Late Season Gobblers
May 1st, 2017
Hunting turkeys during the late season brings a whole new set of challenges. Pressured birds, insects, and foliage can make hunting turkeys in the late season tough. If you can get passed the swarms of mosquitoes and gnats, hunting the end of the season has its advantages.
Use the Foliage to Your Advantage
Hunting the late season means thick vegetation and tall grass which means it’s typically easier to hide and put a sneak on birds this time of year. Sometimes the key is finding somewhere that toms feel secure enough to strut their stuff and feed. A lot of times that means recently disked fields, cattle pastures, or recently cut right-aways. During or after a light rain can be a great time to set up over these places. Open hardwood timber ridges are another spot turkeys will favor this time of year.
Love Sick Toms
Toms at this time of year can be love sick. Just like the whitetail rut, it seems that there is a “secondary” phase for turkey hunting that can lead to some great turkey hunting action. Soft yelps and purrs during this time phrase may be the ticket. Especially if you feel that your birds have been pressured at all, they might hang up just outside of range if you overcall. You might be surprised at just how aggressive a tom will respond searching for the last receptive hens in the area.
Sitting in one spot and waiting for hours on end is not uncommon during the late season. The last thing you want to be doing is swatting mosquitoes when a bird is close. Bug spray and/or a Thermacell are imperative at this time of year. I always try to cover my boots, waistline, and shirt cuffs with bug spray. That’s the most common places ticks will get under your clothing and onto your skin. Vanilla spray works great in areas where gnats are problematic.
Gobbling at this time of year can range from great to complete silence. If you know a bird is working the area, spray down and get comfortable. Tom Kelly put it best when he said “You have to pay for every bird you kill and the coin you use to pay for them is time”.