Scenario #1: A tom is roosted in a small draw between two cut corn fields. Several hens are roosted 200 yards south at the end of the draw. Scouting has shown the tom usually flies down to one of the fields where the hens meet him.
Solution: Get between the tom and his hens.
Field gobblers are easier to kill if you roost them the night before. Slip in early and set up very close to the tom before his first gobble. Getting close is essential. Don’t let the hens get between you and the longbeard, or the morning could be over.
A gobbler and hen decoy combination works well. The fake tom will mimic an intruder trying to steal hens from the real gobbler.
Note: Birds roosted along field edges are more likely to spot you approaching than those in timber. Don’t wait for the first gobbles of the morning to walk across an open field. It will be light enough by then for the birds to pick you off.
Don’t call too early or too often. Wait until the bird is almost ready to fly down. Then make a few soft calls to let him know you’re there. Sometimes I wait until the bird hits the ground to call. Calling too much to a bird on the roost can keep him in the tree longer, making it easier for hens to get there. If the tom is close enough to see the decoys, calling may not be necessary. He might just pitch straight down to the setup.
Scenario #2: Mid-day scouting reveals a large field with multiple toms. However, birds aren’t roosting around it at night.
Solution: Create an ambush.
Find out which direction the birds are entering and exiting the field. Fences and ditches on the borders could funnel birds to an exact location. Setting up a blind in these areas is a good idea. They will help conceal your movement while waiting for the turkeys to arrive.
It gets difficult if the birds are entering from all directions. Toms will strut in areas where they can be noticed so look for high spots around the field to set up. Remember, a turkey’s line of sight is much lower than ours. Finding the area where your decoys are visible from all directions is the key.
Full strut tom decoys work well for this scenario. They are easier to make out from long distances than a jake. Toms will feel challenged and want to come in for a fight.
Field gobblers can be some of the toughest birds to kill. Long distance scouting can only increase your chances. Do the homework, remember the decoys, and you just might have an answer for those tough birds.
Field Gobblers was last modified: February 9th, 2017 by Bill Winke