Father/Son trip of a lifetime..... Talk Turkey with me!

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting General' started by Alaskageek, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Alaskageek

    Alaskageek New Member

    29
    Jan 25, 2018
    Howdy All

    Really like the look of this Forum. Love that posting seems pretty frequent and am sure it will be another go to spot for information.

    First, a little background.
    I grew up in the wilds of Alaska, spending more than 30 years hunting and fishing all the Great Land had to offer. Well, in 2013, due to a divorce and wanting to stay fully involved in raising my kids, I have found myself living in the crowded Northern Colorado area, where if you want to be a hunter, you'd better be rich or know people that will allow you to hunt their land. Fishing isn't much better. Around 2002, my father, another life long Alaskan, purchased a place near Hermitage, MO in Hickory county, where, until his passing in the winter of 2016, he would spend his winters avoiding the long months of ice/snow/cold in AK. After visiting him a few times, it became very clear that I would be spending as much time as possible out of the big cities of CO and in the amazing rural outdoors of MO. I am usually able to make 2 or 3 trips a year, sometimes with the whole family, to get my outdoors fix and calm my soul to survive a few months of city living until I can get back to MO. Up until now, I've been spending my time in the MO outdoors fishing on Pomme de Terre and Turman lakes and loving every minute of it. Upon my youngest child's graduation from high school in 2025, I plan on becoming a resident of MO, probably around the Warsaw area.
    Why am I posting?
    I am currently planning a trip over in April, and it's a special one. My oldest son, Ranger, is turning 13 and his mother is finally allowing me to fully expose him to firearms and hunting. I've been able to work a few things in over the years starting with firearm saftey and working up to being able to give him his very own Ruger 10/22 and getting him out to the range a few times. This trip over is special, as it will be just him and I, spending some quality father/son time in the outdoors, with no other siblings or family with us, hopefully making our bond even stronger (especially with the hard 'teenage' years coming up). Now while we would be perfectly happy spending this bonding time out on the water, I have been playing with the idea of spending a few mornings Turkey hunting, as we will be coming over right during the Spring season. As you can imagine I have tons of questions and would take any advice offered, but since this post is already so long, I'll keep it to just a few.
    Basically, I'm wondering where we could go, as well as what our chances would be to even see a turkey, let alone call one in for a possible shot. (bought my first box call and mouth call about a week ago, still working on sounding like a turkey) I've looked for public land around the Hickory and Benton county area, seems to mostly be around the lakes and rivers, but I have no idea if you can access those areas, or if they have any turkey in them, and have no way to scout them before we come over. I'm also hesitant about public land, as the experiences I've had here in CO are not good. Crowded and over hunted. Which of course was no worry in Alaska.
    I'll stop for now, I know this has gotten very very very long. I hoping some of you will respond and we can get the ball rolling on getting me trained up for MO turkey hunting (to probably be followed by whitetail hunting in years to come) and helping me make a decision on if I want to invest big money (non resident spring turkey permit is almost $200) on what could be an amazing experience for both my son and I. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
     
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  2. callaojoe

    callaojoe Máistir an pointe hocht.

    Jan 21, 2004
    N/C Missouri
    There are some turkey experts on here, Henry, FullFan, etc. I am sure they will give you some excellent information, and best of luck! :tup:
     
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  3. huntnfool

    huntnfool Active Member

    925
    Oct 10, 2011
    Central Mo
    The area around Truman Lake in Benton, St. Clair, Henry, and Hickory counties all have turkeys. I would go to the Corps of Engineer's site and look up Truman Management ground. You should be able to pull up a map. It will have different color shades that tells you who manages the ground (Corps or MDC). It will also give a color code for closed areas as well. Turkeys are plentiful. So are the hunters at times.
     
    Alaskageek likes this.
  4. fishshooter

    fishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Reform
    Haven't hunted that far south in the state, however seeing turkeys in turkey season isn't hard they will move a lot. On public ground so will the hunters, I have had good luck on public ground through the week. When I do hunt it on the weekends I look for a place I can get at least a half a mile from the parking lot as this seems to weed out a lot of hunters. Last piece of advice is a tough one to follow when turkey hunting, if you are hunting on public ground and you do get a bird to answer your call, don't call very often. He's heard you he knows you are there, every time you call and he gobbles back it increases the chances someone is heading your direction and may spook/shoot him before he gets to you.
     
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  5. PHhunter

    PHhunter MOD-ER-ATOR

    Jan 22, 2007
    Woods.
    I have killed a lot of turkeys on Corp land around Pomme. Don't over look small pieces of Corp land that you can access from a county road. I never saw that many other hunters there
     
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  6. 20'

    20' Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    can you plan your trip around the Missouri YOUTH SEASON? fishing would be good and the turkey woods should not be nearly as crowded?
     
  7. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Oct 15, 2009
    Unless you want it to be just you two, which I would understand, I would try very hard to get someone from this site to go with you and show you the ropes.
     
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  8. WBF

    WBF Wolf Brook Farms

    Oct 25, 2013
    Highly recommend a blind..... you can get away with a lot more movement. I second the youth season timing....
     
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  9. MAJORTOM

    MAJORTOM Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2006
    At work as usual
    I have hunted Hickory Co. for many years. There are turkey to be found most anywhere you go. Check out the Corp and mdc lands in the area. I have taken many a Turkey around Hermitage!
     
