DIRECT TRANSCRIPT OF THE ABOVE PODCAST
Hey everyone, welcome to the Omega Outdoors podcast, your leading source for becoming a better hunter. Today I’m going to talk about 20 different conventional turkey hunting myths and whether or not they are true, and how you can use them to be a better hunter. I just want to thank you for joining the podcast today without further ado let’s get into it.
Hey, everyone, my name is Patrick Long and I am the author of Omega Outdoors, today I want to talk about some turkey hunting myths that I recently wrote an article over. There are 20 myths in the article, here I am going to go over 10 of them. If you want to see the total list, you can go over to omegaoutdoors.blog/turkeyhuntingmyths and check it out there.
1) Calling Is Everything
The first myth I want to talk about actually is the myth that calling is everything. So when you are turkey hunting calling is a very important aspect of the hunt for sure but it’s not everything. A lot of strategists just say, call call call you gotta use this call and that call exact right time, and there’s some truth in that, but a big big factor is also scouting.
You gotta know where to look for turkeys, you can not just walk out in the woods and start calling and see what happens. You should also be able to set up on turkey once you do find one. So if where to look, and know what you’re doing go out there and you do a couple of calls and you hear a gobbler off of in the distance you shouldn’t just sit there and sit down right where you are and start calling him to you, you should set up strategically where which direction he is going to be coming from, into a good shooting lane, everything like that so calling is important it’s not the end-all-be-all of the hunt.
2) Turkeys Will Not Cross Water
The next myth I want to talk about is the myth that turkeys will not cross water. So I think this is more of an old wives tale that anything but turkeys sometimes turkeys are a little stubborn and if it comes to a creek or something it may be an obstacle if you’re calling him over a creek. But at the end of the day, the creek isn’t going to be the difference between them getting to their hen and them staying by themselves. They’re going to want to get that hen and they’re going to want to mate and be a successful bird.
In that scenario, you are the hen across the creek or across the stream. So even if you want to say turkeys are not going to cross water because they don’t like water they don’t get wet or whatever, turkeys can actually swim and they’re pretty good at it. They are birds. They can also fly right over it if they don’t want to walk across it.
Turkeys obviously prefer to walk and they walk most of the places they go. Normally they only fly if they’re going in and out of roost, or they’re like running away from, they’re spooked about something they’ll fly away. If your calling is good enough and that gobbler wants to get over to the hen, he is definitely going to cross that creek even if it is a small obstacle
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3) You Can Never Call Back A Spooked Bird
The third turkey hunting myth is that you can never call back a spooked bird. So I’ve heard this particular myth about more species than just turkey, but the idea is if a turkey is ever spooked from a hunter that that turkey learned something about the encounter and it’ll never fall for the same trick again.
A lot of animals are very smart and if you do spook a turkey maybe possibly it learn something from the encounter, but what is a whole lot more likely is that the animal was going about now it’s life and then it saw a predator and it ran away. Animals do that all the time. Prey animals, they eat sleep and they stay away from predators that’s what they do.
So if you’re hunting turkey and you are calling to a gobbler he’s coming to you and some way or another you got busted and to say that that gobbler is never going to come to another turkey hunter again, I find that a little far-fetched.
A different way of looking at that would be a gobbler heard a hen he was coming to that hen and then before he could get to the hen saw a predator that scared him and he flew away and he did not want to go in the same direction as then hen again so he forgot about her. That’s how I tend to think about it you can definitely call back spooked birds even in the same spot probably not on the same day but the same week. You can definitely call birds back without a problem
4) Over Calling Causes Turkeys To Stay Roosted
This turkey hunting myth is actually one of the true ones. So this myth is over calling causes turkeys to stay roosted. This is one hundred percent true if you put the gobbler to bed the night before, so like you followed him up to the roost and he roosted before you can harvest him the night before you can you obviously want to go in that morning and set up on him.
If you set up to close and you’re calling to him and he looks down and they don’t see any turkeys and they hear a turkey that should be close enough to be seen and they don’t see anything that’s going to freak them out a little bit. They are going to stay roosted. What you want to do is set up further away and then start calling farther away maybe with a decoy, and then they’ll see a turkey that’s got down from the roost already.
They say hey now it’s time for me to get down from the roost and go to socialize with that other turkey that would be a better approach than over calling right underneath the tree. I mean not literally right underneath the tree but like close to the tree where they could possibly see you or expect to see you. So just keep your distance use the right calls and you should be fine
5) Scattered Gobblers Will Not Regroup For Weeks
The next turkey hunting myth is that scattered gobblers will not regroup for weeks. This one isn’t true in entirety. Fall gobblers when they’re flushed they can take a little bit of time to regroup. Turkey groups all year round generally regroup within at least a couple of days at the max of two to three days. They are social birds so they want to be together, a turkey by itself is not happy.
There is a whole lot of different calls that turkeys use to relocate each other after they have been scattered. Actually, you can use them to your advantage so you can scatter a group of birds, and then move positions that start using these calls to get them to come back and regroup around you. That is one method of hunting these birds. And if you want to know more about that you can go to omegaoutdoors.blog/turkeysounds where I go over some sounds and what they mean.
