turkey hunting

Late Season Gobbler Tactics

Live the Legend |

turkey huntingThe hunting season is winding down in the northern reaches of the wild turkey’s range and as the last days and weeks of Spring 2014 wind down, it’s mission critical time for hunters who have yet to fill a tag. To make sure you don’t enter the summer season with little to show for your springtime efforts, try these tips to not only put yourself in position for a shot, but to ensure when it comes time to squeeze the trigger, that gobbler will go down.

  1. Get Aggressive—Time for laying back and working a longbeard like a gentleman hunter has passed. Now you have to get ultra strategic and in that bird’s face. Spring leaf out is in full frenzy and the open woods of early spring are a thing of the past. While you have to remember that gobbling turkeys will sound farther away than they really are because the growth is muffling their sounds (so don’t get so aggressive you bust right in on one), you can slip in closer to a vocal tom due to the extra cover. Be careful, but take advantage of the obscured views to get inside 100 yards of a longbeard and work him the rest of the way.
  2. Try a Heavier Load—Brush is leafing out and grass and weeds are growing taller, tightening once open shooting lanes and making it easier for toms to remain obscured as they hang up and peer about looking for the hen you are pretending to be. If you’ve been shooting No. 6 loads for the pellet count, consider swapping them out for heavier No. 5s or even No. 4s if they pattern well from your gun. The heavier shot will maintain adequate pattern and penetration should you need to thread a shot through a tight spot in the brush, clipping leaves along the way. A 3-inch Double X load packs 1¾ ounces of copper-plated hard shot and is a great option as is Winchester’s Xtended Range Hi-Density loads of high-density lead-free shot. Double X also boasts two 20-gauge offerings in No. 4s as well.
  3. Increase Your Range—It’s late in the season and toms have heard everything hunters can throw at them. They are getting call shy and will tend to hang up just out of range of more traditional shotgun loads. But with Winchester’s new Long Beard XR, featuring Shot Lok technology, which improves patterns for denser down-range delivery, it’s now a realistic expectation for hunters to go well beyond the accepted 40-yard and even stretched 50-yard range of turkey loads to make 60-yard shots. It may be your only shot, be sure you can go the distance.