Turkeys are tough to hunt under normal conditions, but when pressured can seem downright impossible to kill.
Rather than let the pressure discourage you from a good hunt, we’ve compiled a few of the best tips for hunting pressured turkeys we could find. Using these you can turn a seemingly impossible situation around and put the odds in your favor this spring.
- Hunt Midday: Dylan Tramp from Meateater writes that during midday, toms tend to lose track of the flock and wander off on their own. This can be a time that makes them extra susceptible to calling as they are looking for new hens to breed. He adds, “By heading home for a nap after the morning hunt didn’t go your way, you’re leaving the woods at arguably the best part of the day. If you have to, consider sleeping in and take advantage of trolling gobblers at lunchtime.”
- You’re Calling Too Much: According to Alex Robinson from Outdoor life, you don’t have to be a great caller to kill birds, but you do have to know when to call. He says that a smart hunter will set up near the bird and “give him some light yelps and clucks.” If the tom isn’t responding positively then stop calling. There’s always a possibility that he may get curious and come in to investigate what he already heard, but it’s unlikely he’ll come in to check out a string of bad calls.
- Massive Decoy Spread: Instead of just setting up the usual 2 decoys, Will Brantley from Field and Stream recommends setting up your own decoy flock. Bringing out 5 or more different turkey decoys made up of several hens and a jake or two can replicate the small flocks seen in the woods during the spring. He adds, “Few hunters are going to deal with the hassle of carrying all those decoys afield, and so it’s a setup few live turkeys ever see.”
- Don’t Get Discouraged: After a couple of unsuccessful mornings of turkey hunting, it can be easy to get down on your chances. The lack of sleep can begin to take its toll and if birds are not coming in its easy to lose hope. Keep heading out there and continue to hunt. If you’ve found turkeys, then patience is going to be your best friend. Turkeys are smart, but eventually the tom is going to want to scope out every hen around–including your calling and decoys. By keeping positive and staying alert you can ensure that when he does slip up you’ll be ready for him.