John's Journal...

15 Yards or Less 50 Yards or More: The Toughest Ranges for Turkeys

When You Play With the Gobbler

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Knowing your distance from theturkey when you prepare to take the shot and resisting the urge to shoot when the bird is too close or too far away drastically Click to enlargewill increase your odds for taking a tom each time you hunt. This week, we’ll see how 15 yards or less and 50 yards or more are the toughest ranges for taking toms.

I went through a phase in my more than 30 years of turkey hunting when I liked to see how close I could get the gobbler to come to me before I took him. I had gobblers that almost stepped on my boots before I squeezed the trigger. However, I’ve learned in recent years not to play with turkeys. When you get a gobbler within 15 yards or less, odds heavily favor his seeing or hearing you move or becoming disinterested and leaving without your getting a shot. Remember, you’re in the location where he expects to find his hen. When he comes in and sees no hen, he immediately goes on alert for a predator.

I believe turkeys realize that when hens callin the spring, they’ll alsoClick to enlarge call in foxes, bobcats and coyotes as well as gobblers. When a tom comes to where he thinks a hen has called from and doesn’t see a hen, then all his senses go on red alert. Anything he can see or hear that isn’t a hen will frighten him. As my friend, World Click to enlargeChampion turkey caller Eddie Salter of Evergreen, Alabama, once told me, “Don’t play with turkeys. When the bird comes into your killing zone and presents the shot, take it. Don’t wait for a better, closer shot, because more than likely you won’t get it.”

Tomorrow: What Happens When You Take Long Shots

Check back each day this week for more about "15 Yards or Less 50 Yards or More: The Toughest Ranges for Turkeys"

Day 1: That Turkey Out-Quicked Me
Day 2: What Happens Up Close
Day 3: Why the Up-Close and Personal Shots Are the Easiest to Miss
Day 4: When You Play With the Gobbler
Day 5: What Happens When You Take Long Shots


Entry 500, Day 4