Question for the 2014 Turkey Tune Up for Lake Sutherland in San Diego.

Discussion in 'Hunting & Firearms' started by JFF, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. JFF

    JFF
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    Has anyone won a spot for the Lake Sutherland turkey hunt? Has anyone hiked or explored these areas? I'm curious to know what the turkey population in this area is. Is it worth the time and money to try and when a spot? I've been there and never won but still ventured out to the public areas to hunt. Never was able to get a public bird but always see them when it's not turkey season. I'm just wondering if the lottery is because there is a nice population and somewhat of a higher chance of getting a bird there. If so, I'll continue to enter the drawings. If not, I'll save my time and money and still venture and scout out public land.

    Thanks in advance!

    -John
     
  2. Paul the Great

    Paul the Great Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone won a spot at the lake Sutherland turkey hunt? Yes, well over 100 people have won. All of them won by random drawing. Not all shot birds, not all saw birds, and some never even heard a bird. I doubt any of them, whether they got a bird or not, would trade it for anything. Its good stuff.

    Has anyone hiked or explored the areas? Yes, many people have done this. This is called scouting. This is what makes people successful and others frustrated. Do you want to go do it yourself or do you want the people who have done it just to tell you where to go and what to do and when to pull the trigger? Seriously, not trying to make fun of you or run your questions into the dirt. What do you want out of a turkey hunt?

    Only you can decide if its worth the time and money. Ive spent a lot of both in the last 15 years hunting turkeys, so for me, its worth it. Hunting costs money and it takes time. For some, this is a turn off, and for others, its a challenge and nothing is more enjoyable to pursue.

    There are ZERO public spots that nobody knows about and there is a virgin turkey population. NONE. You have to jockey around other dudes and outsmart birds.

    If you want to jump on a fall hunt, knock yourself out. I think its ridiculous. All the birds are together in a large group and you just shoot one. There is no calling a Tom to you. There is no strutting or gobbling off a roost or over a riser. Its like hunting a buck in the early spring without antlers. Just to shoot something is the wrong reason to hunt, for me. Im not the moral police and I dont care if every hunter in California shoots hens or jakes in the fall, but its not for me. Im above it.

    You can hunt public land and put in time or pay to play and go on a ranch or private property and dip your finger in the honey pot.

    If you get a legal Tom on public land in San Diego, and you call it in, you are an absolute STUD, and earned a well deserved trophy, and an amazing dinner. If you go to northern Missouri and pay to go on a ranch and have a guide sit you down, call in a bird for you, and you just shoot one out of a blind, you're a helpless hunter.

    *Kicker Bonus*
    TRADE TRADE TRADE

    You trade me something of equal value to a guided turkey hunt and I will put you on a bird. In the spring, we are not doing fall birds.
     
  3. JFF

    JFF
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    Paul the Great,

    Although very insightful and passionate, I simply just wanted to know if it was worth the time and effort to enter the drawing. I've read your posts and respect you as a hunter and halibut slayer. Hell,with your credibility a simple yes from you would have sold me.

    I've been to the Turkey Tune Ups a few times and am well aware of the process. However, I am unaware of the private land that's being used for these hunts. Just wanted to know if it was worth it or not. If my post made it seem like I was asking for turkey locations so I can hunt myself, then my aplogies. I wasn't sure if that area is accessible during the off season for people to scout. If so, then that's my fault for not doing my due diligence. I'm not asking for exact locations, someones spot or a guide. I've done my fair share of scouting and will continue to do so. I get great enjoyment getting out there and scouting areas. New and old. It's my therapy. I put in a lot of time not only in the field but also researching maps and scanning google maps like it's an addiction.

    And honestly, I'm not above hunting turkey in the Fall. Fall, Winter or Spring, I'm going to get out and take every opportunity to hunt. Well as much as the government will allow me to. Whichever season or animal it is. I see it just like the old fishing saying... The worst day of hunting beats the best day at work. I'm just happy to get out there. Even if I have to brave the conditions and go alone. #hikingwithguns

    All in all, thanks for the advice and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the day when I am on your level and have something of equal value to trade.
     
  4. Paul the Great

    Paul the Great Well-Known Member

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    The population in the area, the areas where you can hunt, the few oak draws and meadows in the zones/areas would be over 50 and less than 100. A solid 80 birds infest that region. These are resident birds. These birds, like all turkeys in the county, are residents of an area, they do not migrate or go different places in the fall, winter, summer, spring. A flock will break up and stay rouge small groups of birds, from two to less than 10, will venture out and find new areas to call home. Carrying capacity will dictate how many birds and area can have and area that is habitable will be occupied by new batches of birds.

    Only their behavior changes and the way they conduct their daily business throughout the different seasons. There are really two seasons for a turkey, breeding and not breeding. Of course what they do every day in rearing poults and finding new areas is a whole other chapter, we are only concerning ourselves with Lake Sutherlands birds in the valley.

