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Turkey Series Part 2 How to

Part two of your successful turkey hunt

Now that you are done your pre-season scouting up to listening for gobbling starting in mid March, it is now time to step up your scouting three weeks before your season starts. Since you have learned the ground that you are going to hunt you need to now really concentrate on where the strut zones and roosting trees are. Again go to a strategic position about an hour before day light and listen to where they are gobbling. Once you have them pin pointed again listen for the hens to talk it up after fly down. If you listen to them you should hear which direction they are traveling still and concentrate on trying to find that strut zone.
When you arenít in the field scouting you should be going through your turkey vest making sure you have everything you need. Make sure your calls are tuned and ready for opening day. Work the glass calls with some scotch brite or fine sand paper. Make sure your strikers are clean and sand them just a little bit to take off any smooth shiny spots on them. Make sure your decoys are clean. One tip I will give you for your decoys is make sure there isnít any paint missing and maybe even touch them or replace them. One thing that I do is put a little bit of clear nail polish on the eyes just to give them a little bit of shine. A turkeyís eyes are shiny. Once all of you r equipment is ready then make sure you pack everything where you know where it is and that you can access it readily.
Ok the evening before the opener has arrived. I suggest you go out to the area you are going to hunt and sit again and listen for fly ups. Listen for gobbles or even just the tell tale sound of the cackle as they fly up or you may only here the wing beats and limbs being hit as they fly up. Youíll know you are in the right area for the first thing in the morning.
When morning arrives and you get to your spot, try and be as quiet as possible, donít slam truck doors etc. Again if you have done your homework you should even be able to sneak into where you want to set up with out a light. Remember you want to sneak in so as not to bump or spook birds. They really arenít that tolerable to things being out of the ordinary. I have seen many of birds fly off roost well before light because of being busted walking in and not paying attention.
Now that you have arrived at your set up position get everything ready for the hunt. This is where knowing where you have everything comes into play. You should be able to retrieve calls or what ever you may need with out turning a light on and giving away your location. Set your decoys up at a distance that you feel comfortable shooting at.
I always wait until I hear the first calls of the morning before I even think about calling and then when I do hear the first gobble I just do three soft tree yelps and wait for a response. The first time you call the gobbler will have a general area of where you located and know that a hen is in the area. If he gobbles again with out you calling then I answer him, but again softly. Once I hear the first bird fly down I do a fly down with either my hat of a wing along with a fly down cackle. At this point the gobbler knows exactly where you are. I then start clucking as though I am just feeding along, I have even at times scratched in the leaves to make it more realistic, just be careful not to move too much because you could have one sneaking in quietly. If he sounds as if he likes to be called to I will sometimes get excited with him in my calling emotion is very important in some instances. I will also listen for other hens and try to mimic them but with a little more emotion. This works most times for me and will bring the gobbler right in. If you have been calling to him and all of a sudden he shuts up he may have come in but is now not gobbling but spitting and drumming. Listen for the tell tale pffffffffftttt drrrrruuuummmmmm of a mature gobbler. If you can hear that most times he is less than 55 yards from you. When I hear that I switch to a purr. Most times a purr will bring that gobbler with in gun range. Purring is done as softly and quietly as you can. My suggestion to you is learn how to purr with your mouth call. He is close by now and you really donít want to be making much movement. It is extremely important to stay as still as you possibly can so as to not give away your position. If you have done everything that I have told you it should be a matter of time before he shows himself for that shot. Stay tuned for the next in the series, What to do if that gobbler hangs up on.

Pat Ely

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