By Steve Hickoff
Turkey seasons begin this month in places like the Deep South and even Hawaii. Chances are you’ll encounter some henned-up birds in the process – ones that could care less about your calls. Despite your winter-weary enthusiasm now to hunt spring gobblers, it might be time to scale back a notch or two.
Relax. Take a nap in the woods.
That’s right. A newly ordained longbeard has arrived on the scene and is ready for some action. After being bullied out of the breeding loop as a jake, he wants to play the game and seems to know he can. He’s the bird many of us end up killing in the spring. He’s not always easy. Some different tactics might be needed.
This turkey may have gobbled hard, flown down and minced steps to a strut zone. He may have hens with him. He may not. Either way, he’s unapproachable, though his calling says he’d like the hen you’re imitating to walk right up. You can’t. What now?
Take a nap. That’s right. Your impulse might be to abandon ship and find a fresh turkey. That’s cool too. You could come back tomorrow and set up right on that strut zone. That’s another option. Your worried mind thinks: What if somebody else hears “my” bird? That’s when a quick power nap is in order. The gobbler might just eventually come right in – and possibly without a sound.
Shut up. Sit it out. That solo gobbler’s been listening and gobbling to your calls. It knows where you’re sitting. So sit. The mincing footsteps in the leaves some time later will wake you out of your half-sleep. If not, the vocal longbeard on top of you, asking you to show yourself, surely will.
Got another hunting tactic for tough early-season turkeys? Let us know on the Yamaha Outdoors Facebook or Twitter pages.