    Lake Sutherland has changed in the years since it first allowed turkey hunting in the area. For one, there is less than 10% of a lake left, give or take. The entire back part of the lake one giant meadow now. The boat dock goes half way to the other side. Seriously. Its super duper low. Bad for the fish/fishermen, but good for turkeys. (Turkeys need land, fish need water)

    My family went up there a few days ago and glassed the valley, as the lake was closed. There were many birds down in the new lake bed meadow. All the birds were in the same sex and age class, which is typical for this time of the year. All 2 year old hens, all 2 year old jakes, a handful of mature Toms, a few jennys together, all separated by large distances.

    These are your options for turkey hunting in San Diego:
    Go on public land. Success will be very low, excellent spots with high numbers of birds are non-exsistant.
    Get a membership at My Country Club. You will get a bird if you put in your time and you are moderatly skilled in sitting still and not calling horrible and too much. The guys there will show you where to go. You dont really have to work too hard, but you have to pay money.
    Win a hunt at Sutherland. Odds are low to draw, but you cant win if you dont try, and if you dont try, everybodies odds go up. The hunts at Sutherland are just OK, not great, not awesome, not millions of birds to choose from, and you can really pattern a bird because its not open for you to scout all day long because other people are hunting and you cant go there whenever you want, so its kinda a craps shoot.
     
    #4 Paul the Great, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  5. Paul the Great

    Paul the Great Well-Known Member

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    I will share with you the exact tree that a bunch of Toms roost in at Lake Sutherland if you have the same for me. I will take you to the tree in the evening or early morning, or at least from glassing distance and you can see for yourself. I have located 6 active roosts at Sutherland. Hunt the roosts and you have a great chance on getting within range of a gobble making a mistake and walking within 40y of the business end of your 12g.

    If you win, or get drawn first, you get to pick the first zone/day. Pick the opening day, regardless of what the weather might be, virgin birds are the least wary. So long as you don't spook them, they will do what they have done for weeks prior to you sitting under them. Do not sit under the roost. At least 100y away is the right distance. Evenings before, and mornings before, you will need to watch the pattern of the birds. Find which direction they fly up and which general area they flock to after fly down and where they feed first. The Toms will hen up after feed and flydown. This is your best chance. Obviously if a Tom flies down a few yards from you, pop it right off the bat. Usually, you have to wait till 730am to about 830 am for Toms to walk in pairs or 3s looking for hens. By late morning you will find doubles or singles looking for hen pies to plaster yogurt all over. This is bar none the most often Toms let their guard down.

    Case in point: I often use to get very bored by 8am if I had not seen a bird. Even though I had heard them gobble off the roost in the morning, and caught a glimpse of a flock forming early at twilight, I would get antsy and bail. 9 out of 10 times on the hike out, Id bust a silent Tom peeking over toward my original location. Sometimes other hunters would push a bird to me or they Tom was just looking for love. Either way, I learned to stay put until past 10am, no matter what. Even noon if the birds were on the move and active. So long as you had seen Toms in the zone days prior, there is an excellent chance that a bird will wander your way, if not and entire flock.

    If you get anything out of anything I write, get this: remain in the field in a proven location for twice as long as you wanted to. Stay put. Remain quiet and motionless. Pretty simple but being patient is easier to talk about then actually do. Do it.

    Last year I had both my young daughters with me, 8 and 12, sitting with me. They were an absolute train wreck of jokes, wiggliness, farts, arguing, and other regular stuff sisters do. I knew if I could just wait it out and let them get tired and bored, they would calm down and be quiet, out of simple boredom. It worked. The amazement of the morning turkey commute was full tilt boogie. Bird gobbling, flying across meadows, grouping up, strutting, then comes the lull, and then the wrestles girls are no longer entertained, so I let them blow off steam, covered in camo, hiding under a tree. Birds got dead silent and my girls go nuts. No birds anywhere to be seen or heard. I knew so long as we stuck it out, birds would come by, and they did, late in the morning. Sure enough, a few gobbles behind us. We cant turn due to a spook risk, so we sit tight, and minutes later we have two huge Toms to our right, less than 10 yards from us. Now the only noise is two little girls hearts pounding out of their chests and a dads heart testing its capacity. We cant move to get the gun up, birds are too close. We wait. Wispering would be too loud. The girls know the drill. Sure enough, the birds peck and feed away, and then I give a series of putts and is on. One bird makes a B-line toward the open end of a 12g and my 8 year old hammers the big boy.

    The next weekend its my big girls turn and she connects almost in the same manner. Her bird came running over a hill toward the decoy and got stopped dead in its tracks seconds before it humped foam.

    If I can get my girls to understand to wait and be patient and let the birds come to you, I can get a grown man to learn it.

    Its six months away and I cant wait.

    Deer is a week away and I cant wait. This keeps me keen and sharp, connecting the wildlife dots prior to openers. Do all the homework before the seasons. I have a 10% chance of shooting another buck this season, Im gonna use 100% effort to be in the 10%. I might even use 110% effort before the season, the extra mile is never crowded.
     
  6. surferjohn

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    Hey Paul when did you get your girls licensed? My boy just turned 8. Thanks
     
  7. Paul the Great

    Paul the Great Well-Known Member

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    8 and 12. On line for the course and Bass Pro Shops for the test.
     
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