WillowRidgeCalls wrote:I can't agree more about patterning high pressured birds. You need to know your area like the back of your hand, and where those birds like to go and when they like to be there. What I've found is that hard pressured birds don't like to travel more than a few yards out of their normal routine areas, they will talk to you all day, but they won't budge off their line of travel unless they see movement of a hen.
Calling is very important on high pressured birds. Knowing what calls to use and how and why to use them is a big key to filling a tag. Late season birds that have been hunted 4-5 weeks have heard just about every call made to them, and that's why most folks say call very little, and for the most part that's the best idea. If you know what calls to use and why and how you should use them is a major key. I hunt public land and I don't start hunting until the 3rd week of seasons, the 4th, 5th, and 6th weeks have been my best seasons. As the seasons get later in the year the less I'll use a yelp and if I do yelp it will only be a couple quick yelps, most of my talking is softer calls like clucks or whines or purrs, and don't drag your calls out, keep them fairly short. If I'm cold calling then I'll yelp more often, lost call or 4-5 yelps in a series followed by some clucks, but if I'm working a gobbler I yelp very very little. What I like to do is get out early and wait for a bird to sound off, then set up on him. When he sounds off agian I cut him off with some hard cutts right on the roost. Most times that will get other gobblers going in the area. Make sure you only work one bird period, don't ansewer every gobbler that sounds off just the one you cut off, when he goobles again cut him off again with some softer yelps and tree talk and work that bird only. Let the other ones gobble their heads off, they will try to get you to ansewer their gobbles, DON"T, more times than not it's the boss Tom that will sound off first, work him and only him. A lot of times when you cut him off a boss hen will sound off, forget about that Tom and work that boss hen. You'll hear that almost all the birds won't cut a boss hen off, even the gobblers stay quiet until she's done talking, but not you, cut her off every time she opens her mouth. You may call non stop for 5-10 minutes but that's what it takes, challenge her for that boss Tom, and throw in a jake gobble or two, that will get that boss gobbler fired up. If you ansewer every gobbler that calls more times than not they will go the other way off the roost. The other gobblers know your there and they can pinpoint you exactly what tree your by, they will try to sneak in and steal you away from that boss gobbler, but most times they come in quiet. It's easier to tell which gobbler is which when they are on the roost, but when they are on the ground isn't that easy, that's why you don't call as often and keep your calling soft and low, make that bird talk to you, he won't gobble much on the ground so pay attention to what he sounds like so you can tell him from the others. Most old birds gobble 2-3 times on the roost then shut up until they meet up with that hen they are looking for. That is why high pressured old gobblers are harder to hunt, but if you learn to hunt one bird and only one bird, you'll do much better.
And yes, it is caused by interactions with human hunters that results in the turkey associating turkey calling with danger. It is not rocket science, and it has nothing to do with the size of an organisms brain. It is more of a "survival of the fittest" response that all organisms possess, from human beings to amoebas.
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