Late Season is the Best Time.

 

 

If you still have a turkey tag, now is the best time to fill it.  When you see fruit trees in bloom you will also see lonely toms in fields, strutting and displaying all by themselves.  They are not trying to shame the flowers with their own color show.  They are still interested in breeding hens but many of the hens have begun incubating their eggs by the time blossoms come out.

This means the hens must stay on their eggs most of the day and night to keep them warm until they hatch. Your toughest competition for a tom’s attention, real hens, are now out of play now, so your call might be his only option. Not that he will be a push over.  Big toms don’t get big by charging across fields to every hen that yelps.  They still play stop, delay and hang up on the way.

A toms hang up out of range because he expects the hen to come the rest of the way to him once he believes the hen can see him.  The easiest way to avoid this is with your set up location.  Set up to call from a location where you can’t see each other until he steps into range.

Do this even if your use decoys because if he can see the decoys he expects the hen to make the next move and come to him. I know the purpose of decoys is to give a visual confirmation and sometimes they work great but sometimes they work against you leading to hang ups.  Its nice to see a tom a approach from a distance because it really gets the adrenalin pumping but it can lead to hang ups with wary long beards.

When blooms are out, so are the mosquitoes and black flies.  The simplest way to beat these pests is with a bug shirt with a full head covering.  Wear a wide brimmed hat under the hood and it will keep the netting far enough from your neck and ears so needle nosed pests can’t get you.

Get more tips on overcoming hang ups in How to Hunt the Wild Turkey.

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