So, you have a gobbler coming right in and he stops just outside of range and will not come any closer. Every turkey hunter has or will experience these moments. But the hunt isn’t over, you can still get that turkey, but it might require a change of approach. On this episode I cover several strategies for successfully hunting hung up gobblers.
Why do gobblers get hung up? People often think there is some mystical reason why a turkey would come in hot and then stall out just beyond your range. But this is actually very normal turkey behavior. Typically, the hen turkey comes to the gobbler when he calls or when she sees him. So, the gobbler may be coming in quickly to close the distance to get close enough to be seen and heard by the hen. And once he makes visual contact or comes within audio range, he will begin to call and strut to get the hen’s attention. He is trying to impress the lady bird.
Trying to get the gobbler to come right to the obvious hen is a little bit against nature, it certainly works sometimes, but it can be very problematic other times.
So, when a turkey is moving in quickly to your position and he sees your decoy 80 yards away, he may assume the hen can see him and he has gotten close enough to be seen and heard so he will start gobbling and strutting to win over the hen, expecting her to come to him. The same thing can happen when he gets in close, and the hunter continues calling. He may not see the hen, but he can hear that she is close, so assuming she is behind a nearby tree, the tom will start to gobble and strut trying to get her to pop out and come over.
When the turkey hunter goes quiet and has no decoy, the gobbler continues to come closer trying to close the distance and figure out what direction the hen has moved off to, he often comes to the last place he heard the calling from in order to try and figure out which direction to search next. So just by ceasing to call and not having a decoy you can prevent some hang ups.
But what do you do after the tom has hung up? There are numerous strategies you can employ to change things up and get the turkey to commit and cover the last few yards worth of ground to come into range.
Listen to this podcast episode to hear all about it!