John's Journal...

Late-Season Gobbler Tactics

More with Ole Slick

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: When you hunt turkeys during the late season, you’ll have to hunt the toughest gobClick to enlargeblers on the property. But hopefully, you’ll have a history 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.

That day, we reached the 3-acre field before daylight and moved into a small clump of sweet gum trees out in its middle. We spread some camouflage netting and put sticks and limbs on the outside of the netting to make the blind look as natural as possible. At daylight, Ole Slick started talking, and true to his word, Smith never called to him. When the turkey quit gobbling, Smith told me, "Get ready. He’s about to leave the limb and come toward us." In less than 2 minutes, I heard heavy wing beats and watched the big long-bearded tom known as Ole Slick drop right down at the edge of the field about 50-yards away. "When Slick’s not looking, get your gun up, becaClick to enlargeuse he’s going to walk right to us," Smith whispered to me. When I spotted that big turkey, I made a drastic transformation from a skeptic to a fervent believer. I readied for the shot. When Smith said, "Take him," with Ole Slick at 35 yards, I whispered back, "Not yet. I want to enjoy him a little while before I shoClick to enlargeot him."

The gobbler strutted and drummed and took baby steps coming to us. After what seemed like an hour, but probably only a couple of minutes had passed, the gobbler stood 20-steps away. I put the crosshairs of my scope on the base of the gobbler’s neck and squeezed the trigger. When those Winchester shells introduced themselves to Ole Slick, the hunt ended. Smith and I gave each other high-fives, and big hugs and then went out and picked up Ole Slick. As we started walking back toward the truck, I asked, "Joe, what about the song the vision told you to sing after we took Ole Slick?" Smith smiled and in a deep, rich, baritone voice, he began to sing, just like he did in the choir at his church, "Swing low, Sweet chariot, Mr. John’s come to take you home. Swing low, Sweet chariot, Mr. John has come to take Ole Slick home." To take your hard-to-hunt, late-season gobbler, you may need a vision from God.

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 5