John's Journal...

How to Hunt Beat-Up Gobblers

Day 3: Drive 'Em Nuts Gobblers with the Late Ben Rodgers Lee

Editor’s Note: In the movie “A River Runs Through It,” we see that time passes, people are born, live and die, but the river runs through all their lives, and the fishing remains the same. The same enduring qualities that this movie portrays also are true about turkey hunting. The truth and wisdom about turkey hunting lives on long after the writers and the great turkey hunters have gone to the eternal roost tree in the sky. If you can find a mentor to teach you the wisdom of turkey hunting, that knowledge can endure for future generations to learn and enjoy. I’ve been extremely fortunate throughout 40 years of being an outdoor writer to have hunted with some of the greatest turkey hunters of their day. This week you’ll read some of the turkey-hunting wisdom of the ages from the hunters who are on the cutting edge of the great wild turkey’s reintroduction throughout the country. These men have lived in the glory days when turkey hunting was tough, and the people who hunted them were just as tough. The knowledge they’ve acquired has come from the hundreds of turkeys that each of them has hunted and guided hunters to in the springtime.

Click for Larger ViewThis technique works extremely well on a turkey that gobbles and walks away from you, a tom that won't fly down until he sees his hens, or a turkey that becomes silent as soon as you start calling to him. Include a friend on your hunt to take this kind of bird. Once you know the location of this gobbler, leave your hunting buddy within calling range of the turkey. Take-off through the woods, and get on the opposite side of the gobbler. Once you’ve set-up with a big tree at your back, cut and cackle loudly and aggressively to the turkey. As soon as your buddy hears you cutting and cackling, he needs to call back to you with aggressive cuts and cackles. Click for Larger ViewThe two of you want to sound like two aggressive hens, both trying to get that gobbler to come to them. That longbeard’s in a real dilemma. He's got to decide which girl he wants to go to first. After you and your friend have cut and cackled through several series of calls, next the both of you need to remain totally silent for about 10 minutes. Expect the gobbler to come in to where one of you is set-up without the tom making a sound. But if he doesn't come in, both of you can start-off with some soft calling to answer each other. And, with every series of calls, call louder and more aggressively, until you once again cut and cackle at each other. Next quit calling for 15 to 20 minutes. Using this tactic, you'll drive that ole gobbler nuts, and more than likely, one of you will kill that turkey. But also generally, that bird won't come in gobbling and strutting.

Tomorrow: Hunting High Noon Gobblers and Beat Up Toms with the Late Ben Rodgers Lee

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Hunt Beat-Up Gobblers "

Day 1: The Late Ben Rodgers Lee on How to Take Overhunted Turkeys
Day 2: Why Ben Rodgers Lee Thought You Should Nap on Gobblers
Day 3: Drive 'Em Nuts Gobblers with the Late Ben Rodgers Lee
Day 4: Hunting High Noon Gobblers and Beat Up Toms with the Late Ben Rodgers Lee
Day 5: Hung-Up Turkeys with Larry Norton

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Entry 612, Day 3