How do you handle the crowd?

Tominator

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What do you do if you have someone walk in on your set-up? Do you get their attention or lay low and wait to see if they continue on? What about when you walk in on someone else, do you try to leave the area as quietly as possible or just continue on. If you get to an area and there's already vehicles there do you go to another spot?
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h2obobh2o

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I typically won't hunt a "spot" on public ground if I see another vehicle already parked there, I just move on to another spot down the road. If someone walks in on me, I say "HUNTER", I don't make any sudden movements, or do anything that would scare the other hunter. If I walk in on someone else, I leave the area as quietly and quickly as possible. I wish other guys would give the same kind of respect. Last year I called in a beautiful longbeard on public land, he was strutting his way towards me, app. 50-60 yards away. I heard a car pull in where my truck was parked, the gobbler gobbled when the guy shut his car door. The next thing I know, I hear the guy calling, while walking towards me and the gobbler, that gobbler came out of strut, locked his wings, and flew right off the mountain. He never new the gobbler left, and sat 100yards below me calling for all he was worth. He saw my truck, had to hear me calling, and decided it would be a contest to see who could call in this bird. If I hear a hen calling, I ASSUME it is another hunter, and hold my position. To many guys think they can stalk a turkey (illegal in PA) and dangerous, but it happens time and time again.
 

Whoadog

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 I could not have said it any better that h20bob just did.  I have had two birds that were coming be bumped by guys stalking the gobble.  What I now do on public land is once he knows where I am I shut up and get ready and hopefully he won't gobble too much as to alert the "stalking hunters".  Pretty sad when you don't want to hear them gobble.

Brian
 

Passthru

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 If I interupt another hunter I feel about an inch tall and get away from his/her area as fast and quiet as possible,if i know they are there i wont go in,if they walk by me but at a safe distance i let them go then i relocate,if they get to close i give them a yell.
 

MBullism

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I also avoid anyplace that already has cars parked...  I've been fortunate to have never walked in on someone, but twice have had people walk in on me.  

The first time, I patiently waited for a clear shot on a bird that was strutting back and forth at 25 yards but had trees between us.  After twenty minutes of holding the gun on him, he drops his head and runs right towards/across in front of me.  I rolled him like a rabbit at about 20 ft.  I run down to pick him up and this guy steps out of the brush, you guessed it, right where I had the gun "aimed" for twenty minutes.  He had heard the bird gobbling and tried to sneak up on him.  Instead he scared him across me.  When I think of how many times I almost squeezed the trigger in that direction as the birds head cleared the trees he was behind!

It's not how you deal with the people you know are there, you can avoid them, it's the fool's who stalk gobbles that are the problem.  

The second guy was no fool, but an a$$.. He drove in, saw me working this bird on the edge of a field.  He continues up maybe 50 yards and sets up and begins to callin'.  I was FURIOUS.  What I did was stand up as soon as he started calling and make damn sure the birds saw me.  After they were good and nervous, I looped around to the very far end of the field, maybe 200 yds beyond my new friend.  He's out there calling his ba!!s off at these nervous birds.. I wait maybe a half hour, all the while listening to him, then let out two muffled yelps...5 minutes later ole tom is struttin in front of me.  I hope it pissed the other guy off when he heard the shot!

I'd stay away from john q public as much as possible, usually multiple hunting spots is enough.  If someone were to walk in on me that I knew was there, and they didn't see me I'd get their attention by calling out to them, no waving etc.  Hopefully they'd respect my space and move on.  (My space needs to be a little bigger than 50 yds on the same birds though...)

M


(Edited by MBullism at 4:17 pm on Mar. 28, 2002)
 

feelinducky

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Same here, I also try to avoid others if I see a car parked, I'll just move on down the road.  But to many times while duck hunting guys will walk right through the decoy spread with not a care in the world.  One time at Mendota a guy popped up right at shooting time at the edge of the spread, jump shooting.  I said hello and he didn't even acknowledge us.  Then to top it off he just stood there while birds were flying everywhere.  I finally said if you want to stay there at least get down.  He finally moved out, never saying a word.
 

Bald Eagle

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I've had experience with both, also.  When I walk in one someone I, too, feel about one inch tall.  I just hate that.  Depending on the situation I'll let him know that I'm sorry and quickly exit or else I'll just exit quickly.

