Monday, January 31, 2011
10:24 AM | Posted by Jon Ballard | Edit Post
Here are some turkey hunting tips and tactics by the old pros. This "insider info" comes with experience, and only from hunters who have been through the trials and tribulations of turkey hunting for many years.
Traditionally, turkey hunters get up very early in the morning - -like "before dawn," and head out to their pre-scouted spot or area to set up their decoys and calls, hoping to get a turkey to come in directly from their nighttime roost. This is all fine and dandy and works a lot of the time, but not all hunts are successful, and you need to step it up a bit, and start trying some different things to make the turkeys come in to your set up.
One thing that experienced turkey hunters do is "run and gun." They'll grab their shotgun, one hen decoy, their calls, and start working their way through the woods, QUIETLY (remember turkeys are very wary, and have keen hearing). Every two hundred yards or so of trekking, and they'll stop, and do a series of calls . If there's no response, they'll move again. But, if they do get a response, they'll set out their one hen decoy, approximately 20 yards from where they have set up, making sure the decoy is set between the hunter and the direction of the gobbling. The hunter will continue a series of calls, until the bird is seen, OR, the hunter knows for sure that he's coming in. And if the bird doesn't come in, or the hunter hears nothing, he/she moves on until a "hot" bird, or even one who's "lethargic" comes in. Don't forget there are lots of "lethargic" birds who are just ambling through the woods, and will come in, if there's an attractant. These birds just aren't real "hot" at any given moment, but that doesn't mean you can't get one.
Let's assume that you've not gotten a return call, but you know there's a bird out there. Maybe he's hung up (real wary and won't come in). A little trick that works is based on the fact that that bird knows EXACTLY where your call came from, and it's used to hearing that call, and may still be interested - -especially a "lethargic" bird. What you should do is cup your hand over the call, turn your head and walk directly AWAY from the gobbling bird. This tells your quarry, that whoever made that call is still calling and moving away. This trick makes the gobbler think that the calling hen is moving away from him, and that quickly piques his interest. You see, usually turkeys while being hunted learn to recognize that hunters are trying to close the distance, and move in. If you do the very opposite, that tells the gobbler that it's not a hunter, because the call is moving away, not closer, so it must be a hen, and he says to himself, "I'd better get after her, or I'm going to lose her." Hunters who use this tactic, normally employ it towards the end of the season, as the toms are most wary at this point, having been hunted hard for a long period.
Another good ploy is to mix up your calls. Use a mouth call, a box call, a slate call – whatever variety you can muster. Give the tom an idea that there are MULTIPLE hens out there, and there's security in numbers. So he's going to feel safe, and content to move right in to the flock, he perceives is there.
Remember - -do your normal regimen first, but if that doesn't work, definitely try these suggested "old timer" methods. They really do work, and can make the difference between your family having turkey or Spam for dinner.
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