Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - Turkey Flock Talk
By Steve Hickoff
Maybe you had a barnyard turkey for Thanksgiving. That’s cool. Time to get out there now for a wild one, which is more fun than going to the grocery store anyway.
Let’s face it wild turkeys — like ducks and geese — are social birds. Despite what you may have heard, fall hens and gobblers do call a lot at times. There are also more wild turkeys in the fall woods than at any point during the year as well, as predators and weather factors will cull some this winter. Here’s a tactic that puts these facts to good use.
Duck hunters in flooded timber and goose callers in cut cornfields do it all the time. They call. A lot. Fall turkey hunters should too in certain situations.
If a turkey season is still open where you live — many are outside of the northeast: some through December; some into January and February as well down south — you, and another buddy or two (or five!), can set up on a ridge or behind cover not far from a roost, spread out, noting where each guy is sitting.
At daybreak, you can all make sporadic soft tree calling, so long as the birds can’t look down and see that turkeys aren’t there. You’ll be busted then.
Better yet, once those turkeys wing to the ground, it’s now time to turn on the calling. Kee-kees, kee-kee-runs, gobbler and hen yelps, clucks, purrs and even gobbles work to interest flocks. Use those calls. Most manufactured models offer at least basic instructions for making each vocalization.
Most mornings there’s a window of opportunity as the flock gathers together before moving off. Set up close enough to the roost in a travel zone, call frequently to seem like many birds, and one of you may have a turkey close enough for a shot. You can also call together during the day to possibly make contact with fall turkeys in your hunting area.