Still have an open Nebraska Spring Turkey Permit? If so, you could be holding the golden-ticket to some of the best memory-maker hunts the spring has to offer. You might need some minor tweaks to your strategies, though…
More and more hens are starting to nest full time now. While some others, for whatever reason, won’t be nesting at all this year. So gobblers are trolling for any and all the remaining hens interested in breeding while avoiding hens that aren’t. Which can mean they spend more time searching and walking. You need to adapt…
Now’s the time for a single decoy – if any. Gobblers have little patience for hens they can see but that ignore their strutting and gobbling – including your fakes. Sometimes, a lone jake decoy in half strut is best. Jealousy can be effective in luring in a gobbler willing to fight for one more hen. However, if you’ve located gobblers using areas where the cover makes seeing your decoy difficult, its probably best to just leave it at home.
Careful What You Say
Gone are the days that most gobblers will answer anything that sounds remotely like a hen. They just seem to be more picky as the season winds down. So don’t stick with a call they are ignoring. If you hear a gobbler consistently answering a real hen – try to match her cadence and sound. Consequently, if he is continually answering your calls, but just not closing the distance – keep at it. Patience usually tags these birds as they are often hoping to visit you after their current engagement is over.
Use the recent growth of grass, brush and leaves to your advantage to close the distance on gobbling birds before setting up. I think this is especially important early in the morning. The new green-growth blocks their view as much as it does yours. However, keep in mind that this new vegetation can also muffle gobbles, making them sound a bit further off than they really are.
Be Observant for Wayward Toms
Watch for gobblers away from their more common haunts. A hen may pull a gobbler some distance and before she slips away to her nest. That old boy will find himself all alone and often looking to head back from where he came from. Get setup on the most likely way back and he may just give you the show you’ve been dreaming about all spring.
Avoid Wet Feathers
Mornings now are often dewy affairs making grassy areas just plain wet. Turkeys don’t mind wet feet, but prefer to keep their feathers dry. When hunting early mornings look for spots like cropfield edges and short-grass pastures where the birds can avoid brushing up against the wet cover as they walk and strut. Wet edges and fields can funnel birds right to you. Once the dew is gone turkeys will roam anywhere.
The calendar is telling us that the end of season is getting closer. But by adapting your technique just a bit – there is Still Time for Nebraska Gobblers. And perhaps the best hunt of your spring.