Dave Owens

Show Notes

On this Episode of the How to Hunt Turkey Podcast, Paul talks with Dave Owens of the Pinhoti Project. Paul and Dave discuss the why behind Dave’s Turkey hunting obsession. Dave tackles the age old battle of dealing with a difficult Turkey, know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is a skill one can only learn from time in the Spring woods. Any Turkey hunter understands the challenges that temperamental Spring weather plays. A beautiful Spring morning can change rapidly and a hunter must be able to adapt when the weather turns extreme. The countdown to Spring Turkey Season has officially begun on the How to Hunt Turkey podcast. 25 DAYS! A second mini episode drops this week and Paul will unpack some interesting research done about the effects of weather patterns on Wild Turkeys in the Spring.

Show Transcript

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Welcome to the How to Hunt Turkeys podcast. I'm Paul Campbell. Join me as we dive into the world at Turkey Hunt. Every episode we'll explore the minds the finest Turkey hunters around. We'll take a look at the people, the places, the tactics, gear, and the culture that creates the mystique around America's favorite bird.

That's right. I said it. Favorite bird, the Wild Turkey. Throw on your Turkey vest. Grab your box, call. Let's talk some Truth. The How To Hunt TURs Podcast is brought to you by Go Wild. Visit time to go [00:02:00] wild.com or download the app on iOS or Android. Go Wild has all the gear. The Wild Turkey hunter needs camo clothes, hats, vest, Turkey calls de.

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I talk about it every day at least. I don't know if it's like that for everyone, but I think for new Hunters, man, I feel like understanding the culture and kind of the reason that the Turkey hunters hunt, and I was talking to Hunter farrier and it's hard to explain that to people that aren't Turkey hunters.

Like why do you Turkey hunt? I think it's, Colonel Kelly said it best. Cause I have to . That's it. That's the only good answer I can. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. That's the only good re because I have to I can't not imagine a spring where I'm not Turkey hunting. I would be on death doorstep, [00:03:00] and I'm gonna crawl out.

There is one last time for sure. And hopefully die in the Turkey woods, but, so what's that like for you, man? What's that? What's that culture? Like for you? Yeah. There's something religious about Turkey hunting. For sure. There's something that's it's unavoidable.

It's, if it's springtime then you know where you can find me. And there's, that's not ever change. It's not ever gonna change most likely. It's not like that with anything else, like you said, I don't know why I can't put my finger on it. I don't know if it's the dialogue, the interaction the communication.

there's just a little bit more of a, like an intimate feel when it comes to to hunting them. Yeah, it's, I don't, I can't put my finger on it. I don't have a word that's gonna describe it, and I don't think anybody does. And that's why literature is a little heavier in the Turkey hunting circles.

Because everybody's trying to put their finger on what it is about Turkey hunting that makes it different, that makes it special. That makes. Like I said, almost a religion. And nobody can, and everybody keeps trying. [00:04:00] We all are trying to create this web of words that's gonna make somebody feel what we feel when it comes to spring Turkey hunting.

And while there's some guys that do it better than others, that I don't think anybody's been able to accurately describe that. Emotion that it brings to you. As far as an answer as to what, why, and why is Turkey hunting different? I don't have a concrete answer. I don't, like I said, I don't, I'm not sure anybody does, but but yeah, there's definitely a different air around Turkey hunting when compared to everything else.

I would agree with that. There. You can't. And, you can, anyone can just answer the question, but it's not the full reason. Be behind it. And I know for me, the first time I heard a wild Turkey gobble on, on my second or third hunt, something just changed in me completely.

And I, I can't explain what it was cuz I don't really know. But man, it's been something that drives me in the spring to just madness [00:05:00] and I'm here for it and I hope I get, if I could do it for a million years, man I would. So Yeah, sure thing. Sure thing. And the more from what I've learned just through experience, the more I don't know the word here either, but it's something to do with the more connected, like the least amount of If you de don't dilute the process, I guess is what I'm saying, if you keep it between you and the bird as much as possible.

I feel like that connection, that that direct line of

yeah, that, I don't know. That interaction just seems more pure and it's just every time that you are able to have that experience, I don't know, it's just more meaningful. It's. Consuming almost. And that's just like you do this and unfortunately the animal, the bird has to die, for the definition of success, and every time he does, you almost man, that was such a religious ordeal. How can [00:06:00] I get more out of it? If he's gotta die, how can I get more out of it? . I think that's what we're all doing a lot. At least most of us, many of us are just trying to figure out every time that we or afforded the opportunity to play ball with one of them, how do we get more out of that experience?

