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Published on: Mar. 23, 2011

Use binoculars and spend time glassing fields. Sometimes a tom may be just out of sight in a dip in the field. Even when you are on the move, patience is still part of turkey hunting. Your goal, if you can’t get turkeys to gobble, is to see them before they see you—a tough proposition.

Once you spot a tom in an open field, set up and call. If the tom pays no attention, watch his movements. He may head in a direction that allows you to move ahead of him and set up to ambush. Though this isn’t calling turkeys, it takes skill to move into position to intercept a tom that is not gobbling or responding to calls.

If the area you are hunting is expansive timber, hundreds or thousands of acres of woods (as found in the Mark Twain National Forest in the Missouri Ozarks), a mix of walk-and-call and sit-and-wait works best. Big timber in the Missouri Ozarks consists of ridges separated by draws or hollows of various sizes. An effective way to hunt this terrain when toms aren’t gobbling is to walk logging roads and stop at the top of ridges that lead to a draw. Here you set up and call. If nothing answers, sit for 45 minutes to an hour, call every 10 or 15 minutes, and listen carefully for a tom to approach. If the leaves are dry, and there’s little to no breeze, you can often hear a tom’s footsteps in the leaves more than 50 yards away. If no tom approaches, move over to the next ridge and draw and repeat the process. In a morning, using this system, you can cover more than a square mile of woods depending on the size of the draws you are calling into.

Do the turkey hunting tips in this article sound like work? They do—and they are. But when, after you’ve sat for five hours, a tom materializes in your decoy spread in full strut, or when, after your fifth set-up in the big timber, a tom sticks his head up over the lip of a ridge 25 yards out, you’ll find the effort all worthwhile.

Scenario 1—Hunting Farms in Close Proximity

If you have permission to hunt farms in close proximity, walking and calling in an attempt to make turkeys gobble may be the way to go. This approach also works well if you haven't scouted

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