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Three Techniques for Hunting A Hung-Up Gobbler

If you spend enough time in the spring turkey woods, it is inevitable that you will run into a hung-up gobbler.

He’ll be coming in hot, responding to every yelp, cut and purr you throw at him. Then, suddenly, he stops. One gobble sounds closer, the next farther, then closer again. He has drawn a proverbial line in the sand and will not cross it. Here are three techniques to try when you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Beat him to the punch
Turkey hunting, tom turkey strutting in field
If you’ve put in your time scouting, you probably already know where the birds roost and spend their time during the early morning hours. Turkeys can be creatures of habit. If you know their routine, use that to your advantage. If a gobbler is hung up and you know where he will likely end up later in the morning, go set up there and wait it out.
  1. Be mobile

Odds are that particular gobbler will sit tight for a while. He’s likely in a familiar strut zone and waiting for a hen to arrive. This waiting game allows you to be mobile and get in closer to his location. Follow wood lines, creek ditches or other topography features that can break up your movement. While moving, always be on the lookout for a spot to quickly sit down and set up in case he fires up and is moving your way.

  1. Be quiet and sit tight

This requires some will power. It can be difficult to sit silent with an active gobbler nearby. By going silent, he is getting the impression that the ‘hen’ he had been gobbling at is no longer interested in him. If he’s a lone gobbler, chances are he’ll work his way in to investigate where that ‘hen’ ended up.

When you’re out in the turkey blind this spring, don’t get discouraged if a bird seems to get hung up. He is still huntable, you may just have to get creative in your approach to fill your tag.

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