Two Gals + One Fan = 22-Pound Gobbler


Using a turkey tail fan can be the most effective wild turkey “call” you can use.  This tactic must be used with caution, yet in open areas where you know other hunters aren’t nearby, it can be dynamite.  If you can get within 100 yards of a flock of turkeys, often you can induce multiple gobblers to confront your feathered invader.  This hunt kicked into high gear when I spotted a big tom entering a corn field.  At first we thought it was a lone bird, yet as we circled ahead and set up, we heard hens yelping.  Apparently, this big gobbler lagged behind the flock which had dissipated into the corn prior to our arrival.

Silent Approach

Despite our calling and fanning, the boss tom sneaked in silently.

When we discovered the flock in a patch of planted cedars, we had little cover to conceal our presence.  Autumn used a gobbler decoy and natural feather fan to attract attention and called modestly.  That big tom never gobbled, but sneaked in silently, circling to catch a rival by surprise.  Sarah spotted it’s movements and made a great shot at 15 yards, putting the tom down immediately.

CAMX Crossbow

The CAMX proved deadly with a 30-yard neck shot.

Numerous turkeys actually gobbled at Sarah’s shot and the flopping bird brought other turkeys to pounce on it.  A batch of jakes watched from the cedars aware of danger, yet motivated to flog that dominant turkey as it flopped in the grass.  Soon, the dominant hen called and lured the jakes away, but Autumn’s calling brought them back.  The range of the nearest turkey was 30 yards, yet I had confidence that the CAMX was dead on and squeezed off a neck shot.  As you will see in the video, the gobbler’s head falls immediately, but another gobbler stands in its place.  Had I missed?  Not taking any chances I re-cocked the bow while Autumn spotted the bird flopping on the ground.  I used Wac’em’s largest cut-on-contact broadhead which shot with excellent accuracy.  Enjoy the hunt, now that you know the back story.  In this Facebook clip, Autumn explains how she used a gobbler decoy with a natural fan to lure in Sarah’s 22-pound Merriam’s gobbler.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.