Via hunting blind, targeting spring's last-chance gobblers
Last week I sat in a blind with a good buddy trying to call a tom into bow range. While the morning was windy, rainy, and quite frankly, not very good for turkeys, we did manage to fire up one bird that spent about 10 minutes gobbling at us from 80 yards away. It was obvious that the bird wasn’t coming in, and that he had a better destination in mind.
That same friend sat in the blind yesterday and watched two toms pull the same trick. This tells me that I’m going to be moving a blind very soon, and that we need it to be where the toms want to go. Earlier in the season the birds, when not too-henned-up, can be called in from long distances without much issue. This time of year, while you’ll still run into a suicidal 2-year-old or sometimes get lucky on an older bird, it’s just not as easy to get them to deviate from their plans.
This means it’s necessary to move blinds, but only after identifying where the birds want to be. If you can get in front of their travel plans, it’s usually only a matter of calling them a very small distance off course, which is much easier than convincing them to move greater distances in directions they don’t much want to travel.
To identify where to relocate, the best bet is to watch birds. Turkeys are ridiculously easy to pattern with enough observation; however, finding time to glass turkeys isn’t always easy. The next best bet is to find tracks, which is perfect this time of year because frequent rainfall means you can often scour the landscape a day after a shower to see recent movement. Tom tracks traveling to and fro can help you pinpoint better blind locations. If your first move doesn’t cut it, keep relocating until you’re on the spot. After that it’s usually only a matter of time.