Hung-Up And Holding Out
We've all hunted a gobbler that loves to shout, but won't come your way. These gobblers infuriate me. Sure, in nature, it's the hen's job to go to the gobbler, but what about an act of courtesy every now and then? If you have a gobbler that just won't budge, then maybe you should put it in road gear and give the gobbler the impression the hen says "enough is enough."
Begin by simply walking away a few yards and then calling in the opposite direction of the gobbler. Turkeys have acute hearing, and a tom will immediately know you've moved away and are calling in another direction. Keep nudging forward with a teaser call every so often to try and spark him into action. Call softly and look for good setup site after 100 yards or so. Sit down and get ready. He might just wander in for a quick peek.
It's not uncommon during the heat of breeding season for a gobbler to stray. It's also not uncommon for a henned-up gobbler to be quiet. Either of these could be the reason for a quiet morning in the woods. If you have other hunting properties, now is the time to consider checking them out for a loudmouth gobbler. If not, take a coffee break.
There's always the chance a gobbler from a neighboring property could come traipsing across the fence. A silent gobbler could also suddenly fire up for no apparent reason. After sitting quietly for up to an hour with no clues to go on, create your own chaos. Use your calls to imitate a gobbler fight complete with yearning hens. It just might be the sound to turn a distant gobbler into a screamer.
Patternable But Not Callable
OK, so you're seeing turkeys every day, but they just don't want to come to your calls. It's time to take a strategy from your whitetail hunting playbook and set up an ambush. Study where the turkeys pass by routinely and then put up a ground blind or find some cover to hunker in for a turkey trap.
Turkeys frequently follow the same field edge, fence line and tree line day after day. Find that special place and you can tag a turkey without choking on your diaphragm call.
Lastly, if you have a stubborn turkey that actually gobbles and walks in the other direction, you could be up against a tough adversary. The gobbler might be paranoid or simply following a hen. As long as he answers your calls it's time to start a marathon. Use your calls sparingly to keep the gobbler talkative, then hustle to move in front of the bird. Now switch calls, using subtle yelps to bring the bird right into your lap.
Nobody said turkey hunting was going to be easy, but you still have a few more weeks to tag a bird, and these tricks might just help you finish the job. If these don't work, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.