Q: Can you give me a few general tips on how I can be more successful this spring?
A: Scouting should have started last fall when you were deer hunting. You have to know what is going on in your timber. Are there any new trees down, fences down, new gullies that have washed out, anything that might affect the turkeys’ travels and how they are going to come to your calling? Get in the woods and learn the lay of the land.
Q: How much scouting should I do before the season?
A: As much as you can without pressuring the birds. We like to start in late February just to hear them gobble. But you need to scout up to the day you hunt because their patterns change a lot as it warms up.
Q: Is there a best call to use?
A: The call you can use the best is the best one to use. You don’t have to know how to use them all just get good at a couple.
Q: Do I need to learn to use several different calls?
A: No, but over the years you will learn to more and more. Just get comfortable with what you use.
Q: What do you do to take care of your calls?
A: I baby my slate calls, they are protected up until I use them. Keep everything dry and secure so it is ready at a second’s notice.
Q: What is a common mistake that turkey hunters make?
A: Impatience. Most hunters can’t sit still long enough. Also be open to new ideas; not everyone hunts the same.
Q: Do you use decoys? If so how?
A: I always carry at least one, but feel out the birds before using them. Early, you can usually use 2 or 3. The more call shy they get, back off on the decoys.
Q: What should I do if I go out and don’t hear any gobbling?
A: Set back and take a long deserved nap or go to town and get breakfast. Come back at 9:00 and hit them again. If you did your scouting, you know they are there. In Iowa you go mushroom hunting and just wait for them to gobble.
Q: If I can hunt all day, is there a best time to hunt?
A: I prefer fly down, just to hear them gobble. But late morning through lunch is when we kill most of our birds.