Over the past 11+ years of turkey hunting I've noticed how the game has changed. These birds are stupid smart. Stupid. Or just smart. I haven't figured out which yet.
For a bird that can fly 50 miles an hour and loft themselves into a tree to roost, mind telling me why they won't fly over a short fence to court my sexy - come get me big boy - decoy?
What I've seen change is there are no dominant birds... I've seen mature toms and little jakes alike in a rally of spitting, drumming and fanning around 2 to 3 hens. No fighting off the weaker, small bird. Maybe a comparison of taller tail fan, longer beard case then actually mating. I think today's society has made these birds soft and too touchy, feely.
I've also noticed an increased large tom/jake to less hen ratio. They no longer come running as eagerly to a hen call as once before. Maybe with the increase in turkey hunting popularity, birds are being educated.
Facts that remain the same.
Turkeys have amazing hearing. This is not a talkative sport. Be quiet.
Turkeys have amazing eye sight.
- If you must move, move at a sloths pace. Better yet, leave that itch unscratched.
Turkeys can see in color.
- Leave the pink camo at home - oh, and on the warm days that you want to wear light shoes... Check your colors. Orange or purple Nike's won't cut it.
- When you sit in a ground blind, make sure you wear black, you want to blend, they'll see your camo. And skip the teeth whitening the night before.
Turkeys can see in 3D.
- When they are facing forward, they are looking to the side (eyes on the sides of their heads). So when that bird is bobbing its head around, rest assured they are trying to figure out what you are.
When you can, scout the night before your hunt. Nothing is more deflating then setting up under the roost tree. Sharing from a friend.
- Play the game, if they are vocal you be vocal. If they are quiet you copy that, only sending out a "here I am" a few times. They'll hear you, pinpoint you, come in quietly, and fly away laughing.
If you have good response to your sexy smoker voice hen call, but can't get the boys to the yard, change your call sound, aggression and tone. Use a different reed, use a slate or box call, gobble... Yep! Gobble at him!
I recall a time my husband and I were about 150 yds apart, the boys were talking but didn't care to go for a walk. Until we changed it up. We started hen calling back and forth to each other. On a very aggressive, I need to breed now, sorta talk. long story short, big time down!
If all hell breaks loose and chaos ensues, SIT! Don't move, breath and give it some time. I can't tell you how many times this has happened, I thought game over, only to be busted because another bird was coming in or the same group wasn't done playing yet.
You. Must. Be. Patient.
Above all else, ignore everything I've said. It'll probably change by the time the next bird comes in.
Shoot em in the face!!