Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland
Here are 5 true or false statements that many turkey hunters may not know or believe. You may consider them subjective, but I’ve been turkey hunting for many years, and these hold true for me.
True or false: A kee kee or whistle that turkeys do is only heard during the fall when they are still developing.
False. The chance of hearing hens kee kee or whistle are indeed great during the fall but that sound can be heard during the spring as well. Some turkeys may develop their vocal skills slower than others and some may not fully develop at all and will have a slight kee kee or whistle their entire life.
True or false: The best way to increase your odds of actually calling in a gobbler is to hone your calling skills to a very high level.
False. The best way to increase your odds of being successful calling in gobblers each spring is to spend as much time as possible gaining access to land. Knocking on doors, making friends with farmers and landowners or scouting as much public ground as possible will pay big dividends each spring. The best caller in the woods can’t succeed if there are no turkeys around.
True or false: A non-turkey sound like an owl, crow or hawk is best for locating gobblers after the fly down.
False. It’s always an advantage to provoke a gobble without using a turkey sound, because you may not get time to set up if a gobbler is close and he may respond fast. On the other hand, many gobblers may not respond to owls and crows later in the day, because they have heard so many already or they may be focused on hens they are near. A loud sharp yelp or cut done first not after a series of crow calls or owl hoots may shock a response or “shock gobble” out of an old gobbler when nothing else will.
True or False: The key to being successful when hunting from a natural blind is to use elements nearby such as limbs, leaves or brush to hide your setup.
False. The key to any setup, be it a natural blind or just sitting against a large tree, is comfort. Make sure you have a thick cushion, a comfortable back rest and room to stretch your legs. The more comfortable you are the easier it is to sit still. Full Mossy Oak head to toe and on all your gear will hide you just fine but moving will give you away every time.
True or False: It’s best to get on a downed gobbler as quick as possible after the shot.
False. Back in the day, everyone jumped up and ran as fast as they could to a turkey after they shot. The reason they did that is years ago the guns and shot loads were nowhere near as good as they are today. It was most likely 2 and ¾ sixes or 7 ½’s from a modified barrel and there was a good chance your gobbler might jump up and run off. Today the guns, chokes and ammunition are far superior and made especially for turkeys, and that’s a good thing because running with a gun is not practicing proper safety.