Turkey Hunting: Tips on Nabbing a Silent Gobbler!

If 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 loners.

Today is “Better Advice” Day!

Instead of telling you how hard they are to catch, it would be more useful to make some suggestions about how to handle “the quiet ones.”

Experienced hunters know that toms can be silenced by the threat of a storm or when a cold front rolls into an area. Thus, just because you don’t hear turkeys, doesn’t mean that all turkeys have vamoosed!

Most of the wild turkeys harvested each year are 2 year old “chatterers.” Perhaps those that survive that first season learn to subdue their gobbling.

Changing Your Technique

When selecting a set-up site, it is important to find an area that has less-rather-than-more underbrush. With too much cover, the silent toms can sneak up and spy on you long before you see them!

While scoping out a spot, find one that is fairly level.  Without a doubt, the tom will pop up where you don’t expect him.  If there’s a rise for him to come over and startle you — he will.

Settling In Position

You’ve found a likely spot,  gotten everything settled — now let things get quiet. After a few minutes, softly call to a tom – just a short series.

If all remains quiet, try again in 15 minutes, or so.  Toms are often slow to respond, so don’t rush things. Plan to sit there, calling softly every 15 minutes, or so — for the next hour.

Otherwise, stay absolutely silent and still.

What We Learned From Studying Turkeys and UV Brighteners

After the issue of UV Brighteners came up a few years ago,  considerable time and money was spent studying how turkeys and deer see.

The topic is way too complicated for a quick explanation, you can refer to the following articles for more info:

What we learned is that turkeys aren’t notified of your presence by the “blue blob” of your UV brightened  clothes, but by the UV brightened clothes MOVING!

From that we know that stillness and silence are critical in hunting turkeys.


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


  1. Are there other reasons all the toms go silent other than cold fronts and storms?

  2. Dear Bob,

    That’s a great question! I don’t know everything there is to know about turkey hunting but seasoned turkey hunters talk about the silence of some gobblers.

    They indicate that a cold front moving in or the threat of a storm will silence gobblers. However, I think something else is at play as the season progresses.

    Gabby gobblers tend to bite the dust earlier than the silent ones. (I’m convinced that there was a gobbler involved in the creation of Twitter. Some male turkeys are convinced that everyone wants to know, “What are you doing now?”)

    As the season progresses, the chatty ones are picked off by hunters. The ones that remain are more silent – and much harder to snare.

    Those chatty gobblers may also be a function of youth. As turkeys mature, they may not feel the need to broadcast their location as much as youngsters.

    Experienced turkey hunters: Do you have any insights into this question?


  3. […] Turkey Hunting: Tips on Nabbing a Silent Gobbler! […]

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