Increase Your Odds of Bagging That Turkey
I have learned quite a bit over the past few years turkey hunting and the majority of it was how to get that tom within range. Every article you read is littered with talk of fighting purrs, flydown cackles and clucks. What they don't tell you is now that you've caught that tom's interest and he's coming on a string... now what? I have seen more blown or missed turkeys from lack of experience in this area than I can imagine. If you can't seal the deal than you may as well have left the call and the gun at home and sat under the dog wood in your front yard. Here's 4 huge pointers I have learned from my own experience.
1. Get COMFORTABLE! I don't mean throw down a pad and sit. I mean get comfortable for the long haul. If I told you you have one chance to get situated and you have to stay in that position for the next week, that's what I want you to do. Clear away all of the debree, move any and all roots and rocks, have the most comfortable cushion you can carry and make yourself at home. The turkeys greatest advantage in the woods is his eyesight. If you have a tick crawling up your leg chances are he'll se it at thirty yards. Once your comfortable get out any and everything you may need through the morning from your vest. Don't be unzipping and zipping pockets. Chances are he'll see you long before you ever see him. The goal is to do whatever it takes to be as comfortable as you can before you make that first call. If you're done and you say to yourself "this isn't too bad" you're not comfortable enough!
2. Carry a lycra facemask for very cold mornings. No, I don't mean this because I'm worried about your cheeks getting chilly. I mean it because once again you're fighting against the turkeys greatest defense... his eyes. A mesh mask may be comfortable to wear but if that gobbler crests a hill I don't think you can hold you breath forever. And when you finally do exhale that big burst of steam might as well be a car horn because they can and will bolt. The lycra mask makes it easier to hide your exhaled breath because it's more restrictive and doesn't allow air through as freely.
3. Gun up! You may have a tendency to lay your gun accross your lap or beside you but DON'T! What you see on the videos is not always the norm. Gobblers don't always come into the gun gobbling their fool heads off letting you know where they are every step of the way. In fact, I have probably had just about as many come to the gun quiet as a mouse. Remember, there's usually one "boss" gobbler in an area who isn't afraid to gobble. There's a heck of a lot more who may be just as big or bigger who won't make a peep because the last time they did the "boss" put them in their place. These are the ones that will come in silent. If your gun is in your lap you won't stand a chance.
4. Learn to use a mouth call. You may like to use a slate, a box or a push button but these all have one thing in common... you have to move to use them. Normally this isn't a huge deal but if you have that gobbler hung up at 70 yards and he has you pinned down now what? If you can even do a few yelps on the ole' diaphram it may be just what you need to pull him in that extra 20 yards without being seen.