Fall Turkey Hunting
Fall turkey hunting (archery and firearms) is very different from the spring hunt. During the fall, there is little or no gobbling activity, and gobblers flock together in small groups of three to 10 birds, while hens and young of the year gather in large flocks of 10 to 20 birds. It is not unusual to find two to three hens together with all their young.
The basic strategy for fall turkey hunting is to find and break up a flock, scattering them in all directions. Then locate yourself as near as possible to the spot where you broke up the flock and wait 15 minutes. Gobblers can be called back by using clucks and coarse yelps. Hens and young birds can be called back using hen yelps and/or "kee-kee" run calls. Young birds usually will return within an hour, while an old gobbler may take three to four hours. Hens and their young tend to vocalize a lot as they return. Old gobblers tend to return silently.
Make Your Walk-Out Safe — Wrap Your Bird in Orange
Fall turkey hunting can be great fun. The sounds and sight of 20 or 30 turkeys returning to you from all directions can be as exciting as calling in a spring gobbler. However, the fall firearms turkey season has the potential to be more dangerous than the spring because either sex may be hunted. Therefore, hunters take less care with positive identification. Remember to follow the basic rules of safe turkey hunting.
An orange alert band, wrapped around the bird to keep its wings from flopping, helps make your walk out safer. If you don't want to make or purchase an alert band, try using an orange hunting vest. A little precaution may keep your bird from being shot a second time — and you with it!