Eastern Toms Turkey Hang ups

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Huntolive, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    Had a beautiful morning in Virginia with my son today. He's 10 and got his first turkey on youth Day a few weeks ago.
    Since then we've been skunked.
    But here in gobbels together before sunrise is a special experience.
    Still would like to bring home the turkey;).
    There's an old gobbler my buddy and I have been hunting for a couple years that just simply won't come closer than 65 yards.
    We're pretty sure we were on him again this morning even though he's got to be about a 7 year old bird at this point.
    He started gobbling on his own at 5:45 and then consistently gobbled back to my hen calls and moved about 200 yards in our direction but at about 85 yards he stayed down in the bottom we were up on a ridge above and we never saw him although he gobbled back and forth with me for at least an hour.
    I tried different calls and also tried shutting off the calls completely and then each time I would call if you were quiet I would get a gobble again from the same location.
    Eventually he gave up and seemed to wander off more or less back the direction you came from.

    We're thinking of setting up down in the bottom he was calling from next time over the ridge.
    But what I'm wondering is if some turkeys just won't come past a certain distance from where they hear the calling from?
    So would it be futile to move a hundred yards closer to where he's roosting or to go to the bottom that he came to?
    Since maybe he just insists on having the hands come to him and regardless of where we set up he won't come within reasonable shooting range.

    Is this a common phenomenon or would it help to move to a physical location that he will go to in other words setting up closer to the location that he gobbled from after he moved towards us?
  2. eastbank

    eastbank Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    i have shot a few like that by hunting them with a good friend and setting him or myself out in front of the caller by 50-60 yards hopefuly on the path he may take to the call. the caller must not shoot toward the front, but may get a shot on the left-right-back side. i found a few old toms that have been shot at, even hit with some shot that just will not close in without seeing active hens moving.
    Ugly Sauce likes this.
  3. JeffG

    JeffG Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    NE Wisconsin
    Have you set up a tail fan near the hen? Those drive toms nuts. You tube has good tutorials.
  4. Deadeer

    Deadeer Member

    Feb 20, 2021
    Or work on your combo to make the longer shot. I researched and talked, and came up with TSS #9 and an Indian Creek tube in my 870. The pattern density is incredible. I killed my gobbler at 68yds Saturday afternoon. Dropped him where he stood. We live and hunt on flat land and crop fields, so we need all the distance we can get.
    Meeks36 likes this.
  5. eastbank

    eastbank Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    i use tss #9 also, but like to my shots under 40 yards. i us a more open choke so the pattern is a little bit bigger to still hit the head-neck area if the bird moves or i move a little. i missed a nice bird that came in from behind me and the shot was a now or never and at less that 20 yards it was a total miss. 40 yard target. TSS #9

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  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    I went out a few times and came up zeros this spring. Closest I got was a few conversations, but they weren't interested in anything I had to say. The turkeys here (easterns and osceolas both) aren't near as vocal and aggressive as the easterns I've hunted in Iowa or even NC.
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    It won't hurt to try. First, I would go to the bottoms. That is probably where he is used to meeting his Toms. Many tome establish a "strut zone" where they go to daily. The hens get used to going there and the tom gets used to them coming there. He really does not have to go anywhere else. As long as hens are still coming to him, he will stay put. What you may have heard when he wandered off, was him following his hens as they went to feed. If you sat there long enough he may have come back once his hems wandered off. May have been several hours later. Many hunters don't have that kind of patience. I've worked Toms at daylight from a spot and had them go silent once their hens showed up. Come noon or 1:00 they open up again and come in. Moving closer to his roost may help, but stay in line with the bottoms if you can. Only get as close as you can without spooking him, or any hens that may be roosting with him.

    Sometimes moving when a Tom gets hung up will stimulate them into coming. Moving away from them works best, but is hard for hunters to do. Moving in a direction you think he may be moving may work too. Moving towards the tom works too, but you have to be sure he isn't coming already. Another method I have used as a last resort with toms that are hen tied and fly off to a spot I can't get to, is to use a fall turkey hunting tactic. I'll go in and spook them off the roost in the dark and then set up under the roost. Many times once it gets light, the turkeys are in a big hurry to get back together and where they were flushed is the spot they usually go back to first if they hear other turkeys are already there.

    The trick is, you have t be in a spot that turkeys go. You cannot call them to a spot where they are not used to either being there themselves or have heard seen turkeys there in the past. That is why patterning them is key.
    JeffG likes this.
  8. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Ozark Mountains of Arkansas
    Having the caller move away from the bird works sometimes. I was hunting alone and had a bird hang up out of range. After 20 minutes of no progress I had a jake bird gobble far behind me. I turned my head and called softly to sound like I was going to the jake. The next thing that I know the big bird was trying to get through the fence 25 yards from me. He didn't make it.
    Meeks36 and JeffG like this.
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