened to me so far. But some of the stories I hear about the lack of hunting or fishing ethics, the outright assholes out there, are unbelievable.
I guess the thing that has be dumbfounded is these guys were not even hunting! The season doesn't open til Saturday. They were just trying to call in birds for the hell of it. And these are Eastern birds on public land. In the first couple hours of the Youth Hunt! Anybody with common sense would stay out of the woods until at least noon so as not to mess up a youth hunter. And the first guy must have seen my buddy's truck when he pulled in!
In this day and age, we should be doing everything in our power to ENCOURAGE the youth hunters- they are our future! We should NOT be running around calling to birds on THEIR day!
Fortunately, the boy was just excited to see some gobblers gobbling and coming into the calls(for the first time). And knowing my buddy I'm sure this will not be their last hunt of the season. But it could have potentially been very discouraging to this young man. Especially for a Youth that might have been hunting for years, trying to kill his first bird.
I don't understand anyone wanting to mess with the birds before opening day. Sure, go out and listen, and look for sign, but most of us know where the birds are already. Why start messing and pressuring them before opening day?
I like youth hunts, have had three hunters make their first kills with me during youth hunts. And what happened is screwed up. But...
...but youth hunts shouldn't be needed, and are a glaring sign of a sorry state of affairs among hunters.
With better Dads/Moms, acting like adults/parents, there'd be no reason for youth hunts. I mean, how greedy ya gotta be to not put yer kid first on any day of the season?
Buz- I gotta disagree with you there. I think anything that increases the kids opportunity and chances for success is a good thing! Getting them out ahead of the opener to try to get them into some unpressured birds is a good thing in my book. Although, I don't know how much it helped in the above example! : (
The idiots out there are just that. We had a guy running around with lion dogs in the back of his truck, others calling to turkeys from their trucks using their own voices, and others seeing you parked only to park another 100 yds from you to hunt.
My guess would be:
1) Jerks 2) Or, they didn't know it was youth weekend and were just out doing "stupid scouting" for next weekends opener
When turkey hunting on public land, i seem to find 2 extremes: 1) Great hunters that are awesome folks to be around, 2) Total A$$holes who have zero ethics. There seems to be no middle ground where I hunt!
I've had it happen to me a bunch of times. New York hunters are the worse I'm sorry to say.
our season opens this Wednesday... I was out this Am doing a quick look around... I dont even take any calls with me ... to many try cold calling and educate the birds .... gonna be cold... high of only 45 Wed.
I agree it should be for just the kids any idiot out there messing up a kids hunt is just that an idiot!! We have a youth hut here in NY and I have gotten several kids their first bird on some good private land I have access too. Shawn
KY Eyebow, we must hunt the same place....
This world is full of idiots. Your buddy just happened to find 2 of them that day
I would think it would be common sense and good hunter etiquette for other hunters to move to another spot if a vehicle is already parked somewhere. It's always a gamble hunting on public land! It sounds like they were hunting mighty close to their parking spot so not far off road? I can see where they could have possibly avoided the problem if they were hunting farther off the road? When I hunt high pressured areas I usually hike several miles to get away from crowds. Your buddy obviously wasn't expecting company during the youth hunt...but may want to keep this year's ordeal in mind on future hunts?
Here in Colorado we have fairly high hunting pressure on the little public land that has turkeys. One of my "secret' spots I cross a raging river, climb a set of cliffs, and hike another 2 miles back into remote country before I begin hunting. I've yet to see any other hunters in that area! Another way to avoid such a situation would be to knock on doors and find private land to hunt? Finding remote locations or getting permission on private land may be next to impossible to find in some areas.
Most people do not know or care about the seasons. Public lands are multiple use.
Jim- this just happened to be a last minute deal. Just came together about 10 days before the Youth Opener. We scouted a big piece of State Forest the week before on one side of a large public lake. Unfortunately, after 3 miles of hiking(away from the parking area and lake) we did not come across any turkeys or sign. Just plenty of coyote sign. So we moved over to the other side of the Lake and drove a S.F. road to access another parcel. Not far up the road we spotted a gobbler crossing the road headed towards the mature pines that ring the lake. Being late in the afternoon, we figured that is where they were roosting. Not much room between the road and lake, but figured it was worth a try.
We knew being that close to the road was a gamble. But figured if they got there early and parked the truck, others might just move on when they saw the truck parked there. We even expected they might have some competition in trying to call in those birds from other JUNIOR hunters. What we DIDN'T expect was for some yahoos to come walking in just messing with the birds! Mind you, these guys were ALONE and not hunting. The season for them does not start til Saturday. They were simply looking for birds and trying to call them in. Or maybe purposely trying to mess up the youth hunt so there were more birds for them next week? Who knows?! Whatever the reason, it is pretty low in my book! : (