Soft Call First:
Don’t start out with aggressive calling first thing when calling to a gobbler. Start off with soft clucks and purrs. If that doesn’t seem to work, go into some medium volume yelps. If that still doesn’t get him, try some cutting and aggressive yelping. If you call to much and too loud to start with, you might run your gobbler off, and the game is over. If you start soft, you can always work your way into the more aggressive calls.
This is the one thing that can make more of a difference than anything. If you know where a gobbler goes on his daily routine, you are way ahead. Simply get to a favored strut or feeding area before the gobbler does, and call softly. If he is coming there anyway, you will have no problem. Remember, it is easy to call a gobbler to somewhere he already wants to go.
Know Your Gun and Ammo:
Go to the pattern board and find a gun, choke and load that shoot well. Know the distance where your gun’s performance tapers off, and never shoot past it. We have an obligation to do everything within our power to make clean harvests on wild turkeys. A good pattern should be at 85-95% in a 30” circle at 40 yards.
Learn to Use Different Calls:
The more different calls and types of calls you can use, the better you will be in the turkey woods. Some days gobblers will answer a diaphragm, and the next day they will only answer a tube call. On windy days, box calls and aluminum calls cut through the wind. Also if you can use a variety of calls, you can use something different and won’t sound like everyone else hunting in your area.
Hunt During the Rain:
Turkeys have to live in the rain. Modify your tactics and hunt open fields and pastures where turkeys feel comfortable since they can depend on their eyesight instead of hearing. Portable waterproof blinds are great during the rain. You can stay dry, and wait the turkeys out.
Camo Yourself Completely:
Head to toe camo is a must when hunting sharp-eyed gobblers. Gloves, face mask and even camoed guns are helpful. Keep movement to a minimum and try to blend in to the natural surroundings. Use a good camouflage pattern such as ASAT or Predator.
Get as Close as Possible:
Sneak in as close as possible to start calling to a gobbler. If you can get in his comfort zone (75-100 yards) before you make your first call, he will probably come in. Use terrain features to help get close, but don’t crowd a bird and bump him. If you go one step too close, the game is over.
Use the Buddy System:
Hunt in teams, and let one hunter call and one shoot. The caller sits 40-70 yards behind the shooter. In this scenario the gobbler is concentrating on the caller’s position, and the pressure is taken off the shooter. Also, if a bird hangs up 60-70 yards from the calling, he will still be in easy gun range for the shooter.
Use Locator Calls:
When possible get a turkey to gobble to shock calls like crow or owl calls. You can keep up with the bird’s location without giving away your position with a hen call. When moving in on a gobbler, you don’t have to worry about him coming to your calling at the same time if you are using locator calls.
When All Else Fails, Mock a Fight:
If you have tried every tactic you know, and a gobbler is still hung up out of range, mock a turkey fight as a last ditch effort. You can use two push button calls, a slate call, a diaphragm, or a combination of any of these to make the “fighting purrs” sounds that gobblers make when they fight. If he gobbles to this tactic, get ready. Gobblers usually come in to this tactic very fast or not at all.
Patience, Patience, Patience - Probably the most overlooked skill in turkey hunting is the ability to sit still and wait out a gobbler. When you can't stand sitting anymore and you think it's time to get up and move to another hunting spot, stay put for fifteen more minutes. Patience kills more gobblers than any other factor.
Read more turkey hunting tips in: Hunting the Wild Turkey Successful
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