The popularity of turkey hunting in Ohio has increased so much in the past 10 years that it's very hard to find a good hunting spot anymore.  It's getting to the point where I just cringe when I see the covers of all the hunting magazines in Jan, Feb and Mar at the magazine racks.  I really don't want others to be inticed into taking up the sport.  The clothing, gun, and calls vendors only see it as a business and try to incourage as many hunters to participate as possible.

It sure ain't like it used to be.  I don't think it's as much fun as it used to be.  It's like entering a war zone every time out.
 

IBAfoo

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It may be a while before I hunt public land again.  I was drawn for cache creek this opening weekend.  Walked in Friday, set up a camp right in Payne Ranch area and went out at 6:30 and roosted 5 adult gobblers.

Got up at 4:15 and went in to set up on them.  3 on my side of the valley would later prove to have been bumped by guys walking toward their early morning gobbling with their flashlights on.  (Did you seen how bright it was last night and they were using flashlights!  amazing)  As the birds gobbled it began to sound like opening day on a refugee with every hunter, or group of them, I think the gobbling had brought in 6 different groups, or individual hunters, help yelping his a** off trying to outcall everyone else.  The effect was like having 12 hens go insane over a square mile of ground.  The 3 gobblers I had set up on were gone, no long in their roost tree.  The ones across the way flew down, gobbled for a while and disappeared.  I did hear one shot, so someone probably got a bird.  
    Waited another hour to see if things would calm down.  Yelped or clucked about every 5 minutes and relaxed, hoping later in the morning the idiots would leave and the birds might start to wander around again.  Just as it sounds like only 3 groups are yelping constantly, a pair of hunters walks right into my setup.  
    Cache creek was supposed to be draw to hunt.  6 cars were parked at the trailhead where I walked out and only one of them had a parking draw sticker in the windshield, the other 5 were there illegally.  They were not even supposed to use that trailhead as an entrance point.  I hiked back the road to the Judge Davis Trailhead, same story.  Many cars not displaying parking cards.  DFG officer right there, told the woman about it, and she did nothing I could see. I did not even go to the North Fork Trailhead, I am sure that was a complete zoo.  
     This morning was worse than hunting ducks on a refugee and potentially more dangerous.  I had a great trip, it was wonderful to be out in the spring woods, but I just can't tolerate crowds of people with no sense of ethic.  
    For the record, there are lots of birds there, as I said, there were 5 adult gobblers roosting in a group the night before, but why anyone would thinking hunting was fun in those conditions is beyond me.  
 

Drake Slayer

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I had a likewise experience on some BLM property. Went there the night before and roosted some gobblers. Another guy who was there had went along with us as my idea was to pinpoint enough toms so we wouldn't be in each others way in the morning. When leaving I asked him which bird he planned on hunting. He said he didn't know so I left. In the morning I set up on the tom in the bottom around 3:30.At 4:00 I hear several people calling to birds to get them to gobble. They continue to call after they have setup. This is an hour before flydown time. Flydown passes several hens are walking around but this old tom stays in the tree for another 45 minutes. When he does flydown he lands 100 yards out in an open field turns looks at his roost tree and runs 150 yds acrossed the field to another grove of trees where he displays until the hens walk over. Later in the day I see the guy from the night before. Turns out he had a friend set up directly under this birds roost tree. I had seen the guys flashlight 50 yards from the tree flashing people off. Just another day on public land. I think I'll hunt private for a few weekends until the pressure dies off.
 

Bill in SD

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I passed this weekend, here in San Diego county.  I heard it was just a mess over by Lake Henshaw.  The Sheriff, Game Warden, and Vista Irrigation out in numbers ticketing law breaking hunters and shaking them down.

Bill
 

Wild Turk

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Good points by everyone above.  I HATE running into others on public land.  One thing I try to do if I see a guy before I set up or while parking the truck is ask him where he is going.  Many times we can agree to head opposite directions, benefitting both hunters.  Hell, I even had a guy I ran into in the morning and again in the afternoon invite me over to his hunting lodge for beer and a BBQ.  Thats not typical, but it can happen.

When I am set up, I cant agree more with the comment above about saying "hunter!" without moving.  It is especially difficult if you have decoys out.  Dont wave, just yell.
 

