The two biggest mistakes turkey hunters make are calling too much and not calling enough. The key to success is calling just enough, and saying the right thing. And sometimes it takes a little experimenting to figure out what that is.
To do that, you’ve got to take the bird’s temperature. Start out conservatively and see how the bird reacts to your call. If he reacts tentatively, keep it subtle. If he goes mum, you should do the same. But don’t give up yet. Sight tight, wait 10 or 15 minutes and try him again.
If the bird gobbles every time you call, and cuts you off, get more aggressive. Try calling over him when he gobbles. Sometimes you can really fire up a bird this way. However, you still have to be careful not to overcall.
Once you’re sure the bird is coming in, you can quit. Or, you can reassure him with a few soft clucks and purrs, just to keep him on the right track.
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