Turkey hunting begins in the early spring each year and it’s something that makes hunters go through crazy obstacles to nab a gobbler. Although the wild turkey has a noggin the size of a small walnut – the wily bird continues to puzzle even the most veteran of hunters. The feathered chickens of the forest are wired with astute cleverness and a twist of uncanny habits. Here are a couple ways to put the odds in your favor this spring.
The Wake Up
The daybreak of morning illuminates the newborn sky, while some gambling hunters creep into whisper range of a gobbler’s morning perch. Risky hunters have been known to snuggle right next to a roosting tree in hope to kill at first light. Unfortunately, the cards are not in favor of those who tree hug.
As many of us know, the wild turkey has a very keen set of eyeballs that dissect each leaf, twig, and grass blade of the forest floor. Their ears are extremely effective as well, which help them pinpoint other birds. If you plan to nestle within 50-75 yards of a roost tree – you better have an effective plan; otherwise it takes only one eyeball of security to set off the alarm.
Turkey’s have a tremendous field of view when half way up a tree. They are able to cover a lot more forest and field and pinpoint noise effectively.
Every bird hunter has had a tom “hang-up” on him as they strut, gobble, and flaunt just outside your shooting range. He’s like a treble hook snagged in brush and not moving an inch more. The gobbler patiently waits for your next move and sometimes this standoff can take hours.
The best bet to knock him down is to play his game and wait him out. Patience is the name of the game when it comes to turkey hunting. They have their own mental clock that ticks as sluggish as a Wisconsin winter. Sometimes you can have birds 80-yards away in a field strutting for hours before curiosity overwhelms them and brings them into a delightful 20-yards.
Utilizing the comfort calls, such as clucks and purrs seems to always work well too. Be sure to try raking your hands in the leaves to mimic scratching. These little tricks make a large and significant difference in the world of the wild turkey.
It would be in your favor to use at least a couple of decoys to lure and attract a turkey closer once he’s in sight. And stay alert of everything – a turkey will pop out of the woods before you even know it.
Hunter’s always like to make decisive moves and bet chance with risky business – sometimes simply playing it safe can save you a lot of hassle and headaches.
Article and Photos by Brandon Wikman of Providence Marketing Group.