Late-Season Gobbler Tactics
Note: When you hunt turkeys during the late season,
you’ll have to hunt the toughest gobblers on the
property. But hopefully, you’ll have a history
of those turkeys. You should know what they’ve
done in the past, and what you can expect them to do
in the future. You have to decide on a method you haven’t
used in the past to take those turkeys. You’ll
have to abandon what’s considered turkey wisdom
and use off-the-wall tactics to hunt these tough toms.
Let’s look at some tough toms I’ve hunted,
the people I’ve hunted with, and how we’ve
finally taken our birds.
This turkey had built up a reputation for 3 years at
White Oak Plantation, near Tuskegee, Alabama. Many had
hunted him, but no one had taken him. You could get
him gobbling, but when you reached the place where you
thought you’d find him, you wouldn’t see
him. Extremely hard to pattern, the Ghostbuster seldom
stayed anywhere for long. At the end of the season,
Bo Pitman, a guide and lodge manager at White Oak, and
I hunted this bird for several days. Every tactic we
used didn’t work. Finally, on the evening of the
third day we hunted him, we put him
to bed at his roost above some flooded timber with a
creek on the right side of the gobbler’s roosting
tree, a large field on the left side and between the
creek and the field, a small patch of hardwood timber
about 50-yards wide.
going to go to the Ghostbuster before daylight, and
I’m not going to call to him," Pitman said.
The next morning, before daylight, we got in close to
this ole tom’s roost tree. As the sun came up,
we could see and hear the Ghostbuster strutting on the
limb –almost within reach, but just out of gun
range, screaming and often double and triple gobbling.
"Bo, you gotta call to him," I whispered.
"No, I’m not going to call to him,"
Pitman whispered back. "I don’t care what
he does, I’m not going to call to him."
After an hour of the Ghostbuster’s constant gobbling,
Pitman finally succumbed to my pleas and those of the
screaming tom. He gave three light tree calls, and the
turkey quit gobbling. "I knew I shouldn’t
have called to him," Pitman said. But in about
15 minutes, the turkey started gobbling again.
Tomorrow: Still Hunting the