At this time most of turkey season is over, there’s just a few days left. There are reasons that this late season might be the right time to use a turkey tag. Simply put, Wild Turkeys are easier to hunt during the late season. This is because they have relocated to new areas they weren’t before.
Last Minute Opportunity
Situations change all during wild turkey season. The progressing changes create new circumstances that require a variety of hunting tactics. The late season brings totally new opportunities..
That’s what makes the Late Season unique. Plus, by the late season, many Hens, Toms and Jakes have switcheded\ to new areas where they weren’t spending time earlier.
Better Weather Patterns
Normally, early seasons have some cold and rainy weather and possibly snow. The late season is sunnier and warmer, which improves the turkey hunting conditions. And this makes late season an excellent time to turkey hunt.
More Foliage and Better Cover
Foliage starts growing. Soon there is much better cover. Now it’s easier to run and gun and slip up on birds. It allows hunters to move easier, effectively amplifying the run-and-gun tactic.
Closer Roost Setups
Increased forest cover is a situation that makes it easier to sneak into root areas and set up on roosted wild turkeys. This can put you right in the middle of wild turkeys that are a covering greater distances to reach calling and decoy setups.
Hens Are Harder to Come By
Once hens start sitting on their eggs daily they are no longer receptive to Toms or Jakes. Surprisingly, calling and decoying are attractive to toms that aren’t able to locate receptive hens.
Fewer Hunters Afield
Currently many hunters have either tagged out or given up, so hunter competition is less.
The late season can produce one of two moods for gobblers. No. 1, hens are less receptive, and gobblers run at the chance to have another love connection. Or, No. 2, toms succumb to declining interest in breeding. Both things happen during the late season. It all just depends on the gobbler and the day.
Regardless of whether your late-season hunt produces positive reasons to be hunting, or negative ones, there are numerous tips to fill that late-season turkey tag. Match the tips to the situations you find yourself experiencing.
Late-Season Gobbler Hunting Tips
The late season has advantages and disadvantages, but these wild turkey hunting tips can make the end of season an exciting time. Consider these tactics and use them this season.
Use the Shade: Turkeys are still using their sharp eyes during the late season. When moving around your hunting area do it in the shade.
Call Less Often: Late-season turkey flocks aren’t as loud. Consider calling less often. However, if the birds are being raucous on a given day, crank that call back up.
Tone Down the Calling: Late-season wild turkey hens call less now. When they do vocalize, it is done quieter. So your calling needs to be quieter, too.
Use Various Calls: Sounding like multiple hens, finding a tone a particular gobbler responds to, or using the one that you are most proficient with.
Change the Decoy Set Up: Using a strutter decoy is effective during early seasons. It likely won’t in the late-season. Consider using a single hen, multiple hens, or at the most aggressive, the use of a half-strut jake decoy.
Get Closer to Gobblers: Late-season turkeys likely won’t run 300 yards across a field to reach your decoy spread. So, when possible, get closer to known gobbler locations before setting up. Cutting the distance they must travel is a great way to boost the odds.
Hunt the Afternoon: Not all late-season toms are hen-less. But they will likely lose them by midday — a perfect time to calll in a wandering longbeard.
Find the Strut Zones: In Late seasons strutters will spend more time in their strut zones. Spend time there.
Find the Nesting Cover: During the late season, most hens are nesting. These areas tend to be thicker cover. As hens spend more time there, the toms will follow them. These are midday and early afternoon gobbler hangouts.
Head for Shorter Pastures: In contrast, some areas are getting so thick that turkeys don’t want to spend a lot of time there. Hay fields that previously attracted turkeys are turning off gobblers due to navigation difficulty. So, early in the morning and late in the after, birds are hitting up plowed fields and cattle pastures more than before.
Calibrate Your Ears: Now that the foliage is on, turkeys are becoming more difficult to hear. Turkeys that sounded 150-200 yards during the early season likely were that distance. But with leaves on, it’s important to recalibrate distance gauging. Oftentimes, during the late season, turkeys are much closer than they sound.
Be Patient: Late in the season, gobblers are slower to respond. Be patient. Sit longer. All things considered, so long as turkey season remains open, there is time left yet to fill turkey tags.
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