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  10. Alaskageek

    Alaskageek New Member

    29
    Jan 25, 2018
    Man..... I knew this forum was the right place!!! Thank you all for the responses, and so quick too. Just based on what I've learned today as well as finding a few more maps of areas to hunt, I think it's safe to say that I'll be buying at least a Non resident spring permit, and depending on if I can get my son comfortable with a shotgun in time, a youth one as well

    Youth hunting season - is not an option as we can't get over until the 16th or later. I'm actually thinking the best week for us to head over is going to be the 21st to the 28th. Will be the second week of season, and I'm thinking the initial "pressure" I assume comes with opening week will have started to diminish.

    Hunting weekday vs. weekend - Since we will be staying a week, I figured we'd try our turkey hunting on the weekdays and avoid the weekend warriors.

    Maps of "public" hunting areas - Took some digging on the internet but I was able to find some decent maps of ACOE, MDC, and WMA areas in and around Benton, Hickory and St. Clair. I think i've found a few spots that seem a little out of the way, and not near any housing groups that we should be able to drive to. Also found a few that seem to be accessible by boat. Thinking of fishing near those areas on our first weekend to see if I hear anything "talking".

    Calling tips - Thanks so much fishshooter, you're tips mimic some i've read online about hunting public areas. I'll be sure to try to stay calm if I actually get something to talk.

    Being shown the ropes - Hawk, I would have no problem with and in fact be extremely great full if one of the hunters in that area would like to show my son and I the ropes. I've hunted alot of things, but never a turkey. Along with our undying gratitude and friendship, I could offer breakfast or victory drinks to any such hunter. :) (I also am a computer tech by trade, so computer repair is also an option)

    Needed Gear - I'm with you WBF, a blind is the way to go. Luckily, my father had one so now I do. I found it going through his gear last fall. I've never set it up, but it looks like a pretty basic one that should work. I also have a few calls, and am working daily on speaking turkey, still need to get a locator call......... any advice on Crow vs. Owl? I have a shotgun that will work, not exactly what I'd really want for Turkey, but I'll be building my ultimate turkey hunter over the next few years for sure. The only other thing I'm thinking about are decoys. Don't have any and didn't find any when going through my dads gear. I've priced a few (not cheap). Would love to have a hen and jake set for this trip, but might not be doable with my current budget. Maybe someone here has an old set that is still usable for under $100.

    Thanks again for the great info and keep it coming. Already super excited just about the prospect of hunting. Haven't shot at anything since I left Alaska in 2013!!!
     
  11. oneshot 1

    oneshot 1 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Ozarks
    Ok between Hermitage and Warsaw follow the Pomme de Terre River and Lake area. plenty of both COE and MDC Land. Go by the COE Office by the Dam. Tell them the deal on you they will go out of their way helping.

    I have a Cabin SW of Warsaw and plan on doing much more Hunting and Fishing in the area.

    oneshot

    :D The Big Grin might be there.
     
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  12. 20'

    20' Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    Good news is you can only hunt until 1 pm, then fish, mushroom hunt andbroost birds if need be!
     
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  13. Alaskageek

    Alaskageek New Member

    29
    Jan 25, 2018
    Thanks OneShot. That was actually one of the areas I was looking at. I'm a little familer with it, specifically the Sapps landing area as it has been one of my favorite fishing areas for the past few falls, trolling for white bass. Will stop by the COE Office by the damn and see what they have to say, we'll be right up there for sure, as we love fishing off the docks just below the damn!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  14. Alaskageek

    Alaskageek New Member

    29
    Jan 25, 2018
    LOL, your the second person to mention Morels. Guess I'm gonna have to do some research on what they look like so I can keep my eyes open.
     
  15. ducksNbucks

    ducksNbucks Senior Member

    Mar 13, 2011
    Lathrop, MO
    Good luck to ya.
     
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  16. EZRA

    EZRA Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2016
    You can get cheap decoys when u get here at warsaw walmart, prolly under $20 for two. I recommend some cheap camping chairs too for the blind so you can be comphy and stay longer which usually ends in the turkey finally coming in. Warsaw is a fun springtime spot and you guys will have a blast.
     
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  17. Alaskageek

    Alaskageek New Member

    29
    Jan 25, 2018
    Thanks for the walmart tip!!! Nice to find some good looking ones for sub $40. Picked out a nice Primos Tom in strut and a submissive hen and still am under my $100. Should be able to pick those up in the next month or so!!! And if worse come to worse can pickup the $15 ones, better than nothing right? The chair tip is always a great one. We always bring a couple for sitting on the dock fishing for hours on end.
     
  18. huntnfool

    huntnfool Active Member

    925
    Oct 10, 2011
    Central Mo
    Personally I'd use a blind for fidgety hunters. If your kid isn't fidgety then skip the blind. Get a good set of leafy gear and be mobile but don't get too close to the roosted bird.
     
    20' likes this.
  19. huntnfool

    huntnfool Active Member

    925
    Oct 10, 2011
    Central Mo
    If you skip the blind get the turkey chairs (sit just inches off the ground). I think Wal-Mart has them...roughly $20. I've got two and you can sit all day.
     
  20. WBF

    WBF Wolf Brook Farms

    Oct 25, 2013
    Non residents really like to focus in on the 2nd weekend of spring turkey season because you can kill 2 birds.

    We had a group from Mississippi that use to hunt the second weekend.

    As been stated: try and get out and look for any sign you can find. Pick a good spot pop the blind up with decoys out in front and plan on staying till 1 pm. I don't think it's worth the risk of running and gunning on public with a 13 yo in tow. I'd make sure to have some hunter orange showing on your blind esp with the decoys in play. Pack some snacks, water, etc . After 1 pm you can scout around some more and make adjustments from there.
     
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