Well how do we accomplish one of the hardest feats in our hunting endeavors, killing an old wise long bearded gobbler with eyes like motion sensors and a sixth, seventh or even some claim an eighth sense that tells him something's up?!
Well start by taking the very first bit of hunting advice you ever got- and if youre anything like me it came in the form of a harsh sit still!â That may be the very best basic advice one can be given to give the hunter the best chance at tagging a bird. Turkey's eyes are located in such a way that they can nearly see 180 degrees. That's a full circle around themâ. Next you need to blend in to your environment. Have a solid thick backstop behind you, you never want to have any part of yourself or gun silhouetted that maximizes its ability to be seen when moved your ideal back drop would be a solid tree wide enough to lean against and stick out past you shoulders a foot or so on either side and a thick brush, background behind you or even the sun. But before this is all done you have to know that there are even birds in the area. Just because you seen turkeys there all deer season doesn't mean they are there in the spring, Rio Grande turkeys can range out to 5-10 miles from where they wintered, Eastern do less movement but some does occur, I assume the rest of the subspecies this would apply to as well. So you scouted out your birds the weeks in advance of your hunt right? I hope so, there is not much fun in going turkey hunting where there simply aren't any turkeys I think that's what people call nature watching.
Once youre confident in your area and set up correctly, decoy placement comes next. To accomplish the correct decoy placement consider the part of the breeding season you are in. If the toms are locked up with hens; a single Jake with a multiple hens set up in a highly visible area is usual what it takes to get the boss tom's attention. If that doesn't work, but you know youre on the dominate bird go to a full strut tom or Jake decoy with just one hen. The dominate gobbler usually cannot stand the idea of a lesser bird breeding his ladies. He should come running in with only seeing the decoy. My cousin and hunting buddy did this a few years ago, never heard a gobble just all the sudden there were two birds flogging his decoy then once one bird met his maker he kept flogging the decoy and dead bird! And well a second shot produced another twenty plus pounds of turkey! And a total of twenty four inches of beard and almost 4 Â½ inches of spurs between the two birds! Sometime luckwill fall on your side instead of those feathered dinners.
Its almost all about timeing when it comes to calling and decoy placement. You have to know the mood of the birds almost be in their heads and know what is going on in that red, white and blue bubble your gonna be aiming at. Over pressured birds do not need to be called to over and over if they didn't respond , they probably arent going to. If one morning you use a slate call and get skunked switch to a diaphram, box or any other type of call you have maybe just another type of slate, there have been times that just switching from a glass slate to alluminum or ture slate is all it takes to crank up the gobbleâ in that bird your after.the same goes for locater calls for finding the roost, if he hears the same poorly done Owl hoot for a few days its not gonna turn him on, switch to a crow, peacock or coyote call I have even used an old goose call a few times. Once he is suspisious of the voice of something or someone he's not gonna come check her out so change sounds how ever you can. If you find your self in a position where the bird hangs up just out of range and wont budge be smooth a subtle and face the call away from the bird to sound as if you are walking away from him or better yet have another caller set up behind you ready to call when needed. You can also rake your hands through the leaves to sound like a scratching hen,Jake or Tom - that he cant see that may make him take that extra five steps. What ever you do be ready every second you are hunting I cant count the number of times a bird just appeared silently out of nowhere and all the sudden was with in range. So keep your gun sholdered and ready for a quick shot anytime your in the turkey woods and hunting. You never know when your own perfectâbird may peak over a log or step into you decoy set up. Sometimes its just like that. Good luck hunting guys and remember that those three and half inch shells aren't cheap so aim true.!
Rusty Fassino with a double on birds that came in silent and beat up his full strut decoy straight out of the box!