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  • by Steve Sorensen | The Everyday Hunter®

Tips on Turkey Hunting — #3: DON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES

Back when the popularity of turkey hunting was just beginning to catch, we would read such wise advice as "make two or three cautious yelps, then pause fifteen minutes before you try it again." Now we know that's not wisdom; it's nonsense. Worse, it led rookie turkey hunters to worry, “What if I make a mistake?”

Don’t think that way. Although patience is in the turkey hunter's bag of tricks, fear isn't. If you’re a major league baseball player, and the pitcher fools you on the first pitch, you can’t be afraid to swing at the next pitch. It’s the same way with turkey hunting. If you’re afraid, you’ll miss opportunities.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in your calling. Turkeys make mistakes, too. If you make a sound you don’t like, it might be the sound that gets the gobbler’s attention.

So go right on calling, and follow a “mistake” with a good call. That’s what turkeys do. Forget about "two or three cautious yelps. And don’t worry about pausing “fifteen minutes before you try it again." Sometimes, real hens make a racket that sounds nothing like an “expert” turkey hunter. Chances are, you’re a good enough caller, so don't be afraid to call.

Watch for more “Tips on Turkey Hunting” two or three times each week until mid-May. I don’t claim to be the best turkey hunter around, but I’ll share what I know. It might be helpful to those who pursue our greatest game bird. While you're at it, check out my gobbler-killin' scratchbox turkey call at It's full of deadly sounds.

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