John's Journal...


A Warning to the Silent Gobbler Turkey Hunter

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 ways to hunt high-pressured, public-land gobblers, especially the ones that become silent.

Click to enlargeAlthough avid turkey hunter and wildlife biologist Mitchell Marks from Alabama has shared some insights with us this week on how to take hush-mouthed, thick-cover, late-season gobblers, he does warn that, "You have to hunt silent birds carefully. I once knew a fellow who hunted a silent gobbler all season long and didn't find out until after the season was over that someone else had bagged that gobbler during the first week of the season. That fellow Click to enlargewasn't just hunting an invisible gobbler; he was hunting the ghost of a gobbler that didn't exist."

How many times have you ...
* wondered what has happened to all those gobbling turkeys you've heard before turkey season?
* surprised a gobbler and spooked him and then he's vanished into a thicket?
These same questions have prompted Mitchell Marks to start hunting in thickets and to look for the silent gobblers
thatClick to enlarge stop talking when hunting season starts. Marks has
developed a strategy for finding and taking thick-cover gobblers. If you hunt highly-pressured birds on public lands in thick cover, remember to call a little, wait a lot, and don't expect to get off a quick shot once you hear a turkey gobble. However, you'll have the opportunity to bag older birds with longer beards and spurs. But remember, only the toughest and most-patient turkey hunters have success with this type of hunting. You can belong to that select group.

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 5