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Talking Turkey

Gobblers have been tough to call during the first half of spring turkey season, but the hunting should improve in the final two weeks of the season.
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 20, 2014

It’s the midway point of Oklahoma’s spring turkey season, and the gobblers have been tough to call in by most reports.

“The gobblers are not coming to the call real well,” said Gary Purdy, president of the Oklahoma chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. “The guides I’m talking to in western Oklahoma say none of the birds are responding real well to calling. They are henned up pretty bad.”

Which is why Purdy suggests hunters should be calling to the hens, and not the toms.

“Call the hens, don’t call to the gobblers,” he said. “The hens will come, and they will drag the gobblers with them.”

Hunters, however, are still finding success, like Spence Laird of Edmond. Laird, his son Cashion and his father, Ed, each bagged gobblers while hunting in Woodward County last weekend, although they also found the birds difficult to call.

“They would talk back to us, but they didn’t come in strong like in years past,” Laird said. “It seems like most spring hunts they’ll run right to your calls and decoys pretty quickly.

“They would gobble but were still disinterested enough that they kind of still kept on the path they were traveling and would only stop, gobble and then keep meandering. Our calls only really slowed them down, not brought them right to us and held them.”

Rod Smith, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s turkey guru for Rio Grandes, said the season started slow but the hunting should improve soon.

“They’re on the verge of really breaking out,” Smith said. “I believe they are gobbling pretty good right now. They still may be pretty tough to call, the older birds especially.”

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
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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