Sit Tight for Second Chance Gobblers

For most turkey hunters, having large land tracks for hunting are a thing of the past. Today’s hunters have to make every acre count so modern hunting methods need to evolve to ensure the highest chances of success. In my turkey guiding years, I learned a simple tactic that served me well and made some older clients very happy. I learned how to experience double success by staying put after killing a gobbler and waiting for repeat.

The tactic is simple and it has been around for a while. I watched my 80 year old uncle perfect it during his last years of hunting. As a kid, I could not stand sitting in the same hunting location after shooting a 12 gauge and killing a bird. It seemed like common sense that the area was blown out, but spring time brings the greatest gift of all to hunters, birds. I have witnessed the same turkeys return to a calling hunter many times, and I have observed satellite gobblers rush into my slate call only minutes after the thunder of a shotgun quieted the woods.

There are some things you will need to know though if you plan on sitting down for a double dose of tom killing. It is a good idea to not only change calls, but to also change up your calling cadence. I like to use mouth calls and slate calls mostly, so I switch to the other call and I try not to repeat any of my calling patterns when hoping for another chance at turkey success. 

Usually, my first morning calls are mellow and seductive. During prime time, you don’t need to do a lot of cutting and call runs to get at least a two year old tom excited. They will make it to your location eventually even if they show no interest during the first hour after flying down from the roost. If I am lucky enough to get a friend, client or myself a bird with my first endeavor, then I will switch up to a more aggressive calling routine. 

Calling aggressively helps make up the minds of any undecided gobblers. Only the older, wiser toms will know what is going on, and even all of them can’t help themselves if they are not the dominant gobbler in the area. Breeding is one of the strongest natural urges in all animals, but turkeys seem to realize that they only have a limited amount of time to get the job done, so hang in there, sit tight, and plan for another kill opportunity.

One more thing I have found that works: I usually leave my first dead bird laying about 20 yards in front of me where I intend to bring in another bird. Turkeys are curious and when they see another bird, even if it’s dead, lying in the open, they can’t resist checking it out. Plus, it takes their attention away from you.