Author’s note: Chris Kirby, the president of Quaker Boy Calls (http://www.quakerboy.com), has won every major turkey calling championship in the nation including the U.S. Open, the World-National, and Grand National Turkey Calling Championship. He is also the creator of the Mossy Oak Turkey THUGS (www.mossyoak.com) line of calls.
If you’re hunting turkeys on a farm or a ranch in spring, sooner or later you’ll be on one side of a fence and the gobbler you’re trying to take will be on the other side. Normally, you’d go across the fence if you had permission to hunt the land on the other side of the fence, but the turkey might be so close that if you try to go over or under the fence, the turkey might hear you. If you can get on the same side of the fence as the gobbler, you’ll have a better chance to take him. You want to give the turkey a chance to come to you as easily as possible.
If you’ve got permission to hunt both sides of the fence, but the turkey is too close for you to move, your best chance of taking this gobbler is to take a stand close enough to the fence to shoot across it. The gobbler probably will come to the fence and begin to strut and drum to get the hen he’s heard to come under or over the fence to him. Once that bird gets to within gun range, shoot him and then solve the problem of the fence.
There’s another way I sometimes get turkeys across a fence when I either don’t have permission to hunt on the other side, or I can’t crawl under the fence without the turkey hearing or seeing me. If I’m buddy hunting, I’ll leave my shooter sitting within 50 yards of the fence, back away from my hunter and start calling to the gobbler like a hen that’s walking away. I’ll give some exciting cuts and yelps to sound like a really exciting hen that’s leaving that ole proud gobbler. Often he’ll fly over the fence. Turkeys go over and under fences all day long, especially in cattle country. If you’re hunting in a place full of fences, the turkeys have to negotiate the wire several times a day anyway. So, you may can get a turkey to fly across a fence or walk under it, but the situation dictates the best tactic to use.
Image courtesy John Phillips