The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 13, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Tricks of the trade

As we head into the last week of Ohio’s spring turkey hunting season, here’s some food for thought — it’s amazing that a bird with a brain the size of a green pea can frustrate so many hunters, but ya know what, they do it for a livin’, they do it to survive and they’re darn good at it.

Be that as it may, here are a few tricks that might help you in the remainder of your last pursuits or the next time a gobbler gives you the slip. It’s not gospel but it just might work:

Raise a ruckus

Most knowledgeable turkey hunters say that overcalling is the biggest mistake a hunter can make, but there are times when sounding like an all-out party may be the way to go. Let make a scenario: A hunter working a parcel of land watched a mature gobbler strut in the open on a hillside across a deep ravine 800 yards away. Of course this bird was not on the land he had permission to hunt.

Our hunter got out a loud box call and sent some yelps in the direction of the gobbler, and when he did the gobbler’s head dipped in a gobble response. Each time the hunter called the big tom gobbled back. After several hours of sparse calling, the hunter gave up and headed on to greener pastures.

He talked to friend that night and the buddy asked if he could work that bird the next day. The next day sure as shootin’ the bird was in its strut zone and gobbling its head off, and our new hunter took a different approach.

He cranked on a box call and worked a diaphragm at the same time, calling nearly constantly for 20 minutes, throwing out loud yelps, excited cutts and kee kees, and the gobbler finally had had enough. It jumped up and flew across the ravine, plopping down 30 yards in front of the new hunter. You know the rest of the story.

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