Turkeys: Tips on Nabbing a Silent Gobbler!


Before we get started, a priceless quip:

If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.

– Quentin Crisp


After an hour, or so, of soft calls (every 15-20 minutes) with no response – now it’s time to make a decision.

Using Your Gut Instinct


Outsmarting the Silent Gobbler!


If the tom heard any noise that he couldn’t connect with a hen, he probably has “left the building” (a la Elvis)!

It may be best to move to another location and try again.

A Tom Walks Up Behind You!

Gobblers are notorious for being sneaky!  They also have an uncanny ability to arrive where you least expect.

Let’s say you hear a responding call or leaf rustling behind you; this is no time to turn around!

Remember, we learned from the study of what and how (both) deer and turkeys see, that they are watching for movement.

If you stay frozen in place until you have a chance at a shot, you have a tiny chance of getting the gobbler.  You are part of the scenery – until you shoot.

Hopefully, he will have to move around a tree trunk/brush/whatever, which will give you a chance to raise your gun and shoot.

If you move and prove that you are neither a hen nor part of the scenery, you have no chance of taking home that big bird.

When things get tough, remember that his brain is the size of a walnut!  Give yourself time — you can out-fox him — if he cooperates by making a mistake!


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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