missed bird coming back . That's just it ,,,it was missed . Had one pellet touched that rascal I doubt he would return . Turkeys don't know what a shotgun blast is . But if the bird gets a pellet or two and runs off , you can bet his memory will warn him of the noise that follows those seductive hen yelps
Not too sure about this hypothesis Mark allow me to share another observation from a participant in one of my turkey clinics a few years ago. The beginning hunter called in a gobbler that proceeded to strut back and forth on a fallen log. The tom fell out of sight at the shot with the excited hunter racing to the log to claim his prize. He found feathers and blood all over the place but no turkey, he searched for hours no luck. The next morning he went to he same place; setup and called in a gobbler to the same log. The turkey stayed on the ground behind the log strutting back and forth with a strange jerking motion. At the shot the turkey disappeared with the excited hunter racing to the log; this time there lay a very dead turkey. Upon examination this turkey had no feathers from his smashed thigh down. Clearly the same gobbler shot the day before. The strange jerking motion was the turkey hopping in strut on one leg!
At the risk of really revving up this discussion--
In my humble opinion turkeys are not smart they are quite stupid however they make up for this with their extreme wariness.
This is what makes it so incredibly maddening when a "stupid" turkey beats us smart hunters.[:D]
If turkeys find only from memory. How did the first turkeys planted in a new area find their food? Many of these first releases were done in early spring with significant snow on the ground.[8|]