I have a fair number of turkeys in my area, but they don't seem to gobble at all some days. What can I do during those silent periods? — Ken Riddel, Fairfield, Va.
Editor's note: We posed that question to world-champion caller Steve Stoltz, of Knight & Hale Game Calls. Here's his response.
Far and away, the toughest bird is one that won’t gobble. When a turkey isn’t vocal but you know he’s there, there are tactics you can use. However, it’s not like when he’s gobbling. They are two different animals.
The better you know the turkeys in your area and what they do, the more likely you are to kill turkeys when they aren’t gobbling. Refer to your pre-season scouting, and choose an area where turkeys like to feed, travel, loaf or congregate. Find a good setup, and vow to be patient. Don't be afraid to call. Just make sure that your calling is as realistic as possible.
Through the years, you almost develop a sixth sense about good spots. You feel like, “Hey, it’s going to happen right here.” If nothing else is going in the woods, a turkey might eventually make his way to you.