Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Keep in mind turkeys can’t smell very well, but they make up for it with their eyesight. I wear a Mossy Oak Obsession leafy suit and when I’m sitting still, the turkeys never know I’m there. The next tip is you have to be patient. No matter what you hear about turkeys, there are very few easy hunts. So when you go, be patient.
Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: Scouting is very important. Turkeys travel and roost in different spots. What you see turkeys doing in the fall has nothing to do with their spring time pattern. You have to go out 2 to 3 weeks in advance and try to figure out their pattern.
Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: The best call to use is the one you are most comfortable with. If you have an old box call you like then use that call. Confidence is everything in turkey hunting.
Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: You don’t have to have numerous calls, but it certainly helps. For example, diaphragm calls can be difficult to master but when a bird is in close, it’s nice not to have to move your hands. With a little practice (this is when you drive your wife and kids crazy) you can learn to use any call.
Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: I always keep my slate calls in a case along with my scratch pad. For my diaphragm calls, when I’m not using them I keep them in the refrigerator.
Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: I think too many hunters go by the book. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. If you sit on a bird that you know has hens more than likely he’s not coming to you. You have to figure out a way to either call the hens to you or make a move to get in front of the birds. Always keep in mind no two hunts are alike.
Q: Do you use decoys? If so how?
A: I use a single hen decoy and lay her on the ground in a breeding position. One thing I do is not place the decoy in front of me. If a gobbler can see the decoy from a ways away he may stop and strut and try to get the hen to come to him. I will set the decoy up at 50 yards to my left or right. That way he usually walks right by me.
Q: What should I do if I go out and don’t hear any gobbling?
A: If you’ve done your scouting and you know there are birds in the area sit and call and be patient. If you are on private property, after a while pick up and move and hit some really loud yelps and clucks every 100 yards or so. You might get lucky and light off a bird.
Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: If you don’t kill that bird from the roost then give him an hour or two to hang with hens. That 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. can be magical.
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