As more Americans turn to private wildlife management, it becomes more difficult to attain hunting access to more than one property. No trespassing signs and crowded public hunting areas are a sign of the times. Whether you only have access to one small farm or the same public tract of land, hunting the same ground again and again for turkeys is trending, and problematic. Birds quickly become educated from your repeat visits and possibly pressure from other hunters. To stop turkeys from earning master’s degrees in hunter avoidance, alternate your hunting strategy. A change in your game plan could cause smart turkeys to fall for a new ruse they did not expect.
DOWNLOAD A NEW TUNE
Like downloading a new tune to your smartphone, it is time to add more calls and sounds to your turkey conversation. We all fall into a rut and use the same call repetitively because of comfort. Do not send that call to the recycle bin, but practice on several others to sound different or sound like a flock. This strategy makes turkeys think someone new may have strutted into the locality.
TRY A DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOOD
Your rut may continue by continually starting your hunt in the same area. Start your hunt in a different region of the property. Most of you begin hunting near a roost, but thorough scouting could reveal a timber trail, a grassy creekbank or an open pasture where an alternative meeting could take place. Instead of setting up on the same field edge, consider subtle calls in a wooded alleyway leading to a field for a major location switcheroo.
ADJUST YOUR CLOCK
While you change the zip code of your calling location, add in another switcheroo and hit those birds in a different time zone. Turkeys accustomed to hearing your cadence at sunrise might be surprised and incentivized at a 10 a.m. hello. Consider swapping morning to afternoon hunts if legal and if you can only hunt until noon try sleeping in, and set your attack for midmorning.
Finally, it may be time to upgrade to a new decoy if the flock saw your old reliable and snubbed it like the snobby bunch in high school. Shop for something new that stands out. Look for realism in the eye and iridescence in feather details. If that swap does not pull them in, consider hiding your decoys in thicker cover and make turkeys hunt you. This tactic has appeal later in the season as hens begin nesting and leaving gobblers looking for one last hookup. They may have no aversion to walking right into a blind trap.
Unfortunately, hunting the same property again and again is likely an issue you will have to deal with for years ahead. Although it may be frustrating, you can still score a win with changeups to fool wary birds.