I've been following this thread without saying anything, but I can only resist so much
I've learned through years of doing this and having a lot of the same problems that you are having Sha. I would go out and scout the areas that I wanted to hunt and locate birds, only to find them gone come opening day because of all the people scouting and calling before the seasons opened on a lot of the publics, which is what I hunt. After 30 years of trying to figure out what it was I was doing wrong, I concluded it was nothing I was doing, it was what I wasn't doing. Scouting, Woodsmanship and Calling, play a very important parts of being a successful turkey slayer year after year. It's a combo of all three, not just one part of it, that's where the biggest mistake is made, guys spend a lot of time practicing their calling and spend a lot of time scouting, but they don't use their woodsmanship skills to the top of their abillities, and without it your wasting a lot of time sitting there doing nothing, all three have to be performed to perfection!!! How many times have you heard a hunter say that they located a bird and worked him, but he wouldn't come so they moved on him only to find out the next time he gobbled he was back where they first set up on him? Most times the hunters say well turkeys are turkeys you can't make them do what they don't want to do. That's the best excuse for failing there is!!! Do what you've always done Sha, do your scouting and your homework on where those birds are and where they like to go, but most important is when
the birds are there, your missing that part of your scouting.
Calling, guys say you should switch calls during different parts of the season, no need to. If that call brought a bird to the gun the first week it will continue to bring birds to the gun the rest of the season, a huge mistake is swithing from a call that brings birds to the gun to one that doesn't. That old say that you need a few different calls with you because you never know what's going ti trip his trigger that day, BS!! That's an old call builders story to sell more calls, it is somewhat true, because every call don't bring a bird to the gun, they just stand there and answer you, but won't take one step in your direction, that's the calls fault, not yours. Learn what calls the bird are doing during that time of the day, and try everyone of them, no matter what call it is, before you ever think of moving to a new spot, unless you know for sure that the birds are in a certain area at that time of the day!! Without doing your scouting you don't know that. Again it goes back to using all three parts of your hunting abillities to the max!.
Woodsmmanship, knowing every part of your hunting area is a must. Knowing how to move on birds without being seen, and where to set up on birds that give you the best advantage is very important, bad setups cost you more birds than not. Knowing when the birds are there and how to get in on them without busting them will put more birds over your shoulder, year after year.
Everbody gets lucky, and walks in and plops down, hits a call, and a red hot two year old comes running in with his tail on fire screaming all the way in. It's the old birds that have been hunted most of the season that takes the most skill to shoot, season after season. If you forget to use all three parts of what's needed to kill a bird to the best of your abillity it will make a long tough season. I keep a log book of what I did that hunt, and looking back through it on what I did on days I was successful, it explains what I didn't do on days that I wasn't, and you will soon realies it was because I didn't do something that I did on successful days