Because once he's gone he's not coming back. And then, of course we're all very motivated right now to make sure we got plenty more of. And with the conservation talk and the situations with the population. So I think everybody's just consumed by the Wild Turkey.

We want to get more out of each experience and we wanna make sure that there's plenty of experiences in the future. Pretty cool thing, pretty cool time to be involved with Wild Turkey in any. Yeah. It really is. And just for you and I point that I wanna make about kinda the cultural nuances between, deer hunting, the most popular form of hunting in the country and Turkey hunting.

And Brent Rogers mentioned this the other day, and, deer, deer hunting is so focused [00:07:00] on the trophy. It's the antler size and how many antler points and all of these things. And that's been the focus for people. I know for me, man, some of the best hunts that I've had, just a hard gobbling Turkey man back and forth and you're in the game, you're in the battle and he comes out and he is got, a six inch beard or whatever it is, if that's the measurement that you wanna throw out and it doesn't matter to.

And it's the challenge. It's the back and forth. It's the goblin, it's the strutton, the drum, and all these things that, we'll talk about. But it's the trophy aspect for me is not a part of my Turkey hunting. And I think I'm happier for that. I know some people that's important to 'em.

I could care less man. Yeah. And I think, like when we started the Pinho project, that was our motto. That was, I think it's still on our website, or I know it was, it may be on. YouTube channel. I can't remember. But it was essentially, and I'm gonna butcher this, but I can't remember it verbatim, but it's more or less focusing on the journey that it [00:08:00] takes to get there, rather than the surprise, rather than the trophy.

Yeah. Because like you said, I think people get more consumed with the journey and the people who get consumed with the. They're just gonna be better at it. They're just gonna enjoy it more. They're just gonna get more out of it. It's not the end goal. It's not the end result. It's not the pile of feathers or cold meat, which is all you're left with.

It's the journey that it takes to get there. And that was the motto that we set with the with the videos that we were. Gonna start putting out there because we knew the footage wasn't gonna be stellar. We knew that it was, we were Turkey hunters with a video camera. We weren't videographers and we still aren't.

I hope it's gotten a little better just through trial and error. But that I didn't want to be, I didn't wanna be a videographer, I didn't want to, that's not the feel that I wanted to give the viewers. I wanted to put the viewers there, but and we're just Turkey hunters and I wanted to be just like them cuz it's, I am.

And so I wanted that feeling. , I wanted that [00:09:00] content to show the journey and to show the the strategies and the, and just that emotion and that connection that you have from the whole process, from showing up all the way to the finish. And if it winds up with the dead Turkey, fine. But that's not what I wanted it to be centered around.

I didn't want there to. I didn't want there to be people let down if there wasn't a kill shot captured, cuz there might not be. Here again, we're Turkey hunters with video cameras, that was one of the main mottos that we centered the pin hodi project around and the content around that.

It was two, it was that one and the idea that. , this, what we did, our success was defined by effort, not by, basically anybody could do it, is what we were wanting to say. Success defined by effort, not by fortune. Sure, you can pay your way to a lot of these.

A lot of the successes that we've had, a lot of the goals that we've reached but effort is, makes it possible. [00:10:00] That was the. Things that the Pinho project was grounded in. That's a good, that's a good quote. I wanna say it again. Success defined by effort, not by fortune. That's That's really the heart and soul I think of what it means to be a Turkey hunter and why we do it, and for sure.

And there's a billion things that branch off of that. But that's a really good one. And years ago, I got to the point where it's, you know what, man? I came home empty-handed, and that's okay. I had a freaking great time in the woods, man. I pushed myself. I saw places in my own state that I've never seen.

That I might be the first human that's walked in there in 80 years. And that's cool. You heard some turkeys and there's just so much. There's so much to it. And I, man, that's a good, that's a good quote. I like that. Did you come up with that or did? Yeah, I think so. , we and that's part of our, I don't even know what I did on my phone, but we have it on, I think it's on the website.

But but yeah. . I do a lot of thinking. I think anybody that follows the Pinho project knows that, [00:11:00] especially with the cigar talk, and especially when I'm by myself or the long hours on the road, and it's a known thing that I spend a lot of hours on the road and I don't listen to music very often.

