Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: If you haven’t used decoys in the past then give them a try, but be sure to check your local game laws so that you’re using the right kind. Take the time to practice (before the season) with your weapon so you will know what your effective range is. If you have a bird coming to your calls, once you see him back off on your calling and make it soft and seductive. If you have trouble sitting still or you’re trying to take a child hunting with you then get yourself a blind. It will make things much easier on you.
Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: If it’s a new property to you then you should do plenty. Find out where the turkeys roost, like to fly down to and like to feed and hang out during the day. Don’t waste your precious hunting season trying to figure these things out. If it’s the same old place you hunt then not as much is needed. You still need to get out there and find out where they are roosting, because birds will change it up every so often. You also need to see if any crops got changed around because that will affect where they feed and hang out year to year.
Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: For me it’s the diaphragm call. It’s the call that can do it all. You can make it loud and aggressive all the way down to soft and seductive. The best thing about it is there’s no motion required to make a sound and it’s hands free!
Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: Yes you really should. There is not just one call out there that is going to work every single time you hunt. Some birds just won’t respond to certain calls while others will. So it’s good to have different calls on hand and know how to use them. This way you can find the one that strikes his fancy.
Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: I always keep them stored in my turkey vest so I know right where they are at all times. I’ll prep them before I go hunting, rough up surfaces and chalk anything that needs it. I prefer to keep my diaphragm calls stored in a small plastic case so no debris can get on or in them that could affect their performance. I also make sure when I’m using my diaphragm calls, if I want a drink of something I make sure it’s only water. If you drink anything like soda, the residue in your mouth can get between the reeds, which most of the time makes them stick together rendering the call useless.
Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: They don’t sit still enough, they call way too much or they are not wearing Mossy Oak Obsession!
Q: Do you use decoys? If so how?
A: I always use my Montana Decoys. I’ll put a Tom or Jake decoy closest to my set up say 20 yards out (this will vary a little depending on if I’m using a bow or gun). Then I’ll put 2 hen decoys another 10-15 yards out and spread them apart so that all 3 decoys make a triangle pattern. I always put the Tom or Jake closest to me because if a Tom comes in, that decoy will be the first one he confronts. Once a Tom is inside the triangle not many make it back out!
Q: What should I do if I go out and don’t hear any gobbling?
A: If you know there are birds in the area you’re hunting don’t give up on your set up. Not all Toms come in gobbling their heads off. Some will come in all quiet and catch you daydreaming or packing up to move.
Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: Early morning right around dawn, when they are flying down from the roost. Also midday, like 12:00-3:00 p.m. give or take an hour. The hens will go to nest and leave the Toms (who are always looking for a new mate), all alone.
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