Tips From the Pros
Turkey gobbles fill the air, mushrooms are getting ready to pop up any day, and summer is right around the corner. May in Michigan, it can be a lot of fun but it can also be very frustrating. This time of year is when turkeys become much harder to call, toms are beginning to become a little call shy and it seems that every tom you do see has 5-10 hens with him already. This can make it very difficult for the hunter, but there are a few different things you can do to increase your odds of success and still land your spring gobbler. First off, although roost hunts can be very exciting they start to become less effective due to call shy birds. I would suggest beginning your hunts around 9:30 AM and hunting until 1 PM, hoping to call a tom in after the hens have gone back to nest. Roost hunts can still produce a bird this time of year but it may take you several roost hunts to find a responsive bird. Another option that has worked well for me in the past is hunting their travel corridors. Although this approach is not as exciting as calling in a fired up tom, gobbling the whole way, it can put birds on the ground. In many of the areas I hunt, turkeys will get in a pretty consistent pattern this time of year, seeming to roost in the same spot and feed in only 1 or 2 different fields. Try to pay attention to where the birds seem to be entering or exiting the field, and the time they appear to do so. I think you will be shocked at the consistency that some birds have. This is similar to in-season scouting for deer, you hate to give up a sit to scout something out but sometimes it's necessary. And although you will have to most likely forgo a few sits to figure the birds out in your area, it will be time well spent. Once you have their pattern down it just becomes a waiting game. Make sure that you get set up an hour or so before you expect the birds to arrive because they may be lurking not far off.