There are certain turkey calling and hunting tips that show up every season—blog after blog, article after article, video after video. There’s a reason these “stale” tips resurface. It’s because hunters are a stubborn lot, and oftentimes proven advice needs to be pounded into our heads before we accept it. Other times, we just need to see something work for ourselves.
The tip I offer today is one you’ve heard, and one you’ll hear again … and again.
Turkey toms are finicky fellows. You could perhaps even call them bipolar. They might cut a certain call off Saturday with a double gobble, while Sunday they might not say a word to that same call. I’m talking about the specific type of physical call—pot call, mouth call, box call, etc.. Even more specifically, what exact make and model of call under those umbrellas. And then, it’s a matter of what turkey sound you’re trying to mimic—yelp, cluck, cutt, purr and so on. Think of all the combinations that you could come up with between all the different call manufacturers and turkey sounds. Thousands.
The point is, sometimes you’ll have to dig out every single call in your arsenal to pull a gobble out of a longbeard. If I was a single tom, I’d get excited by any hot hen hollering at me. I guess real gobblers have higher standards. Why? If you know that answer, you’re reading this with your claws wrapped around a roost limb 20 feet off the ground right now.
I chose to shed yet another spotlight on this advice today because, during my recent trip to Nebraska, I faced two situations in which picky gobblers would only talk to one specific hen in my turkey vest. And each time it was a different hen. The first time, three loan gobblers surrounded me and would only hammer back at my Knight & Hale Preacher. The second time, a pair of gobblers closed 1,000 yards in less than 10 minutes, and they only lusted for my Hook’s Assassin Slate. During both of those setups I ran numerous calls, but the birds would only talk back to those specific calls. In both cases, it was aggressive cutting that really drove them up a wall.
Silence is painful in the turkey woods. Don’t be afraid to speak up.