Get between the dominant strutting gobbler and his hen(s) and you can sometimes close the deal. (NWTF Courtesy Photo)
By Steve Hickoff
Every year we hear the whining in turkey camp: “They’re all henned up!” Here are some tricks to getting that gobbler all to yourself.
(1) In this kind of situation, you need to rise earlier than ever, and slip into the woods toward roosted turkeys that you’ve located. A Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side can help you cover ground in the dark to where you want to park and walk in.
(2) You should know the number of hens and gobblers in the group if possible.
(3) You should know where they like to fly down before gathering and moving off.
(4) You should know where they are positioned the evening before the morning you hunt them.
(5) Then get in tight, between the dominant spring gobbler and the hen(s), and let the show begin.
(6) Sometimes you can time it so that you hear him gobble early—especially if the light is just coming on in the morning. If so, slowly rise, and quietly move in his direction, knowing you might be walking right past a hen or two.
(7) Use terrain if it helps your approach, then sit tightly, quietly waiting for the woods to wake up.
(8) To avoid hand movements, if you must call, make it a mouth diaphragm. Still, if there’s ever a situation when you shouldn’t call, this might be one. Simply let the turkeys fly down, and if you’re lucky, that tom might do so in range.
(9) To put yourself in a situation where it’s you and the gobbler without his hen(s), pace yourself during the season—you’ll hunt better for it.
(10) There are also many different approaches you can use to isolate the longbeard you want, or the gobbler you don’t know about that might be cruising away from the main action. Try them all. Think like a turkey.
For calling tips, refer to Steve Hickoff’s March 16, 2009, post found in the “Outdoors Tip Archive” on the Yamaha Outdoors website.