Turkeys without Trees

Turkeys require trees to roost. They don’t require a timbered backdrop to evade you. Regardless of the species, wild turkeys may utilize the wide open to their advantage. The openness gives them confidence to spot any possible danger and if threatened they have no aversion to hunkering in grass to let the threat pass. While loafing in a plain or pasture they also have the benefit of scratching for food in a nutrient-rich environment.

Unfortunately, if turkeys decide to ignore your calls or trot to the middle of a treeless field each morning; you could be left with few options to tag a tom. Forget the frustration and go on the offensive to tackle a tom in the wide open.  

Go prone. The traditional turkey setup of leaning against a tree and calling a turkey to your location is convenient, but for pastureland birds your setup may have to be prone. First, match your camouflage to the terrain with grass patterns such as Mossy Oak’s Shadow Grass Blades. Follow your conventional hunting routine and get to the open location the turkeys prefer well before shooting light. Stake your decoy in a highly visible location and wait for the troupe to arrive. 

If the pasture is as bare as a pool table from livestock, then look for small rolls in the terrain to veil your form or duck behind clumps of brush that livestock don’t find appealing. Fence lines overgrown with grass, shrubs or bushes also offer a backdrop you can use to blend and possibly even sit upright. 

 In some situations, you may have to be proactive when you locate open-country birds. A binocular is an important aid to spot birds in a treeless scenario. Once you spot a flock continue to use the binocular to scan for terrain that will hide your approach. Sneak in close using terrain and continue your advance on your knees or belly when required. Gloves, knee and elbow pads may be useful additions to your gear list. Creep as close as possible without being spotted and slowly stake your decoy. Lightweight decoys that bob with the breeze offer additional confidence to ever vigilant turkeys. 

Once at a desired location, retreat from the decoy to a safe distance and begin your calling sequence. My daughter and I used this crawling ruse a couple seasons back to lure in a tom to our decoy for a 20-yard shot with her CVA 20 gauge. After the shot the flopping turkey attracted a trio of other mature toms and she pushed the small shotgun to me. Still in a prone position I slipped in another shell and aimed at the nearest of the distracted toms to fill my tag in a father/daughter double both of us will never forget. 


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