Editor’s Note: Chris Kirby is a World Champion turkey caller and he has been a Mossy Oak pro for many years. He’s the president of Quaker Boy Calls and has partnered with Mossy Oak to produce the Turkey Thugs line of turkey calls.
My best suggestion for taking turkeys that gobble and then walks away is to get close enough to throw a hand grenade to them. Remember this to always help you in turkey hunting: When you’re not in the woods, many events are happening. These events can cause turkeys to walk away from the place to which you’re trying to call them. The gobbler you’re working, especially on public grounds, may have been shot at the day before you try to call him. He may have been called to for 3 - 4 days by other hunters. The turkey may have had an encounter with a coyote in the very spot where you’re sitting. When a turkey walks away from a hunter, he or she may think he’s called incorrectly. This isn’t necessarily true. Turkeys that I have hunted for 2 - 3 days will answer me from the roost. But when they don’t see a hen, they will fly down and walk to a high point on a ridge and begin to gobble, because that’s where they usually meet their hens. Remember, in the real world of turkeys, the turkey gobbles, and then the hen flies-down and goes to the gobbling turkey. A gobbling turkey going to a hen is really quite an unnatural act.
Too, there are some bad turkeys in those woods. If there’s a dominant gobbler that lives where you’re calling from, even though another turkey may gobble to you, when he flies out to the tree, he will get away from where the dominant turkey is. More than likely that dominant turkey has beaten him up. So, you may need 2 - 3 days to determine why a turkey won’t come to your calling. More than likely, you can take that turkey by deciding where he’s going when he flies out of the tree. Then, instead of trying to call to him while he’s in the roost tree, move to the place where the turkey is going. Do some light calling, and that turkey may walk into your gun range.