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Setting Up
Copyright © 1998 - 2005  Roger W. Raisch * Nadine Adele, all rights reserved
        

           

After a turkey gobbles, deciding where to sit and call from can be the most critical decision you make.  

Inexperienced hunters, and some seasoned ones too, regularly sit in places turkeys just won't come to.  Or, they put themselves in places where they won't be able to see or shoot from if a turkey does approach. 

 

Always try to get as close as possible to a gobbler without spooking him, no matter what time of day.

This will help you from having a hen or another hunter cut in between you and the tom.  150 yards or less is best...and sometimes you can get within 60 yards, especially if you know right where he is and you can move within being heard and seen. 

You're plenty close when his gobble sounds low and guttural, like he's gobbling in a barrel.

 

Stay out of and away from brush piles. 

You may be able to stay well hidden in them, but you can't see or shoot very well when you're concealed in one.  Also, you may not be able to maneuver your gun into shooting position easily if the tom appears in a place you didn't expect.  

Areas with heavy underbrush are not good either.  Gobblers prefer to travel through open areas when coming to a call.  I've watched plenty of them hang-up on the other side of thick brush.

 

For best success, the SECRET is to pick an open area. 

A place where you and the turkey can see for at least 50 yards.   In this type of location, a bird can not sneak up on you without being seen.  

An area that is too open, such as a small clump of trees in the middle of a field, can be too open, causing a tom to hang up because he can see everything.  He may not see what he's looking for....namely hens.

In a very open set-up like that, be sure to use a few Hen Decoys  for added realism.  In this way, he may feel comfortable coming over to investigate.

 

Try to get on the same contour and ridge with the bird. 

A gobbler that must cross an obstacle, like a creek, fence, thick brush, or ravine to get to you, often hangs up on the opposite side and refuses to come through. 

If you encounter one of these situations, and decide you can't get across the obstacle, set-up as close to the obstacle as possible in the hopes of having the bird approach the obstacle within range.

 

Don't sit too close to a deep ravine.  Sit at least 40 yards away from the edge of the drop-off. 

If you're too close, a bird may be coming to your calls, and you won't know it or see him until he's right in your face.  Usually you will have had no idea he was coming and he'll spot you and retreat before you can shoot.

 

Sit against a tree at least as wide as your shoulders for protection, camouflage and comfort.

Face the direction you expect the bird to approach from, with your left shoulder pointed in that direction (if you are a right-handed shooter).  In this way you have a wider swing with your gun in case he doesn't appear where you expect him to.

 

Before you settle in, cut any brush, branches, and roots that will interfere with your comfort and handling of the gun. 

A good pair of Pruning Shears will do the job quickly and quietly.  Last, sit on a Seat Cushion for comfort.

 

Sit with your knees drawn up and your gun ready in both hands. 

Rest the gun on one of your knees.   Don't lay down---it's uncomfortable, fouls up your sight picture when a shot presents itself, is noisy when shifting position, and restricts your vision.

 

When your gobbler finally appears, don't shoot at him when he's strutting...it's a poor shot because his head and neck are screwed into an "S" shape, restricting the size of the target.  

Make a sharp cluck or "alarm putt" with your mouth call, or clear your throat, and he'll come out of strut and jerk his head up....take him in the head and neck now!  But, don't make him come out of strut like this unless you have the gun aimed at him and are ready to shoot....otherwise he's gone and you lose.

 

Subjects in the Secrets Library
About Turkeys
Spring Hunting Tactics
Fall Hunting Tactics
Camouflage & Concealment
Turkey Calls & Calling
Check List & Misc.
Equipment
Bow Hunting Tactics
Safety & Ethics
   
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