1. In the spring, scout ahead of season so that you know the areas where gobblers roost. Do not educate the birds by calling to them before season. Pay attention to where they got after they fly down. You may be able to get ahead of him.
2. When you hunt, get to the area before the birds start gobbling if you can. (If you’re late, set up and call anyway.) Get fairly close to where you think you should be so that when the birds start gobbling you can move into position quickly. Use an owl hoot before daylight to get the gobbler to reveal his position. A crow call sometimes works during the day. Be advised, however, that frequently hunted birds can be spooked by those calls. It is safest to wait for the old gobbler to start on his own. Do not use a hen yelp as a locator unless you are in position and ready to shoot, but it will sometimes work when all else fails.
3. When you are in position 200 yards or so from where the wise old gobbler is roosting and are set up ready to shoot, wait until he gobbles, then try a short series of calls with your Tunable Peg©. If the gobbler responds immediately, answer back enthusiastically then shut up. Let him gobble for quite a while before you answer again and be coy about it. Normally the gobbler calls the hen to the tree where he is roosting then he flies down to mate with her. You have to reverse that role by being interested but reluctant. The sport is in calling the gobbler to you, not in roost shooting him out of a tree.
4. If you call to the gobbler after he gobbles and he does not respond to you immediately but continues to gobble on his own schedule or not at all, make an adjustment to your Tunable Peg©. In many cases a reluctant gobbler responds to a higher pitched mating yelp, so leave yourself room for change when you set the Tunable Peg© for your first call. Keep changing pitches and call sparingly until you get an immediate response. On one gobbler, Dad and I made five moves and used 18 calls in an hour and 20 minutes before he exploded when I found the call he wanted, a diaphragm kee kee . Another gobbler took three hours and we went 180 ̊ around him.
5. When you hear the gobbler fly down or can tell he did by the change in the position of his gobble, call to him if he is not already headed your way. If he responds, shut up for awhile. Answer him, but not every time he gobbles. If he is silent, assume he is coming. Be quiet and be ready.
6. If the gobbler is already with hens:
a) You may be able to call in the hens and he will follow.
b) Sometimes a gobbler will leave with a hen for an hour or so then come back looking for that other hen he heard. Don’t over call while you wait. He will usually let you know he’s back.
7. If a gobbler hangs up, move on him if you can. Be ready to move and make your move when he gobbles. Even a change of five yards can make him believe you are a real hen. If he is still hung up, move again. Many times, you can team hunt, leaving a silent partner at the original spot you called while you back up from tree to tree calling. Dad and I have taken some elusive gobblers this way.
8. If you make a mistake and spook the gobbler, don’t use the same pitch on him the next time you hunt him.
9. Some gobblers run routes making a circle of a couple of miles or so to mate with nesting hens. We have observed them in the same place at about the same time daily a long way from where they roosted.
10. Attempt to call gobblers where they already want to go. That is usually not downhill, across an open field, into thick brush across a creek or through a fence. If his route takes him there, wait until he crosses to start calling. But my first gobbler I flew across flooded Big Clear Creek because I didn’t know any better.. More gobbler were coming but we jumped up and went to the flopping gobbler I had just killed. Give hime time, Your partner may be able to kill a bird when they attack the flopping bird.
REASON FOR THE SEASON – After all the gobbling and hen yelps during the spring turkey season, this is the real reason for the season, the next crop of turkeys. On opening day of the season, Davis Long went for a walk and discovered this turkey nest. It was the middle of the day and the momma hen was unintentionally flushed out and flew off. It is likely that she will add more to the clutch of eggs before she begins to incubate them. Turkey hens are very secretative about their nests and even tame turkeys hide their nests.