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A Spring Primer for Those Erratic Gobblers

Sometimes, a turkey will behave exactly as expected and walk right up to you.

Other times, gobblers will perplex us. With spring turkey season opening up across much of the country this month, Brian Lovett for the National Wild Turkey Federation presents several scenarios where turkeys can throw hunters a curve ball and offers potential answers to the birds’ sometimes puzzling antics.

A sample:

Scenario: A hot-gobbling longbeard approaches your setup but then stops and won’t budge.

Possible reasons/potential solutions: Did a hen intercept him? It happens a lot. But sometimes, a gobbler just isn’t comfortable approaching certain areas. If the bird doesn’t see a hen where he heard calling, he probably won’t come closer. If you can move without spooking the bird, slip to another setup, and resume the game. If your setup seems good, think about what you were doing when the gobbler stopped his approach. Were you calling a lot? Hush up for several minutes. Or were you yelping softly and sparingly? Crank up the intensity to fire him up.

Scenario: A bird answers your calling now and then but walks the other way.

Possible reasons/potential solutions: Again, those nasty hens provide the most likely answer. Sometimes, however, gobblers just prefer traveling to areas where they’re comfortable or might have hooked up with hens previously. Either way, try to make bird to gobble enough so you can get a fix on the direction he’s walking, and make an educated guess about his destination. Then, slip around the area, sneak into a good ambush spot and wait for him, calling now and then.

Scenario: A turkey responds immediately to your first call but won’t answer again.

Possible reasons/potential solutions: Hens (see a trend?). That’s a classic courtesy gobble. The longbeard heard your yelping and offered one “come-along-with-us” response. However, he probably has all the ladies he needs and isn’t going to leave them. The easiest solution is to find another gobbler. If that’s not feasible, slip into the area, call every few minutes and wait to see what happens. The ladies might leave him at midday, and you could be the hottest thing in the woods.

Apr 18, 2018 - Read Brian’s full post here, and good luck.

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