Cold Calling to Fall Turkeys
Use a range of calls in your turkey vest to call in your fall bird. (Steve Hickoff photo)
By: Steve Hickoff
If you’ve heard fall turkeys don’t talk, you’ve got some bad information. Cold calling for fall turkeys—whether on foot or from a blind—is a tactic to locate or pull in birds you don’t see. You’ve likely picked a spot where you’ve found fresh turkey sign, or even seen and heard birds.
How To Do It
When on foot, you can kee-kee, cluck, hen or gobbler yelp to strike a bird. Think of this as fall locator calling. In such situations, a variety of “wild turkey sounds” can draw a response.
Often enough too, you might simply hear birds in the woods or fields while listening intently when you’re not calling. As safety goes in either-sex fall turkey states, lean against a tree as you make a call, or even temporarily set up on the ground as you might in spring.
The typical stationary ground setup these days often includes blinds. These “hides” are often erected in areas where turkeys are on the move. A pinch point with a game trail in the woods, or entrance to a field, might be likely locations. As mentioned, ideally fresh turkey sign is nearby.
It’s also important to put your blind somewhere between the roost and food source, especially in fall. Calling to birds you strike can pull individual turkeys or the entire flock your way. Making contact as they approach can also help you determine when a shot opportunity might come.
Wild turkeys call every day of their lives. The mistaken idea fall turkeys don’t is just that—an error in “spring turkey hunter” logic (or lack of). The trick is to think like a turkey. Call sparingly or enthusiastically—on foot or in a blind. Adapt your calling once the age and sex of the autumn turkey that responds is clear.
Then call that bird into range.
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