A great deal can be said for relying on traditional approaches when dealing with gobblers. Minimalism is the essence of old-fashioned hunting. Hunters walked into the woods with only a few items, a snack, and passion. Nothing techy lined their pockets and despite their gear, what truly defines the traditionalist is not equipment but how he or she hunts.
Here are some key aspects of traditional turkey lore, which deserve to be part of every modern hunter’s approach to the sport.
1. Sparse calling
Hold off on additional calling: When a turkey knows your presence, extra calls may lead to mistakes
Let your situation dictate your calls and always strive to take the gobbler’s temperature
Follow the old-school perspective: when in doubt, don’t call
Resist the temptation of wanting to hear your own calls
Remain hidden, and quiet, if you’re certain a bird will approach
Don’t pressure turkeys, try to wait them out in a fashion reminiscent of deer hunting
Know and understand your quarry, its habits and habitat
Blend into a turkey’s world
Mimic turkey sounds with precision
Observe your target and you may discovery a favorite roosting tree
Spend time in the woods to reveal a bird’s travel route
Profit from your mistakes and adjust your approach accordingly
In the pre-restoration days, with turkeys scarce, hunters knew carrying a bird home came as the result of dogged determination guided by carefully accumulated wisdom. Each of the tactics above lie at the heart of old-fashioned hunting and make for a unique hunting experience. All successful old-fashion hunters are the product of countless hours afield, all part of an ongoing education, which, while never complete, always involves more learning.