Last year while archery elk hunting in the evening I happened to hear some turkeys wandering around feeding. The talk among them was a lot of clucks, do-it's, whit-whit's, and peel-peel-peel types. Since the elk weren't bugling yet I couldn't resist and started mimicking them. I was successful in getting a couple hens to wander over into what would've been shotgun range.
What R.H. witnessed seems about right with my experience. The usual hen breeding calls aren't normal for fall. But, the sound of young birds, lost or distressed young birds, can be effective, especially if you've spooked a flock. Some people intentionally bust and scatter a flock and then use lost hen kee-kee runs, and clicks to call them back together at the hunter's location.
Seems to me that if you can scatter them like that, you could have shot one.
If/when I can get fairly close I like to sit and scratch at the leaf litter and make soft (contented?) clucks and purrs. Try to get the birds to think a real honey hole of good ears has been found.
Careful with the young bird sounds, be alert, other things like to come in for young turkeys.
When we had a fall season we would bust them up and whistle em back in. Amazing how close they will pinpoint your whistles. Wingbones and trumpets make killer keekee's with practice. I got on a trumpet making kick this past spring, just wish I could use them in the fall
If you know where the turkeys roost, you can usually intercept them along a travel route back to the roost in the afternoon. They usually have just a couple different routes, and it’s a good chance you will see them eventually if you set up a couple hundred yards from the roost.
The same is true in the morning after they fly down. They will often respond to a lost call easier, also if you get between them and where they want to go. I’ve taken 5 in 5 years in Southern Illinois by finding the roost. Don’t hunt too close to it, however, or they may leave the area.
I went fall turkey hunting only once. Got to a nice area early that I knew held turkeys. I'm parking my mountain bike when not 30 seconds later an archery hunter shows up, parks his bike not 30 yards up the logging trail, removes his gear and proceeds right down to the area I wanted to hunt. I switched to plan B, got on the bike and rode further down the trail. I got into a decent area, got set up . 20 minutes after first light, two teenagers with .22s came blundering into view. I stayed put until they were out of sight. Shortly I hear several cracks from their rifles followed by a lot of talking etc. I moved on then gave up and left.
Long story short, when Im turkey hunting, I don't want people hunting other game around me. Pretty much ruins any chance of getting a bird. I never did hunt fall turkeys again after that.
We used to hunt them quite a bit in the fall and we’d try and find a flock and bust them up, usually by running at them and yelling. Then we’d wait until they started calling and mimic the lost birds. I think the call of a young turkey is sometimes called the Kee Kee Run, it’s kind of a bad yelp. They generally respond.
I have been hunting fall birds with an Appalachian turkey dog since 1999.These were bred by John Byrne and now his son John and wife Cathy are carrying on. The dogs travel through the woods and scatter the flock when they find one. I use a GPS to keep track of the dog so I know where the flush site is. I then set up and the dog sits with me in a camo bag zipped up so only his head shows. Wait about 1/2 hour or so for things to quiet down and then I start to call. You are correct that young birds either kee kee or kee kee run for there lost and locate calls. Before I got the GPS I use to go where I thought the dog barked and would look for turkey signs. One day my first dog covered 15 miles and I still had to leash him up to go home. I do other hunting but this is what I enjoy most - being in the fall woods with my dog. Not all states allow dogs to hunt fall birds and we don't use them in the spring to protect the hatch.
I use to love to hunt them in the fall. Here are some calls that I built this spring that would be killer fall calls!
The first two are Persimmon and clear acrylic trumpet and walnut and poplar scratch box. The other is an African Blackwood trumpet with black acrylic mouthpiece. I bet that fall hunting with a dog is awesome!