Gobbler Game Plans
that he will come running into your setup. Expect spitting and drumming as he approaches.
Situation: It is the third day of Missouri’s turkey season. You have watched a small flock of turkeys with one adult gobbler fly down in the middle of a 10-acre field each day and spend the majority of the day feeding and loafing. Your calling attempts have not worked. What techniques can be used to harvest this bird?
Technique: Try using a pop-up hunting blind. Put the blind in the general location that the gobbler has been landing, stake out a few turkey decoys, and settle in. Make sure to arrive well before first light. Try soft calling just to let the flock know you are interested in company.
Insight: Field birds with hens can be very difficult to call in. Scouting to determine the habits of the flock can pay big dividends when dealing with this type of turkey. If the gobbler doesn’t come in immediately after fly-down, don’t fret. Often, the hens will leave him later in the morning, leaving him lonely. Be prepared for the gobbler to return to your setup.
Situation: It is the second week of spring turkey season, and you are attempting to harvest your second bird for the season. Thunderstorms from the night before have the woods quiet on this morning. Off in the distance you hear one gobble. The heavy foliage allows you to approach within 150 yards; the bird gobbles one more time on the roost before you hear him fly down. Your calls go unanswered. It is now 7 a.m. and you haven’t heard the bird since 5:50 a.m. What to do?
Technique: Avoid over-calling on mornings that you hear little or no gobbling. In addition, avoid the temptation to walk the farm calling every 15 minutes hoping to hear a gobbler. Instead, rely on scouting trips prior to the season and return to known turkey hangouts. Stake out a few decoys, make some soft calls every 15–20 minutes, and stay alert; don’t be surprised if a gobbler shows up unannounced.
Insight: Weather can have a huge impact on the mood of turkeys, which can also impact the amount of gobbling that turkeys will do during weather-change events. During slow or undesirable conditions, respond with conservative tactics to increase your chance of success.
Situation: It is the last day