Turkey Hunting Q&A's

What is the best call to use?

The "best call" is far from an absolute answer. The best call can change from bird to bird and from location to location. This is why becoming a successful turkey hunter means that you need to be proficient with several different types of calls. Often times we use our favorite call and a gobbling bird goes quiet. This is definitely not the time to pack up and head home, it’s time to either wait for the bird to come find you or to pull out your slate, box or wing bone call and try to fire him up again. You’ll be surprised at how many times this means your walk back to the truck involves another 22 pounds of “dead” weight.

How much scouting should I do before the season?

You can never do too much scouting, it helps to be as familiar with the birds’ pattern as you can. This way you can try to anticipate where the birds might be going and beat them to their destination.

How many different calls do I need to learn?

It definitely is not mandatory to learn multiple calls, but it certainly helps. For example, diaphragm calls can be difficult to learn but being able to call without moving your hands is priceless when a tom is working in close. Most turkey calls can be learned with a little bit of practice.

How do you prepare for the first hunt of the season?

It’s always important to prepare prior to the night before the opener. Practice calling on your way to work (a good way to keep your wife sane). Make sure you have decoys, multiple calls and that your gun is patterned every spring. Make sure you have insect repellent, gloves and anything else you might need in the turkey woods.

What are a few tips that can help me be more successful this Spring?

These are the two best tips that I can offer… First, find the birds and follow them to their roost, be there well before the sun shows signs of life in the morning and get within 50 yards of where the birds flew to the tree. Second, when a bird that you can hear but can’t see gets close and shuts up, stop calling and wait him out. He didn’t leave, he’s waiting for the hen to come to him and if she doesn’t appear he will come looking.

What common mistakes do turkey hunters make?

The biggest mistakes all result from a lack of patience. The first is that hunters quit hunting because they didn’t hear any birds early in the morning. Much of the time, mid-morning and afternoon are some of the best times to call, especially on cloudy days. Another mistake (as discussed above) is that if a bird gobbles for a long time then stops, it’s not time to go home… it’s time get your shotgun ready. Very likely, the bird is coming to look for you.



Garden Prairie, IL
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