It's just I don't listen to music. I think I listen to the tires roll, and I think, and I just, I'm concerned by wild Turkish to the point where that's all I'm thinking about. I'm thinking, frankly, it used to be how I could get in front of another one. But now since I've done transitioned into this, capturing the whole experience and sharing it with people, a lot of times my mind is now rolling around with how can I illustrate the emotions and the everything that goes into turkeys so that if somebody's watching this that has never experienced it before, How could they get it, get it, so to speak.

Like how can they feel what I'm feeling and love it as much as I do? Because I know if we have an army of individuals that love wild turkeys and [00:12:00] hunting them and just in general the way I do, the way you do we're never gonna have to worry about being without 'em. And That's a lot of times what's rolling around in my head now while I'm on the road.

How can I capture this process to show the admiration that we as Turkey hunters have for wild turkeys and not seem crazy ? Not seem delusional and people just think this guy's a go path of some sort. So one of. One of the things that I've noticed over the last couple of years, and I've been watching videos on, on Pinho project of you for some years, and I've noticed that you're on the camera more filming other people more than you have in years past.

Is that part of the transition? It's just a part of that no matter what you say and no matter how the viewers say or how somebody else. , people want to see turkeys and they wanna see the [00:13:00] process and they're only gonna watch the back of your head for so long. And when I've got the camera in my hand, the footage quality goes up considerably

It's really hard to sell film, and even when you do capture a self film hunt successfully, it's really. To get, the the subject zoomed in, focused properly, and that's what people really wanna see. We started at the top, like I said earlier, saying that's not gonna be what this is centered around.

And still to this day capturing the kill shot is maybe a little bit more important to me, but it's not necessary. I'm cutting fi right now to where it just didn't happen, . It's just the way it happens sometimes. But when I've got the video camera in my hands rather than on a tripod beside me and I'm capturing somebody else the footage quality goes up.

So I do try to make sure that there's a portion of that. But that being said, I can't do it for too long cuz then I start getting [00:14:00] messages like I'm tired of the group hunts. When are you just gonna go hunting by your. But on the other hand, when I do too much hunting by myself, I get the comments, be nice to see a kill shot, be nice to see lottery, you gotta do a little bit of everything to make folks happy, but I do enjoy hunting with a small handful of folks. So we do usually share some spring, mornings and. A lot of times I'm focused on trying to get some at least decent footage at that point in time. , I think, kinda looking back to some of the years past when you've had, the moment of truth comes and, You'll whisper into the camera.

Am I gonna get this on camera? Sorry about that. And, you'll shoot this Turkey and the camera's like on a log or on a field or a tree or something, and I always and I always appreciate that because I know what it's like to be there where it's I'm not moving my hand to turn that damn camera.

I don't care about it. You can hear it happen, I'll tell you about it. , I'm not moving. So as a Turkey hunter, I appreciate that these other people that are sending those [00:15:00] messages, Stop it. So stop, just relax. Yeah. There's just a tiny little delay. So it's just you know when you're a kid, you're talking on a walkie-talkie.

You say over and then you wait and then you know, that's what I'm doing. I'm waiting for a split second after you finish. So yeah, gotta love the internet, man. One of my. For the people, listening to this, that, that might not have seen many Pinho project seasons.

I've watched a couple of, all the way through and one of the, one of the things that makes me laugh and I don't know what to call it other than your descent into madness throughout the spring and it's, your eyes start sinking in. You look tired, you look hungry, and you're just burning it at both ends.

That's that's gotta be a good feeling when you get done, you do it all over again. But I just, I really, I always laugh at those man when I see it. Just you you're spry and rosy cheeked in the spring in Florida, and then you get to Vermont and you're just like God,

Yeah. It is definitely a long, drawn out [00:16:00] grind and. Wouldn't trade a minute of it, and everybody's man, you've gotta be ready for it to end. And I will never be ready to g let go of a spring. My body may be, but my mind is always sharp and ready to, take on a new morning, new day.

But but yeah, it is funny watching that process and usually this time of year I'm starting to get into those end of the season hunts and I'm looking at that camera and I'll look at that camera every flipping morning. Like I promised I would in 2018. And I can look at my face and I see the sunken in black holes below my eyes, and I see my, I look thin and Courtney's always you show up and you're skin and bones and you drag yourself back into the back end of the house with the, by the skinnier teeth it seems like every season.

And I wouldn't have it any other way, but. That's just, that's just part of the process and something you gotta prepare for. People that if you work a, a normal nine to [00:17:00] five and you're used to eight hours a day and you just flip a switch and you dive into that type of lifestyle it's different.

