Late-Season Turkey Hunting

Submitted By Rick White Feb .22.2016

As we draw near the end of turkey season success can tend to be a bit more challenging. This is the time of the year that turkeys hit the ground and quit gobbling. A lot of hunters start to get up and cover a lot of ground. Most of the time hunters are just bumping and educating turkeys, making them harder to hunt.

You can still be successful, and here are a few tips.. I still do a lot of the normal things I do during the early season. I use decoys when set up in open areas. I still set up on turkeys on the roost. But when they fly down and quit gobbling, it's time to be patient.

I will stay in the same place for several hours. Patience is the name of the game this time of year. A lot of times gobblers will come in, never making a sound. So be ready. I also tend to get in the woods with them. They seem to hang out in the woods more this time of year due to the taller foliage in fields.

I also change my calling up. I’ll bet most turkeys have heard every call known to man at this time. Try using something that you haven’t used. If you’ve been running a box call try a glass or slate call. If you’ve been running a glass or slate call try a diaphragm call. Just try something that they may not have heard yet. You might also tone your calling down a bit.

Also, mid mornings and afternoons can be a very effective time to hunt. Go back to the areas you heard them in the morning. With more and more hens nesting, gobblers will start to cover ground, looking for hens again.

Just the other day I was on a hunt in my home state of Iowa. I set up on a gobbler I had roosted the night before with a Limb Shaker owl hooter. To my surprise, there were two gobblers the next morning. I thought I was in a great situation until I heard her. Yup, a hen. Once they hit the ground they gobbled for a bit and then as if someone turned off a light switch, they were done. I waited for two more hours, and nothing.

So I decided to do a little mushroom hunting. As I walked through the timber I stopped to call every now and then. Finally I heard a gobble off in the distance towards the river. I worked my way over to that area. Called again and a turkey gobbled across the river. The gobble I heard earlier sounded, I thought, on my side. I stayed put and called again. This time a turkey gobbled a lot closer so I sat down at the closest tree. Another call and nothing. This happened for the next three times I called. Right after the fourth call I saw a red head coming through the timber and was headed straight to me. At 25 yards I squeezed the trigger on my Benelli and I was done late season in Iowa.