Getting a Gobbler to Swim to You!

There are times when something awful happens — You are on one side of a creek/stream/river and the tom is on the other side!  Is there any way to salvage the situation?

Yes, there is.  

However, you have less than an even chance. Let’s be clear about that.

If there aren't any hens closer, you may convince a tom to fly or swim across water to you!

The Situation 

When the current is too swift for wading or too deep for walking across, you will have your work cut out trying  to convince a gobbler to fly or swim across. However it can be done.

What to Try

The only way I know to convince a tom to come across a moving body of water, is to convince him that he is missing out on a great party!  He has to believe that there is more excitement on your side of the water than on his!

A tom may have no interest in flying to your party if there is only one hen.  So, using a diaphragm call, a slate call and box caller, just might convince that tom that there are 3 or more hens calling him, wanting to breed.

Change your calls:  you will need to do cuts, excited yelps and cackles. *

Remember to make other sounds that gobblers expect to hear from hens.  More info about these sounds is at:  Bagging the Hung-Up Turkey  (look for “Why Might These Work?” – near the bottom of the post).

Two Things to Remember 

  • It may require extensive calling to convince that gobbler to fly over to you.
  • As long as that tom stays and continues to gobble, you have a chance!


*For audio of these calls — clicking on the underlined words will take you to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s site.


‘Proud Crowd’ used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics


Thanks for stopping by; hope you will join us again soon! 


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Comments Off on Getting a Gobbler to Swim to You!  
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When You Are Hunting a Wily Turkey Tom

A Story With a Moral

Robert, an experienced turkey hunter, shared a story that happened a few years ago.  He lived in a hilly area and could do a little hunting before going to work.

Keep Telling Yourself that a Turkey's Brain is the Size of a Walnut; After a While, Maybe You Will Even Believe it!


Disappearing Gobbler

Around daylight, Robert would often hear the insistent gobbling of a tom; making noise from one side of a nearby hill to the other.  By the time Robert joined the hunt, the gobbler had quieted and would not stir.

After a few mornings of calling a little and calling a lot with no response, Robert questioned if there was any turkey at all!  He tried circling, setting up near the roost, everything he could think of — but no turkey appeared.

This is War!

Robert started learning everything he could about his quarry.  Eventually, he realized what the turkey was doing.

After the turkey called his hen harem, he flew down into a glade, where he had a clear view of the hillside.  If Robert appeared, the turkey saw him and left.

If Robert wasn’t on hand, the gobbler would strut in the clearing and gather his hens for breeding.

A few days later, Robert was in the glade before daylight.  He positioned himself  about 200 yards from the turkey’s roost and waited.

As the area lightened, Robert gave 3 soft tree yelps. *  The wily turkey flew down from his roost into the clearing, looking for the hen that had called him.

And that morning, Robert bagged his turkey!

What’s Important About this Story

This story shows just how important it is to learn everything you can about your adversary.

To be successful with this difficult bird, Robert needed to know:

  • where the turkey roosted,
  • where he traveled,
  • why he was going there,
  • what he did when he got there.

Some hunters think that superb calling skills and snazzy camo wear are all you need to snare a turkey.

Robert’s story explains why understanding gobblers is more important than just about anything else!   What you wear and how you call a turkey is only important after you understand your prey!


PS: Hunters also say that it is important to hunt an experienced turkey in a different way or place.  Robert met the turkey where the tom didn’t expect to find him.

* Site of National Wild Turkey Federation; audio of 11 turkey calls.


‘Woodland Splendor’ used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on When You Are Hunting a Wily Turkey Tom  
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Mistakes Turkey Hunters Make # 7

When You Can’t Take a Shot

One of the most frustrating mistakes turkey hunters make is not taking a shot at a bird.  It has happened to all of us:  For whatever reason, the turkey or you are not in a good place for a shot.

The gobbler may step behind a tree — just as you take aim.  Or you weren’t expecting the turkey to step from behind a very close bush.

