Editor’s Note: One of the nation’s leading turkey callers and hunters for four decades, Chris Parrish of Centralia, Missouri, has won 10 World Turkey Calling Championships and 11 Grand National Turkey Calling Championships. Parrish spends thousands of hours in the woods before, during and after turkey season listening to, observing and taking notes on the social behavior of turkeys. As a longtime student of the wild turkey gobbler, Parrish shares 12 secrets this week to help you take more gobblers this season.
5) Put the Turkeys Where You Can Take Them: On most hunting clubs, numerous people hunt the same property. So, each of the members of the hunting club may have a designated area to hunt every day during spring gobbler season, which will mean you’ll have limited space to find and bag a gobbler. To ensure you have turkeys in each place you plan to hunt, I recommend supplemental feeding before the season. Most states permit supplemental feeding 14 to 21 days before the season, but be sure to check your state’s regulations. If you can feed turkeys before the season, feed them in the region where you’ll be hunting.
6) Stay Out of the Woods and Off the Calls: The less hunting pressure the turkeys experience before the season, the more your chances will increase for bagging a gobbler on opening weekend. I recommend these rules for your hunting club during turkey season:
- No one can go into the woods 2 weeks before turkey season.
- No one can use a turkey call in the woods 2 weeks before the season.
- A hunter who plans to scout for turkeys before the season must stay on roads and paths already constructed and only use locator calls.
If you won’t call to the turkeys before the season, when you do call to them, they’ll more likely come to you.
7) Build Blinds Where Turkeys Stay: If you’ve hunted an area for several years, you’ll know where you’ll most-likely find turkeys during the spring. Go into those regions at the end of deer season, and build blinds for turkey hunters. If the hunters will hunt from these blinds and not move through the woods, they’ll greatly increase their odds for taking turkeys and drastically reduce the number of times they’ll spook turkeys when walking through the woods. Hunters walking through the woods spook and educate far more turkeys than the hunters do who hunt from blinds.
8) Don’t Have a Favorite Call: If you want to take more turkeys in the spring, carry a wide variety of turkey calls with you when you hunt spring gobblers. Turkeys get wise to hearing the same call from the same places day after day. You can change the types of calls you use three or four times during the day and then switch-out calls you use every other day. Make sure you have a box call, a slate call, a push-button call, a glass call and several different kinds of diaphragm calls with you when you hunt.
To learn more about hunting turkeys successfully, visit John E. Phillips’ Amazon book page at https://www.amazon.com/John-E.-Phillips/e/B001HP7K6O. For even more information from one of the top turkey hunters and callers, go to https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CFP9V2Q/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2 to see the book, “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” available in Kindle, print and Audible. You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on the book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read and hear 10% of the book for free). On the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible book. You also can order “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman,” available in Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D7NQFS8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i10
Tomorrow: Four More Tactics to Take Turkeys