Missouri's October Turkey Season

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2008

Last revision: Dec. 9, 2010

so, getting close enough for a good scatter without being seen by any of those sharp turkey eyes is not only tough and challenging, it can be impossible.

Sometimes hope is your best tactic. For example, if you spot a flock of turkeys in the middle of a large harvested grain field and there are no terrain features that will hide your approach, you just have to wait and hope the flock moves toward the edge of the field, where you can scatter them.


The action that follows successfully scattering a fall flock of turkeys can be as thrilling as having a spring tom gobbling, strutting and drumming as it works into your calls. Let’s say you scatter a large flock, and the hens and their young fly off in all directions—which is already pretty exciting.

You immediately sit down, and within 30 minutes the forest comes alive with the “kee-kees” of young birds. You call, get an immediate answer and face the bird with your gun on your knee. Then another turkey calls directly behind you. Which bird will work in first? Who knows?

You remain facing the first bird, and the one behind you comes in. You can’t see it, but its calls and the crunch of leaves lets you know it’s within shotgun range. You’re not facing the right way, however. You feel your heart beating in your neck as the bird gets closer and closer.

Finally, craning your eyes to the left as far as possible, you see the turkey standing five yards away, neck stretched and wary. Even though you haven’t moved, and are in camo head to toe, the turkey sees you as something out of place and walks off.

Then an old hen in the bunch starts yelping as does another one. The young birds that were responding to your calls now respond to the hens. The hens gather up their brood and the woods falls silent. You peel off your face mask and just shake your head. That doesn’t sound like target practice to me.

Reading articles can make you a better turkey hunter, but you have to be able to successfully apply what you read. In others words, get out and hunt. There’s no substitute for experience.

Fall is the perfect time to gain experience. This is one of the special joys of fall turkey season. October offers crisp mornings and pleasant midday temperatures. Hardwoods flush with brilliant oranges;

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