The crow and owl hoot locator calls are pictured below.
The booming gobble of a lusty long beard is the pulse quickening element of a spring turkey hunt. The gobble communicates to hens a tom’s location and readiness to breed. To other toms, the gobble communicates a warning or challenge from a dominant tom. In other words, “get ready to rumble if you come around here.”
But toms have the curious habit of gobbling to non turkey sounds too. In the spring they will gobble at almost any loud noise they hear. I have heard them gobble to train whistles, truck horns, thunder, geese honking, crow calls, coyote howls, owl hoots, pea cock calls, red tailed hawk screams, gunfire, and my squeaking car door hinge.
Who really knows what’s in a gobblers head when he gobbles at non turkey sounds. He is jacked up on hormones and has a lot of pent up sex drive and aggression to the competition, so perhaps he hears every loud noise as a challenge. Or perhaps he gobbles at every loud noise as a reflex, saying, “you think that’s loud, listen to this.” A tom knows he’s got to be heard to call in a hen, so maybe its a simple as a being the loudest and latest noise in the woods. He will not let any loud noise out do him.
Whatever the reason for a tom’s shock or reflex gobble, it sure makes it easy for a hunter to locate him. When you use non turkey locator calls in the spring to incite a tom to gobble he will give up his location but not come looking for you as he might if you used hen calling to make him gobble. After gobbling he will promptly forget about you, so you can pick out a good set up location and move there before you begin calling with turkey calls.
When the turkeys woods are quiet as a tomb, the right locator call, used the right way, can incite a shut mouthed tom to sound off and give you a chance to set up properly on him, without spooking him, before you send out seductive yelps, clucks and purrs on your pot or mouth call.
You are hunting blind, bumbling around and spooking toms, if you can’t locate them. Learn the secrets of using locator calls in “How to Hunt the Wild Turkey.” Just click on the link below.