Do You Know Where Gobblers Go to Strut-Their-Stuff?

Why Pre-Season is So Important

If you were scouting around for gobblers before the season started, you are more likely to have a feel for where a gobbler travels during a typical day.

You likely know were the gobblers roost and the area they use for strutting.  By spending time watching your quarry, you have a better chance of anticipating their behavior.

Trying a Second Time

If you have not spooked the turkey, you may have a  second chance.   Let the bird pass you by and let him get out of sight.

If you have done your pre-season work, you have a good idea where the males like to spend their time.  Circle around the bird.

Finessing Your Way to a Shot

Remember how I mentioned in an earlier post that you need to sound like a turkey hen when you are moving about?

They don’t march from Point A to Point B with a purposeful step, but take their time, scratching for food.

Remember, if you don’t sound like a turkey, you can only sound like a human.

Thus, when you are walking, you must make turkey noises, not human noises. Turkeys move erratically. When you are walking, it is important to vary the number of steps and the speed of your walking.

Take two steps, wait, take a step, wait, take 4 steps, wait, etc. Cluck and purr softly while moving. Scratch the leaves with your foot occasionally.

Now Put Your Pedal to the Metal

Be cautious and make a large circle around your quarry.  Get into a good position and start calling.

If your gobbler came towards you earlier with your calling action, use the same calling pattern.

However, if he’s not responding to those calls now, it is time to try a different call.

Here’s a great site for listening to turkey calls:  The National Wild Turkey Federation.  They offer 11 different calls (for your listening pleasure)!


“Proud Crowd” is used by permission of Restyler’s Choice Graphics


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 12:05 am  Comments Off on Mistakes Turkey Hunters Make # 7  
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Talkin’ Turkey: Typical Behaviors


Look at beard hanging from chest!

Look at beard hanging from chest!


To be successful, hunters need to understand the behavior of the wild turkey.

Don’t let this bird out-psyche you! Remember, he has a brain the size of a walnut.

Maybe, with lots of repetition, you might even start to believe it!

Talkin’ Turkey

These fine feathered fowl don’t have a morsel of curiosity in their entire beings! If they become concerned about a sound, they leave — immediately.

Turkeys have sharp eyes and big mouths. It’s the big mouth that usually lands him/her on your dinner table.

I believe turkeys were the ones that created “Twitter” — they are very social and want everyone to know what they are doing. 😉

Turkey Calls

Our fine friends make a variety of noises that are understood by their companions. Let’s talk about a few of the basic ones.

Yelp – An important sound, especially during spring turkey hunts. Both gobblers and hens yelp; in the spring, hens use the yelp to attract the guys.

Tree Yelp or Call – This call comes from the hen while she’s still roosted.  Hunters use this call early in the morning. It is not really different from the regular yelp; however, it is a softer call.

Kee-Kee – This is a favorite of the juveniles and is also known as a whistle. Although mostly heard in the fall, hunters often use it successfully to lure a ‘big boy’ in the spring!

Clucks – All turkeys cluck; they just vary the tone and loudness. This is known as social chit-chat and a great way to call another turkey.

Cackle – Hens are the masters of this call and they use it while flying up and down from a roost. This is a difficult one to do well; most hunters learn the cutt call instead. Hens use this call when they are on the ground

All turkeys  purr. The sound is soft and shows contentment.

Alarm Putt – At the first sign of danger, this is the call a turkey uses to warn others.

Lend Me Your Ears!

I didn’t waste time describing the sounds of each of these because I have something better.  The National Wild Turkey Federation has a site complete – with sound effects. Take a listen here:


Come back for more exciting revelations about this beautiful, sneaky bird!  

Coming up: Mating Behaviors, Things a Hunter can do Preseason, Jakes and Hens: Should You or Shouldn’t You Shoot Them?


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 7:38 am  Comments Off on Talkin’ Turkey: Typical Behaviors  
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