Maybe you're in a bit of a rut. Field sitting day after day can get pretty old as turkey hunting goes.
Try these three tactics to put your tag on a fall bird.
Locate by Cold Calling
Fall turkeys before fly-down – or moving on the ground, even if silent – will often respond well to your cold calling. Yep, even in autumn.
Make the vocalizations of young turkeys (kee-kee or kee-kee-run), plus high-pitched adult hen yelps or deeper, raspier gobbler yelps to pull a reply from a single bird or group. So-called "lost yelps" will often trigger a flock response, as if saying: “We’re here, come on over.” At times, running a bunch of calls to imitate a group will bring the whole intact flock in.
Don’t believe it? Try it sometime.
Sometimes fall birds don’t play fair. If you’re being shut out, go with a Plan B.
Mix it up. You can fall turkey hunt and also jump-shoot river ducks in season with the same non-toxic loads.
You can hunt squirrels and autumn birds with No. 6 shot for both.
Got deer and archery turkey tags? Well, you get the idea.
Legal Suburban Turkeys
The wild turkey restoration success story has flocks thriving in both rural locations and more developing habitats where hunting is also still legal, despite the encroaching housing growth.
Seek permission in suburban areas where fall birds – somewhat human-habituated, albeit still wild – might be causing a problem for residents.
You might want to bowhunt a small woodlot. You can also access more open hunting ground holding turkeys via populated locations in open wooded habitats. Park with permission and walk to your autumn birds.
Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com's editorial director and turkey hunting editor. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country.