Tips on Turkey Hunting — #9: MID-SEASON IS NO TIME TO GIVE UP!
Years ago I carried a big jake into a local sporting goods store on May 15 to have him weighed. As he pulled the scale down to 15¼ pounds, the store owner said, "It's a good turkey hunter who can get a bird this late, when the leaves are out and the birds have been pressured for two weeks!" It made me feel good, but later I learned that wasn't true.
Since then I've killed birds as late as May 27, and I've called them in on Pennsylvania's last day, May 31. Gobblers fall every day of the month-long season.
The woodlands change so you do need to adapt as the season goes on. The leaves in the trees will muffle sounds, so it will be harder to tell how far away a gobbler is. In the woods, the underbrush might conceal a gobbler's approach, so a silent bird might show up when you're not expecting him. In farm country, farming practices might make a difference in the daily routine of the turkeys. Think about all that has changed since that first week, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Certain advantages come with the late season. One huge plus you'll enjoy in the second half of the season is that the leafed-out tree canopy might make it easier for you to get closer to a roosted gobbler. An even bigger benefit is that most other hunters will have given up, because they still believe that old myth, "If you don't kill a gobbler by mid-season, you're wasting your time trying!" You and I know that's not true, so let's get out there!
I’ll be posting more “Tips on Turkey Hunting” as often as I can until the end of 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 America’s greatest game bird. While you're at it, check out my gobbler-killin' Northern Scratchbox turkey call at www.EverydayHunter.com/turkey-call. It's full of deadly sounds.