In today's world the majority of turkey hunters do not have the luxury of being able to hunt on different land everyday of the season. Finding land to lease or get an old-fashioned hand shake for permission to hunt someone else's land is getting harder to find. Because of having to hunt the same land day after day it is easy to pressure the turkey population that you do have or in some instances educate your gobblers, which makes them harder to call in for the shot.
This past turkey season I took on the task of hunting one farm almost everyday of the 2016 Missouri spring turkey season. Because of my job I could only hunt an hour and a half each morning before I would have to head to work, luckily I was able to hunt longer on weekends. In doing that I learned some lessons on what to do and what not to do to be able to harvest a gobbler, while at the same time not pressuring the rest of the turkeys. I have come up with a few tips to answer a common question among the everyday turkey hunter when they ask if you can hunt the same gobblers everyday, and still be successful.
Spring Turkey Hunting Quiz: Are you a beginning turkey hunter or a veteran. In either case, take this turkey hunting quiz to see what you know or how much you remember about hunting the Kings of Spring!
1. How do You Approach Gobblers Without Spooking Them?
|Nikon Monarch 5 binocularsNikon Monarch 5 binoculars|
Answer: When hunting the same property day after day and possibly the same gobblers I find the quickest, quietest paths to get as close as I can to gobblers while still on the roost. I have used dried up creek beds, old logging roads, power lines or as I did while hunting last spring, I used a natural gas pipe line. Any open area so that you can get close to the roost without making a lot of noise, as well as going in without the risk of being spotted by a turkeys keen eye sight is best. On the pipeline last spring I could walk in the grass in a so-called stealth mode, taking my time to move in without the gobblers knowing anybody was around.
Tip: Use a good pair of binoculars when sneaking into your set up area. I use 8 X 42 Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars. They're the perfect size to carry on my chest without a bunch of weight. While sneaking down the pipeline, I would stop every 30 to 40 yards to glass ahead of me, especially when peaking at the top of a hill, just in case turkeys were in the open area I could spot them before they caught movement from me walking in.
|H.S. Strut Undertaker Chest PackH.S. Strut Undertaker Chest Pack|
2. Does Your calling Sequences Change When Hunting the Same Gobblers?
Answer: Sometimes I catch grief from family and friends about carrying so many different turkey calls with me while hunting. Doing that pays off when hunting the same gobblers day after day. I believe that high pressured turkeys began to memorize certain sounds that we as hunters use. For example, if one morning you're using a certain slate call and a gobbler comes in and spooks, if you use the same call the next morning he remembers that sound and is reluctant to come into gun range. My cure for that is carrying several different calls. I carry the Hunter's Specialties H.S. Strut Undertaker Chest Pack, in that pack I have compartments to carry multiple diaphragm calls, pan calls, box calls as well as multiple locator calls all in one pack. I try to use a different diaphragm call from day to day. I will also use a box call one morning, then a slate or glass pan style call the next morning and while using them I try to do a different sequence of calls from day to day. Doing a few yelps combined with some clucks and purrs one morning, then maybe some excited hen yelps and cutting the next will keep a variety of sounds to a gobblers ears.
Tip: If a gobbler is coming to your call, quit calling and let him find you. If he is already headed your way there is no need to call at him again, if you continue to call to him it gives him more of an opportunity to memorize your sound.
3. Once You Harvest a Gobbler Can You Hunt the Same Area Again?
|Hunters Specialties Mega Hoot Owl Call|
Answer: In most states you can harvest more than one gobbler during a season. On this particular hunt, I was hunting in Missouri where you can harvest two gobblers during the spring season. (Check your states regulations for bag limits) If you're hunting the same particular property day after day, you can continue to do so as long as you're not spooking gobblers while hunting. If you harvest a bird that is by himself when he comes in, you can hunt the same area the next day or two. However, if a gobbler comes in with one or two more gobblers and you're able to harvest one, then you should wait a couple of days to let the area settle down before returning to try and harvest a second gobbler. If you keep hunting the same area after spooking birds, you stand the chance of pressuring them out of your area for the rest of the season. That being said, it is better to let the area rest and hunt somewhere else if available.
Tip: Use a turkey good locator call such as a Hunters Specialties Mega Hoot Owl Call. Locating gobblers with an owl call gives you the ability to sneak in closer while they are on the roost. Always knowing where your gobblers roost gives you the ability to get in close before using an actual turkey call. This prevents spooking gobblers if you just walked through the woods calling while trying to find your second gobbler to harvest.
Final Tip: Preparation for my hunting season started weeks before opening day. Scouting is a key part in almost everything you hunt, and turkeys are no different. By scouting weeks ahead of time, whether it be by looking for turkey scratchings in the leaves where they have fed, or by listening for toms to gobble early in the mornings before season, I knew where the turkeys were on a daily basis. I also knew their travel paths and this gave me the advantage of being able to go in during actual season without pressuring turkeys. I was able to return multiple times throughout the season without educating turkeys, which in turn made me more successful in being able to harvest a gobbler.