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Turkey Tips & Tactics

10 Turkey Hunting Tips for the Desperate Beak Buster

by Doug Howlett   |  April 2nd, 2012 14

Turkey season, spring’s best game in town, is once again upon us. We start with high hopes, but I wonder how many of you are going to be sniveling with excuses at the end of the season? Over the years I have heard ’em all: The turkeys were henned up. They wouldn’t come to a call. You didn’t hear many gobbles. You just don’t think the turkeys were there.

Trust me, I know all of the excuses because I’ve used them myself. But the truth is, it’s pointless. The birds are there. And yes, they can definitely be tough to hunt even where plentiful. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be worth the time to hunt them. We’d go fishing instead. But you can still kill them, even when they are henned up, even when they don’t gobble and even when it doesn’t seem like they want to come to a call. Follow these tactics and you’re guaranteed to fill a tag or two.

For more turkey hunting tips and tactics, check out the April-May issue of Petersen’s Hunting.

  • Frank

    These are great tips and I am going to use them this hunting season. I will be hunting Turkey with a bow for the first time. Where should I place the shot on the Gobbler?

    • Frank

      I will also be using my slate calling and diaphragm caller. Would it be better to use the diaphragm caller in order to have my hands free for the bow?

    • jrp

      Of the gobbler's I've killed with a bow, shooting into the wing into the center of the chest area when the bird is turned sideways always works. let him strut and turn away to draw then when he turns back take your shot. Pinning down the wing will insure he doesn't fly off. After the shot get up and after him .. he won't go far. Good Luck … jp

  • ray wyatt

    putting a blind in the middle of a field and bushwacking a tom is NOT turkey hunting i'ts turkey killing

    • Brian laflamme

      Im new at this and don't really know what a blind is.is it same as one you would use for deer hunting.what type of area do you hunt for turkey,open field,woods or what.

    • bryson

      You must be the almighty maker of hunting morals….I don't see anything wrong with hunting from a blind especially when taking a youth or new hunter…..get off ur high horse, its still hunting turkeys

  • hotstriper

    I think killing animals for food is just mean. That's why I only get my meat from the grocery store.

    • hunter9593

      So It's better for someone to kill a animal in a pen to eat instead if working for your that makes alot of sense

      • hotstriper

        I only eat fish because they are cold blooded and don't have souls.

        • My Knife/your throat

          Much like liberals…

    • archermechanic

      Typical dumbass answer I would expect from someone calling themselves hotstriper…. Someone killed that grocery store animal too…. They just kept it in a tiny pen its entire life, fed it horribly bad food, then slit its throat and sold it to you….. You are a prime example of the pussification of this country….

      • hotstriper

        As a woman, I take no offense to your comment.

  • Doug

    Hey Frank. Take both the slate and the diaphragm when you hunt, even with the bow. It's always good to have options as one call can better fire a gobbler up more than another in certain situations. Use the slate if you want until the gobbler gets close. Once the bird is getting in sight or within range and you need to prepare to draw, keep the diaphragm in your mouth to make soft yelps and purrs as needed to finesse the bird in those final yards. Good luck.

    And Ray, as to your observation, I think it's great if you are going to just walk into the woods, sit in one spot and if something comes to your calls. Good for you. If it doesn't, you just go home and call it a day. It's your choice. But most of the better and more hardcore hunters I know use a combination of calling and woodsmanship skills, particularly when it comes to "hard to kill birds," and at the end of the day, if it takes unorthodox, yet perfectly legal and ethical, strategies, I'll choose to be in that camp. In the end, it's only turkey killing when you're successful. –Doug

  • Lee

    When two hunters come across a flock of three or more toms and just as many hens don't move when one of you shoots a tom, more often than not the other toms will come running to see why thair buddy is on the ground flopping around giving the other hunter a chance to fill thair tag ; )

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