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Cold-Calling Fall Turkeys

It's a widely held notion in the fall hunting tradition that you've got to break up the flock to gain a tactical calling advantage. It's true, that works, whether you employ a dog where legal, or flush the groups on foot using terrain to get close.

You can also simply set up in the woods where turkey sign is fresh, and cold call. Clucks, hen yelps, kee-kees, kee-kee-runs, even gobbling, can draw curious flocks closer.

During the my recent Cold Call Fall-Hickoff Photo hunts, whether hunting alone or with a buddy, we've seen success cold calling both family flocks (brood hens and birds of the year), and bigger adult groups (containing broodless hens and full-fan gobblers) inside 40 yards—often closer.

And it's no fluke, over the years this tactic has consistently put fall turkeys in range.

Any of you Strut Zoners simply set up and call to your fall birds, either at fly-down time, during the day, or before they go to roost? Any luck using this strategy?—Steve Hickoff



i used it earlier this year, went up to a mountain that i found sign on, and used my box call to bring em to about 20 yards! they never saw me, and they came from a LONG ways off!

Steve Hickoff

Sounds like a sweet fall turkey hunt Mike!

Family group? Adult birds? What kinds of vocalizations did you make to close the deal?



I generally use gobbler clucks and yelps targeting gobblers, however, when I get a hen yelp answer, I answer back with the same. Does anyone know what the "bonk" call that Larry Proffit talks about for being deadly for fall gobblers. I have heard a deep single cluck that sounds like someone striking a hollow log. Is that the bonk?

Steve Hickoff

Can't speak for L.P., but yeah, deep, coarse gobbler yelps and clucks can be deadly on autumn toms and super jakes, especially after fly-down or following a flock break.

As you mention Joe, the real trick is to imitate the turkey vocalization you're hearing in the fall woods.

Where are you turkey hunting these days? Doing it while chasing deer too?



So I finally saw a turkey and got a good scatter of one bird last night. I guess God has a sense of humor after spending another evening of walking the woods, calling, looking, listening (and overall just getting angry and finding nothing again), I was walking back to the truck down a gravel road and flushed a bird that was roosted right over the road. I guess this is the last night to use my gun so maybe I'll just go back there and sit near the road. What do you think the chances are that it was a gobbler, and that it will be in the area again tonight? A friend of mine says that there are almost always birds in this area.

Steve Hickoff

Man, now there's one tough challenge Levi.

So there were no other turkeys nearby, just that one alone? Could be that you flushed just the single, and that there were others. Could be that was a gobbler running alone too.

Nothing sweeter than filling a tag right at the wire. Good luck.

Keep us posted!