You’ll hear every turkey hunter, who’s hunted long enough, say that turkeys are either the smartest animal you’ll ever chase, or they’re the dumbest thing that breathes. However, no turkey hunting situation is the same and each year you are exposed to a new pattern of how a flock survives, and what you have to do to harvest the most mature tom. This year, I’ve taken a different approach to how I chase turkeys here in Oklahoma. I decided I’d push my limits, and instead of waiting on the birds to come to me, I go to them.
This method of hunting can be referred to as “running and gunning,” and it can be one of the most effective, and fun hunting you’ll ever experience. One thing that makes it so effective is you’re not giving the turkey enough time to figure out what’s going on, and he’s relying on his instinct and curiosity, giving you enough time to slip within range.
The running and gunning method can be as simple as laying behind an old turkey fan, or crawling across a wheat field behind a scoot-and-shoot style decoy. Either way, this gets the birds fired up and will often make them break away from their hens and come charging right at you.
I’ve found that this is a great way to kill the birds that always hang-up, or those that seem to outsmart the typical decoy set-up. On a recent hunt, I was able to get within ten yards of a tom simply by hiding, as best as I could, behind an old turkey fan. Every bird killed by using this method has been within 15 yards of the hunter. They simply can’t resist the sight of a fan or decoy resembling a bowed up tom ready for a fight.
So whether you’re trying to kill an old stubborn tom, or just want to get the adrenaline rush of having a gobbler pretty much in your lap, running and gunning is a method you have to try.