Turkey Hunting Articles

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Strut Report: Midwest Turkeys Finicky, Northeast Hunters Having Some Luck

Many seasoned turkey hunters from the Northeast clear out to the Great Plains are reporting lower turkey numbers than 5-10 years ago, and this observation is echoing louder across the turkey hunting community as the season progresses. If you’re still out hunting, consider being selective in your harvest. That is,...


What’s Causing Poor Hatches of Turkey Poults?

Of the many challenges facing wild turkeys right now in parts of the country, there are a number of things we don’t know, but one thing that’s unequivocal. There aren’t enough poults surviving to increase — and in some cases, even maintain — healthy turkey flocks from year to year...


Strut Report: Midday Gobblers Coming to the Call Up North

Knock on wood, it looks like we’re finally over the cold-weather hump in the Northern U.S. Over the last few days in central Wisconsin, I’ve seen fewer turkeys in ag fields. Hunting pressure is a factor in that, but more forest foods are available now that things are just beginning...


A Blue-Collar Guy’s Turkey Hunting Super Slam

April 2, 2022, was a day of firsts and lasts for avid turkey hunter Billy Barnett. Upon bagging a nice bird in Nevada, he got to mark the final X on his map, making the state the last of 49 he needed to complete his first U.S. Super Slam. Considered...


Podcast: Patterning The CVA Scout .410 Turkey Gun

This turkey season, several of the distant shots I’ve heard have been little pops in lieu of big booms . The .410 turkey gun is definitely trending right now, and I’ve had several buddies make the switch themselves to the littlest legal turkey gun. Many are toting .410s for the...


Strut Report: Deep South Birds Holding Steady, Mid-South Longbeards Heating Up

Last week, I forecast the action to be the best of the season . In some places, it was. In others, the next seven days might be even better. Of course, some areas in the southernmost regions are now closed, or nearly so. That said, most states in the region...


Strut Report: Midwest Seasons Start Strong, Northeast Season Openers Look Promising

Last week, I mentioned that I’d be bowhunting during Wisconsin’s time-period A over hen and jake decoys and calling loudly. On opening morning, I hunted 200 yards from a roost and heard only three gobbles. A lone tom flew down and gobbled twice at my calls. He didn’t see my...


Turkey Hunting the Evening Shift

The afternoon doesn’t get much attention from hunters or turkeys. Birds hunker low in secluded places to while away the midday. Hunters take siestas to catch up on lost winks, or maybe work in the yard, around the house or at their job. But if your daylight and midmorning sessions...


Is Your Deer Bait Killing Turkeys?

Turkey numbers are down right now, and that’s no secret. The most troubling declines are in the Southeast, where some measures of poult recruitment show that hens aren’t making enough little turkeys in the spring to keep flock numbers stable. In Georgia, for example, hens were producing an average of...


Strut Report: Turkeys Firing Off in Midwest, Plains States

I mentored two boys during Wisconsin’s youth hunt last Saturday. While I expected the wintery, blustery conditions would stifle gobbling and strutting, they didn’t at all. Both toms the boys bagged gave us the full show. The first one, roosted alone more than 650 yards away across a paved road,...


Strut Report: Expect the South's Best Turkey Hunting in the Next Week

One step too far and that big, fat longbeard hit the deck, all but disappearing in a field of relatively short grass. Its red head turned a pale pink, and its snood shriveled to nothing. Two beady eyes peered from behind thin blades of grass. We waited to see who’d...


The Box Call Is the Deadliest Turkey Yelper You’re Not Using

I learned to call turkeys with a Lynch’s Foolproof, a one-sided box call that has been in production for 80 years and is still made today. I got mine for Christmas about 28 years ago. It was an easy call to use, and it would make turkeys gobble so reliably...


Plan a DIY Tribal Lands Turkey Hunt

The roosted birds gobbled incessantly as my wife, Becca, and I tucked in about 125 yards away and began calling. They answered every yelp. Unfortunately, their volume began fading once they’d flown down. As Merriam’s turkeys notoriously do, the toms were half a mile away within minutes, beelining toward another...


How to Turkey Hunt the Worst Weather Possible

There is a universal question among turkey hunters, usually asked in the predawn while the coffee is being made. What will this weather do to the turkeys? We’ve always been told and assumed that birds gobble best when it’s clear, calm, and warm. Nice days and dogwoods, after all, are...


Strut Report: Northern, Plains Turkeys Warming Up Despite Winter Weather

I’m riding the coattails of a successful hunt in South Dakota on tribal land that ended with a gorgeous Merriam’s gobbler. During that outing, the flock I took my bird from consisted of 12 toms and eight hens. The toms were tolerating one another as they do all winter. They...


Strut Report: Expect Good Turkey Hunting Down South This Weekend

Last week , and even the week before , we reported on the how much the turkey hunting has improved throughout the South. While that trend largely continues, there have been sporadic downturns in activity. Backwoods Life’s Kevin Knighton is having a great season. He and his hunting buddies have...


Strut Report: Southern Turkeys are Red Hot

Though season is still a few weeks away in some parts of the country, down south the woods are firing up with strutting and gobbling. From Texas to Tennessee, southern turkey hunters have turned in glowing reports this week. In Alabama, where the hunting recently kicked off, Spring Thunder and...


Why Mouth Calls are Overrated for Turkey Hunting

If you’re a novice turkey caller learning to use a mouth call, a good thing to do is buy a box call or pot and learn that instead. I say this because mouth calls can be dangerous. This is because they’re easy to swallow but hard to digest. Plus, you...


Strut Report: The Gobbling and Strutting Action Is Picking Up

We're a week deeper into the spring and with that comes more news from the turkey woods. At the beginning of last week, we talked about how the Deep South seasons were off to a slow gobbling start . That’s changing, though, and in the past five days, the hunting...


Selling Camo Ain’t Easy: The Dodd Clifton Story

Dodd Clifton is walking laps around the parking lot at the end of Box Circle in Columbus, Georgia. He’s on the clock. Bill Jordan, founder of Realtree Camouflage and Dodd’s boss of 30 years, is in his truck, talking to me on the phone about Dodd when the man himself...


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