You really gotta prepare yourself, your body, your mind. It's a, it's something to, it's a dream for me, and it'd be a dream for many people, I'm sure. But it's definitely. Not all rainbows and unicorns, I promise. . Yeah. This was the first year for me that my, my Turkey season started in March and it ended, the last couple of days of May.

And by the end of it, man I had, like mentally, I had nothing left physically, I had nothing left. But I would've done it for another 10 weeks if I could. And you just , you hate to see it, you hate to see it end, it, it has to. And I was googling like, Turkey hunting in, Vermont and just see how many, okay how far is it, you got five more days up there.

I could probably get up there and my wife's just stop man, just take a breather. But no that's good. I'll tell you what, man, I've really enjoyed the front half of this just just about, like the heart and soul of a Turkey hunter.[00:18:00]

And, I wanted to talk, to, talk strategy with you, on, on the Turkey hunting side of it, not just like the emotional side of Turkey hunting. And I feel like that would almost be a disservice to this talk. But we're gonna do it a little bit, just a little bit. And then cause that's what people were here for.

One the one. That I wanna talk about and I'm gonna show this to you. I had a list. I didn't know that you see this. That's all the like strategy topics that, that I wanted to talk about. We're gonna throw that away. The one thing that, that just, that eludes me as a Turkey hunter and I think it's just part of the game, but it's when you're locked in that battle man, and for me it's just it's just trying, there's, so there's the woodsmanship aspect of it.

It's where that Tom is just you. He's not ready. He's not quite ready. And I've heard you say it before, like I'm looking for the Turkey that wants to die, and it's, for me, it's like figuring out which Turkey wants to die. And it's just that, like that moment in the woods where you're like, okay, do I move now?

Do I stay here? What do I do? So it's that [00:19:00] moment where you're dealing with that really hard to kill Turkey, which you're all hard to kill. So what do you do man, for like, when you're trying to figure out. Am I in the right spot? And I mean that literally am I in the right spot?

Is this the right Turkey? So we're asking about how we can tell when we, we interact with the Turkey, whether he's the one that we need to spend time with or, yes. A lot of different factors gonna come into place there. We'll throw a few examples out there. Like Florida, if I find a Turkey in Florida, I'm after him end of.

Because the populations are typically pretty thin out there. So we're going to treat that Turkey I don't know, like a, he's fragile, basically, because we don't wanna bump him because he may get somewhere where we can't find him again. , we may gear down. We're not quite as aggressive.

If I'm in somewhere like I'm in Iowa or if I'm in Missouri or even North Alabama or South Alabama or George somewhere where I think the Turkey populations are a bit more dense, [00:20:00] then I may be a little bit more aggressive. And if I push in on a Turkey and I can tell he is got hands, he's not gobbling, he's not being very responsive.

He's only shot gobbling once every 20 or 30 minutes. . If I feel like the Turkey population, the densities are there for me to go on down the road and find a Turkey that's gonna be more cooperative, then that's what I'm gonna do. So it's a situational, it's all depending on how many turkeys you're around and the likelihood of finding another one.

Most of the time we are. We have the luxury of hunting areas throughout the country that have pretty adequate perky populations. They're, like I said, I mentioned Florida, not that Florida's having some population. Issue I don't believe is just that's just the nature of Osceola.

Turkeys is they're pretty thin. The terrain that they live in is thick, so that you gotta be on top of 'em to hear 'em. And that's [00:21:00] probably got more to do with it than they're being fewer turkeys. It's just as harder to flat out harder to find them. So when I do find one, I'm gonna devote more time to that one Turkey, even if he's acting.

Ory per se because I think it's gonna require quite a bit of time to find another one. And that has a lot to do with it. But just k going back more maybe a no more generic situation, which I think is what you were referring to. Say if I'm in Missouri and I A Turkey off the roost.

I move in and I set up on this Turkey. He's gobbling really good off the roost. And then the closer I get, the more I understand why, because I can hear some little hin talk around him and I figure out he's being provoked by hens. He flies down. He's not very responsive to calling. Basically I'm painting this picture in my mind without actually having to see the picture.

And that picture is the Turkey roosted, right? With hens, he flew down right with. and he's gonna follow those [00:22:00] hens around all day. I could devote the day, or perhaps several days to figuring out where the hens are going, what they're feeding on, getting, get in front of him because no turkey's impossible to kill.

