Masters' Secrets of Turkey Hunting
The key to taking a gobbler is not your calling ability, your camo, the power of your shotgun or the number of turkeys on the property. To bag the toughest toms, you must know what a turkey is going to do before he does it.
One of the greatest turkey hunters who ever lived was "Uncle Roy" Moorer of Evergreen, Alabama. When I met Uncle Roy many years ago before he passed away, he gave me the secret to bagging even the toughest of toms. "All you've got to do to take any turkey, no matter how tough he is to hunt, is know where that turkey wants to go, get there before he does and let him come to you."
Uncle Roy's nephew told me, "The reason Uncle Roy has been able to bag over 500-turkeys in his lifetime is because he's always known what a turkey is going to do before the bird knows."
To take tough toms, you've got to understand the mind of the turkey.
Preston Pittman not only can think and talk like a turkey, most sportsmen who know him agree he even looks like a turkey. The president of Pittman Game Calls, Pittman has developed three tactics for pulling in henned-up gobblers.
"The one technique that is talked about more than any other when you're attempting to take a tom with hens is to call aggressively by yelping, cutting and cackling loudly to the hen to try and get the dominant hen to pull the rest of the hens and the gobbler in the flock to you," Pittman says. "However aggressively that hen calls to me, I'll call more aggressively and louder back to her.
"Another method is just the opposite of aggressive calling but seems to work better when you're hunting an area where the turkeys have had a lot of pressure. When I know a gobbler is with hens in a high pressure region, I'll often give what I call sweet talk, which is very calm, quiet purring and soft yelping. Too, I'll scratch in the leaves with my hand. I'm trying to tell the dominant hen and the other turkeys in the flock with the gobbler that another hen is in the area, the feed is good and the region is safe and secure. I'm asking them why don't they come over and socialize. Turkeys are basically social birds. Many times letting a tom with hens know you're in a place can be much more effective in luring him to you than aggressively calling to the hen.