Calling Toms from Too Great a Distance
Don’t let a gobbler’s wings fool you: He isn’t interested in going great distances to find a hen.
If he’s grazing on public land (where there are plenty of hunters), gobblers get smart quickly — or some hunter takes him home for dinner! They learn that moving long distances to a calling hen is not a smart plan.
Women’s Lib vs. Turkeys
The women’s liberation movement hasn’t taken hold in the turkey kingdom. Yep, toms STILL expect hens to come to them for mating! What an idea!
While Hens Are Preparing Their Nests …
The boys are tuning their voices, dusting off their spurs and arranging their feathers for fullest effect. A roving Romeo’s work is never done!
The sound of gobbling fills the air as the males are calling the hens to them for mating. Although the dominant male mates most, the other gobblers scurry around to find receptive females while the dominant male is busy.
As the mating season progresses, the calls get more strident and insistent – as more hens leave for their nests and the incubation period (26 to 28 days).
Gobbling starts as soon as daylight starts to appear, while turkeys are still in their roosts. Once the gobblers hit the ground, they start calling hens in earnest. This calling continues until the warmest hours of the day.
What is ‘Too Long’ a Distance for Calling Gobblers?
Generally, toms aren’t going to travel 150 yards — or more — to breed with a hen. And some of the reasons they will reject the distance may surprise you!
If you have done your preseason work, you know what lies between you and the gobbler you want to call.
Toms often do not want to cross an obstacle — a ditch, some fencing (you can’t see) or even a slow-moving brook.
Overcoming a Tom’s Reluctance
If you can’t get the gobbler to come to you, you need to go to the tom. Before you start calling the turkey, get about 50 yards away from him.
Use thick vegetation and terrain to hide your movements. Sometimes, it may take as long as 2 or 3 hours to maneuver yourself into a good place to start calling!
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com