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Calvin Perryman and the After Lunch Turkey

provided by John Phillips

Mossy Oak Pro Calvin Perryman lives in Troy, Alabama, and took his first turkey when he was 6 years old. Today, at age 30, Perryman primarily hunts private lands in Alabama in Wilcox, Dallas, Pike and Bullock counties. Originally from Camden, Alabama, he has some family land he also hunts there.

2 gobblers

A friend of mine, Daniel Duke, and I were hunting this one particular turkey. Off in the distance we could hear two other turkeys gobbling almost with every breath. Every time I would call the turkey he would gobble, but these other two turkeys would gobble back even harder and more than the turkey that I was trying to call. 

I whispered to my buddy, “We might should get up and go to those two turkeys that are gobbling so good.” 

But we had been hunting the big gobbler I was calling to and really wanted to try and take him. However, that tom wouldn’t move, so we decided to get up and move and go to the two turkeys that were gobbling so good. 

2 turkey huntersWhen we got to where we heard the two turkeys gobbling, we saw they were out in a field. However, for some reason before we could even set up to attempt to call them, they left the field. I didn’t think we had spooked those two turkeys, but more than likely because they were gobbling so much, they probably had gobbled up some hens. Then when they spotted those hens, they probably left the field and went to them. Although we yelped to the birds and tried to get them to turn around and come back to us, I believe they were looking at hens. They weren’t about to leave the hens they had found to come to some hens they couldn’t see. We tried to move up on those turkeys a couple of times, but finally we decided that if we kept messing with those turkeys, then sooner or later, they’d either see us or get tired of hearing us call. So, we went back to camp and ate some lunch.

That afternoon we walked and called in the same area where we had heard those two gobblers. Once we reached the fence line, we called several times, and those two gobblers answered us. I guess their hens already had gone to nest, and they were by themselves and lonesome for some company because they started coming straight to us. Daniel and I quickly took a stand on the edge of a fence line. As the gobblers started coming, we began calling aggressively with some excited hen yelps and a little bit of cutting. Daniel and I were sitting side-by-side as the two gobblers approached. We planned to count to three and then shoot to try and take both turkeys. However, Daniel shot first, and his gobbler went down. The tom I was going to shoot jumped up and started flying, but I was able to shoot him before he was 5 feet up in the air.

What I Learned from These Two After Lunch Gobblers:

  • You need to get up and go to turkeys as soon as you hear them, when you have two turkeys gobbling as hard as these two turkeys were gobbling. Turkeys don’t usually gobble that much to a hen as far away as we were. Sometimes you're better off to walk off and leave turkeys that have been gobbling good in the mornings and not hunt them until later in the afternoon. Although we’d heard and gone after these gobblers just after daylight, we didn’t take them until 3 p.m.  
  • You also can enjoy good hunting late in the afternoons. In the mornings, the turkeys gobble to get hens to come to them, so they can breed the hens. But after that, early morning breeding is over, the hens often will go to their nests or at least get away from those lovesick gobblers. This time of day may be when the gobblers are the most vulnerable.

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