The ability to interact with other hunters is one of the great advantages of the internet and The Hunting Page. Spring Gobbler season is just around the corner. A long-bearded spring turkey is quite a challenge and not surprisingly, followers have lots of questions. This series of posts asks the kinds of questions that many hunters wonder about and the advice column format adds a touch of humor and makes the topic more personal. See if you agree?
Opening Day Success- Bill from Ohio asks, “Since our turkey season lasts for weeks, should I concentrate on opening day or wait for hunting pressure to drop off as the season goes on?
Bill, Yes the season is long, but procrastinators shop at Safeway. Opening day is not only the best time to kill a gobbler, but you should begin weeks before by scouting and locating gobblers. Unlike scouting for deer, you won’t need to step foot in the woods. Get up before dawn, carry a crow caller and owl hooter and drive near your hunting area. Listen to locate roosting spots so you’ll know where turkeys begin their day. More importantly, listen to where they go. Toms often travel from the roost to a strutting area where they gobble and mate with hens. Find this location and you can practically call in a gobbler with two rusty nails. Turkey harvests often parallel peak gobbling times. Check last year’s state harvest report and you’ll see patterns for hunting later in the season.
Decoy Do’s and Don’ts– John from West Virginia seems perplexed: “Several of my friends have had good success with turkey decoys; however, I tried one last year and got no results. What am I doing wrong?
Decoys can increase your success if you keep these tips in mind. First, make your bogus birds visible. Place them in open areas where a gobbler can make quick eye contact. This also acts as a safety factor for you should another hunter happen along. Secondly, consider more than one decoy, even a small flock, however don’t bunch the birds together or use only hens with their heads up. These behaviors signal alarm and a gobbler will not approach.
Jake decoys often bring out aggression in mature toms and many hunters like to use a hen and a jake. Full strut gobbler decoys have become popular of late, yet hunters must be extremely cautious using these models. Movement is a huge asset among decoys and a soft spring breeze that causes decoys to move adds great realism. For the ultimate ruse, try real stuffed turkeys like those offered by Hazel Creek. The birds are expensive, but they really work.