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6 Great Tips from Turkey Hunting Pros

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How to Work a Turkey that Stays in Place

If a Tom responds to your calls with a gobble but stays in place, try a series of excited calls to work him into a frenzy and then go silent for 10 to 15 minutes. This strategy can bring the longbeard out looking for the hen if he thinks she’s left.

Get 'Em Talkin'

Try some loud, excited cutts and yelps if they’re reluctant to gobble. If a Tom starts responding, keep pouring it on until you get him all worked-up. Don’t let up until he’s almost within sight. Only then stop calling to avoid being busted.

Act Fast

You can tell if a Tom gets nervous by raising its head and quickening its pace. If he’s already in range, it’s time to act. Adjust your aim slowly and deliberately toward the tom’s head and fire as soon as you get on target and take your shot before the longbeard bolts.

Try Facing the Light

The natural tendency when setting-up is to have the sun at your back. It's easier to see that way. But to make a Tom more eager, try flipping this around and avoid sitting where the bird has to look directly into the sun as he approaches. Give him the light advantage and he just might come running in.

Sleep In

After opening weekend, some turkeys feel so much pressure at dawn they're reluctant to come to calls early. But a few hours later, when most hunters have given up, they relax a bit. There's also a good biological reason why hunting later in the day works. Hens will breed with gobblers early, but then leave to feed or sit on a nest. Leaving Toms still fired up and looking for mates.

Be Patient

No luck one day? Get back out there again. Look for signs of daily movement so you can pattern the unpressured birds. Setup along this reliable path. Stick with it. If after a few days in the same area, get-up and “run-and-gun”, slowly moving through the area giving them a few excited cuts. Cutting is a sign that turkeys are excited, not alarmed.

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