FTTPOW

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I'm afraid I'll have more company on the private land we hunt on this year. A group that has deer hunted there before me has decided to take up turkeys. They moved in on my area last year after finding out where I liked to go. One of them said that this year he was planning on staying for the whole season. It could get real crowded. I need more elbow room! I don't know how we'll handle the extra company.
 

spectr17

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I can remember opening morning turkey hunting in the late 1960s and never seeing another hunter or even a parked vehicle on public land in Missouri. How times have changed.

I used to sleep late on opening day and hope the knuckleheads would be back for lunch when I would head out. They still stirred the birds up and it was pretty hard to call in a bird when they have already dodged several hunters or have been shot at already. With all the numbers of turkey hunters now you see other hunters all day. I've had guys come in behind me and actually set up right in front of my dekes. It's so dangerous on the opener, all the pressure to score and people wll do anything sometimes to get a bird.

One year a buddy and I had a bird gobbling we had roosted and I heard some crashing in the timber behind us right after fly down. At first I thought it was a bear it was making so much racket coming down the mountain slope. When I turned to see what was coming it was a squarehead who had hiked in late running to the gobbling. It took two loud yells to stop him and I got behind a nice big oak just in case. After I yelled that there were 2 pairs of us in front of him he just gave a goofy look and took off around us. I wanted so bad to shot a round in the air to scare the bird off but I knew my buddies below us would never forgive me if I blew their shot. Turned out the knucklehead ran right into the bird and shot the tom, endangering not only himself but the hunters already set up and calling the bird below.

Even on private land you still get the sneak hunters trying for an easy bird. Last year on my Dad's farm in Missouri we had a guy sneak in and bust a tom out of the field we had set up on.

I sometimes wonder why I even take the risk on opening day. Vigilence is all I can recommend while out. Using radios has helped us keep track of guys moving around us and where their headed. If we know a guy is getting close we shut up if we're calling so they won't stalk us. Week day hunting helps limit the number of other hunters you'll see in the field.
 

Rattler

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All,
    No sweat. After 2 weekends only the die hards will be out there now.  There will be new birds in the breeding areas and around perennial water sources. Fact. Getting a decent bird on public land IS the challenge...and if you do it consistently in SoCal, well... you are the man! Stay positive, call conservatively...and above all DON'T MOVE.
Good Luck - Rattler
 

mjohns2

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So..... I’m a little lost. I understand we want more hunters. We also want to educate non hunters about hunting, so they'll understand and can live with it. But if we want more hunters we also have to understand that areas to hunt in (at least as far as I know) are Southern California are scarce. And I can’t afford to pay $300 to hunt on private land. I’m by no means saying it is correct for one hunter to close enough to another hunter that you can see him…. Personally I stay a gunshot away but what do we do in this situation?
 

killinturks

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gotta go safety first on this one. i got a pellet across my face duck hunting about 10 years ago and it cured me of hiding in the wild rice on public. lucky it just left a temporary red streak.i try to avoid other hunters at all cost, being in camo and all, making turkey noises, if someone got a little excited it could be pretty bad.with the popularity of turkey hunting you have to assume liability for your own safety.
 

Rattler

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MJohns,
  I read ya.  That's what I say to myself ("We need more hunters") EVERY time someone's hunting where I hunt.  They are dads with sons, neighbors and experts.  But what we really need is more land.  Clinton's land grabs and tree hugger off limits tactics don't help.  In California we put out most brush fires BEFORE they can get clearings made...RESULT: Tons of chapparal and other undesirable terrain EVERYWHERE.  I wish the stae would designate certain areas as HABITAT for hunters.  We pay the bills...why can't we have a couple of places that are off limits to non-hunters DURING the seasons (Deer and Turkey) 2 months...that's not much to ask.  Heck, ANYONE could go through there after 4 PM in turkey season.  I run into WAY more hikers than hunters...they BLAB and LITTER there way through the woods.  In NOCAL they have Spenceville, Daughtery Hills and Cache Creek.  Where's SOCALs place?  We have to share public land and the decent habitat is too damn narrow in most spots. And lets get rid of some of these boulder strewn hills. NOBODY uses them and they just roll down and crush stuff anyway.  Talk about a waste of potential.
 

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