Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

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Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

Postby TNDuckHunter1 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:58 am

A couple weeks ago, the turkeys were gobbling all day letting you know their position. I could always walk and see a few strutting somewhere. I have noticed that they gobble like crazy for about 30 min in the AM and then stop.

My best luck for calling is around 10am and have had a few come to me. 2 days ago, one came to me but I thought it was a hen. I could hear it clucking and coming to me with no gobbles. I was in the wooks and when he got hung up, I raked some leaves and then he started gobbling often to the calls.

They seem a little less active during the midday...is it the 80 degree temps....no rain for last couple weeks...no cloud cover.

I am in middle Tennessee so maybe maybe some of you are seeing the same thing.
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Re: Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

Postby Indaswamp » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:13 pm

TNDuckHunter1 wrote:A couple weeks ago, the turkeys were gobbling all day letting you know their position. I could always walk and see a few strutting somewhere. I have noticed that they gobble like crazy for about 30 min in the AM and then stop.


They are with hens...sounds like you are between gobbling peaks when the hens are receptive and the gobblers just pitch off the limb and strut around following them and breeding...Tom's don't need to gobble-(all his ladies are right in front of him)-and if they do gobble it will be a half-hearted "courtesy gobble" to let you (the hen he thinks he hears) know where the party is at.

My best luck for calling is around 10am and have had a few come to me. 2 days ago, one came to me but I thought it was a hen. I could hear it clucking and coming to me with no gobbles. I was in the wooks and when he got hung up, I raked some leaves and then he started gobbling often to the calls.


The reason this happens is that the hens start leaving the gobblers around 10 a.m. to go find a nest site, build a nest, or start laying one egg a day...once they start laying eggs. When the last egg is laid, the hens will sit on the nest 24/7 only leaving very briefly during midday to get water, catch a few bugs, and deficate (crap) away from the nest. They will AVOID a gobbler when they are sitting on the nest so the the gobbler will not follow them back to the nest because the gobbler will not leave and will strut and gobble attracting predators. And if she sits on the nest, the gobbler will try to mount her on the nest and squash the eggs. when hens go to nest late in the season, the gobblers go from playboy to lonely boy and will start trolling ridges looking for the last hens that have not been bred or those that have had their nest destroyed by predators (raccons, foxes, possums, etc...) or flooded from high spring rains. When this happens, hens will seek out a gobbler to re-breed; gobblers know this and go to spots that hens frequent and set up a strut zone, or if he is a road runner, he will walk no stop gobbling on his own trolling for hens...

Your gobbler knew exactly where you were sitting and came in clucking looking for the hen he heard calling. you should have had your gun on him and figured out whether it was a hen or a gobbler once he came in...

They seem a little less active during the midday...is it the 80 degree temps....no rain for last couple weeks...no cloud cover.

I am in middle Tennessee so maybe maybe some of you are seeing the same thing.


Mid-day is the best time to hunt gobblers that have hens in the morning...10 a.m. till 2 p.m. :thumbsup:
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Re: Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

Postby TNDuckHunter1 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:40 pm

Thanks for the good info.Things have picked back up and I will have time to got out in another couple days. I have a 10 acre field behind the house that had 4 huge toms in it yesterday and today. One came within about 30 yards of the back door. It was tempting but i can't take them like that. I will get in the woods later this week.
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Re: Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

Postby apexhunter » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:09 pm

Swamp is absolutely correct with his advice and knowledge. What you should find is that as the season progresses more and more of the hens have already been serviced and are off limits to the gobblers so your chances of clucking in a hot longbeard will be better.

Many hunters, myself included, don't start hunting until around 9:00 or so during the later stages of the season, giving the gobblers time to fly down to any receptive hens in his immediate area, do his job and start looking for more action. Once they finish their morning duties they will become more vocal and will respond well to shock gobbling (owl and crow calls) or soft clucking as they are looking for more action. Once you locate a hot bird, get set up and make some soft clucks....if he responds make another short group of clucks and put down your call and wait for him to come as he knows where you are at.

If you do choose to hunt one flying down a good suggestion is to call softly and wait for a response. If he gobbles you can make another short & soft series of clucks and then shut up and get ready. If the gobbler cuts you off in the middle of calling then definitely shut up and do not call again- he knows where you are and by interrupting your calling cis saying I know you are there and you WILL come to me. If he doesn't hear or see you he'll fly down in your direction and start looking for you. Be still, be quiet and be prepared as it might take 3 minutes or 45 minutes.

One note: there is much debate on decoys or not and one potential problem with using them is that the hen typically comes to the gobbler so a stationary deke can make one hang up as he waits for her to join him. If he knows you are there and sees nothing he is more apt to continue in thinking the hen may have walked off...putting him right into your lap.
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Re: Turkey activity is slower ....What to do?

Postby Pete-pec » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:48 pm

Good point about the decoys. I have found that early in the season (winter flock), a lone jake, head down in the feeding mode is best. Then later in the season (pairing stage), I go strictly to a jake fan. hens are later in the season, and I only use one. She must be feeding, and not on the alert mode. Of course turkeys have the brain the size of their turds, but they use every bit of it. They will often times let you know that you are on their turf, and have humbled even the best hunters. The one thing that I can never figure out is the power of the hen. She seems to be in complete control. I aim to try to fool the hen and not decoy the tom so much. As already pointed out, the mid-day hunts for toms are often the easiest hunts. Nothing like those 2-year-olds running in to see who gets shot first! :beer:
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