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The Toughest Turkey Hunting States

Defining a tough turkey hunt is tricky. Some hunters expect to easily fill tags on cooperative birds. Others measure a quality hunt by the standard of unpressured, gobbling turkeys in pretty places. Two old-school measures of toughness include shut-mouthed or henned-up strutters. Still, certain states are especially tough due to...


Best Turkey Hunting Road Trips

The familiar gravity of the open road is strong as black coffee, as familiar as the playlist you sing to, beating time on the steering wheel. Landscapes slip by like a movie on fast forward. Gas stop to gas stop, you wheel through the dark to the season’s first daybreak...


Favorite Turkey Decoy Setups of the Pros

Jake and hen decoys? Strutter and breeder? Full flock? Even with hyper-realistic fakes in your arsenal, you still need to adjust your tactics to the time of the season and how turkeys are behaving. The truth is, sometimes decoys work. Sometimes not. Why do realistic decoys fail? Often, it’s a...


Early Season or Late: What's the Best Time to Kill a Turkey?

I’ve turkey hunted in snow so heavy that I couldn’t see the decoy just 15 yards in front of me. I’ve also hunted in 90-degree heat while wading through thick, green vegetation that limited my visibility almost as much as the snow. Both of those happened in my home state...


Is It Time to Rethink Fall Turkey Hunting?

“It feels like I’m breaking the law,” my dad used to say of Pennsylvania spring turkey hunting. Though it was legalized in 1968, it still felt unusual to be out there in the woods. You see, in the north-central mountains where I grew up, the fall turkey tradition ruled. In...


Late-Season Gobblers: Get Your Bird at the Wire

Late-season gobblers are a mystery sometimes. Is it over? Are they done? Fortunately, the answer is always no. Breeding may wane, but turkeys talk to each other every day of the year. As the sun rises earlier each day, inching toward late spring, you lose more and more sleep. Sure,...


Tips for Hunting Turkeys Alone

Social distancing? Yep, this season is different. While it’s true I’ve happily gotten together with my tight-knit group of longtime gobbler chasers on hunts around the country for decades, certain local buds have also called me “the lone wolf” over the years. I’m okay with that, as I like to...


Are Turkey Seasons Opening Too Soon?

It’s no secret that turkey numbers are down, particularly in parts of the Southeast and Midwest. Lack of habitat, poor nesting conditions, predator impacts and disease have all gotten a portion of the blame for declining turkey numbers. But is it time that we, as hunters and conservationists, ask if...


Chasing the Multigobbler

He was a jake when we first met. It was April 24, 2016, and he came in dogging the steps of an eager-to-die 3-year-old. The big gobbler answered my first call, then crossed a valley at the speed of a forced-march. He paused behind a tree at 70 yards, just...


How to Double on Gobblers

It was one of those hunts where everything was coming together. After a hot, windy morning with almost no gobbling, my wife, Cheryl, and I finally struck up a pair of willing longbeards. They were just over the rise and out of sight. We had them on a string, each...


One Bad Mississippi Bird

In my experience, every longbeard in Mississippi’s Homochitto National Forest is a Bad Bird. But the bird I came to know as the Eddiceton Warrior was among the baddest. Not only did he whip turkey hunters, but he whipped his fellow turkeys, too. We crossed paths in 2009 when a...


How to Hunt Turkeys that Won’t Gobble

It had been a long three hours. We had slipped in well before daylight and popped out a blind along the ridgetop pasture. Our quiet yelps had gone unanswered since sunrise. We knew there were toms in the area; we’d watched them fly up while scouting the evening before, and...


The Turkey Ghost

Alabama turkeys are paranoid, unpredictable and unforgiving. They’re not like the Easterns that live in, say, Missouri or Ohio or New York. The birds that lived on my friend Ken Buce’s farm in Alabama were no exception. If one gobbled, he usually got a response from a hunter. And if...


How COVID-19 is Affecting Turkey Season

We’ve been asked to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That means no school, no parties, no public transportation and no hanging out in restaurants. The “don’t list” is long, but we can turkey hunt, and that’s a good thing. In fact,...


4 Ways to Kill a Turkey You Just Missed

Yep, most of the time, it’s best to get a wild turkey into range, and squeeze off a shot dialed-in on the standing bird’s head and neck. Most of the time we do that. Some of the time we don't. This is for those times. You shot. The bird flopped...


Best Youth Turkey Hunting States

There’s something special about watching a young turkey hunter catch the fever when a big ol’ longbeard comes strutting into range. Seeing their eyes go wide and hearing their breath catch when that gobbler spits and drums so close that they can feel it in their chest – that’s when...


The 10 Commandments of Public Land Turkey Hunting

Some folks have private honey holes. Filling spring gobbler tags without too much outside hunting pressure is pretty much assured. And then there are the rest of us, the guys who hunt public land turkeys with everyone else. It’s busy. It’s crowded. Some special strategies are in order — and...


7 Ways to Get Permission to Hunt Private Property

One spring turkey season ends and another will begin soon enough. Deer. Duck. Fall turkeys. You name it. In these COVID-19 days of "social distancing," you might need to make some accommodations to the following advice on getting permission to hunt private property. Then again, ever hopeful, an e-mail or...


Do You Know Your Turkey Hunting Mouth Calls?

A look at the most popular mouth-call cuts for turkey hunting. Make Mine a Mouth Call Some guys enjoy turkey call history and trivia. They follow the custom call circuit. They make their own wingbone yelpers. They display calls under glass. That's not me. I love to turkey hunt, and...


Watch and Participate in Realtree 365's Spring Thunder Facebook Broadcast

The Spring Thunder crew will be hunting Georgia March 25 and 26, and you can follow along on the Realtree Outdoors Facebook page . Watch a live turkey hunt with Tyler Jordan and Riley Green unfold this Wednesday and Thursday morning on the Realtree Outdoors Facebook page. These live episodes...


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