There’s no tactic or strategy that always works when you’re calling wild turkeys. However, here are several scenarios that may help get a gobbler close enough for you to make the shot and take him home for dinner.
The best way to approach the use of calls is to understand that a turkey hunt is like a chess game. Although there are certain moves that the players learn to play the game, the real masters of the sport often break the rules to produce better results. Here are several standard plays in general calling situations.
Scenario One: You go into the woods a little before daylight and hear a turkey gobble. You slip into an area where you can see 30 to 40 yards in all directions and face the direction from which you expect the turkey to come. You give a soft tree call. The turkey gobbles back.
In a few minutes, you hear the turkey fly-down from the roost and gobble as he hits the ground. Now you give a few light yelps. The tom gobbles again and moves closer. In a matter of minutes, the turkey appears and walks straight toward you. Your shotgun rests on your knee and is pointed at the turkey. When the bird is at 30 yards, you squeeze the trigger. Bang! The hunt is over.
Scenario Two: You hear a tom fly-down from the roost and gobble as he hits the ground. You give a few light yelps. The tom gobbles back but doesn’t move closer. Although you cluck and yelp, the bird keeps his distance. You begin cutting to the bird. Hearing the call, the turkey comes in. Bang! The hunt has ended.
Scenario Three: The gobbler flies-down from the roost, gobbles and moves toward you. Then he stops just 50-yards away, strutting and drumming but not coming close enough for a shot. You make some soft clucks. Although the tom moves closer, he stops again at 40 yards, once more strutting, drumming and refusing to come closer. You give some light purrs that sound like a contented hen. The turkey moves closer. Bang! The hunt’s over.
Scenario Four: The gobbler flies-down and comes in but hangs-up at 50 yards. Although you try all the tactics in Scenario Three, none work. Using the mouth-diaphragm call, you direct your call to tree 10-yards behind you. The tom thinks the hen is walking-away from him and moves closer. Bang! The hunt has ended.
Scenario Five: Same situation. You use all the above tactics but none work. The gobbler is still hung up at 50 yards and refuses to move. You let the tom walk-off. When the bird is well out of sight, you circle to the right of the bird, take another stand, change calls and try again. This time the gobbler walks right in. Bang! You’ve had a successful hunt.
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