....I'm glad to see someone will put up with my ramblings!
Continuing my thought process above,....on the first morning of a "small tract" hunt, I really just want to get a feel for what's there. Sure, it would be nice to get in on a bird and do some quick damage, but I don't normally expect that to happen. If the stars are aligned favorably, I will have heard multiple gobblers, and perhaps gotten to work a bird or two to get a feel for their attitude. I also want to get an idea about where they are roosting and what they are doing when they leave the roost.
After that initial first morning assessment, and assuming that I have lost contact with any birds, my next step is to get familiar with the property. As I stated earlier, I like to get familiar with the property boundaries and get an idea of what and who is within earshot of the property.
(Shaman spoke in another thread about hunters on adjoining properties affecting the hunting on his own by their continuous loud and annoying calling along the property lines. I am in complete agreement that hunters should respect property lines and other hunters that might be on adjacent properties. If I am aware that others hunters are nearby on neighboring tracts, I will do my best not to interfere with their hunt, especially if I can tell that they are working birds. I am also of the opinion, though, that "unencumbered" gobblers within earshot of my calling are fair game, and if they can be called off of an adjoining property, I have no qualms about doing so. *Disclaimer: I am not aware of any states that have rules or regulations that prohibit this practice, or regional mores that would have me disdained;...if there are, please feel free at this time to verbally flog me for my indiscretion.)
Often during mid-day, I will walk the property boundaries and "broadcast call". This is an effort to get birds anywhere to gobble. If I get a response, I will set-up and see if the bird will show interest and start coming my way, with my subsequent calling strategy based on how he is responding. I will readily admit I am not a "cluck once and wait fifteen minutes" sort of guy, and I will also readily admit that I have probably lost plenty of gobblers in my lifetime by not playing that game very much. It seems, though, that the older I get, the more I am willing to sit and wait...funny how that works.
I have also found that the more discouraged I am about the number of available gobblers on a property, the more likely I am to resign myself to just taking a seat in some calculated location and waiting for their passing. Of course, I will throw in the occasional soft yelp, cluck, or purr just to break the boredom and make me think I am actually influencing their potential arrival. (Note: henceforth I will also be carrying a turkey wing with which to elicit the various and sundry noises turkeys make, thanks to some of you that are, perhaps, reading this).
(yawn) It's late...and I'm old and tired....got to go to bed....more tomorrow....good evening, everyone (yawn)..............(snore).