Going to school to hunt smart turkeys

Flextone Thunder Chicken 1/4 strut decoy is a great decoy for pulling in turkeys.

  • Flextone Thunder Chicken 1/4 strut decoy is a great decoy for pulling in turkeys.

With turkey populations at an all time high and also turkey hunter populations at a high, pressure on turkeys is through the roof. With that said, it is imperative that we hunt these turkeys different and with care.

We all can admit to love hearing longbeards gobbling their heads off and working a gobbler with aggressive calling. The thing is, with more hunters hunting theses birds and using similar calling techniques – such as the yelp – the turkeys become educated and call shy. Not all people realize that we can educate turkeys if you screw up a hunt, and if you screw up your calling the birds get more reluctant about coming into any calls. So as hunters, we have to hunt smarter and think out of the box.

One thing you can do is be much less aggressive with your calling. The turkeys have heard plenty of yelps thrown at them.  Try more clucking and purring. Scratch the leaves to imitate a feeding hen. The pressured birds will be more willing to commit if they aren’t hearing the same thing over and over. Some of the mature toms will leave if they are called to with loud cutting and yelping.

Another trick is to use a full or quarter strut jake or tom decoy. This works especially when you are trying to pull in a gobbler from a field or if he’s hung up out of gun range; if he sees another tom or jake around his hens, he isn’t going to be too happy. Just make some soft yelps or even better use a gobbler call. Turkeys are extremely territorial.

Flextone Thunder Chicken 1/4 strut decoy is a great decoy for pulling in turkeys.

Flextone Thunder Chicken 1/4 strut decoy is a great decoy for pulling in turkeys.

When you have a turkey that’s hung up out of gun range, he probably wants the hen to come to him. When this happens you can try moving back away from the bird, he will more than likely come in closer to make sue that hen doesn’t get away from him and present you a shot. You could also choose to go towards the bird; this is a lot harder to do unless you have good cover or a hill in-between you and the gobbler.

If you feel comfortable with your calling, try using a fighting purr. Make this sound as realistic as you can; scratch the leaves and hit some branches. If you know there is a gobbler out there he will more than likely come in to investigate the ruckus. Before you try this technique, make sure you actually know how to imitate a fight. Don’t educate the turkeys anymore than they already have been.

These are just a few tips and tricks to help you kill that big gobbler that’s been skunking you since day one.

College Turkey Hunting 

For the serious student turkey hunters out there, now you can find a college in prime turkey hunting country and learn how to kill your turkey with minimal time invested to fit your school schedule.

See the story here: http://www.realtree.com/turkey-hunting/articles/the-college-students-guide-to-turkey-hunting

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