Turkey hunting is a calling for many

Conversation with the unsuspecting gobbler key to bagging a bird.
by Ed Godfrey Modified: April 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm •  Published: April 7, 2012
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Spring turkey season opened Friday and to bag a reluctant gobbler, a turkey hunter needs to learn some basic hen sounds to attract an unsuspecting tom, said Bill Decker, veteran turkey hunter from Oklahoma City.

“The hunter must actually engage in a conversation with the tom turkey,” Decker said.

Decker, who makes and sells his own turkey calls, provides the following hunting tips that have worked well for him over the years in bagging a turkey:

When using decoys, place them on the edge of a field and set up in the cover at a 45-degree angle behind the decoys. Never sit directly behind them. The approaching tom will focus on the decoys and spot your movement when directly behind the decoys.

When calling, deliver three to six yelps on your call then pause 10 to 15 seconds before calling again, each time varying the number of yelps. Repeat this sequence four times then wait 15 minutes before trying again.

If a tom gobbles back, make a quick rhythm change to show excitement toward him, such as a yelp-yelp-yelp-cutt-cutt-yelp-yelp. This often will excite the gobbler enough to come into shotgun range instead of hanging up outside of it.

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by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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