But I may look at what I have in front of me and go, okay, it may take me two days to figure this Turkey out because he is not gonna give me enough. He's not gonna gobble enough for me to keep tabs on him. It's gonna be more of a looking for sign and following him game. I could pick up shop, I could hit this long narrow ridge here, and by the time I cover another mile, I most likely am gonna find a two year old Turkey or a Turkey that doesn't have hens with him and he's gonna be more cooperative and he's gonna play the game.

Like I would rather play it. And that's what I'm gonna do in that situation. Trying to figure out when to pick up and move shop and when to That's such an experience thing that's just a feeling that you get, maybe call it a gut feeling, but it's just so many factors that, that come into play there.

And I think experience is gonna be that, and that's, that's gonna be a [00:23:00] redundant statement. Experience, there's no substitute for it. You can't buy it. There's only one way to get it. , and that's the answer for so many of these tactics and strategies and how to know when to do what.

We can all lay down some baselines and we can lay down some tendencies that turkeys have or what we've found through our experience, but until you get out there and you live through it, then you can't build that experience bank to make the decisions that you'll need to make.

But, . Other than that, as far as knowing when to, you hear me say it in these videos a lot. You get, you gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold them, and trying to think off the top of my head any other times that I would think to leave a Turkey. And a lot of times it may have quite a bit to do with what time of year it is.

I think it's a pretty known, fact that early season is pretty tough, especially in the states that open earlier, in Alabama, Mississippi. . It's a reoccurring theme that when you [00:24:00] deal with these early season turkeys and say Mississippi they can be pretty doggone tough early in the season because they're still flocked up.

You're still dealing with usually a couple gobbler together. They still got a pile of hens pretty lethargic as soon as they hit the ground in the mornings often. So you do a lot of trolling, just trying to find that one Turkey that's been kicked out or that one Turkey that's been pushed away from the flock.

A lot of times that early season stuff's just got a lot to do with luck. The more time you spend in the woods, you wind up in front of a small flock of turkeys and you're able to be in the right place at the right time. So those early season situations, I do expect to find more turkeys that I need to leave and more turkeys that I just need to drop a pin and remember where they're at.

And if I have the luxury of coming back in, a week, 10 days, then I will to. How many of those Hs that he had is, has moved off. So probably a long-winded question, but that question has so many different avenues to address as to knowing when and when you want to leave, when and when you wanna stay [00:25:00] with one.

Yeah. That's the hard part with doing a podcast. That's, how to hunt turkeys because with deer hunting or elk or, waterfowl there's all of these environmental factors that, that, that predicate the movements of these animals almost. Like religiously, right?

We can look at a map and say, okay, with all the slope angles and the wind and, transition zones and say, okay, there's a high chance that they're gonna be deer here all the time. And they're very regimented in their movements. And then with turkeys, it's just, it's like a, you look at a, an ameba under the, under a microscope, and there's all these little things going over that's just, and I feel like that's how turkeys are.

They're just, they're always, where are they at? Everywhere. They could be anywhere, literally anywhere. Obviously there's areas that they're gonna prefer, but, so that's such a hard question to answer. And I always, I like hearing everyone, everyone has a different answer to that, but it's always the same.

I don't know. That's the answer. I don't know. And, but I love that, I [00:26:00] love your response to that question because there's so much nuance to Turkey hunting as a frustrating amount of nuance to Turkey hunting, and that's part of the you hit on another topic then about weather, in conditions if I know where a flock of turkeys is on a pretty day, I might not be able to determine where they're gonna go and But say, the situation that we just spoke about, we get in on a Turkey, we hear him gobbling, he's got a flock of hens. And I say, it may take me two or three days to scout and follow 'em and read the sign and figure out where they're gonna be to get in front of 'em.

But if it's raining the next day, and I know where that flock of turkeys is, and then I know where there's a nice wide open road bed or a hilltop field or something, I may say, you know what, with given the conditions, Of it being wet and me knowing the tendencies of turkeys, of wanting to be able to use their eyesight more when they're wet.

That field may be where they're gonna be. So while I wouldn't have hunted that Turkey on another pretty day, I wouldn't have hunted that flock of turkeys on another pretty day. If I [00:27:00] was given a lot of rain or heavy winds and I had to hunt with my eyes, then maybe I would go back and hunt that flock of turkeys, cuz that way I would have a hint, I would give, be given a clue.

So just another example of being situational. Yeah, that's a great point. What, so let's talk about weather here real quick cuz that's one thing that I mean, frustrates every hunter on the face of the planet. You hear these old wife says they don't gobble on an east wind, or they don't gobble when it's windy.

