Excitement may control your mind, but don’t let it take over. Here are eight things to remember come opening day.
Do use high-impact scouting strategies
Get an edge over gobblers and other hunters by studying aerial photos. Hang a network of game cameras to pinpoint longbeards, reveal daily patterns, and determine specific roosting sites, strut zones, feeding areas and travel corridors.
Don’t fail to learn the area
Maps and cameras are not substitutes for walking and learning the hunting area first hand. Scouting can help you locate natural barriers and blow-down that typically cause gobblers to hang up just out of range. Knowing the land will generate more shot opportunities.
Do locate multiple longbeards
Stack the cards in your favor by patterning multiple longbeards. Another hunter may tag your gobbler before you get a chance so it pays to have more than one bird in your crosshairs.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Everyone has a favorite spot, but don’t rely on that spot to produce. Give yourself options when all the turkeys go silent in your beloved location.
Do choose good set-ups
The right setup makes it easier to coax a hardheaded longbeard into range. Situate yourself in high traffic areas or where gobblers frequently visit. Locate hot spots and stay in the middle of the action.
Don’t depend on calling alone
Calling is important, but your setup and woodsmanship carries more weight. Moving silently, choosing a prime location, disappearing into your surroundings and diagnosing the mood of a gobbler all trump fancy calling.
Do match your calling
Sweet talk a tom and customize your calling according to the circumstances. When turkeys are quiet, soft yelps, clucks, purrs and scratching the leaves with your hand can be deadly. But moving in close and doing some aggressive cutting and yelping can be just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t rely on one call
Using only one type of call can be a monumental mistake. Switch between a raspy friction call and a high-pitched diaphragm call to add flare. Some hunting scenarios may require you to combine two calls to replicate the sound of multiple hens.