John's Journal...


More on Mid-Morning Gobblers

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: You’ll find several tactics and situations highly productive for mid-morning gobbler hunting. Let’s look at some.

If You Find A Gobbler with Hens:
If you've called to a gobbler and heard a hen calling also, even though he may gobble to you every time you call to him, more than likely you'll find that tom henned-up. After cutting and cackling and trying to call either the gobbler or the hen to you, but failing to do so, then quietly slip out of the area. Before you leave, use your GPS receiver to mark the spot as a waypoint to enable you to find your way back. Later in the morning after you've attempted to take another turkey, come back to that same site, and start cutting and cackling with the same call you've used in the morning. Often by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m., Click to enlargeespecially late in the season, hens will leave their gobbler. Then that turkey will come back looking for that aggressive hen he's heard calling to him earlier in the morning.

When You Chase a Gobbler Too Far:
Often a tom not with a hen will walk away from you as you call to him. Although you may circle the bird, change up your calling, and use every trick you know, the bird still will keep going away from you until he finally shuts up. With your GPS receiver, mark the spot where you've last called to the bird. Then leave that section of the woods, and go hunt another turkey. Later in the morning, slip back quietly as possible to that last spot where you've called to the turkey. Sit down, give some soft yelps, and take a nap if you don't hear the bird gobbling. Often a mature gobbler that has experienced plenty of hunter pressure will return to the spot where he's last heard a hen when he thinks all the hunters have left the woods. Expect this gobbler to come in either drumming or totally Click to enlargesilent. Because this turkey looks for a hunter as well as a hen, he'll likely come in hush-mouthed if he returns to you. You'll find patience your biggest ally. In states that permit the use of decoys, set out a decoy before you start calling. If a tom turkey can see what he believes to be a hen in the area where he's heard hens calling, he'll come to you more willingly.

When Birds Don't Gobble, Continue to Hunt:
Many times turkeys won't go as far or move as much as you think they will. At about 8:00 or 9:00 a.m., most gobbling turkeys have quit gobbling. I believe gobbling must take a lot of energy, just like singing does. Perhaps turkeys that have gobbled and bred all morning simply will take a break, be quiet and loaf. Let's face the fact that breeding's hard work for an ole gobbler. Although a turkey will remain in the same area where he's gobbled, he'll stay quiet in the middle of the day. Follow the same lead: quit calling for 45 minutes to an hour, stay in place, and take a nap or sit still. About Click to enlargeevery 45 minutes, give a few short soft yelps, and go back to sleep. Usually, the turkey will start gobbling on his own around 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. When he does, just continue to give a few short, soft yelps to let the gobbler know you haven't gone anywhere. If that tom knows a hen has stayed in his area that hasn't come to him, he'll often go to her to investigate. Then you'll have the opportunity to take the shot.



Check back each day this week for more about BRUNCH-TIME GOBBLERS

Day 1: Middle-of-the-Road Gobbler
Day 2: Mid-Morning Gobbler Tactics
Day 3: More on Mid-Morning Gobblers
Day 4: You Can Outlast Toms
Day 5: Bird Dog Turkeys with David Hale



Entry 295, Day 3