Having a successful turkey season? Not so much? It doesn't matter what boat you’re in. There’s always a few things you can do to increase the quality of your hunt. Here’s a bag full of tips to help you get on a turkey this year.
Change up your calls.
Try using locator calls. Every turkey hunter knows how to locate a roosted or strutting tom. Locator calls make a deadly addition to a good hunter’s arsenal. A few calls that can get a response from good toms are owl hoots, crow caws, and loud and unexpected gobbles from another tom. Use owl hoots early in the morning when the sun is still tucked behind the horizon and turkeys are still on the roost. This can give you a good idea on where to start your hunt. Crow caws are best used after the sun’s come up some and the turkeys have started to move around. Using a tom gobble as a locator call can be very effective in both the active and slower parts of the day. If there’s a dominant tom lurking about then he’ll get fired up if he hears another male strutting for his hens.
When the gobbling gets rough, you should get going.
Don’t get stuck in one location. If you don’t hear anything in the morning with your locator calls, that doesn't mean there aren't any turkeys around. Try moving to another plot or stand and re-call. This could help your chances of getting that monster tom within earshot. Also, don’t be afraid to get up and move if you hear turkeys in another spot that are not being receptive to your calls. If they won’t come to you, take the hunt to them.
Don’t be afraid to look silly out in the woods.
Nobody is watching! Plus, if it looks silly but works, is it still silly? Put some grass and twigs in your hat. Tie some leaves and branches to your camouflage to break up more of your silhouette. Even if you don’t bag a turkey that day, you’ll still look cool walking back to the truck looking like Rambo. Use greens, browns, and other woods colored paint to get rid of that natural outline of your face. It could get you a few feet closer to that strutting tom.
Relax and enjoy the woods.
Don’t be so caught up in trying to bag your quarry that you take for granted being able to watch the woods wake up. See the sun rise over the trees and hear the birds start to chirp around you while the squirrels bark and rustle in the leaves. Taking in big breathes of fresh clean air and getting away from the world for a little while is another great reason to get out and hunt.
Share the experience.
Take a new hunter with you and share your passion with them! If you want to know what real camaraderie is, there's no better experience than hunting with a close friend or family member. Especially if they’re a new hunter. You get to see firsthand their face light up at the response of a tom gobbling in the distance and moving closer to your position. Show them how to use a box or slate call and let them try it themselves. The only way to know if you are making the right sound is to try it on the live birds and see if they respond!