Pulling a gobbler away from a hen

Published 2:07 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We are about three weeks into the spring gobbling season, and I think that most of the hunters are pleased with their success so far.

As you might well imagine, not all the hunters have taken a bird, but you can still be pleased with what you have done even if you haven’t pulled the trigger. Some, but not many, have pulled the trigger and watched him fly away. Not much fun but something that you will not do again, hopefully.

I talked with one hunter this morning, and he was telling me he had not killed a gobbler in two years, that is until that morning. A good looking, healthy gobbler weighing in at 21 pounds, which is not a bad bird. There are a few larger, but a great many that are smaller.

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This particular bird had an 11-inch beard and one and one-half-inch spurs. He had done his last bit of strutting and showing off for the females of his flock and he did have a flock. The weekend prior the same gobbler was with nine hens and there was no way to coax him away from the hens.

This time he should have stayed in the area with the hens and not ventured off in search of a new girlfriend. Had he been with them he would have been fairly safe as if you know anything about turkey hunting, it is very nearly impossible to call a gobbler away from a hen. He won’t leave a sure thing for a toss up.

Maybe we are just hitting the primetime of the season as almost every hunter is saying he is hearing birds each and everytime he goes out into the woods. Not that every hunter is getting a bird everytime he goes, but at least hearing them.

Any turkey hunter will tell you that his heart goes to pounding in his chest when that gobbler starts getting close. You can be sitting in front of a tree actually leaning back against it and call a gobbler close enough to kill him.

As long as you don’t move a muscle, the turkey will not realize you are there. However, if you as much as flinch chances are the gobbler will see you and make a run for the nearest cover.

If you are really lucky, you may get it on the run or on the fly, but if you just hadn’t moved you would have had a standing shot. Realize that standing shot may have to be made quick. Jerk the gun up, aim and shoot in about one-10th of a second. It is not easy, but can be done and is a lot of times.

Let’s not make things more difficult than they have to be. Just get out there and get set up and do your best.

Sometimes it is not meant for you to get that particular bird and then other times regardless of what you do, everything falls into your lap.

The best thing you can do is not move and not make a mistake in calling the gobbler. You are making sounds that the hen makes to bring the gobbler in to you. Every hen sounds different, so you really don’t have to be perfect, but you also shouldn’t make an errant note when you are calling.

The bad sound you make may mean run, run for your life in turkey language.

Turkey hunting is a lot like deer hunting in that you have to put in the hours in the woods and not act stupid.  Also it helps to be very lucky and when lucks fails you, you need to be very good.  A good, lucky hunter will always get his bird.

Fishing is picking up everyday.

April has not seen the wind like March did, and we have seen some very warm temperatures during April.

These warm days and not-so-cool nights are helping to warm the water so that when the first moon gives the panfish an opportunity, they will no doubt be ready to bed. At least by the end of the month.

Maybe the fish cooker will get some use this month yet. But then also one of those 30-quart turkey pots will fit nicely on that fish cooker and you can fry that gobbler also.

Oh, the smell of cooking in the neighborhood.