Turkey hunting ethics question

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by joelwalters, May 7, 2018.

  1. joelwalters

    joelwalters Banned

    Aug 19, 2014
    N. Ky
    My ethical turkey dilema involves beating a neighbor to a turkey. I would love to read your opinions on this scenario. The Sunday before last I went into the woods very early while it was still dark in order to try to find a gobbler on the roost and set up on him. I didn't hear any gobbling on the ridge I was walking but did hear one about 500 yards away in another drainage pretty consistently. As I headed toward that drainage, I could hear another hunter hooting at the turkey on the neighbors property and the gobbler responded. The gobbler was roosted at the top of the ridge where an old county road runs (now just dirt). I headed up the drainage in the direction of the gobbling turkey and set up on a small bench on the side of the hill. As I looked up the hill, the property line is about 80 yards away to my right. The hunter across the property line was about the same distance or closer to his side of the line and he was looking up the hill to the same turkey. I ended up calling the gobbler my direction and taking him rather than the neighbor. Was I wrong to setup on that turkey and call him away from the neighbor knowing that he had set up on him first? I have felt a little bit guilty about this since. On one hand, I wasn't very courteous to the guy by intercepting his bird, but on the other hand, who was to say that the turkey would have even come toward him? Also, the turkey was roosted on my property and not his. To further complicate things, we aren't on friendly terms with this neighbor as other family members have had run ins with him involving shooting deer across the line, yelling from tree stands across the property line, etc. He isn't a very pleasant or courteous fellow according to my other family members but I have never spoken to him. Also, I did the same thing to him a few years ago with another gobbler on a different part of the property with a shared boundary, so I guess I am not doing very well with the whole courtesy aspect. A couple other caveats is that this is not a huge piece of property I have to hunt, around 150 acres. This was also only the second turkey I had heard gobbling all season—not many birds this year on our place. I would love to hear other's opinions on the matter. Was I Ok in my actions, dead wrong, or somewhere in the middle.
  2. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    Don't know if ethical or not, but if I know somebody else is working a bird, I back out. That's just me. I've had people get in between me and a bird I was working several times, and kill it without making a sound. Didn't sit well with me, but nothing I could do. They were legal.
    carnivore, xbokilla and Dark Cloud like this.
  3. RackedUP

    RackedUP 8 pointer

    Oct 30, 2013
    I had it done to me 3 times this year. Is it courteous, no but I wouldn't call it unethical. I didn't like it much but I was hunting close to the property line just like they were. So in my opinion I was just just discourteous as them. As long as you're on your propoerty and they're on theirs then so be it.
    BucksnBeards3 likes this.
  4. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    I don't hunt public land for this very reason. I'd probably get in a fight.
  5. Nock

    Nock 12 pointer

    Sep 9, 2012
    Butler co
    I wouldn’t worry about it. You didn’t cut him off. And you was on your side. It was your morning not his.
    BucksnBeards3 likes this.
  6. RackedUP

    RackedUP 8 pointer

    Oct 30, 2013
    I don't either.
  7. bird whisperer

    bird whisperer 12 pointer

    Aug 16, 2012
    Hog Town USA
    Not a damn thing wrong with it. Its your property, the bird was roosted on your property, the bird was standing on your property when you harvested it and you were on your property. Who's to say that bird would have ever crossed the property line? You were absolutely in the rite and should continue hunting your property how you see fit.
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    xbokilla, BucksnBeards3, gung and 3 others like this.
  8. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    If if didn't get between the other hunter I don't see a problem. Sounds like to me the turkey chose u over him. That's not unethical at all to me. I've had that same scenario happen where I took the bird or my neighbor took the bird. Same guy. I didn't feel bad when the turkey went to him and like wise with him when I killed it.
  9. basshunter9239

    basshunter9239 6 pointer

    Dec 3, 2009
    May the best caller win!
    Jay Blankenship likes this.
  10. Jay Blankenship

    Jay Blankenship 6 pointer

    Mar 22, 2018
    this is hunting.........you were nowhere near being in the wrong in any shape or fashion.......its called hunting, wild free roaming game.......it didn't have a leg band such as an angus beef with a tag in its ear identifying a persons belongings......the hunt was safe legal and congrats on your bird!!!! nothing to hold your head about that.....the way this other hunter has acted towards you and your family members I would say it would be a safe bet that if the tide was changed this other hunter wouldn't have even considered your feelings in the matter and truth be known I could see this guy laughing about it.........again congrats on your bird and as "basshunter9239" just said before my post........may the best caller win!!!!
  11. hollandhunter

    hollandhunter 12 pointer

    Feb 11, 2008
    Holland Kentucky
    If its legal and safe light him up.
  12. hitch

    hitch 10 pointer

    Jan 16, 2008
    It's not unethical and it's a personal choice. For me it depends on whether my neighbor is decent people or an a$$hat that pushes boundaries etc.. if said neighbor is a decent person and respects me and the boundaries I'd back out. If they're a jackass I'm staying out and hoping to kill said bird.

    With that said my general approach is to back out, it's a safety thing along with respect for other hunters.
    carnivore and KY Swamp Beagler like this.
  13. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

    Jun 28, 2012
    I only went 3 times this year and all 3 times as soon as I got settled I heard someone else calling close by. Never felt bad about it because there wasn’t a turkey within a mile for either one of us to work!
  14. T-wil69

    T-wil69 10 pointer

    Jan 16, 2015
    Last year seen a bird strutting across the rd from our house where some oos hunters have leased so me and my wife got my my gobbler decoy and started reaping on our side of the rd, when that gobbler seen the decoy he came running and all you could hear was the hunters across the rd calling as loud as they could. The bird stoped in the middle of the rd to strut then came straight to us on a string my wife shot him at 10 yards, ethical? Idk. All I know is we ate turkey and mushrooms the next day. That might be the reason why I didn’t see them hunt at all this year
    bird whisperer and bondhu like this.
  15. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    I’ve always respected other hunters,good or bad ,never messed with a bird ,I thought someone else was working if I knew it.I have had people get between me and a bird coming in,either kill it or just mess me up.Getting in between is one of the best ways I know to get shot.Ive also called other hunters in to my set up.Yes I will tell them ,a fellow can get shot slipping up on a bird,some people ,(not good hunters )do get excited and could shoot too soon.Had a feller tell me he almost shot a red headed woodpecker on a log ,remember a few years back that fellow got shot ,getting a Winston ,I think ,out to smoke.So we all need to be careful ,and respectful toward other hunters,I thank.
    KY Swamp Beagler likes this.

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