Turkey Hunting Tactics That Work
Dr. John Woods 04.02.19
With just one more turkey hunting season under my belt, I will have experienced fifty of them. Some of them with great success and many, too that have fallen short of collecting a beard and spurs. I boast laughingly that it took me eleven seasons before I called in my first gobbler totally on my own. In fact, I am entirely a self-taught turkey hunter, which may account for numerous days afield without drawing a gobbler close enough to fire upon him.
Since, I have hunted with some great turkey guides including George Mayfield of the Roost in Alabama, Roy Foy of Canton, Mississippi recently deceased, and Preston Pittman on several occasions in different states. Astoundingly he is the only guide that never put me on a bird. I did however, between my own gobbler exploits and those hunting with others have picked up a few tactics that work at least for me.
The nature of hunting is that what works for one may never work for another, but in any case they are worth the try. I much prefer calling to gobblers in the afternoon. First off, at my age early mornings are for coffee, and writing. I hit the woods about 1-2 PM. I often heard if you can get a gobbler to gobble at 2 o’clock in the afternoon he is a dead bird. More often than not that has worked. A few times it took until dark to prove it though.
Of all the calls I use, more gobblers have responded to box calls than anything else especially on windy days. I have one slate, an old Primos that works pretty well, too. I use a mouth call for quiet calls when a gobbler is close. Mixing them up sometimes is productive, too.
I am a firm believer in a turkey blind. I cannot sit still, so a screen blind keeps me hidden. A quick fashioned ground blind of natural materials can work, too. Get a good seat or cushion and set all your gear out around you. Lay your gun across your lap. Ply full camo head to toe, and don’t forget the gloves. Spray the whole set up ground with bug spray to keep the ticks away.
Decoys can work but add a gobbler or Jake decoy for insurance. I use one fitted with a real turkey fan. Patience is the greatest virtue. I set up, sit still, and wait them out.