Hunting Henned-Up Gobblers

Submitted By Rick White Feb .22.2016

With the snow melting in the north and the Dogwoods starting to bloom in the south, turkey season is just around the corner. And one of the toughest times to turkey hunt is when gobblers have hens. What can a person try when the Toms are henned up? Is there a way to be more successful this time of year?

I have been turkey hunting a long time. Although I don’t claim to know everything about turkey hunting, I do have a few tricks to try while hunting gobblers that are henned up. Before you try my go-to tricks, try what you’ve had success with in the past. Go out and hunt a gobbler off the roost like you always have. If that doesn’t work, I have a few things you might want to try.

#1) Get aggressive. Try aggressively calling and then stop calling for at least a half- hour. Now you need to keep an eye on your watch for this, because a half-hour in the turkey woods without one seems about 5 minutes. You will be surprised how many turkeys will come in within that half-hour.

#2) Challenge him with fighting purrs. I have had this work many times throughout the U.S. The sound of fighting purrs is the simulation of two gobblers fighting. Much like rattling for bucks so other bucks will come in to investigate; turkeys will often do the same thing. This can be done with just one mouth call and some practice or any friction call. I like a Split V 2 or 3 in a diaphragm call or any of the HS Strut glass fiction calls, like the new Limb Shaker. (Visit our Digital Download Site at https://www.cdtdigital.com/hunterspec/items/music.php?category=130 to hear the various turkey sounds.)

#3) Gobble at the Gobbler. Whenever gobbling at turkeys, keep safety in mind at all times. I would not recommend gobbling on public hunting areas. If I know a gobbler is henned up, I will gobble from where I’m set up. I’m most likely not a threat at that time. Now comes the hard part. Get up and move as close as you can get to him without spooking him and gobble again. Now he thinks you’re a gobbler moving in on his hens. Sometimes he will break away from his hens to chase you off. HS Strut makes the Twister Gobble Shaker gobble call that will work perfectly for this or our Retro Series Field Champion Box Call.

#4) Wait em’ out. In states where you can hunt all day, try hunting in the afternoons or evenings. A lot of times when hens start going off to nest gobblers find themselves alone and looking once again for hens. This can be a great time to go out and catch a gobbler without hens where he had them earlier during the day. Set up in the area he was in the morning and be patient. A lot of times he will go back to look in areas that he had hens earlier in the day.

#5) Go for broke. You could try fall tactics this time of year. Run in and break up the flock, with your goal to get the gobbler away from his hens. This is not an easy task and works a small percentage of the time. If you try this, leave your gun behind. Do not go running out to turkeys with a gun in your hand. Safety first, always!

These are just few techniques that will make your turkey season a more successful turkey season. Don’t forget to check out our full line of HS Strut turkeys products and if you’re looking for turkey decoys, check out the Snood family of decoys.

Good luck to you as you head out… and be safe.