Monday, April 26, 2010

Don’t Overcall a Turkey

© By Othmar Vohringer

On my recent turkey hunting trip where I had to share the woods with an army of other hunters one thing became very obvious to me. A mistake many hunters make is to overcall. Turkeys that have experienced a lot of hunting pressure don’t call much and often don’t call at all. If you call too much and to often these birds will instantly know that something is wrong.

Another thing I often heard during that week is loud calling in the morning right at dawn. When turkeys wake up they are like you and me, they do not talk much and certainly not loud. If your setting up near a roosting tree wait until you hear the turkeys awaken and then use soft tree yelps to start things of.

If your setting up on a smart public land gobbler set up where he can’t see you until he is close enough to shoot. Use pot and box calls instead of mouth-diaphragm calls. You may have to wait for a long time for the tom to come to your calling. Public land toms often approach slowly and without making as much as a sound.

Don't pester a turkey with too-many calls. No gobbler likes a chatterbox. If a tom responds to your call, wait 15 minutes before calling again. If he responds again, that means he's on his way to you. Don't call him again, he heard you and is on its way. Give the bird time to come to you.

Many hunters are not patient enough and walk away, while the tom is quietly making his way to them. Patience will put more turkeys on the ground than world-championship calling will. But don’t stay all morning either, if a tom does not come to you within an hour try to locate his position and move ahead of him using available cover to stay out of the gobbler’s sight. On the new location, closer to the tom, set up quietly and call again.

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