John's Journal...


Bird Dog Turkeys with David Hale

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: I first hunted with David Hale about 25-years ago. Although I had the same shoe size I have now, I had a waist about three-sizes smaller and lots more hair. Both of us young men had just started our careers in the outdoors, and both of us wanted to take a turkey. Although we worked hard all morning to try and bag a gobbler, the bird we'd picked chose a flock of hens to move through the woods with, rather than coming to our calling. But I learned right away that I couldn't tag David Hale a quickClick to enlarge quitter. I found out that he'd hunt turkeys from before daylight until the falling of darkness or the law made him stop.

According to David Hale, “If you hunt public land, you can let other sportsmen bird-dog mid-morning gobblers for you. As you drive into your hunting area before daylight, notice the places where you see two or three cars already parked on the side of the road. If you see more than one car parked in an area, Click to enlargethen you usually know there's more than one gobbler in that region. Make a mental note, or use a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to mark the spot where you see other hunters parked. Then get as far away from those other hunters as you can to try to locate a tom they haven't heard. If you fail to get a gobbler early in the morning, go back to one of the places where you've seen other hunters parked. If their vehicles are gone, park where they've parked. Then go into the woods where they've been.

Click to enlargeSince most public-land hunters will be out of the woods by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m., you can go right into the same spot where they've been hunting. More than likely, they've spooked, shot at and missed or in some way scattered the turkeys in that region. If you'll go into some of the same parts of the property where they've hunted and begin to call, often you can call up the turkeys they've spooked. I believe the easiest turkeys to take are the gobblers you hunt at mid-morning on public-hunting land.


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 5