Turkey Hunting Tips

From Advantage Camo

Call Shy Capers — Tom Miranda

Turkey hunters are quick to blame lack of success on "call-shy" gobblers. Gobblers already with hens and gobbling jakes that lack the nerve to make a final approach mimic truly call-shy birds. Unless you see them you never know.

Nevertheless, the modern increase in turkey hunting pressure does create extremely wary, call-shy gobblers. The best tactic is a complete change up. Move into your hunting area by different paths, or better yet, no path at all. Don't always hoot or call from the same places. Switch to call types that aren't popular in your area.

As to calling style, the best general advice is to back off and tone down. Don't use bold, loud and aggressive calls — that's what they gobblers have been hearing all season. Many old-timers merely cluck not too loudly and not too often.

A gobbler that has survived into the latter part of turkey season is no dummy. To hunt him successfully, you have to be just as cautious as his is.

Blinds and Decoys — Bill Jordan

The proper use of blinds and decoys will certainly help any turkey hunter but because I bowhunt for gobblers so much, I find them almost indispensable. It's hard to be too well camouflaged or to have too much "attraction" working for you when hunting wary old gobblers.

A good blind hides you but doesn't hinder you. Natural brush blinds are O.K. but they limit your ability to move if necessary, and they take time to build, which creates some disturbance in the area. The best turkey blinds are those with camouflage netting and a few stakes. These are lightweight, very portable and quick and quiet to set up and take down.

A turkey decoy will surely attract a gobbler, including those that can see the decoy but may be out of calling range. However, for a bowhunter, they give the gobbler something to focus on while the bow is being drawn. They do a similar good job for the gun hunter who gets caught with his gun down.

How Far Is The Gobbler? — Bill Jordan

Being able to judge the distance to a gobbler is important. For your initial approach you need to get close enough to call effectively but not so close as to spook the bird.

Judging gobbler distance is tricky. Simply the way the turkey is facing on a limb can make a big difference. A gobbler facing in your direction sounds much closer than one facing away. When the gobbler flies down, his gobbles are a bit muted. This has caused many turkey hunters to charge in and spook a bird they think is much farther away then he really is. As more foliage grows on trees and bushes, it also mutes and distorts the sound of the gobbler, making him sound farther away, both on the limb and on the ground.

Use caution when going to a gobbler and err on the side of setting up too far. Turkeys can hear amazingly well and successful turkey hunters are always heard and not seen.

| WH Home | Contact Western Hunter.com | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2000 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.