Here are some strategies to nail a gobbler in the morning, midday or in the evening
Of all approaches to ambushing turkeys with a bow, the most widely practiced comes from a morning hunt, but they also can be taken at other times during the day.
The Morning Hunt
To increase your odds of success in the morning, sneak quietly in the darkness into a hopefully pre-determined location within possibly 100- to 200 yards of where your birds are roosted. Having previously practiced the stealthy deployment of your blind and decoys, accomplish this task well before first light. As the birds first begin to greet the new day, make a few soft “tree” yelps, and then, simply shut up – avoid the lure to over call! Allow the birds to fly down, and have time to do their displaying around the tree – during this time, possibly offer one or two softer, short sets of yelps/clucks – be patient!
At this point of the game, basically, a gobbler is either going to come directly to your location in short order, or he isn’t. He may be determined to follow the hens off in another direction. If you hear the birds drifting away, then now is the time to finally get more aggressive with your calling offerings because you have nothing to lose at this point. On the other hand, if the birds start your way, once again, refrain from over calling! With turkeys, curiosity usually kills the cat (bird)!
The Midday Hunt
Midday turkey hunting is one of the most overlooked, yet effective, ways to procure a large-bearded gobbler. If you can’t get out before daylight, or have to be at work in the evening, don’t despair – you’re actually in the driver’s seat to success!
Most turkeys – hens and gobblers alike – have preferred areas to linger during midday times. Birds may spend a few hours in one location, then midday, work their way to another spot to hang out for a few more hours before starting their evening trek toward roost. Such being the case, the diligent midday hunter has great opportunity to exploit this pattern.
Pick a secluded spot that offers fairly open habitat, closely bordered by thick security cover (and thus, shade), hopefully, with water nearby (maybe, a pond?). Midday strutters tend to like such locations and it’s even better if these spots are elevated – such as open pasture hilltops. Scout out such locations sure to make use of this golden opportunity to make a midday hunt become one of your most enjoyable and productive outings of the season. Slip into such locations mid-morning, set up, climb aboard, offer occasional calls, then sit back and enjoy the show … no cold, dark mornings are required here!
The Evening Hunt
In places where evening hunting is legal, it’s up to the individual as to whether or not this approach is desirable, or ethical — most ardent turkey hunters do not hunt birds at their roost! However, if you’re a “die-hard” that believes in spending every available minute of the day hunting, try this approach.
Hopefully, you’ve pre-scouted your birds sufficiently as to know where their midday hang-outs are located. If so, then pick a spot somewhere between their midday strutting grounds and their roosting spot, deploy your setup, climb in mid-afternoon, and prepare to display some great patience. With this approach, it doesn’t hurt to call fairly often, though yet, not too loudly or long – just make a few medium-volume series of five- to six yelps every 30-minutes or so.
At some point in early-to-mid-evening time, you’ll probably get a response from a gobbler nearby. If you’ve done your homework – and are in his desired travel route – get prepared for some fast action! Assume that your gobbler may be following hens, so be sure to try to make your calls calm, reassuring and alluring to the females – hopefully, the gals will lead the old boy right into your lap!
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