Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups


A Loner Needs Special Attention

A Loner Needs Special Attention


While hunting, you have to take the turkeys as they come. Two distinctly different types are:  loner gobblers and small groups of 2 or 3 youngish males. Their behaviors are quite different and call for unique actions by the hunter.

Loner Gobblers

Generally, loner males are older than the small groups of jakes or young turkeys.  Having considerable success with ‘the girls,’ these dominant loners are are used to hens coming to them.

They didn’t get to their age by taking foolish chances.  They require special techniques to entice them to your shotgun or bow and arrow.

Young Bachelor Groups

These youngsters are usually two-year olds with little breeding experience.  They are usually eager to respond to any calls from the hens.

Sometimes, a group  may have one mature gobbler; the 2 or 3 are buddies — and roost together — throughout the mating season. (If you recall, I mentioned that turkeys travelled together through the fall and winter months, but break up {along gender lines} at the time of mating. This is one unusual grouping that does not separate in the spring.)

These small groups of youngish males tend to interrupt each other and respond whenever the mood strikes. As the day wears on, these bachelors tend to increase their chatter.

This is the opposite of the mature loner; he gobbles less than the younger males. As the day advances, the loner tends to decrease his chattering more.  He’s more cautious than the youngsters.

How Are Your Turkey Calls Coming?

It almost seems as if the younger gobblers are trying to outdo each other. They seem to respond best to aggressive calling — loud yelps. Toss in a few cutts for good measure.

The bachelors also respond to gobblers. If you use a turkey tube, you may entice them to you.

Keep in mind: Gobbling is dangerous — unless you are hunting alone, you may attract another hunter.

The dominant loner isn’t buying any of these behaviors. You are most likely to catch him unawares by discovering his “strutting zone.” Daily, as the boys are “strutting their stuff,” they expect the hens to come watch the show.

The mature gobblers come to rely on the “strutting zone” as a great way to  find an eager female, especially when many of the hens have started nesting.

Next: Calling the Loner

This is getting long. I’ll finish this and talk about “setting up for a turkey hunt”  next time.


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


  1. […] you recall, in Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups, I mentioned how much easier it was to snare the young, talkative gobblers than the silent […]

  2. […] Turkey Hunting: Outsmarting Loners & Small Gobbler Groups […]

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