Knight And Hale Discuss Hunting Turkeys During Transition Period 1
0:36 David: Folks if you missed your show last week, we talked about the transition periods turkeys go through. Pick a state; pick a date. We've got the United States broke down into three zones. You tell me what zone you're in, what dates you want to hunt the turkey and we're going to figure out exactly how to hunt those turkeys.
And today we're going to talk about transition period number one. Harold, when these turkeys are in their transition, they're coming out of their fall mode and into the spring mode. To me, it's one of the most difficult times to hunt turkeys because we grew up in Kentucky where you're in transition period number three when the season opens. I never saw a transition period number one until I started hunting Alabama and Florida. And I didn't know how to hunt those turkeys. So we got all this big flock of turkeys together out there, how do you call up those turkeys?
1:14 Harold: Well, what you have to keep in mind, when turkeys are in winter mode, the gobblers most of the time together and the hens together. And then when they get in that first transition, the gobblers get to following the hens. They get to hearing all those hens' sounds and they get into the mode of mating season coming in. So they get to roosting close to them and get to following them.
So what you gotta remember, at that time of year, turkeys don't gobble as much. If they do, it'll be all at the same time on the route. It'll be multiple gobblers gobbling at the same time. And then when they hit the ground, most of the time it's quiet.
1:51 David: she gets quiet don't it?
1:52 Harold: It's quiet. It's strutting in. And these gobblers strut and follow these hens. And wherever the hens go, the gobblers strut and follow.
2:00 David: But one of the things I found out Harold in following those turkeys, is occasionally they'll shot gobble. This is a good time to use your crow call isn't it?
2:07 Harold: It's a good time to use some shot gobble calls like the crow or something piddling woodpecker, something like that. I use my coyote call a lot of time to make one shot gobble. But these turkeys, when they hit the ground, they mostly strut in.
2:20 David: Alright, Harold, you've told us what's going on in transition period number one. Now, how am I going to hunt them in this transition?
2:25 Harold: Well, what I like to do, Dave, is get as close to them as I can. Now, you gotta keep in mind, you don't have the foliage out that time of year in a lot of these states. The trees are bare. The woods is naked. And you setting out there in front of a tree or moving in the woods, these turkeys can see you a lot better. And you call softer because a soft call sounds louder out there at that time of year than it does when all the foliage gets out.
You can call and a lot of times you need to try to call the hens. You know, try to call these hens up. Get aggressive with them and try to call the hens up by doing a lot of cutting. And a lot of times these hens will come in your direction and whenever you got the hen coming your direction to you, a gobbler's going to follow it because all he's doing is strutting and following that hen.
Now, another good way to hunt these turkeys is the states where it allow you to hunt in the afternoon, put you a blind up around some of these fields. These turkeys like to get out in these fields, especially a big flock. They feel more secure out there with a big block than usually just one turkey. Everybody's looking out for one another. So put your blind up. Maybe put your decoy up. Put decoys up and hunt in the afternoon. And call to them. And hopefully you can get the flock of turkeys coming in around your decoys or something.
2:47 David: It's going to take a lot more patience isn't it?
3:49 Harold: Well it takes more patience but another thing that I always say in that first transition: learn to recognize and listen for a strut of a turkey.
3:59 David: These turkeys, there's a difference in time you're going to call to them. Are you going to call... you said call soft, then you said call aggressive. Are you going to call soft when they're on the roost and wait until they get aggressive on the ground?
4:09 Harold: That's a good question. A lot of times when turkeys are on the roost, I'll wait until they fly off the roost and where I'll start calling and sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad. You know when all these turkey are together, the gobbler's going to fly right to where the hens are and follow them.
But if I know where these turkeys are, I'll call to them, you know, soft at first, and then build my calling up. I'll use a lot of different calls. I'll use several different calls.
4:34 David: Alright folks, there you have it. That's transition period one. Join us next week as we talk about transition period number two.