John's Journal...


Late-Season Hunting

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Have you ever scouted for turkeys before the season on public lands and heard plenty of toms talking to the timber, but then when you've returned to those same woods two weeks after turkey season opens, you don't hear a sound? This week we'll look at the best Click to enlargeways to hunt high-pressured, public-land gobblers, especially the ones that become silent.

Mitchell Marks, an avid turkey hunter and wildlife biologist from Alabama, doesn't enter the woods until 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. during the late season. By that time 99% of the hunters already have left the woods, and only a portion of those 1% of hunters left will hunt in thick cover.Click to enlarge "The secret to hunting thick cover in the late season is to call a little and wait a lot," Marks states. "Once I determine that a turkey's holding in thick cover, I'll try to find a clear area inside that cover where I can spot a gobbler before he sees me. When I find a spot like this, I'll sit down and begin to use soft clucks, purrs and a few soft yelps. I'll wait 30 to 45 minutes before I'll call a second time.

Click to enlarge"I'll have my gun on my knee and be prepared to shoot at
any time, because if turkey steps into that opening, he won't
stay there long. If you're not ready for the shot, the bird
will see you before you see him. I'll rarely have an
opportunity for a shot at more than 10 to 12 yards, and many
times the shot is even closer."


Check back each day this week for more about HUNTING HIGH-PRESSURED PUBLIC-LAND GOBBLERS

Day 1 - Toms That Vanish
Day 2 - Proof of a Theory
Day 3 - Techniques for Hunting Silent Gobblers
Day 4 - Late-Season Hunting
Day 5 - A Warning to the Silent Gobbler Turkey Hunter


Entry 290, Day 4