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Smart old gobblers

By Roger Williams

Arriving before daylight and creeping through the springtime woodlands seems to make me feel like a younger hunter than I actually am. I hear an owl hooting in the distance.

Hold it! Was that a gobble I heard off to my right? Wait a minute, I think I heard it again. Another “tom” responds to the first gobbler, not too much further down in the deep hollow.

Excited now, but still before the sun comes over the horizon, I begin to make my way toward the talkative birds.

Moving quickly, I soon reach the ridge overlooking the hollow where the turkeys roosted last evening. I select a spot to sit where I am fairly well hidden, and get my calls from my jacket pocket.

The trees are becoming more definite now in the early morning dawning. There is crispness in the air and the songbirds begin to flit about and sing welcome to a new day on the mountain.

There must be several roosting birds about half way off the side of the ridge from where I sit. I am in an excellent position to begin to call in hopes of luring a big gobbler to my shotgun.

Turkeys are more likely to respond to a call if you can place yourself above them. I find this is normally true, but sometimes an exception happens. What I am trying to say here is to call anyway.

The turkeys may not know that they aren’t supposed to come to your tempting yelps, purrs and feeding clucks, even if you are located in a less than perfect stand. Turkeys have near-perfect eyesight, and will notice the smallest movement. You must be cautious as they approach within shotgun range.

Spring gobbler season is only a week or so from opening day. I am looking forward to trying my skills on these beautiful spring days, and I do hope the weather cooperates this year.

The turkeys are abundant and there should be plenty of gobblers in the mountains to pursue. Make your hunting plans now. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little preseason scouting this weekend.

Good luck, and take your kids to the woods this spring. Let them hear the gobblers singing to the hens.



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