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How to Call a Turkey Out of Your Neighbor's Field

With some patience and the right calling technique, you can bring a tom to your side of the fence.

How to Call a Turkey Out of Your Neighbor's Field

Steveheap | Dreamstime.com

You know the neighbor I’m talking about. He doesn’t hunt and doesn’t believe anyone else should enjoy it either. That’s part of the reason why that big gobbler pitches into his pasture every morning to strut the day away with a dozen hens. The tom is easy to see and hear from back in the woods on your side of the fence line, but seems impossible to kill.

He’s not. You won’t get him with a ground blind and decoys on the field edge, but if you’re a good caller and have about a week’s worth of patience, you can tag this turkey. Here’s how.

Go Late

Such a gobbler is too busy breeding the hens right in front of him to come to your calls at daybreak. Turkeys like this are usually duped between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so spend the first few hours of the morning hunting a different spot, and then try this bird a few hours after fly-down. Be persistent, and hunt the turkey every day you can.

Raise Him

When I know a gobbler is likely to be strutting in a nearby “no-go” field, I sneak almost to the edge of the field to make contact, either with my binoculars or with a coarse, loud yelp on a box call. That will usually make him sound off at least once.

Set Up Properly

Once you verify the turkey is there, back off the property line and into the timber 30 to 40 yards, where you cannot see the field. You’re banking on the midday sun to eventually push the turkeys into the shade of nearby timber. You just need to convince them that your spot is the place to be. Most hunters make the simple mistake of sitting too close to the field edge where they can watch the show. But if you call from there, the gobbler is likely to just hang up, where you can’t shoot him. You need him to commit to stepping into the trees to find the unseen hen.

brantley-neighbors-field-setup
(Tess Rousey photo)

Get comfortable and get hidden, because this might take a few hours. I’d rather lean against a big log laying on the ground than sit against a live tree, where roots are inevitably waiting to gouge me in the rear. Position yourself for a good shot. As soon as he steps into the timber, with no briar thickets or blowdowns in the way, take him.

Talk to the Hens

Yelp loud and clear enough to sound interesting, but only call every half hour or so. If the gobbler answers, and especially if he gobbles on his own, you’re doing it right. Stay aloof, and he’ll get curious, especially if his hens leave him. Most days, though, you’re slowly convincing the hens themselves to join you in the shade and drag him along.

brantley-neighbors-field-call

When it works, you’ll probably hear him drum about the time you’re getting bored and thinking of leaving. Then perhaps you’ll see a hen’s head bob into sight. When that happens, he’s as good as dead if you keep still and don’t miss. Take a moment to savor packing him back to the truck — and away from that damn off-limits pasture forever.




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