John's Journal...

What to Do When a Turkey Hangs-Up

Walk Off When You Call and Circle the Bird

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You won’t take a proud, mature gobbler with conventional calling tactics. TheClick to enlargese bronze barons have attitudes. They consider themselves the finest birds any hen ever has seen. They feel so sure of their masculinity and superiority that they believe every hen in the woods will come running to them. They won’t exert any extra energy to go to a hen. You also can recognize a proud gobbler by his extreme caution. A proud gobbler will stop about 50 to 60 yards from where you call, gobble, strut and drum — but not come any closer. When a tom takes this position, most hunters say he’s hung-up. But you can take a bird that acts like this.

When a turkey consistently hangs-up on you, you may bag him, if you’ll take a friend hunting with you. If you call the bird in and he hangs-up enough away from you that he can’t see you when he turns his back, or if a hill or brush separates you and the turkey, have your partner walk away from you while calling. Often the gobbler will think the hen wants to leave him. He’ll drop his strut and come right to you. A gobbler gets his feelings hurt when he thinks a hen has heard and seen him and chooses to walk away from him, mumbling as Click to enlargeshe goes.

Try another variation on this same theme. When you hunt by yourself and stand on one side of a hill wiClick to enlargeth a gobbler on the other side of the hill, and the bird refuses to move toward you, begin to walk laterally either to the right or the left. Your action will cause the bird to break his strut and come toward you. When he does, move back to your original calling position, and wait for the tom to appear.

With a hung-up gobbler, attempt to sneak away from him when he doesn’t look your way. Circle around to the back side of the bird. Take a stand 75- to 100-yards away from the location from where the turkey has come. Change calls, and call the bird again. Since the gobbler will think another hen has come to his calling, he’ll walk back to the place from where he’s started gobbling to meet his hen — you.

Tomorrow: Give Him Your All

Check back each day this week for more about "What to Do When a Turkey Hangs-Up"

Day 1: Put One Hunter Up and One Back
Day 2: Don’t Call
Day 3: Walk Off When You Call and Circle the Bird
Day 4: Give Him Your All
Day 5: Job ‘Em



Entry 399, Day 3