And I've been out in the Turkey woods where I'm walking. You are driving out. I'm like, this is a Turkey killing morning. I feel like the weather's perfect. The sunrise is beautiful. Birds are chirping, and then it's just complete silence. And so the question is why are they not goblin?

I don't know. That's the answer, right? So yeah, when. when you've got these like weird fronts that, that go through. And here in Ohio, one day in, mid-April it could be 75 and sunny and a light breeze and it's beautiful. And the next day it's 22 and it's spitting snow and it's a 13 mile an hour wind [00:28:00] and during Turkey season.

So how do you react to those just extreme changes in weather? I think I've said it before. I always there. There's a weakness to every day. If it's a pretty day, often, oftentimes it's the, it is the turkey's desire to gobble. If it's a, it is a day I can hear really well, then I'm gonna use that to my advantage.

Being able to use my ears and put myself in the game by listening to them gobble. If it's a day where I'm not gonna be able to hear gobbling, if it's a windy day, then that's gonna have me hunting with my eyes. It's gonna have the turkeys relying on their eyes even more, and that's going to give me the ability to move a little.

More aggressively because of the woods are moving. So I'm gonna know, there's gonna probably be a li a bit more crawling and sneaking. Hunt like a coyote, so to speak, when it's on a heavy wind day. Cause I have all the motion in the woods to he help conceal my movements, conceal my noise. If it's a rainy day, I know the leaves are wet.

I can do a lot of moving without making a lot of noise, without,[00:29:00] getting attention toward me. I know the turkeys are gonna be in the field. So there's so many little bitty things that the weather's gonna allow you to capitalize on. And. Yeah, that's how I try to use whatever the weather's gonna allow me to do.

Now, nobody, at least me if given my rathers, it's not gonna be windy when I Turkey hunt because the way I prefer a Turkey hunt is with my ears. I like the auditory element of Turkey hunting is what makes my gears turn. That's what I live for. , unfortunately, I'm not gonna switch it off if it is windy, I've, I'm gonna figure out a way to hunt 'em regardless of the weather conditions.

But given my RAs, I'm gonna want it to be a pretty day to where I can listen and hear and move toward gobbling Turkey. And that's what I, and that's what I, but you just have to yeah. Roll with the punches. Are you wanting em to dive into each specific weather kind of pattern?

[00:30:00] There is that. Yeah, we can. Yeah that's a good topic to talk about, because it's like with spraying any, in any state, it's just, it's so volatile, , a lot of hunters, if it's pouring down rain, they're gonna, they're not even gonna think about going out.

I will hunt personally. I will hunt in a downpour before I hunt 40 mile an hour. That's just me. And I don't know if that's the right move, but the rain doesn't scare me. The wind, I absolutely can't stand it. It just, I just get angry the entire time I'm out there. Yeah, it's frustrating. Now we'll hit on a couple we'll just kinda hit some the big weather patterns that we experienced, and that's first and foremost is bluebird days bright skies, high pressures, low winds.

everybody's favorite. And in those days, like I said, I'm gonna hunt with my ears. I'm gonna try to get up high. I'm gonna try to use my ability to hear turkeys a long way to get me in the game. These are the days that I'm probably gonna do a lot of moving at those high points of the landscape to try to, put cause into [00:31:00] areas that I think turkeys are living.

Try to find a Turkey that wants to play the. It's pretty cut and dry. That's the definition, that's what everybody thinks about when it comes to Turkey hunting. It gets challenging, like you mentioned in, in windy days. And there's two kind of ways to tackle wind. And first off, if you're hunting open terrain, you're gonna hunt with your eyes.

You're gonna get on points where you can glass and find turkeys and then hunt with your. It gets really challenging when you're hunting areas like I prefer, which is wooded settings. When you don't have a lot of fields, you don't have a lot of openings, and you gotta hunt the turkeys in those high wind situations that you, in areas that you would typically be hunting with your ears, and that's when you're gonna start looking for these like the downwind side of a big ridge.

Those turkeys are gonna get on that downwind side that we found. They're gonna hun hunker down in the hollas. They're gonna still do Turkey things. Turkeys are still gonna gobble. And they're still gonna do the same things they would do if it wasn't windy. You just gotta put yourself in a position to be able to hear 'em.

And you want [00:32:00] to be downwind of the Turkey because their gobbles is gonna travel farther down wind. You wouldn't believe what a difference that would make. But you also gotta remember that they can't hear you as good. So typically, we'll call more frequently because to where that Turkey may have been able to hear you from 200 yards on a normal day or 250 on a normal day, he's only gonna be able to hear you at 150 yards on a windy day.

