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The Subtle Sabotage: Are You Making This Mistake As A Turkey Hunter?

The Subtle Sabotage: Are You Making This Mistake As A Turkey Hunter?

One of the greatest mistakes a turkey hunter can make is subtle in nature but have devastating results. It took me years to figure it out, but when I did, my close encounters with stutters went up dramatically.

The sabotage? Not being on the same level as the bird you’re trying to kill.

For clarity, being level doesn’t always mean perfectly level ground because that is not realistic. Let’s define it really quickly.

Can you call a turkey downhill?

Sure… but it is very rare! In my experience, if the bird has the high ground he tends to keep it.

Get on his level. Make it easy for him to get to you.

Yet it is more than just being level with him. Being on the same level can also mean that you’re on the same ridge he is on currently.

Can you get a bird to come from one ridge to one adjacent to it?

Sure… but it is far more likely that you’ll kill him if you can get on the same ridge he is standing on right now.

The easier you make it on him to close the distance, the more likely he is to close it.

Whatever You Do…

Do not call to him until you are on his level. If you call at the bottom of a ridge, now all his attention is on you. If you call while he’s on the other side of a big creek, he’s watching and listening to everything coming from your direction.

Take the time to get on his level with no barriers between you.

moss - The Subtle Sabotage Turkey

My personal favorite: make him come over a rise to see you.

I’ve used this tactic too many times to count. If he can hear a hen and then that hen goes silent, it tends to drive him out of his mind. He will top that ridge… and even if he’s alarmed at your decoy… it is too late by that point.

Here is one of the best videos you’ll ever see to prove this point came through an episode on the Rugged American Hunter series. Although we originally made it for a Late Season tip, this can be used all season long!

We intentionally pulled back over the edge of this ridge and made him come find us.

We never even bothered using a decoy—the blind sight lines were decoy enough for him. 

About the Author

Jason Cruise

Jason Cruise is a published author and the host of Mossberg’s Rugged American Hunter series.
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