John's Journal...


Tough Last-Minute Gobblers

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: This week Mark Drury, award-winning turkey caller, the creator of MAD Calls, avid hunter and outdoorsman and co-owner and developer of Drury Outdoor Videos, will teach you the secrets for hunting last-minute gobblers. Hopefully this season you won't lose your job, your wife or your sanity when you hunt turkeys.

Last season I was hunting with an outdoor writer from Alabama, John Phillips. We'd hunted for four days and hadn't Click to enlargegotten close enough to a turkey for John to take a shot. We'd had wind, rain and every kind of bad weather that a turkey hunter can experience during that time. As we were driving back to camp for John to pack up his gear and leave, we stopped to make one final call on a ridgetop. To our surprise, two turkeys gobbled. We ran and looked over the ridge and spotted three longbeards. We were lucky in that we saw the turkeys before the turkeys spotted us. They were moving down a valley. So, we backed-up, ran across the mountaintop so the birds couldn't see us and got out in front of the turkeys in the direction they were walking. We were using the excited hen yelp as well as cutting.

Click to enlargeOur guide Chis Comstock and myself were both calling. I was in front of Chris with John, and Chris was behind us with the TV camera. So, there was separation between the two callers, which was very important for us to sound like two excited hens. We were using two different calls with different tones. Because we had separation between the two of us, we easily sounded like two different hens. We wanted to sound like two hens walking through the woods, calling back and forth to each other, to not only pull the gobblers down the valley, but up the ridge where we'd set up to take the shot. John and I were sitting in a fencerow and had cut some brush to put around us to make us look like part of the fencerow. We were wearing Mossy Oak camouflage, which made us invisible. The fence row was Click to enlargebrushy, so we felt certain that when the turkeys reached the fencerow, they would turn and come up the hill toward us. Just behind us was an open gap in the fence row which would allow the turkeys to cross over into the next field. We looked at our watches, realizing that time was getting away from us and that more than likely as soon as John squeezed the trigger and took one of those turkeys, we'd have to grab the bird, run for the truck, get John back to camp, hurriedly pack his gear and rush to the airport. As luck would have it, the three gobblers pushed the time to the limit. Just as the birds were within 30 yards, John squeezed the trigger, and we grabbed the downed bird and ran to the truck. Turkeys have a way of pushing you to the limits.

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Check back each day this week for more about SECRETS FOR LAST-MINUTE GOBBLERS WITH MARK DRURY

Day 1: What the Hens Do to Gobblers
Day 2: Tough Last-Minute Gobblers
Day 3: Why I'll Bet on Calls That Haven't Helped Me Win Turkey-Calling Contests
Day 4: What to Do When You Miss
Day 5: Don't Miss Work


Entry 291, Day 2