John’s Note: Turkey hunting in many states is just cranking up, and seasons will last until June in some places. Bob Wozniak, one of the true masters of turkey hunting in New York State, has hunted turkeys for about 40 years there and in other states and has come up with tactics that work everywhere for bagging wily gobblers. He has bagged a gobbler or called in a gobbler someone has taken every year that New York has had a turkey season. Let’s look at some of Wozniak’s best tactics for taking toms this spring.
Wozniak believes many turkey hunters walk off and leave close-by toms, because the hunters never hear them gobble.
Although we all like to hear turkeys gobble, Wozniak reminds us that he’s taken several toms that never have gobbled. “Often in a high-pressure area, a tom only will drum as he comes to a hen,” Wozniak mentioned. “I know many turkey hunters I’ve guided before who never have heard that sound. They listen for a turkey to gobble and don’t understand what they’re hearing when a bird spits and drums. On a still morning, you may hear a turkey drum 50 to 75 yards away.”
When turkey hunters discuss bagging gobblers, they talk about calling the turkeys. However, Wozniak suggests you learn to hunt a turkey first and rely more on your hunting skills than your calling skills to take a tom. “One of the biggest mistakes most turkey hunters make is they don’t anticipate what the turkey will do before the turkey does it,” Wozniak explained. “Instead, they react to what the turkey does after the bird already has committed himself to go one way or the other.
If you’re a good woodsman and hear a turkey gobble after you call to him, you’ll anticipate where that turkey will go, what he’ll do, and where you should be to intercept him. You won’t just sit down and call the bird to you. Your chances for bagging a gobbler will be much greater too.” By knowing where a turkey naturally wants to walk and the kinds of places a turkey won’t move through, you can take a stand in a section where the turkey most likely will come, even if you don’t call to him.
To get John E. Phillips’ eBook, “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible,” click here.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.