Getting Tight to Turkeys

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Published on: May. 19, 2010

Turkey Display

come to him. Sparse calling typically works best in spring. Get a tom to answer you, then go silent and wait for the tom to come looking for “the hen” he heard.

Turkeys use clucks to check the location of other turkeys, maybe more so than any other call. If you cluck, and a turkey answers back, that may be all the calling you need. Turkeys have phenomenal abilities to pinpoint the location of sounds. One cluck, under good hearing conditions, will let a turkey know where you are.

A good rule of thumb for calling turkeys in the fall, if no turkeys are calling, is to start with soft clucks and purrs. If these get no answer, increase volume and use other calls to get a response.

If you have scattered a flock in the fall, and turkeys are calling frequently to reassemble, imitate their calling pattern by calling frequently.

Sit Still

Sitting still seems easy, but some hunters have a hard time understanding exactly how still they have to be. While sitting, don’t turn your head, don’t scratch an ear, don’t raise your hand. When a turkey is in view, you can move nothing.

Only move when the turkey can’t see you. Let’s say you see a gobbler standing nearby, but he’s wary and slowly walking away from you. If the tom steps behind a tree, make a quick move and be ready to shoot when he steps out. If there’s no obstacle to cover your move, let the turkey win. You might manage a shot, but the chances of crippling the bird and losing it are too great.

If you are calling a tom and he is gobbling back but moving away, you may need to circle around and try to get in front of the bird. Use foliage and the terrain, such as hills and draws, to screen your movements from the turkey.

Anytime you are up and moving during a turkey hunt, wear hunter orange for safety. Put a hunter orange cap or vest on and make your move.

Hunt Often

Your goal is to get a turkey to approach close so you can tag it with a clean shot. The best way to improve your odds of tagging a turkey is to hunt often. Even if a hunt lasts only 45 minutes or so before or after work, you’ve still improved your chances. Each outing also improves your knowledge about turkeys and your turkey hunting skills.

You’ll gain other benefits, too. You’ll create fine memories of beautiful days afield, you’ll see wildlife and beautiful sunrises, you’ll have stories to share with friends and family, and you’ll experience that special sense of relaxation that comes over everyone who spends time hunting in the woods.

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