A turkey in the field

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“How to Set Up on Gobbling Turkeys” Day 2: Why Set Up on a Turkey with Hens

A turkey in the field
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A turkey stretches out it's neckOne of the hardest gobblers to set-up on and call-to is the gobbler with hens. This gobbler already has what he’s looking for and is reluctant to leave his harem just to meet and mate with a new lady friend. Probably the first few times you call, he won’t come. But if you continue to call, his curiosity may get the best of him. A hunter can use three tactics to take this gobbler.A turkey hunter on the watch for a gobbler

  • Follow the gobbler through the woods as he moves with his hens. Stay out of sight, but continue to call to the gobbler using loud, demanding calls. Often, a gobbler will leave his hens or encourage his hens to walk with him to find the hunter he assumes to be another hen.
  • Forget trying to talk to the gobbler, and instead talk directly to the boss hen. When you start giving a demanding call, the boss hen may answer your call as if to say, “This is my gobbler. You leave him alone.” That’s the time to forget about trying to talk to the gobbler and instead talk directly to the boss hen. Attempt to intimidate the boss hen and cause her to become so angry that she’ll come over to investigate the hen that’s doing all the aggressive calling to her gobbler. When she comes hunting the caller, she’ll usually bring the harem of hens with her, and the tom should accompany her. Let the boss hen walk past without seeing you. The other hens will come into the area and so will the gobbler. When you get ready to make the shot, remember that more than one set of eyes are watching for movement. Numerous gobblers have been killed by hunters who have called to the boss hen and then have waited for the gobbler to follow.A hunter carries his downed bird
  • Talk with both the boss hen and the gobbler. If the boss hen is ready to be bred, she may answer your aggressive calling but not leave the gobbler to investigate. When the hen calls, call back aggressively. The instant the tom quits gobbling, start calling to him. If you want to talk to both, each time one of them calls, call back, a practice that should excite either the hen or the gobbler. If the boss hen won’t leave the gobbler, the longbeard usually will herd the boss hen over to the hunter.

Cover: Turkey Hunting TacticsTo 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 many of the top turkey hunters and callers, go to the book, “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007PK9B2G/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p2_i3,
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.

Tomorrow: How to Hunt a Turkey Across Water

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