with Chris Kirby
Now that you understand just about everything you need to know to get started, if you go into the woods and make your first yelp with a Turkey Thugs Trigger Box, and a longbeard tom gobbles, then what do you do next? You need to rely on the many months you’ve put in scouting the land that you're now hunting. In your mind’s eye, you should know where that turkey gobbled from in the woods. Then you should put together a scenario as to where that turkey will be once he flies out of the roost tree. For instance, after the turkey gobbles the first time, you know that there’s a field not far from where you’ve heard him gobble. To get to that field, you know the turkey doesn’t want to walk through many open spaces, but he will walk down that ridge where he’s gobbled from to move into the back side of the field where you’ve seen and heard him before.
The next step is to get to the place where the turkey usually enters the field and find a tree that’s wider than your shoulders and close to the path you think the turkey will walk to go out into the field. Or, you can call a second time. If the turkey starts gobbling so hard you think he may gobble his brains out and walks straight to you, look for the closest tree that’s wider than your shoulders where you can sit down and see from 20 to 40 yards in front of you. When the turkey gobbles, he expects you (he believes it’s a hen) to come to him, because that’s what a hen is naturally supposed to do during the spring of the year when she hears a turkey gobble. However, when the hen doesn’t come to him, and the gobbler isn’t coming any closer to you, you may want to change your stand and move carefully down close to that logging road that you’ve perhaps seen off to your left and call from there. Anytime you can give a turkey a wide open trail or path to walk to you, then more than likely, he'll take the path with the fewest obstacles. If you give the turkey an easy way to move to you where he doesn’t have to cross a fence, water or thick cover, then he may walk to within gun range.
Some people cut branches or bushes to put out in front of themselves like a blind. Other hunters may carry a portable blind with them and set up the blind before they call. But I'm old school. I don’t use any type of blind. Instead, I rely on my Mossy Oak camouflage to make me blend into the tree where I'm sitting. I use the tree to break-up my outline. I believe the Mossy Oak camo that I wear hides me as well, if not, better than a blind does.
I don’t put my gun on my shoulder, until I expect the turkey to step out into view, or after I see the turkey. I don’t pick up my gun, until that tom’s behind a tree or bush, and I know he can’t see me, or he starts strutting and looking away from me.
Day 2: Use a Push Button Call for Your First Turkey Call and Pattern Your Gun
Tomorrow: Understand When to Get Ready for the Shot