How to Hunt Fall Turkeys


The National Wild Turkey Federation says more wild turkeys roam the woods during the fall than at any other time of year. If you’re lucky enough to live in (or have access to) an area that has an open fall turkey season, it’s an excellent time to hunt many game species including wild turkeys. Steve Hickoff delivers 10 tips for fall turkey hunting, from scouting to setting up to bowhunting autumn birds.

fall_turkey Photo by Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Three groups of wild turkeys generally roam the fall woods: family flocks, composed of a brood hen and her poults, broodless hens, and all-gobbler groups. Identifying what flocks you’re hunting defines your autumn calling strategies. On occasion, you’ll see mixed-age groups, too, and several brood hens together with their young…

For family flocks, the kee-kee and kee-kee-run are typical vocalizations made by hunters to draw in birds-of-the-year. Broodless hens can be called using the range of hen vocalizations, from clucks to yelps, since these fall birds are more responsive to same-sex turkey talk. All-male groups can be called with gobbler yelps, and gobbles. All turkeys, gregarious as they are, chance at coming in for a look at the broad range of fall hen and gobbler talk.

One rule applies in fall: Call like the hen or gobbler, juvenile or adult, you want to pull to your position.

Photos: North Dakota Game and Fish Department (top); Ohio Department of Natural Resources (above)