Gobbler Game Plans

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Published on: Mar. 19, 2013

priority; wear blaze orange when moving. Once in position, try soft yelps, clucks, and purrs and imitate a coy hen that simply feeding nearby. Scratch in the leaves to add realism. If the bird doesn’t budge, consider going silent for a minimum of 30 minutes try the bird later in the morning.

Insight: Gobblers will routinely strut in a strut zone to display, attract, and court hens.

Talkative Tom

Situation: It is 9 a.m. on opening morning and you have been working a tom for about 30 minutes now. He is gobbling at every sound you make but seems to be standing in the same spot. What strategies can you employ to harvest this bird?

Technique: Go silent; more times than not, if a gobbler thinks that the potential hen has left, he will come in silent to investigate. If the quiet treatment of at least 30 minutes has not worked, consider backing off and moving to a different location. Use a locator call to keep tabs on the bird as you ease to a different setup.

Insight: Often, gobblers will stand and gobble in the same spot, waiting for the hens to come to them. This is common turkey mating behavior. This bird will usually gobble incessantly after a few minutes of not hearing you respond; fight the urge to call back, playing on the psychological make-up of this bird. After applying the silent treatment, this bird will often walk in head held high, silent and cautious, looking for the hen.

Kamikaze Gobbler

Situation: It is 10 a.m. on the first Friday of turkey season and a tom starts gobbling on his own. How can you ensure you will wrap a tag around this gobbler’s leg?

Technique: Ease to within 150 yards of this gobbler or as close as possible without bumping the bird. Before you make any calls, make sure you have a found a solid setup location as this turkey will likely come in very quickly. Once you have your gun on your knee, start out with soft yelps and clucks. Be careful about moving, as this tom may be in front of you in only minutes.

Insight: This bird is what turkey hunting dreams are made of. More than likely this gobbler has had hens all morning, has lost them, and is simply trolling about looking for love. This tom will likely be so beside himself

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