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Struttin’ Time

Turkey transition period No. 3

Today we will cover the third transition period for the wild turkey. Please keep your notes together from previous Struttin’ Time columns to use when needed.

The third transition period will take place within five days of April 19 and will run through May 3. This period is similar to the peak of the rut for whitetail deer. This, by the way, is by far the best time to hunt.

Contrary to popular belief, evening hunting — where allowed — is the best. Hens are setting and gobblers are lonesome, making this the best time to call. The few hens that are still available leave the gobblers quick. Gobblers spend longer times in the tree on the roost, with intense gobbling while waiting for hens to show up before fly down.

Do not, I repeat, do not call to a gobbler on the roost. Almost any type of call will work this time of year. Get close to the gobbler on the same level and fire him up with aggressive yelps, purrs, clucks, and cuts. Then wait him out with occasional soft yelps on a push, pull or reed mouth call.

Listen intently for strutting. Remember gobbling is a plus. Most gobblers strut and drum up their hens.

Next week, it’s on to transition period four.

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