Turkey hunting is the most American hunting. Many have heard the legend that Benjamin Franklin proposed making turkey, not bald eagle, a symbol of the United States. Unfortunately, this is a fiction. But the fact that this bird in the wild is found only in America, and the way of hunting is also unique, is a fact.
Big, matte turkey – on the slang of local hunters “Tom” – attracts the characteristic sounds of females, and stays with them as a sultan in the harem. Naturally, if there is another such sultan nearby, the conflict is almost inevitable: ideally, to take away a few obviously unnecessary “wives” from the villain, or at least banish him from his territory. This is what hunters use.
The turkey hunting begins with an evening “overhear”. His task is to establish the place where he spends the night “Tom” with his harem. At the worst, you can find a pack of turkeys and young males (called “Jack” in slang). Sooner or later the old turkey will be nearby. To do this, hunters walk or drive through the grounds at sunset, trying to catch the characteristic noise of a flock of trees. You can also try to make birds give up their location by making a loud, sharp sound. The best thing to do is to call, which imitates an owl’s cry – but where there are many turkeys and they are not afraid, it is enough just to close the car door with noise.
Actually the hunting starts in the morning.
Hunters move cautiously to a place where turkeys are spotted the day before, choose a convenient place, and get settled in an ambush. As a rule, nobody makes a permanent place, they just fall back to a tree or a suitable bush. To distract the attention of “Tom”, sometimes exhibit a few stuffed turkeys and “Jacks”. Having disguised themselves in disguise, the hunters begin to beckon. The sound produced by a turkey is usually transmitted on the letter as “gobble-gobble” (hence another name of the trophy turkey – “gobbler”), but the real mating cry of a turkey is not much like this combination of letters. If you take a wooden box and slam its lid sharply, and then immediately lead the lid back and forth, making a squeaky sound, you get almost like “Tom”.
Actually, this is how the most widespread call, invented by indigenous peoples of America, is made. This is an elongated box made of deciduous wood, with a lid that holds only the rubber end, and handles on the ends of the box and lid. Such a call, as it is considered, produces the most natural sound. But learning how to work with it is not easy, the risk is very high, and an old, experienced turkey does not forgive mistakes. It is easier to use the diaphragm call, which is placed in the mouth – and, which is convenient, both hands remain free. But the sound is not so loud and natural. Real professionals, as a rule, have at hand a whole collection of calls, which they use on the situation. An excellent choice of calls for a turkey you can find at https://opticzoo.com/best-beginner-turkey-calls-reviews/.
If the turkey has responded to the call, the most interesting thing begins – the duel of the manipulator and the bird. This is very similar to hunting deer at – a dialogue in which you must clearly feel the mood of a wild rival, and adjust to it. In the ideal development of events, “Tom” comes to “deal” with the opponent. The tension grows; when the bird is almost in view of the shooter, you can’t move – the turkey’s sharpness of vision is not inferior to anybody else, and at the first suspicious movement without false pride it escapes.
The most difficult thing here is to choose the right moment to raise the gun. Usually they try to do it when there is a tree or some other obstacle between the turkey and the hunter. It may seem to beginners that the best thing to do is to let the bird get closer so that it doesn’t have a chance to leave and shoot at it. This tactic is obviously a losing one – a turkey’s reaction is much better than a human one, and a shot at a bird that is leaving or running away will not give anything but a trick.