A patient turkey hunter is a spring gobbler’s worst nightmare. Mature toms don’t come charging in to the first call you make like jakes and two year olds may. They are on turkey time and get there when they get there. They have other turkey stuff going on that they need to attend to first, even if its just loafing around like the fall toms in this picture. Plus, a spring tom expects the hen to come to him anyway.
But even though it may be hours later, a tom will eventually get around to investigating your calls when the hens he was with have gone to their nests. Many a turkey hunter has changed locations only to hear a tom gobbling from the spot he just left, or stood up to move only to scare a tom nearby that was silently sneaking in.
The patience to wait out a tom in one spot for half a day or all day is made up of the two Cs – Confidence and Comfort.
Be confident that there are or will be wild turkeys within earshot of your call. Do the leg work and scouting needed to be sure that turkeys use the area you where you plan to set up and call. A place with both fresh and old turkey sign means turkeys are there consistently. When you are confident that they will be around, you can wait patiently for them instead of wondering if you should move to another spot.
Be confident in your calling skills. Listen to real turkey calls and practice to ensure that your calls match up. Then you will have confidence that your calls don’t sound bogus to the tom you want to call in. You will know there is nothing wrong with your calling and you will be able to wait him out.
We can only be patient as long as we can be comfortable sitting. On a drop down pad, attached to a turkey vest, you may be able to sit comfortably for an hour. Then the aches and pains start creeping in and you feel the urge to get up and move around.
Get a system that lets you sit comfortably for at least four hours. Some good options are, a wheel chair seat cushion, an inflated trailer tire inner tube, a beach chair (short legged folding lawn chair), a pop up blind with a comfortable folding lawn chair.
Being patient doesn’t mean dozing off or zoning out. Stay focussed while waiting. Keep watching and listening to what is going on around you. A flash of movement between the trees or a rustle in the leaves may give you the early warning you need to get your gun up and positioned for a stealth mode long beard that is sneaking in to investigate your calls.
Long term patience kills long bearded toms.