There’s little doubt the successful turkey hunter’s greatest virtue is patience.
Too many hunters expect a gobbling tom to come running to their sweet, seductive calls. When they don’t, the hunter gets up and moves closer. More often than not it’s better to sit tight and wait the bird out rather than risk scaring him. Time means nothing to a turkey.
Another common mistake is to get up and move as soon as a bird stops gobbling. An approaching tom will often go mum and slowly strut his way toward you. If a bird goes silent on you, sit tight and wait at least a half hour before moving.
Sometimes the birds don’t gobble at all. You can troll around cranking on a box call and hoping to strike a bird. A better option might be this old-school tactic. Sit tight and call sparsely every 15 or 20 minutes. You must remain vigilant as well as patient as it’s very likely an approaching bird will come in silently.
Bob Humphrey is a certified wildlife biologist, registered Maine guide, award winning outdoor writer and turkey hunter of some renown. In addition to thousands of magazine articles, he’s authored two books on turkey hunting, available at: www.bobhumphrey.com/books.html