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What Setting Up on Turkeys Means and How To Do It


When you’re setting up on a turkey, that’s a spot in the woods where you decide to take a stand to shoot the gobbler. Most of the time you want your back against a tree that’s wider than your shoulders and be sure you’ve got a good field of view. You want some type of brush, cover or terrain in front of you, so that the turkey has to come within gun range to see the hen that’s been calling to him. When I’m with a hunter, if my hunter’s right-handed, and the turkey’s gobbling straight out in front of me at what I would call 12:00, then I want my hunter sitting and facing the tree at 2:00. Then he can move his shotgun in a much wider arc. If the turkey comes in from the hunter’s left, then the hunter can move to his left much easier than he can swing his shotgun to the right if the turkey comes in from the right. If the hunter’s right-handed, he can move the gun to the right. 

BobWalker_day2If I’m calling for the hunter, and the gobbler is out in front of me and the hunter, I won’t call to the turkey. If I’m using a diaphragm call, I’ll put my right hand at the corner of my mouth and cup my hand to make sure the call sounds like it’s coming from the left of the hunter. Then the gobbler naturally will expect the hen to be somewhat more to the left of the hunter, rather than thinking that the hen’s standing right out in front of that hunter. If my hunter’s right-handed, I don’t want to throw that call to the right, because the turkey will come to the right side of the hunter where that hunter has less room to move than to his left. I also use my hand to throw the call to the left, but I bring my fingers in, so that as the call comes out of my mouth and hits my fingers and hand, it not only goes to the left of the hunter but a little behind the hunter. Then when the gobbler arrives, he should come from the left and be looking somewhere behind where the hunter’s sitting. By using your hand to throw the turkey call, you can make the call sound like it’s coming from left, right, in front of the hunter or behind the hunter.

There’s one other thing I do before calling to a turkey. I always carry a range finder with me to set up our killing ground. I want to know the distance my hunter is from trees, 30-40 yards away. By knowing that distance, my hunter has landmarks to know when the tom is within killing range. Too, the hunter knows not to take the shot, if that turkey hasn’t moved inside those landmarks we’ve established as the killing ground.  

Day 1: What to Do When a Turkey Gobbles with Bob Walker 

Tomorrow: Setting Up a Second Time 150-200 Yards from a Gobbling Turkey

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