As I wait for spring to officially arrive, I begin to plan my Turkey Hunting days ahead. The plan for turkey hunting consists of these 3 things:
1. Scouting – at least 75% of the plan will involve driving the areas that you want to hunt, and asking permission from land owners to walk the lands you found while driving the areas. Scouting is so important and remember, just because you got a bird there last year, doesn’t mean you will get one this year. These birds will change their patterns from year to year. Food sources also play a big part to this as well.
2. Blind Placement & Running / Gunning - Ground blinds, you want to set up in natural background whenever possible. The more tucked into the natural environment you are, the better it will be. Try to avoid setting up in the middle of the field, being solo in the middle can make the bird wary of this setting.
The Run & Gun Style: This style of hunting is very rewarding. It is one on one, with using all the natural landscape to conceal yourself from the sharp eyes of the turkey, being covered from head to toe in camo also is key to hiding within nature, once you get spotted by the eyes of the turkey, they will win the game.
3. Calls & Decoy’s – Whether using ground blinds or if you choose to run & gun, the calling for the hunt always needs to be “spot on.” I will start with a gobble call at sunrise to let the birds know “Here I am”, which I will only do this a couple of times. I follow up by “Yelping” with my box call which I do every 5 minutes for the next 20 minutes.
The reason I use the box call is that it provides a louder sound and it will carry a longer distance to where they are roosting at. After I finish my 20 minutes of yelping with the box call, I will wait another 20 minutes to start the calling sequence over again.
When a Gobbler answers my calling, I then switch over to the slate call, from there I can zero in on the Gobbler. I use the slate call for my Purr & Cluck calling sequences. The cluck call method I prefer is just tapping with my peg onto the slate. Using this technique drives the Gobblers into a frenzy and puts them at ease with the calling and brings them right into the decoy’s.
The decoy’s I use consists of a Jake, 2 Hens and a Tail Fan. I place the decoys about 20 yards out from of the blind. As the season gets later I leave the Jake & Fan in the truck, and only bring the Hen Decoy’s. By doing this it makes the Gobbler feel less competitive for his prize.
Turkey season is just a few weeks away, so starting to plan your hunt now is not too early, in fact it will only up your chances to bag your bird this Turkey Season. Wishing you best of luck in the fields and woods!