So I'll increase the frequency that I'm gonna call as I'm moving, and then I'm gonna try to target those downwind sides of the ridge systems and the hollas, the lower areas. I expect turkeys to spend more times than bottoms on that day if they're in a wooded setting. Then we can move over to a rainy day rainy day here.

Again, it's all gonna depend on if you're in an open setting or if you're in a wooded setting. Turkeys are gonna seek out open to rain if it's raining. I don't care which setting they're living in. If it's in a wooded setting, they're gonna target woods roads. I've seen 'em spend all day in old logging roads and anything that's gonna give them that site [00:33:00] advantage.

And so I'll target those areas. I'll target hilltops that I know are open that doesn't have a lot of mid stories so they can watch for predators. And also easily have that advantage of jumping off the top of a ridge and getting the wind beneath their wings and escaping danger because a wet Turkey takes considerably more time to get off the ground than a dry Turkey does, and they know that.

So they're gonna get to those areas where they can take a few bounces and jump off a, a red a mountain side. Get that wind beneath their wings. So I'll look at those areas. Of course, if you're hunting open terrain, it's more a glassing game again. And those turkeys know they're heavy. They're gonna get in those big open expanse just so that they can really use their eyes to see danger coming and and avoid it, with a little extra time.

And the only other. Steel that I think is overlooked sometimes that, that I, we, you have to get, build some strategy around that's extremely hot weather. That's when it gets, upwards of 90 degrees, a hundred degrees. [00:34:00] These turkeys are walking around with a coat of feathers on so they get hot and targeting turkeys in the shade and knowing that Turkish are gonna avoid open areas in direct sunlight when it's hot Is is another advantage that you can capitalize on.

You gotta realize like when it gets, 9 30, 10 o'clock in the day and that sun gets more overhead, those turkeys typically dip out of any open areas. So if you've got a Turkey that's living around an open area, they wanna bug, they want, wanna be out in that open area to look for seeds. Dry off if it was.

A lot of times if you're dealing with hot weather, you're dealing with heavy dew and those turkeys wanna get dry as quick as possible, so they will hop out in those fields. If the grass is short enough to not get their bellies wet, I've found that they avoid that water, they avoid that wet grass, so they're gonna be where the grass is thinner or shorter.

But when that sun gets overhead and gets hot, they're gonna dip out and they're gonna be in the shade. They're gonna look for a bottom to seek out. Some. . So that's another weather pattern that you can keep in your pocket. Like turkeys, [00:35:00] they have to deal with the heat just like you do. So I'm just thinking about those types of areas that would be more comfortable for you.

They're typically more comfortable for turkeys as well. What do you do for like northern hunters that have those big extreme changes on the other end, where it goes from, mid fifties one day to, upper twenties. Overnight and real cold in the morning. Do you see any impact to Turkey activity on days like that?

I will say with certainty that I would rather start a day in the upper twenties than the upper sixties. I'd rather hunt turkeys with it cold. That being said, I despise hunting turkeys in the snow. I just don't like hunting. Turkeys in the snow it. , it impedes my movements. It's just loud, it's just crunchy.

It's your feet are wet, which I don't mind hunting with wet feet, but cold and wet feet is a different ballgame. But that being said no. I would rather it be in the upper twenties and be, I'd rather it be on the cold side than the hot side when I'm hunting. Like I, [00:36:00] so I don't think that there's, you can target these.

The slopes that are gonna see the sunlight quicker. Because I have seen turkeys ro on those sides of the slopes and target those sides of the slopes to to take advantage of the sun and warming it up. But here again, I think direct sunlight interferes with with their eyesight quite a bit.

I don't think they they can't see as well with the sun in their eyes and they don't have hat bills or whatever to shade the sunlight, I think they avoid. Those that direct sunlight quite a bit. And the only thing I'll say other than that is snow. I've hunted in snow quite a bit, not a ton.

I avoid it like the plague. I try to stay away from it. But when you do encounter snow pack you gotta get in those evergreen trees that are gonna hold the majority of that snow off the ground. I turkeys just live up under 'em when it comes to heavy snow. And target those area. That, or they're following livestock elk, they'll get behind a herd of that this guy got that.

They're just trying to look to get through the snow. [00:37:00] Snow pack's pretty tough on the Turkey, but they're looking for those areas that's gonna have less of it. Just a real quick story. And then the final question here. I was hunting in Tennessee this spring and huge, just massive public land and.

