Tips on Turkey Hunting — #8: LATE MORNING CAN BE PRIME TIME!
When I began turkey hunting many years ago, most hunters operated on a few ardently believed myths.
"Call three times, then shut up and wait!"
"If you make a sour note, your hunt is over!"
"If you don't kill a gobbler by mid-season, you're wasting your time trying!"
"If you don't have that gobbler by 7:30 or 8:00 AM, you're not going to get him!"
Now we know all four of those ideas are wrong. We're going to look at them one at a time, the fourth one now. It's simply not true that you must get the gobbler early.
Yes, that's the classic hunt—hearing him on the roost, giving him a soft tree yelp, hearing him fly down, and throwing him some clucks, yelps and purrs seductive enough that he walks right to you. But if that doesn't happen, your hunt isn't over. You still have a lot of morning left.
Turkey hunting is about getting a gobbler to think he's coming to the hen, which is what you're trying to make happen at first light. By calling him to you, you've reversed the natural order. Later in the morning, it's likely that a gobbler has lost his hens and will be much more willing to go looking for another. So, hang in there. He just might find you!
Late morning gobblers can be especially lonely, but they won't find you if you left the woods at 8:00. Stay there. His hens will leave him and head for the nest to lay an egg. Maybe as early as 8:30 or 9:00, but possibly right up until quitting time, the roles become reversed. It's more normal for him to come looking later in the morning.
So hang in there. You might not think much is happening, but when things happen in the turkey woods, they often happen suddenly. One gobble can mean the game is back on. So stick around—late morning can be prime time, too!
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' Northern Scratchbox turkey call at EverydayHunter.com/turkey-call. It's full of deadly sounds.