Editor’s Note: Matt Morrett has won the World Friction Championship five times, the Grand National Championship once and the U.S. Open Turkey Calling Championship seven times.
The real secret to consistently taking turkeys is to sound like a real hen turkey when you’re calling. I realize this sounds like a very simple answer; however, it’s really not. Here are some steps for you to follow to up your chances of taking turkeys this spring.
Sound Like a Real Turkey Hen:
With the newer and better technology that we have today, call makers like HS Strut, can use that technology to duplicate the sounds a live turkey hen makes. However, the caller must add the rhythm, the pitch and the sound to the call to make it produce the sounds of a live hen turkey. The best way to sound like a real turkey hen is to listen to a hen turkey when she’s vocalizing and make those sounds that live turkey hens make. Also Hunter’s Specialties has a video called, “Real Strut Talk,” that contains only wild turkey hens calling. By watching this video, seeing how the hens call, the cadence they call with and how they more-or-less mumble or sing under their breath when they’re feeding aids you in duplicating those sounds.
Many turkey hunters only hunt gobblers from daylight until about 9:00 am. However, you’ll become a better turkey hunter, if you can hunt turkeys all hours in an area where all-day hunting is legal. For instance, in some southern states, you can hunt turkeys all day long, but often in northern and midwestern states, you only can hunt turkeys until 12 noon or 1:00 pm. But, stay in the woods, and try and take turkeys as long as you can legally hunt them, each day you hunt. My favorite time to call turkeys and the times I have the almost success are from 9 AM to noon.
Hunt Where There’s Lots of Turkeys:
If you’re going to take turkeys consistently, you’ve got to scout and know where there are a good number of birds in the region you’re planning to hunt. You really need to know where the turkeys are staying before you start hunting them. I grew up in an area that had a lot of hunting pressure. When I go to the woods, I may only find one gobbling turkey within several miles. But when I hunt, I try to go to places that have four or five gobblers within a mile.
Using decoys to hunt turkeys can be a tremendous asset. Two keys help you use decoys the most effectively: one is to put the decoy in a place that a turkey can see a decoy. For instance, if you’re hunting heavy timber, don’t set up your decoy in a group of trees where the gobbler can’t see the decoy. Instead, set the decoy up on a logging road where the turkey can spot the decoy from a distance.
Second, have the decoy sitting in an area, so that when the gobbler spots the decoy, the gobbler’s not 500 yards away from the decoy. I like to set my decoy up, so that a gobbler can see it when he’s 60-80 yards from the decoy. Once the gobbler spots the decoy, quit calling to him. The more you call to him, once he sees the decoy, the more the gobbler’s going to want the hen to come to him. He’s probably going to strut, drum and display to get that hen’s attention. Instead of calling, make sure you have your gun to your shoulder and your finger on the safety. Then when the gobbler comes within range, you can make the shot. If you don’t call, the gobbler will think, “She must not be able to see me very well, I need to move in close and get her attention.” So, then the gobbler will come to you, to find out why that hen’s not coming to him.”