Kind of in my wanderings, I find this, I don't know, probably eight to 10 acre little hilltop field that had been clear cut. It's just beautiful. And I am miles away from the nearest parking spot. And I'm like I knew there was a lot of heavy rain. The next day I'm like, this is it.

This is where it's gonna come together. And I'm, the next morning I get out, I take the, the five plus mile walk out to the spot and it's, this is three 30 in the morning, I see a freaking headlamp walking through the field, and we came into the field almost at the exact same moment, and I was just, Damn, this is it.

Naturally I'm gonna walk, I'm gonna go talk to this guy cuz this guy obviously is sees exactly what I'm here for. And we ended up talking for about a half an hour. Had a great time and just kinda went to separate ends and laughed about. That we both found the same [00:38:00] because you couldn't see it on the map cuz it was just one of those, it was it was real small and narrow, but it was there.

And unless you walked in on it, you didn't know it was there. And it was cool, but it was . It was just frustrating for both of us. It's man, thought we found like a hidden gem, and there are very few secrets in the age of satellite imagery and OnX. There's very few secrets.

Yeah that's absolutely true. So the next, segue into this question you hunt a ton of private land. What do you do to combat, combat like hunting pressure for people? Is it as easy as just, I'm going to go, I'm gonna work harder than the next guy. Hardest worker in the room.

You go four miles, I'm gonna go six. Is that kind of your movement? I think you meant to say hunt a lot of public land. You said private land. Oh, excuse man. . But then your description was all public. But anyway a little bit of everything. There are no golden ticket responses to How do you hunt public land?

I've always said, I try to approach the land a little different than everybody else. I try to stay [00:39:00] off roadways, but sometimes you just gotta stay on a roadway. There are no, silver bullets here. But yeah, I try to typically approach the turkeys from a different angle. I try to give 'em something that they haven't heard before.

That may mean me walking completely through an area to get to the backside of it and work it from the back forward. Or approaching the area from the steep sides, the area that's gonna be most difficult for people to approach it from. Approach it during a different time of day, approach it during the week rather than on the weekends.

Just anything that's gonna be a little different than what they've heard before. It could be a, it could be a call choice. I think we've discovered over time that, some calls aren't used as much by people. A lot of the you get a lot of people talking about having turkeys respond to like trumpets or wing bone.

When they won't respond to anything else. And I think that has to do with what the turkey's been conditioned. We gotta realize that turkeys don't have the ability to reason. So [00:40:00] it's not like they're sitting on their roofs and going, oh man, that's gravel popping. I'm not gobbling this morning. Cuz that guy in that Chevy's here, like they don't have the ability to do that.

But what they do have the ability to do is become conditioned to negative experie. So if every time they hear gravel popping, or every time they hear that three note Al Hook who cooks for you they get blown off the limb or they get shot at a couple different times or whatnot, they're gonna condition themselves to Hey, every time this happens, something negative happens, so I'm gonna quit doing that.

So what we gotta do is hunters, if you want to be, just give 'em something that they haven't been condition. To not like, to avoid that happens in everyday life for them. If they go to the same place and get chased by a coat, they're gonna quit going to that same place. Or if they have to go to that same place, they're gonna be very cautious when they get there.

So it's just, life for them, they're getting hundred, 365 days a year. So they're nervous and that's why we love them. They're , that's what's [00:41:00] caving by them is something that's. A bird that's getting hunted by everything just throws all caution to the wind for that couple months out of the year.

And we get to we get to enjoy that and I think that's what causes us to be, obsessed with them. But we gotta remember that they're getting hunted every day of the year so they can condition themselves to stay alive. And we just gotta exploit that as hunters to to figure out what they haven't heard or what they haven't.

So 60 seconds or less, give me the one piece of advice that you would give to a new Turkey hunter. Get out there. Nothing kills more turkeys in time and it's the only thing that you can't buy more of. So experience will always be the number one teacher of the, always be the number one tool in your bag.

So get as much experience as you possibly can. And that only comes with devoting some time to the. Dave, thank you man. Thanks for your time. Where can people find you on social media and your website? It's [00:42:00] Pinho project all the way around. So on, on YouTube, I think it says Dave Owen's Pinho Project, but everywhere else it's Pin Hodi project on Instagram.

On Facebook project.com is the email, is the website, so should be pretty easy find. Same thing everywhere. Good deal. Thank you