Don’t give up on afternoon turkeys

If you give up after a morning hunt, it’s likely you’re missing golden opportunities to score a gobbler.

Gobblers more likely to respond later in the day, hunting pro says

Hunter Specialties pro Steve Cobb said turkeys hunters miss a great opportunity only hunting in the early morning.

“Nothing beats a sunrise in the turkey woods for me” Cobb said. “I love hearing and working gobblers off the roost, but sometimes that doesn’t work. On other occasions, I simply may not get to go early.

“I go when I can, and mid-day hunting provides an excellent opportunity.”

Cobb said advantages include hunting gobblers less likely to be hung up with hens and fewer hunters in the woods.

“If gobblers are alone, which is common during mid-day, and they hear good calling, they often respond aggressively,” he said. “Sometimes it will be a flash hunt, and I’ll be looking at a gobbler only a couple minutes after he gobbles to my call.”

Two different scenarios

Cobb said you might get a gobbler to come in running, or he might approach slowly and gobble 50 times.

Be prepared for either scenario.

“I will usually be on the move and call from many areas, and I’ll work a variety of calls to present different sounds,” Cobb said. “Mouth, box, pot and tube calls are good choices. I’ll slip into an area and call. I may call again with a different call, and then move along. I sometimes go from place to place by vehicle if I’m on a large tract or have access to multiple tracts. If I’m on a single parcel of land, I’ll slip through the woods, using woods road or trails to cover ground reasonably quick but still as quiet as possible.”

“You still have to do all the normal turkey hunting stuff in terms of setup, no movement and good calling. But gobblers are often willing to approach in the mid-day. Even if I miss a morning hunt, I’m still fired up about my chances.”

Cobb said hunting from mid-day until late afternoon enables him to pinpoint where turkeys fly up to roost, giving him a target for the next morning.

“Mid-day hunting enables a hunter to effectively hunt all day,” he said. “When I’m hunting mid-day and afternoon, and I hear a gobble, even when he doesn’t come to the gun, I’m garnering good intel.

“I learn exactly where gobblers are located for my next trip — morning or mid-day — and I use that knowledge to my advantage the next time.”

About Terry Madewell 6 Articles
Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.

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