Whitesburg KY
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Struttin’ Time

How to find, harvest a wild turkey

Our favorite time of year is almost here. Kentucky’s spring turkey season opens April 17 and runs through May 9.

Over the last few weeks, we have been studying the habits of the wild turkey. This week, we will explore the way to hunt them.

Remember, our season is like the full-blown rut of the whitetail deer. Most types of calls will work. Get close to the gobbler — hopefully 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 call or a two- or three-reed mouth call. Listen intently for strutting.

Remember, gobbling is a plus. Most gobblers strut or drum up their hens. From mid-morning to mid-afternoon, gobblers will respond to shock calls very well, such as a crow call, or a cutting call.

When a hen leaves her nest, cutting is what she uses to find the gobblers again, then she goes to him. He remembers this and responds. Once he responds, set up quickly and get ready.

A lonesome hen call works wonders at this time. Gobblers become territorial and move less. Odds are if you get one gobbling between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., he is coming in. Gobblers have a comfort zone where they can see and be seen. Find this zone and increase your odds of calling him into range.

A Jake decoy with hens will work wonders during this time. For locating gobblers, use an owl call in the morning and loud aggressive crow calls in the afternoon, or a loud cutting call anytime.

Good luck, and please send me your pictures and stories.

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