Keep these common mistakes in mind the next time you have a Turkey Tom on the hook.

Tom turkey fanned out approaching a hunter
  1. He Saw You
    Turkey’s are quick to notice movement. Plus, since their eyes are lower to the ground, they can see underneath the vegetation that we as hunters must look through.
  2. He Left You for Another Girl
    A gobbling Tom doesn’t just intrigue hunters, it also lures in live Hens in the vicinity. Often times, they’ll come in and walk him right out, before you get a chance. (TIP: Play in the middle. If you know where the Hens might be, try to stay in the middle.)
  3. He’s Blocked
    Sometimes, it’s as simple, and frustrating as an object acting as a barrier for him to come closer. (Downed tree, a fence, a creek, a hill, etc.)
  4. Mood Change
    You’ve done all the ‘right’ things, but he’s still hung. Many times this is because he can see into the area you are calling from and may not see a hen when he feels that he should be able to, etc. (TIP: If you aren’t using a decoy sit, somewhere that forces him to get close (inside gun range) in order to see the entire vicinity around you. This will keep him curious and coming forward.)
  5. Calling
    Maybe too much, maybe too little. Learning to read a bird while calling is tricky, but an absolute difference-maker to bring him to the end of the barrel. (TIP: Be intentional about your calling. Keep a tally of what worked or didn’t work. Approach each hunt as a student willing to learn.)

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