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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Tips for toms

    With only a few days remaining in turkey season, the pressure is mounting for many hunters to bag a gobbler.
    Since many public land areas around Starkville have been hunted for a solid five weeks, mature birds have become weary of opening their mouths at all. Though a few birds out there are still vocalizing their need to breed, many are stalking their mates with a silent approach.
    Below is a list of techniques to help hunters take a gobbler before the season ends:
    1. Be patient while hunting.
    Since only die-hard hunters remain in the woods late in the season, make the day a little longer. Don’t grab the decoys and move after only a few minutes because many birds will not gobble at all this late in the year.
    Remember, the big boys have seen it all by this late in the season, so don’t give up so soon. Also remember that the competition from real hens will not be as competitive during late-morning and the early afternoon.
    2. Try something new.
    If a diaphragm call has been the call of choice this year, try switching to a new call. Try using a slate call or a box call when hunting. A wingbone call is also a good choice, but practice is essential when using this call.
    Also, try hunting with or without a decoy. This could change a hunter’s luck if he has been hunting with one all year long without success.
    3. Call less when hunting.
    Unless a bird is being vocal, try toning down the calling. Since many hens have already been bred, there will not be as many hens being vocal out there. The hunter should match his calling technique with those of the bird he is hunting. If the tom is being vocal, then the caller should be more vocal, and vice-versa.
    4. Try hunting with a partner.
    A partner can increase the chances of killing a bird by freeing up the shooter’s hands. Since the shooter has less to worry about-if the calling by his partner is adequate-he can concentrate on making a perfect shot.
    5. Hunt the fields.
    If hunting in the woods isn’t going as it should, try hunting open fields. Try this technique later in the morning when the turkeys are more worried about eating than pairing up with a hen. This approach can help hunters catch a mature bird off guard and the hunt could end with a big smile.
    6. Hunt every day.
    Since class is almost adjourned for the summer, hunt every possible chance. The more a hunter is in the field, the better chance he has of bagging a gobbler.
    Jake Fagan can be reached at [email protected].

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