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Early Season Tip: Play to the Hens

So you don't think you can call in a henned-up tom? Better guess again as this video shot by Matt Wettish in Connecticut proves. Wettish went out to a property where he does a lot of photography to test a new microphone. Joining him to get a little pre-season lesson was his friend Dave Griser and Griser's 12-year-old son, Colby.

Although the season remains more than a month away and turkeys are still gathered in winter flocks, Wettish hit this massive flock with some aggressive calls to play on the hens' curious—and often jealous—nature, and they came running in with the big boys in tow.

I can't hardly count the opening day gobblers I have pulled in on the heels of an angry cutting group of hens while the birds are still bunched up. Hit them hard with cutts and yelps to get the hens fired up, then sit back and sit TIGHT so that the girls don't make you before ol' Tom strolls inside the red zone!!

Thanks to Matt, Dave and Colby for sharing this video. Check it out.

Note: While this video provides a great lesson as to how early season flocks might behave to calls, I surely don't want to advocate going out to your lease or property and calling to birds before the season. Matt's situation is a little different as he has to test his equipment before the season starts. In most instances, a hunter will only go out and educate the birds he plans to hunt, making them call-shy by the time shooting time opens. I NEVER call to birds unless I am on the ground hunting them.


Matthew Dale

Man, this makes me worse off, I'm just setting here waiting for our season to open us next Sat. the 14, here in Virginia.

Hope everyone has good luck.


Good luck Matthew. I'm with you. Hope to be in Virginia on the opener as well, working a bird on my farm in Southampton Co. What county are you in?

Matthew Dale

I'm in Russell county Virginia.
It's in the Southwestern part of the state.


Hey Matthew,

How'd you do yesterday?