The Western Middle-of-the-Day Gobbler with Wayne Carlton
Editor’s Note: What many people don’t know about Wayne Carlton of Montrose, Colorado, is that for most of his life outdoorsmen knew him more for his turkey calling and hunting skills rather than hunting elk. Before Carlton moved to the West and started working for Hunters’ Specialties, he had his own line of calls and was known across the East as a very-good turkey hunter and turkey caller. For more than 20 years, Carlton also taught a turkey-hunting school at Vermejo Park Ranch, a 600,000-acre ranch owned by Ted Turner, just west of Raton, New Mexico. Wayne frequently does turkey hunting seminars in the West and still loves to call, hunt and teach turkey hunting.
On one particular hunt, I’d seen some turkeys strutting during the middle of the day. I told an older hunter I knew where to go to take one of these turkeys because he’d never taken a gobbler. But, instead of going to hunt the turkeys in the middle of the day, he went to the place I’d told him about and took a jake. Even after the older hunter had hunted that area in the morning, I returned to the site where I thought the turkeys would be. But, when I reached this region, the wind was blowing so hard, I hardly could hear myself think. Generally I would have returned to camp since the wind was blowing so hard I knew I couldn’t hear a turkey. However, I decided to stay at the spot, set-up my blind, put my camera man in a blind and see what would happen. Then I began calling as loudly and as obnoxiously as I could possibly call. I was hoping to get enough sound out that maybe a gobbler could hear me. I hadn’t been on stand for more than 15 minutes when I thought I heard a turkey gobble. I started calling again, and in less than 10 minutes I called in and took a turkey with an 11-inch beard that had four jakes with him.
This Middle-of-the-Day Gobbler taught me:
* don’t try and call the turkeys where you want them to come; instead go to where the turkeys want to be, and then start calling. Even in a terrible wind, during a rain or in other in bad-weather conditions, you’ll have a reasonably-good chance of bagging a gobbler, if you’re hunting and calling turkeys where they want to be.
* gobblers usually strut in the same place at about the same time every day, just like the Middle-of-the-Day Gobbler did. If you get to the spot where the turkey plans to strut before he arrives, then when he does come there, you can take him - whether you call or not.
Today's Video Clip
How to Take Turkeys on Public Lands with Chris Parrish