How to Save a Screwed-Up Turkey Season

By author of Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Avoid eating tag soup this spring with these last-minute tactical fixes

It’s easy to say bad luck is responsible for unfilled tags, but with turkey hunting, sometimes something else is to blame — likely YOU.

As the legendary Archibald Rutledge once wrote, “The turkey’s eyes are such that he can see a bumblebee turn a somersault on the verge of the horizon.” Camo up. Image by Kerry B. Wix

Burned Out

Sure, you’ve seen several strutters from your truck as you drive by a lush, late-season pasture. They’ve been there off and on all season. Yeah, but everyone else and their grandmothers have seen them too, including the UPS guy who has told every hunter he knows. Every turkey hunter has pressured those birds. And those turkeys have slinked off or hung up every time. Your spot — and everyone else’s — is flat burned out. And those educated spring gobblers will likely make it into summer.

The Fix: Do your homework. Locate some fresh birds. Pick up and find an unpressured location with gobbling turkeys, far from the access road.

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Jake Out

You passed on some jakes opening day, and again last week, waiting for a longbeard. The spring turkey season is winding down, and frustration is setting in. Nope, you still haven’t tagged a bird. You cringe when buddies call to ask, “Have you killed one yet?” Okay, maybe it’s time to take a page from the old school: Any legal wild turkey is a trophy — or at least welcome on your deck grill.

The Fix: Next time out, look for some young gobblers. And call one into range.

[Don't Miss: How Do You Hunt a Pressured Solo Gobbler?]

Class Out

You hardly have the patience to sit a half-hour at the base of a tree in the turkey woods, moving like a bobblehead doll when you should be still as a statue.

The Fix: Get a pop-up blind, knucklehead.

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Over and Out

You’ve missed a couple of gobblers in range this season. First, you blamed the gun, but time on the patterning range proved that excuse wrong. Then you fired fast, whiffing again.

The Fix: Shooting fundamentals never go out of style. Mounting a shotgun should be second nature to some of us: cheek to stock. Funny how quickly those details go out the window when you watch the pretty birdie instead of shooting it in the head.

[Don't Miss: How to Pattern Your Turkey Hunting Shotgun]

Log Out

As the legendary Archibald Rutledge once wrote, “The turkey’s eyes are such that he can see a bumblebee turn a somersault on the verge of the horizon.” You, on the other hand, can’t stop texting, and posting to social media, even while hunting. Hyper-paranoid wild turkeys see this constant movement and they want no part of it.

The Fix: Turn your phone off and hunt.

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