John's Journal...


Click to enlargeWhat the Hens Do to Gobblers

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week Mark Drury, award-winning turkey caller, the creator of MAD Calls, avid hunter and outdoorsman and co-owner and developer of Drury Outdoor Videos, will teach you the secrets for hunting last-minute gobblers. Hopefully this season you won't lose your job, your wife or your sanity when you hunt turkeys.

Click to enlargeTurkeys are time-sensitive. By that I mean that the birds know when you have to leave the woods. They'll do all they can to keep you close to them to prevent you from catching a plane, going to work, meeting up with your buddy on time, getting home for supper or doing any one of the 4,000 tasks that you have planned to accomplish after your hunt. I've learned how to push the envelope and take those time-sensitive toms that cause us all to get into trouble.

When a tom has a bunch of hens with him, he's not interested in leaving his harem to come and check out one stray hen. Click to enlargeAlso when a gobbler is with a group of hens, there's absolutely no reason in the world for him to gobble. All the reasons for which he will gobble are within eyesight. But I've always felt that turkey hunting is a lot like winning the lottery. You can't win if you don't play. The more often you play, the better your odds are for winning. Fishing's the same way. If you only cast your lure one or two times, you're not going to catch many fish, but the more times you cast your lure, the greater your odds will be for catching the fish. Getting a turkey to gobble when there's not a hen around is a very random event. So, you have to cover a lot of ground and try to talk to numbers of turkeys to discover that one gobbler that will talk to you when you talk to him.

Besides covering a lot of ground, I concentrate on using high-pitched calls. That's why I use box calls and slate calls when I'm coming to the end of my hunt and just have to make a turkey talk. From 8:30 a.m. until the close of the season that day, Click to enlargewhether the time is around noon in the Midwest or dark in southern states, I'll use either a MAD Heavy Metal Call or a MAD Cherry Bomb Box Call. I'll also use shock calls like crow calls, coyote howlers or owl calls. Just because a turkey isn't gobbling doesn't mean that he won't come in to your calling, even in the middle of the day. So, just because time is running out on your hunt and you haven't been able to make a turkey talk or see a turkey that may come to you, don't give up the hunt. Keep on pushing until the last minute. Often just before you're ready to give up, that big gobbler may scream close by you, or perhaps he'll come in silent.

You can log on to or call 1-800-990-9351 to order videos from Drury Outdoor Productions that feature the latest in hunting adventures and information and feature Mark and Terry Drury.


Check back each day this week for more about SECRETS FOR LAST-MINUTE GOBBLERS WITH MARK DRURY

Day 1: What the Hens Do to Gobblers
Day 2: Tough Last-Minute Gobblers
Day 3: Why I'll Bet on Calls That Haven't Helped Me Win Turkey-Calling Contests
Day 4: What to Do When You Miss
Day 5: Don't Miss Work


Entry 291, Day 1