Turkey Hunting The Fall
Your fall season, like mine, is probably busy trying to fill big game tags, leaving fall turkey hunting as after thought. But if you ever need a break from 10 mile days through rugged terrain or motionless hours in the tree, you need to punch some fall turkey tags!
Besides the fact they are delicious to eat, they are darn easy to hunt in the fall. Last week, I filled the last five of my turkey tags in two hours, then took my dad out and filled all six of his within a few hours. We both were able to shoot a mixed bag of toms, jakes and hens. Combined, we now have as much turkey meat as you’d get off a whitetail! I’ll be sharing some wild game turkey recipes in the following weeks.
Locating Birds: Turkeys flock up during the fall and it’s not uncommon to see flocks of 50 - 100 birds crushing some feed, often in a farmers field. Driving around until you’ve located birds is by far the most efficient method to finding them. If they are on private, don’t be afraid of knocking on doors. Turkey hunting is one of the easiest permission slips to get from a rancher and farmer.
While Toms are not gobbling like they do during the spring rut, it’s not hard to locating turkeys shock calling in timbered country. We located several flocks of birds by slamming the door of my truck. If you’re not finding them, try driving around, listening for the flock and doing some shock calling.
Stalking: Honestly, I’m not sure you can call this a stalk. Almost all of the birds we killed were within a few hundred yards of the truck. Often, we’d spot them while driving, get our rig out of sight, then use the terrain to stalk within shooting distance. I’m not sure why, but I don’t feel like turkeys are as wary in large flocks as they are in the spring. We had no trouble sneaking within shooting distance.
Don’t worry if you scatter the birds, this can work in your benefit. A fall turkeys desire to be within a flock will have them looking to flock back up when scattered. Use this in your benefit by posting up and letting out some soft clucks and purrs. You’ll have scattered birds come right in on top of you.
All that’s left is the shooting!
In all seriousness, fall turkey hunting is easy and a great way to get the kids outdoors on a hunt that’s as close to a gimme as they get. Can you make it harder, sure. But for fall turkey, you don’t need to go to the same lengths as what a spring bird requires. Get out there and have some fun!
Don’t discount the bounty! Wild turkey is excellent table fare if prepared correctly. There are plenty of fried turkey breast recipes out there, but we prefer to turn our turkey breast into the best breakfast sausage you’ll ever have! But there’s more to the bird than the breast! Coming soon, I’ll be sharing my Wild Turkey Bone Broth recipe, which hands down is one of our favorites wild game recipes to date.