Here are some common spring turkey hunting problems and how the pros handle the situations.
Chris Parrish: Pro hunter, Caller and Call Maker
Turkey hunting experience: 33 years
Facing non-responsive gobblers
CP says: Hunting pressure, weather and predators can silence gobblers. Scouting and knowing the terrain and the daily routines of the turkeys you’re hunting will dramatically increase your success. This knowledge enables you to set up on high-traffic areas such as food sources, dusting sites, strut zones and travel routes.”
Harold Knight: Knight and Hale Game Calls
Turkey hunting experience: 57 years
Dealing with wandering longbeards
HK says: In many cases, a jealous hen is leading the gobbler away from your calling. She doesn’t want any competition. Change your calling position and if that doesn’t work use fighting purrs to sound like two turkeys in a brawl. If neither tactic works, make a wide circle and head him off.
Michael Waddell: Host of “Bone Collector”
Turkey hunting experience: 26 years
Facing pressured, call-shy gobblers
MW says: Call-shy birds are more difficult to tag, but not impossible. Try covering a lot of ground and target hard-to-reach locations that receive less pressure from other hunters. This increases your chances of getting on a hot bird. If that fails, hunt mid-morning or early afternoon when a lot of other hunters have left the woods.
Toxey Haas: Founder of Mossy Oak Camouflage
Turkey hunting experience: 46 years
Hunting Henned-up longbeards
TH says: Be patient. Find a way to get in front of the birds and head them off. Or set up in areas that generally hold turkeys and call. Depending on the mood of the birds, use aggressive calling tactics that mimic and potentially enrage the lead hen. Another option is to go completely silent and hunt the turkeys more like deer.