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Silent Gobblers

Copyright © 1998 - 2002  Roger W. Raisch * Nadine Adele, all rights reserved

Silent gobblers are frustrating even for the most experienced hunters. 

Toms are silent for a variety of reasons and often a hunter can do nothing to make one sound off and reveal his location.  There are tactics that will work when toms just won't talk.


First, you need to understand the reason for their silence before you decide your hunting tactics. It could be it's a poor day for gobbling....high wind, cold, rainy, or snow conditions

In poor weather like that, follow my Bad Weather Tips

Another reason could be that you are hunting in the breeding portion of the spring mating season when hens are with the gobblers most of the time. 

When he has his girl friends at his side, he's more interested in them than gobbling. 

Review Spring Behavior of turkeys to learn more about when and how this period of the season occurs. 

Also review the Hens Are Trouble article for advice on calling hens. 

Or, if he's not with hens, but happens to be with other gobblers, he's often contented to be with them and won't come to your call nor gobble much.  This could be any time during the spring season. 

A lone gobbler, the one that should be the most venerable to your calling, may simply have developed his senses for survival to a point that he survives nicely by not doing too much gobbling....thank you very much

I believe strongly that the gobble is being slowly bred out of our toms.  By this I mean that the birds that gobble a lot and come to a call aren't around very long to pass on those genes.  The ones that don't gobble much live longer, spread their genes, thus future generations of turkeys gobble less. 

Finally, a bird that has been gobbling on a certain interval, and then stops abruptly, could be coming your way. Don't get up and move because you think he has left.  He might be about in your lap. 

Give a silent gobbler at least another 30 minutes to show up.


The first tactic on silent gobblers should be to try to make them gobble with all the weapons at your disposal.  Become familiar with How To Make Turkeys Gobble

The most important SECRET of dealing with silent gobblers, and all of us deal with them, is to do a lot of scouting to locate birds during all times of the day.  

Find out where they roost, where they go when they come off roost, and where they feed, strut, and loaf at all times of the day.  With this information, you can hunt them effectively without ever hearing a gobble.


Hunting with a great deal of Patience in Strut Zones is probably the biggest SECRET to dealing with gobblers that won't talk.


Other SECRETS for dealing with these hush-mouthed monarchs are:


Use the "silent treatment" after your calling has not brought a gobbler in....assume a bird has heard your calling, and stop all calling for about 40 minutes. 

Sit quietly and be alert for a bird to become anxious because he hasn't heard "the hen" for a while.  He may come over to investigate.


Call constantly and excitedly to fire him up....try spurts of constant calling for a minute or two every couple of minutes over a 30 minute period. 

Start him coming your way even if he doesn't gobble.


Change callers for a different sound.  He may gobble and be more interested in a different sound.  

Try a friction call if you've only been using a mouth call, for example.


Use more than one caller...sound like a flock

Try creating a turkey fight with a friction call and a mouth call operated at the same time.  Try a Dueling Hens call to imitate a fight.


Gang up on the bird....call with a friend from two different locations. 

Call back and forth to each other.

Move to another spot within 150 yards and start calling from there....make the tom think you are a real hen and have moved.


Try Decoys.

Place them in the open where they are easily visible. 

Remember to activate your movement decoy every 5 minutes or so.  A gobbler may have spied your set up location, but didn't see what he thought he should and simply walked away.


Silent gobbler can be had.  Those who can routinely bag silent gobblers are the true pros in the turkey hunting fraternity.


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