Keep mid-morning and afternoon options open

I’m hearing the frustration.

I got an email the other day from a turkey hunter, which in part summed up what many are feeling: “where are they hiding?”

Another message: “they’re super henned up.”

Whatever the reason, finding a spring gobbler in the middle of May is no easy chore. There is nothing worse than finally finding a gobbling bird just to have him either, 1. gobble back and not close the distance, or 2. clam up totally.

Filling that tag can involve a little luck and finding the right bird willing to investigate.

If you are not on a bird at first light, this is the time of year where the mid-morning can be your best friend. Many times those toms with hens will split up at some point later in the day. When you get your chance at a gobbling bird, don’t hesitate to use a hen decoy to draw him in closer.

I nearly blew my opportunity last week when I quickly scrambled to set up my decoy. I set out only a jake decoy, and when my tom saw the jake with no hen nearby, he nearly checked out. Luckily for me he was within range and my aim was on target.

So keep mid-morning in the back of your mind then next time you head out. It’s now legal to hunt in the afternoons as well for spring gobbler. That gobbler you’ve been searching for just may be searching for you on the next ridge or treeline just when you least expect it.

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