HENS ARE NESTING, GOBBLERS ARE LONELY AND HUNGRY
You still have two-weeks to chase bearded-birds so go make the best of the late season run. Here are a few tips to help make your 2019 season a success.
The mid-season phase of less gobbling by satisfied Toms is transitioning into the late-season phase of nesting hens and lonely gobblers. With most hens bred and spending the majority of their time on the nest, gobblers are feeding and should become more vocal to find the lastbreeding hens. But, go easy on the calls as the hens are much quieter than before and over-calling might spook an interested Tom. Try a few soft yelps and purrs with some light clucks but don’t overdo it. Try calling just enough to locate a gobbler and be patient. If one hears you, he may not respond and could come in silently.
A gobbler call with some yelps can also be effective in the late season as males rejoin in bachelor groups after breeding is over. Just as when using hen calls in the late-season, gobblers may not answer a gobbler call and might come in on you silently.
If you’re unconfident in your calling, try setting up near a feeding area where gobblers may be using or find a small opening next to nesting cover. Also, as the days are getting hotter, turkeys are spending more time in cooler shaded areas during mid-day.
Fourteen-year-old Cade Cameron took his third bearded bird of the season yesterday morning and didn’t hear a gobble until 9 am when two longbeards finally sounded off and were strutting in a small clearing after escorting a hen to a nesting area. Using the freshly sprouted foliage and quiet moist ground to his advantage, he was able to slip in undetected and bushwhack a nice late-season gobbler.
In a couple of other fantastic buddy hunts, TWRA Chief of Outreach and Communications Jenifer Hancock Wisniewski was able to call in a gobbler for a friend yesterday and Rivers and Streams Biologist Sally Jane Petre took her first bird of the year after some great calling by District 42 Lt. Jeff Prater!