Get in Close
The first thing you need to do is locate a gobbler. That means either roosting them the night before, finding them roosted first thing in the morning or finding them in their strut zones glassing. Either way, once you have found them I like to get as close to them as I can before I start calling. It makes it a lot easier to convince a longbeard to commit and come to your calls if you are nearby.
The biggest key to success while turkey hunting is always being mobile. One of the best assets I have in the turkey woods is a good turkey pack. It allows you to set up in seconds with or without a tree while being comfortable and in great shooting position. If you are set up on a tom but they are being stubborn. Don’t be afraid to be quiet for 15-20 minutes and then make a move on them to get closer, or just to add some movement to your call. Even if you move away from the turkey you can still add that movement and end up pulling those stubborn birds in for a shot. If you can’t get that turkey to commit that day, leave them be and don’t push them too much. If you have the luxury of hunting a large tract of land or other property, let that turkey be and go try and find another one that is more active and use that bird as an option another day when he’s feeling more aggressive or possibly not hen’d up.
Don’t Over Call
Once you get the longbeard to start responding to your calls and you hear him getting closer, ease up on your calling. The worst thing you can do is over call. The turkey will be much more likely to hang up out of range and make you (the hen) come to him. Once I know the tom is committed to coming I quit calling, even when he continues to gobble I will rarely call back to make him come looking.
Enjoy the Moment
Once the longbeard is in your effective range, then it’s time to hit him hard with the calls if you can. There is nothing I love more than to get a turkey hammering at 10-20 yards in your face. As long as he’s being calm I like to sit back and enjoy the show they put on. Once you can’t take it any more its time to click the safety off or clip on your release, take aim and take him!
I hope that this quick read will help you this turkey season!
– Minnesota Land Specialist Lucas Mestad