John's Journal...

Late-Season Gobbler Tactics

Still Hunting the Ghostbuster

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: When you hunt turkeys during the late season, you’ll have to hunt the toughest gobblers on the property. But hopefully, you’ll have a Click to enlargehistory of those turkeys. You should know what they’ve done in the past, and what you can expect them to do in the future. You have to decide on a method you haven’t used in the past to take those turkeys. You’ll have to abandon what’s considered turkey wisdom and use off-the-wall tactics to hunt these tough toms. Let’s look at some tough toms I’ve hunted, the people I’ve hunted with, and how we’ve finally taken our birds.

As we sat and watched the Ghostbuster, 20 hens came to the base of his roost tree. The Ghostbuster dropped straight down under that tree like a helicopter landing. He bred two or three hens and then began to feed with the hens under his roost tree at 9:30 am. At 10:00, Pitman explained, "Those birds under the roost tree have one of two choices. They’re either going to walk up this strip of woods toward us or down the strip of woods away from us. There’s nothing we can do to help them make that decision, and I’m not going to call to them. I now understand how the Ghostbuster has been beating us in this late season. In the morning, he waits to see the hens before he leaves the tree. So, when he’s walking througClick to enlargeh the woods, he has all his hens with him. Anytime he hears another hen (a hunter), the hens he’s with lead him away from the person who’s calling to him.

Click to enlargeWe’re not going to make that mistake and call to him. We’re just going to hope that the turkeys make a mistake." Finally, at 11:00 am, the hens started feeding in our direction. "When all the hens and the gobbler are out of sight, get your gun up," Pitman coached me. Once I got my gun up, the hens continued coming with the gobbler behind them. When the birds reached our shooting range, Pitman told me to take the shot. But the hens always managed to walk or stand in front of the Ghostbuster, and I couldn’t get off a clean shot. Eventually, the hens passed us and the ole tom walked about 20-yards away from us. "When I cluck, he’ll stick his head up, and you can take him," Pitman whispered. Pitman clucked. The Ghostbuster got a surprised look on his face and craned his neck. I squeezed the trigger, finally giving some relief to one sore behind that hadn’t moved since before daylight. So, not calling helped us take this late-season tom.

Tomorrow: The Squirrel-Tailed Gobbler

Check back each day this week for more about "Late-Season Gobbler Tactics"

Day 1: The Ghostbuster
Day 2: Still Hunting the Ghostbuster
Day 3: The Squirrel-Tailed Gobbler
Day 4: Ole Slick
Day 5: More with Ole Slick



Entry 400, Day 2