Spring Turkey Season is Here
Spring Turkey season is a great way to practice social distancing. Now that turkey season is open across the nation, here are a few tips to help with your spring turkey hunts.
Where to find spring turkeys
Turkey scouting is an ongoing strategy so get out there as often as you can. Wild turkeys leave a mess wherever they go, making them easier to find when you’re out scouting. Look for molted feathers, scratches in leaves where they are digging for food, tracks in the dirt, droppings and wing drags from strutting. All of these signs can help you get closer to tagging that Tom. Turkeys seek out the best habitat which needs roosting cover, food sources and areas for spring breeding and nesting. That’s where you’ll find the longbeards.
Choose and set-up the right decoys
Invest in a full-strut gobbler decoy, they are very effective with toms in the field. Stake it down where it can be seen in the open and within 20 yards of your hunting position. Set-up two or three hen decoys around the gobbler so the real tom thinks some of his hens have flown the coup. If you’re hunting with a shotgun, turn the decoy so it’s looking away from your hunting location so you’ll get a clean headshot. If using a bow, set-up the decoy so it’s looking toward your hunting position, so the real Tom’s fan will be facing you.
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.
Close the Distance
When you can hear a Tom gobble but they’re out of sight and won’t come-in closer, get up and move around in small circles while yelping for about two solid minutes, then move 50 yards directly away from the turkey, calling the whole time. When you get to 50 yards, stop and be quiet. Slowly move back toward the bird about half the distance between the gobbler and your original position, stay put and be quiet. The tom wants to stay near the hen and he will finally move. When he does, you’ll be ready.
Lay Out for Field Toms
When you have a gobbler that sets-up in the center of a field in the mornings and refuses to come near the woods, set-up a low-profile goose hunting blind near the spot where he likes to strut. Set-up a hen and strutting tom decoy out in front of you, be there before daylight and be quiet, there’s no need to call. When daylight comes, the longbeard should pitch down within shooting distance.
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.
Just like a good whitetail deer manager uses supplemental feeding to take the pressure off his food plots and to benefit the herd's health, feeding wild turkeys can help save some of your chufa patches or other crops for the season. Texas Hunter Products offers a full-line of automatic wildlife feeders. A full-line catalog is also available by mail. Stay heathy and enjoy the outdoors. Teach a kid how to turkey hunt this season.