Turkey hunting can be the ultimate solitary hunting sport, but sometimes two hunters are better than one.
Some longbeards can’t be conned by a single hunter, and in those situations, hunters working in tandem may be more than the gobbler can stand.
Robert Johnson of Cherryville, N.C., a veteran hunter with more than 30 years targeting gobblers under his belt, said when paired with a buddy with calling skills, double-teaming adds a fun and productive dimension to the hunt.
“Two hunters working together make it difficult for a gobbler to hold his ground,” Johnson said. “If a turkey gobbles but doesn’t approach, several calling scenarios can work. First, each hunter positions to watch different areas of the woods. Calling options include sounding like two hens feeding contently, using hands to scratch the leaves. That doubles the drawing power of the calling. Also, the hunters can get into a verbal hen spar using aggressive clucks and cutts.”
Johnson said additional scenarios include fighting purrs, and depending on calling ability, one hunter can make gobbler clucks or yelps. As a final effort, one hunter can yelp and the other hunter can gobble back.
“A jealous, dominant bird finds it hard to resist another gobbler moving in,” he said. “The two hunters watch the woods, and the path the gobbler takes decides who pulls the trigger.”
Johnson said another technique for two-timing a gobbler is to walk away while calling.
“The walk-away is highly effective; the hunter with best position sets still and doesn’t call,” he said. “The other hunter will begin to slip away, keeping the shooter directly between him and the gobbler. Calls including clucks, purrs and low yelps are intended to fool the gobbler that the hen has the audacity to just walk off and leave.
“That’s usually more than most gobblers can stand,” he said. “The bird may gobble or may just start walking toward the exiting hen. The shooter takes the shot as the gobbler approaches.”
In this win-win hunting strategy, etiquette calls for the shooter to buy the caller breakfast.