Hey all-I'm relatively new to this particular forum, been spending my years on the PA hunting forum, but I'm tagged out w/ bird #2 and itchin' to talk w/ others about a sport I love so much.
Some good pts in this thread, in my OP I think "Jim" has hit it right. For new guys, there is absolutely NO substitute for experience, yr after yr w/ chasing spring turkeys. That's the bad part, there's no quick "fix" to mastering turkeys, it simply takes time and a lot of "work". The good part is, you asking questions, spending time in the woods, doing research, watching videos, practicing calling, talking w/ friends who turkey hunt, etc is EXACTLY what will make you a better turkey hunter in the long run. If you are willing to put in the time and put your head behind it, you WILL be a better turkey hunter. Anyone can get lucky and kill a bird, but those "guys" you know that kill birds yr after yr and drive you crazy.....we've done exactly what you are doing now and have done it for yrs.
A question was raised about how much, or what type of calling to do when just randomly "spot" calling. I agree w/ others on some pts, but to me the MOST important thing is, where are you sitting? Why are you there thinking about spot calling? Is this is a known strutt zone to you? Is this a known roost area where you heard birds earlier in the am? Is this a field edge where you know birds like to hang out sometimes? Or did you just come across a spot where you need a break and want to sit down and try it out?
By far and away, when I blind call, 99 times out of 100, my behind is parked in an area where I know birds like to hang out, where I've seen birds hang out over the yrs, a known strutt zone, where I know birds were roosted that am or before, etc. If you just walk and find a spot randomly, the blind calling in my OP is gonna be WAY less successful consistently. Blind call where you know birds were, have been, like to be, period. Those areas will only be known to you, if you put in the time, yr after yr.
As for how much to call, what type of call. I agree w/ others, start soft w/ some clucks and purrs, maybe a short yelp. And slowly work your way up, maybe every 10-15 minutes. Birds rarely call and call and call for 30 minutes or more. They call for a bit, then typically quiet down. Then they call a bit, then quiet bit down, etc. Acting like real birds is the pt.
Like any hunting, there's no sure way to do anything. Deer, turkeys, elk, etc will all react differently to calls, setups, decoys, etc and being at the right place at the right time w/ the right animal, can make all the difference. That can be the really frustrating/tough thing w/ spring turkeys. TIME in the woods, the failures and successes will help you know when to do what and be more successful. Even when you do 100% of it right, sometimes the birds just won't work. And sometimes when you do everything wrong, they come right in. The key is learning, thru trial/error when to do what. You guys will get it, just keep at it, keep screwing up, keep asking questions, keep researching, keep practicing your calls, etc and it will come. Never, EVER give up. If you want it bad enough it'll come. It took me 4 yrs to kill my first Tom on public ground, and I killed it in the last 15 minutes, on the last day of the season on my way back to the truck. I learned right then in there, you've got to keep getting after it, thru the pain, exhaustion, frustration, bugs, whatever....Never, EVER give up and it will happen. Best of luck to all of you!