Over the years, I have spent a lot of time spring turkey hunting with old time turkey hunters that spend more time hunting turkeys in the fall than they do in the spring. In most cases, diehard fall turkey hunters know more of a turkey’s vocabulary than a typical spring hunter. They know how to read turkey sign better, have more patience, and are often an all around better hunter than many spring hunters. I am not saying spring hunters don’t know what they are doing; I’m just saying fall hunters often spend countless days in the fall hunting and as a result, they hone their skills and end up being great turkey hunters. Below are a few tactics spring hunters can implement in the spring that are often only used in the fall.
For starters, one call you don’t hear many spring hunters use when hunting is the kee kee run. The kee kee run is the call of a young turkey in the fall. This call is often used by a young poult when it is trying to find its’ mother if it is lost. This call can be a great call to use in the spring to bring in a gobbler that is hung up. Brett Berry, a prostaffer for Zink Calls uses this vocalization often in the spring. “When calling in the spring, my goal is to convince a tom I am a real hen. Hens have a large vocabulary but most hunters only master the yelp and a few other basic calls. Often a tom can’t resist the sound of a kee kee run. It convinces the tom that a real hen is calling to him and can bring him those last few yards.”
Patience is something many hunters lack. When a fall turkey hunter busts up a flock of turkeys, he can be required to call and sit for hours before a turkey comes close enough to shoot. As a result, fall turkey hunters are accustomed to calling occasionally and sitting for long periods of time. Many spring hunters call for a few minutes and move to a new location. Being patient and persistent can put the odds in their favor. Staying in one location and calling periodically over the course of a day often yields success to the patient hunters who are willing to put their time in.
In the fall, many turkey hunters use more than one decoy to make their set up look like there is a small flock feeding and calling. Setting out three or more decoys in the spring can add realism to a setup and bring in a call-shy gobbler when nothing else will. “I like to put out a few hens and a tom decoy. When a tom approaches, he feels more comfortable because there are several birds around. Many turkey hunters only use one or two decoys in the spring. Adding a few extra can take extra time, but it is often time well spent,” Berry noted.
Do you want to fill your tag this spring? Try a few fall tactics. We all need a few tricks up our sleeves when turkey hunting.
About the Author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer and popular Wild Game Dinner Speaker. Find out more about him at www.tracybreen.com