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Tried and True Tactics for Run and Gun Spring Turkey Hunting by Tony Coakley

4 Tactics for Run and Gun Spring Turkey Hunting

Instead of sitting on that stump or against that big poplar tree this spring, try these four techniques for your Spring 2017 Turkey season.


  • Multiple Properties in a small area.


Running and gunning for springtime birds is not easy, but the more properties you have within a 30 minute drive of each other the better off you will be.

These properties do not need to be big tracts of land, but they do need to be the right land. Twenty acres will do the trick if it is big, mature woods. Half woods works too, if the other half is a green field where the birds like to look for bugs to eat mid-morning.

Knowing where the turkeys are roosting and traveling throughout the morning will help you in deciding which of your properties to hunt first.

  • Know your property.

Knowing what obstacles are in the woods you are hunting is essential for this technique.

Creeks, deep ravines, thick multi-flora rose bushes and fence lines can put the brakes on a bird and change the way you need to hunt them. Turkeys do not like to cross these obstacles too often, so making sure you are setting up in the right section of your woods is very important.

However, with today’s technology and GPS systems we have, you can zoom in on your location and see some of the terrain features that may give you problems. Try to set up in an area that is open and clear of these obstacles.

Remember, when you are hunting this way and depending on what time of day you are there, you may not have the luxury of stalking within 75 yards of a roosted gobbler. Those birds will likely already be on the ground and running their daily routines.

  • Do Not Stay too Long.

Although this is contrary to everything you have ever been taught about turkey hunting, running and gunning for turkeys require different techniques. Don’t hang on too long.

If the birds are not cooperative on that piece of ground and are not willing to play, load up and hit the road. Birds in one area may not be gobbling, but five miles down the road the hens may have already been bred and those gobblers are on the search looking for a receptive hen to breed.

  • Go back to where you started.

After a long morning of striking out, the last thing you may want to do is drive back to where you started the morning, but there is a few things to remember:

  • Those turkeys that were gobbling on the roost then shut up once they hit the ground probably had plenty of hens to handle all morning.
  • Those hens have now been bred are now getting their morning breakfast and heading to the nest.
  • This is a perfect time for you to come back and strike up a conversation with that gobbler.
  • After he has had his pick of hens for the morning, he is now looking for that hen he heard calling earlier in the morning that he did not get to breed.
  • That is a perfect time for you to sneak back into the area and get him fired up again.


These four tips for spring turkey hunting should help you try a new hunting technique or tweak your existing one.

Turkey Hunting
Tony Coakley with his Run and Gun Gobbler

I have shot many birds over the years using these tips. In fact, this is the only way I hunt turkeys now. It’s fast-paced and usually full of action.

The bird pictured was killed using the running and gunning techniques and in that one single season I personally called in 18 birds in which 4 harvests occurred, proving that these techniques work. Good luck this Spring.


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