Seven Old-School Turkey-Hunting Tips From Field & Stream

Call During Peak Hours
Call During Peak Hours Having problems calling in a gobbler early in the morning? It's hard to pry toms away from hens during breeding hours. You'll have better luck around midmorning when hens start nesting and gobblers are lonely. Around 9 a.m., start moving through cover, pausing to call at least every 200 yards. When a gobbler answers, pocket your call and try to close the distance to under 100 yards. Then use soft hen calls to draw him your way.John Rice
Get Close To Gobblers
Get Close To Gobblers To get more toms to come into your setup, sneak within 75 yards of a bird before calling. Once you know his location, stay quiet. Instead of setting up and hoping the gobbler will travel to find you, use thick cover and the topography to move as close as you can without being seen. Gobblers that refuse to respond to distant calls will often investigate turkey sounds they hear nearby.John Rice
Tweak Your Decoy
Tweak Your Decoy Always enlarge the hole that the spindle goes through in the bottom of a turkey decoy so the body can move friction-free when stirred by slight air currents. With the decoy in place, push a twig firmly into the ground 8 inches on either side of the tail to prevent any unnatural spinning. In a light breeze, gobblers find the abrupt back-and-forth movements hard to resist.Field & Stream Online Editors
Sit Tight for Quiet Gobblers
Sit Tight for Quiet Gobblers If a turkey that has been answering your calls suddenly goes silent, he may be trying to sneak in on you. Sit very still and make soft, contented hen clucks. Keep your eyes peeled, but don't move your head. Gobblers that sneak in will use cover to their advantage and watch carefully for movement. They often approach from behind and remain unseen until they are very close.Field & Stream Online Editors
Keep Your Turkey Gun Aimed
Keep Your Turkey Gun Aimed When calling turkeys, always place a few dead branches close around you to break up your outline. Arrange a sturdy one so that it crosses about 18 inches above your knees when you are seated. While you call, keep the gun butt against your shoulder and rest the barrel on this crossing branch. You'll already be in an approximate shooting position when a gobbler approaches.Field & Stream Online Editors
Hit More Turkeys
Hit More Turkeys If you can't or don't want to mount an optical sight to your turkey shotgun, having a gunsmith add a rear bead a few inches ahead of the breech is an inexpensive alternative. The rear sight forces you to get your face all the way down on the stock and helps assure that you will be looking straight down the barrel when you pull the trigger.Field & Stream Online Editors
Plan a Gobbler Ambush
Plan a Gobbler Ambush Whenever you see a tom with hens, make note of the time and location. Turkeys are creatures of habit, and knowing their routine is crucial when gobblers won't respond to calls because they already have company. Unless you spook them, you can expect those birds to show up again tomorrow at the same time and place you saw them today. Be there first, put out decoys, and call softly.Field & Stream Online Editors