John’s Note: Mark and Terry Drury of Drury Outdoors (www.druryoutdoors.com) are two of the most-successful TV producers in all of outdoor television. They produce “Bow Madness,” “Dream Season,” “Wildlife Obsession” and “King of the Spring” that air on the Outdoor Channel, and “Natural Born” that airs on the Pursuit Network. They’re brothers, business partners, friends and hunting buddies.
Question: Terry, what do you do when you don’t take a turkey within the first hour or so after he leaves the limb?
Terry Drury: First thing in the morning gobblers will breed hens, fight with each other and chase jakes away from the hens. Then about 9:00 or 10:00 am, the woods will get quiet, and the turkeys will settle down. Mark and I generally will go to a restaurant, eat breakfast and then return to the woods again. We have a little saying or tactic called, “feed them forward.” We know where the turkeys like to hang out in the late morning and in the middle of the day – often a strut zone or a loafing zone. We go to where the turkeys want to be, and we’ll set-out a couple of decoys, usually a gobbler and a hen. Even though Mark is a World Champion turkey caller, knowing where the turkeys want to be and getting to that place before they do is much-more effective than fancy calling. We mix up our decoys too, depending on when we’re hunting during the season. We know when to set-out King Strut decoy, when to put out our hen decoy, the Shady Lady, and when to put out a jake decoy (www.flambeauoutdoors.com).
Sometime we won’t call at all. We just wait for the gobbler to show-up. We even may switch between taking a nap and looking for the turkey. Mark also may cluck and purr to sound like a disinterested hen that’s feeding. We just want the gobbler to know that there’s some turkeys where he’s accustomed to turkeys being, and they’re staying in that same area where he always meets them. We want to become a part of that turkey’s natural daily routine. Ninety-eight percent of the time, woodsmanship will pay more turkey dividends than great calling will.
To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle eBooks and print books by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible (available as an eBook or in paperback),” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman,” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.” Click here to get these books. To get John’s newest book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” for free, click here.