Gobbler Game Plans
Insight: More than likely this tom has hens that are dragging him in a different direction. He is “courteous gobbling” to let you know that he is interested and he would like for you to come to him. Remember, in nature the gobbler is accustomed to the hens coming to him when he gobbles. This natural phenomenon often leaves hunters dealing with hung-up or hardheaded gobblers that refuse to come to calling.
Too Many Hens Gobbler
Situation: It is 7 a.m. on opening day of youth turkey season and you just heard a gobbler about 200 yards away in a small clover field. You are able to get within 150 yards of the field and you can see there is one gobbler strutting with two jakes and four hens. How can you lure this small flock of turkeys in?
Technique: First, determine if the flock is moving in a specific direction and set up in front of them if possible. Start with soft yelps, clucks, and purrs. If that doesn’t work, start aggressive calling to the hens and mimic exactly what they say. Calling over the dominant hen, or even cutting her off when calling, can make her come to check on the upstart hen and bring the entire flock in range. Use a variety of calls and calling devices to convince the flock there are several hens that are interested.
Insight: Hunters will often encounter gobblers with hens in small flocks in early season. If your calling attempts are unanswered, try hunting this bird on another day, or try setting up a ground blind in the area that the flock frequents. (See Clockwork Gobbler for more information).
Situation: It is 8:30 a.m. on the first Sunday of the season and you hear a turkey gobbling every few minutes. As you approach within 150 yards, it is apparent that the gobbler is strutting back and forth on a ridge. The bird appears to be gobbling at each end of his strut zone, which seems to be about 50 yards long. How do you deal with this type of turkey?
Technique: First, try getting as close to the turkey without spooking him as possible (wait for him to go to the other end of his strut zone to approach). Realize you will often bump this bird if you move too close too quickly and always keep safety a