For many veteran turkey hunters, the "call, move and call: turkey hunting tactic, which is also known as "cuttin' and runnin'," is a magic formula.
Simply put, the method requires moving from one location to another in an attempt to find a receptive gobbler. The tactic works well throughout the day, but check your state's regulations carefully to ensure afternoon hunting is legal in your area.
Safety -- First and Last
Once you've decided to search for a responsive gobbler, bear in mind that other hunters are probably using the same tactic. Pick your location carefully when you decide to stop and call and, once there, you must stop completely to call. Never call while walking. Find a large tree, sit down, and let the woods settle as you listen for turkeys and other hunters.
If your locator call elicits no response, issue a short series of yelps. Gradually increase the volume before beginning to work through the various calling devices you're comfortable with. Many times, a change in calling devices will flip the switch of a silent gobbler. The higher pitch of a loud box or a slate call may be the magic bullet. Should your efforts go unanswered, sit for a while in case a gobbler is moving in silently. When you're satisfied that nothing is coming, simply move to another area and try again.
Once and for all, never walk and call at the same time. Always assume other hunters can hear you calling and hunt defensively.
Supreme & Extreme Ambushes- Good position makes the shooting easy
In the best case scenario, the turkey hunter has loads of time to pick a spot to set up, add some extra cover and become comfortable before calling. Experienced turkey hunters will tell you that "best cases" are indeed rare. The following setups cover both extremes:
Let's Build a Fort!
This ambush is usually laid on the edge of a field or similar location that turkeys are known to frequent. In these controlled situations, there is no need to hurry. First, find a large tree, preferably featuring daytime shade, to act as the base for your blind. Now arrange a semicircle of large limbs and leaves out from the tree far enough to give you room to clear the forest floor, stretch out and get comfortable. Modern, quick-erect blinds with shooting portals may work even better, especially for bowhunters.
Establish your blind several days before the season opens to give turkeys a chance to become accustomed to it. Turkeys have fantastic eyesight, but they are not mental giants, so unless it's unusually obtrusive, they'll pay little attention to small camouflages structures.
Dive And Cover!
This setup requires more hunting savvy. It's always a surprise encounter: You're walking between setups and a booming gobble from less than 200 yards rips through the foliage. Your action relies on quick thinking, good judgement and great camouflage.
First, hurriedly find a thick-trunked tree with a comfortable base that's facing the direction of the gobbler. Next, completely, quietly clear the area where you'll be seated of all debris and take a position with your back to the tree, your gun resting atop your bent knee. Now, listen carefully, settle in and give him your best call. Stay as low to the ground as possible and keep your movement to the absolute minimum. Your hope now lies with total camouflage and the gods of the hunt.
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