Turkey hunters like to think they know what they’re doing, but is such always the case? To answer that question, as well as five others, a handful of North Carolina’s best turkey hunters spoke on the subject.
Mitchell Johnson feels that when hunting a field, too many hunters set up too close to its edge. Try this approach: position decoys about 15 to 20 yards inside a fence line and a hunter another 20 yards or so back. Look for trees that lie in deep shade. The decoys should keep an approaching gobbler’s eyes from wandering too much. Once the tom steps inside the fence line, he will be within range.
Very few wild turkeys are “easy” for hunters, but some are easier than others. Those gobblers that gobble at your first call on opening day and sail down within shotgun range fit in this category, along with the ones that respond the way any turkey hunter would expect them to and wind up 30 yards off the end of your shotgun barrel within 30 minutes.
Gary Barrett, a lifelong resident of Rockingham County, has undergone a metamorphosis over the past 40 years, going from trophy deer hunter to hunting tutor, a journey that has seen him kill several hundred deer, 30 of which most hunters would consider trophies.
Nowadays, Barrett manages Oakhaven, a 1,300-acre hunting operation near Pelham that offers guided hunts for whitetail deer.
With Rockingham County being one of North Carolina’s most-productive areas for trophy bucks in recent years, the things Barrett has to share about hunting tactics are worth writing down, and it’s useful to learn how three particular bucks shaped his hunting career and outlook. […]