Up North Deep Forest Turkey Hunting

3/17/16 @ 3:07 PM
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BugleTrout
BugleTrout
USER since 9/27/01
I have not turkey hunted in years and have never hunted the Northwood’s for them. I’ve only hunted farm land in Calumet County. I saw a ton of turkey tracks on trails in our hunting property up in Oneida County during the second week of deer season and plan to try that this year. I drew a tag for 5/11 – 5/17. I applied for later time slots because of it being up north. However, if spring ends up coming early, will that be too late up there? Another question. My neighbor up north said to not expect to shoot a turkey like I’m used to seeing down around farm country in East Central Wisconsin. They don’t get as big up north. There is no agriculture anywhere within 10-15 miles of our property. They’re just surviving on what they can forage in the woods. I’ve been told that the legs and thighs are much smaller on northern birds and the meat is very strong in flavor. I’ve watched videos on dressing turkeys and it looks like guys just breast out smaller birds. Is it worth plucking the whole bird from up there? I don’t want to waste anything that’s worth harvesting. Thanks for the advice.
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Displaying 1 to 5 of 5 Posts
4/11/16 @ 9:28 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
I talked to one guy by my place who had a nice Tom and he said he drives the firelanes and looks for drag marks from their wings when strutting. He then sets up off to the side of those areas.

The guy who installed my satellite dish said he does it just like grouse hunting, he drives the firelanes and when he sees one he gets out and shoots it..... (not joking, that's what he told me).

I shot one turkey in the fall with my bow. There was a flock that would pass through behind my cabin and were pretty predictable. That was just a hen though. The times I had nice toms come by in fall I did not have a tag though.

I tried a spring hunt 2 different years and both years I had 1st period. The first year I had a couple gobbling but could not get them to commit, they were henned up. Did find a nice shed antler though. The next year I buried my truck in snow and since it was minimum knee high, I said heck with this its just a stupid bird and not worth this much trouble. Or something like that, more cursing as each foot broke through the hard layer of snow and got stuck. Tounge Out

I have not applied the past few years because after those winters there were hardly any birds around. The flock of 25 by me is now 2 and the other spots had no birds. Still see a few once in a while but nothing like it was by me anyway.

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4/10/16 @ 10:30 PM
Gimper
Gimper
USER since 11/27/01
The birds up here move a lot more than southern birds. If you find a group roosting in the morning, don't expect them to be there the next morning. They do tend to come back around, but it might take them three days, or five. Your best bet is to try to put them to bed.

Up here oaks are gold mines in the early season. With it being kinda warmer this year (it was 9 deg. yesterday morning and 7 in of snow on the ground but that will be gone by next weekend) and with your later start, look for sitting hens. Hens are territorial and the toms have to make the rounds to service each one until the clutches are fertilized. Aggressive yelping should get a sitting hen to call back. Make a mental note on where you heard her and try near there in the mornings. Food and water (swamps) in the afternoons.

I have only ever plucked one bird. I've skinned out the rest. Breasts are very good smoked. For the legs and thighs I bone them out and get rid of the tendons (tongue depressors) and grind the meat into burger. I get 2-4 pounds depending on the size of the bird. It makes the best meatloaf.

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3/31/16 @ 6:58 AM
jkb
jkb
USER since 6/25/02
The one thing I could add is that northwoods turkeys are constantly on the move due to the lack of concentrated forage. I tried stalking a group of turkeys this weekend in Vilas and they covered a half mile in less than a half hour, scratching the ground as they moved looking for food. They probably have a core area but they move around it constantly and throughout the day. Good luck.

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3/18/16 @ 7:41 AM
snipe n
snipe n
USER since 9/10/07
I hunt County Forrest up north where the turkeys that I hunt move from fields to the woods. They stay in the Forest all of spring, summer and most of fall. They are some of the easiest turkeys to pick, I think. The turkeys that my sons hunt in southern WI are tougher to pick. Get one and give it a try, worse case you switch to skinning it. Very fun birds to hunt as they rely on vocalizing more because they can't see as far. So calling is often answered all day long as long as they aren't henned up. Hard part is wind makes it hard to be heard and to hear. Seems like it hurts more up north then it does when you have open fields to hunt. Big Smile

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