It is common for turkeys to get separated, especially when they travel in larger groups. Turkeys get separated all times of the year and when they do, they use these calls to relocate each other within maybe hours or a day. But knowing what these calls mean and how to use them it can really put you, give you a big advantage and give you a little bit of a different edge in the woods.
Instead of just sitting down and sounding like a hen trying to call in a gobbler throwing something a little bit different and especially for hunting on public land or private land where you’re not the only hunter give you a different sound a different strategy than everybody else is doing which may help you and your success
6) Gobblers Are The Only Challenge
The next myth is that gobblers are the only challenge. Many states have a fall season where you can take hens. Most of the time you can’t take hens during the spring. You can only shoot gobblers. but just like in anything else the old wise male that’s the biggest maybe has the biggest beard or biggest rack in deer hunting it is generally perceived to be the wisest smartest deer around. That might be true, it might be a really smart animal that anybody would be proud of taking.
But another thing you have to think about is hens probably live longer than a lot of gobblers. They don’t get hunted as much. Samething with whitetail does, does get hunted plenty but they’re not as attractive as an old wise male. If you see three does you just kind of pick the biggest one don’t really think about it too much. An older animal that is female can be just as smart and wise as the older male that has an attractive rack or a long beard.
So when you are hunting in the fall and hunting hens, don’t take it for granted or don’t think that it’s just a walk in the park. These hens are just as smart if not smarter than the gobblers. Just think about a lot of times when you’re spring hunting you probably get busted by a hen before you get busted by a gobbler. They are formidable opponents and they shouldn’t be taken lightly.
7) Turkeys Roost In The Same Tree Everynight
The next turkey hunting myth is that turkeys roost in the same tree every night. It would be nice to think that turkeys are super habitual animals that stay in the same place every night. and I can see why other people might think that. Because, as people, we hopefully sleep in the same bed every night. So to think that a turkey sleeps in the same spot every night would be nice but they don’t. A turkey may sleep in the same general area every night so maybe a couple hundred square yards or a little smaller area than that but they’re not going to sleep in the exact same tree every time.
Where this affects us the most is when you see a gobbler go on roost the night before. If you see a gobbler go on roost and you go try to set up on him in the morning, not only could he of moved, but if you go there a different day so you skip a day and you’re like all right I know this gobbler roosts in this tree I’m going to come back next weekend because I have to work or something. You should know that he’s not going to be in that same tree. It’s probable that he’s not going to be in the same tree but he may be in the same general area.
You should look around when you go in the next night just know that he is not going to be in the same tree but he will probably be in the same area. Set up outside of that area and be ready for him to come from about 180-degree area in front of you anywhere. Be sure to listen to which general direction they’re coming down from roost so since the general area their roosting in and not the actual tree now, it is a little bit harder but it’s you still have a big advantage knowing where they’re roosting at. so they don’t roost in the same tree but they still roost in the same area and you can still use that to your advantage
8) Turkeys Will Not Cross Fences
For the next turkey hunting myth, turkey’s will not cross fences. This one is obviously not true, it is one of the more silly ones, but a lot of times they especially if it’s just like a regular barbed wire fence they can just walk straight through it. Especially if it’s like just a three-prong fence with plenty of spacing, they can fit right through there or jump over the first line and not have a problem.
If it is like a chain-link fence more like a chicken wire type fence they can just fly right over it. If you’re trying to call a turkey across the fence, that is going to be an obstacle that they could get hung up on but they will cross it especially if it’s easier to cross like a barbed-wire fence. Generally, if you have a fence on your property, you don’t want to mess it up and you don’t want things to cross it that aren’t meant to cross it. but if I had to guess turkeys aren’t on your list of keeping things in or out so don’t be afraid to call it and turkeys across the fence they can fly over it if you’re calling is good enough but just know that they could possibly get hung up around there.
9) You Need Expensive Camouflage
Onto our ninth myth now, this myth is that you need to have expensive camouflage. camouflage doesn’t need to be expensive doesn’t need to be expensive you don’t have to have the latest Sitka gear or anything like that you can have just regular hand-me-down camouflage and that will keep you hidden from turkeys. really you see all these commercials about having the perfect pattern to blend into your perfect environment and having four different sets of camo for wherever you go and like that looks good to you but animals can’t really tell the difference.
More than anything camouflage now-days is made to look good to customers and not really animals so you can have just a basic pattern that goes with just pretty much everything and it doesn’t need to be expensive you can get expensive stuff the expensive stuff is going to be better quality as in like quality of the material but it’s not going to make you more hidden when you’re hunting turkeys.
You need to have things like you have long sleeves, gloves, and a face mask, and hat but it doesn’t need to be expensive stuff you can find. Turkeys see really well but cheap camouflage will do the trick just fine. What you have to look out for it no matter what you’re wearing is how much you’re moving.
Your movement will be the first thing to give you a way it doesn’t matter if you have the top-of-the-line best camouflage there is to buy if you move at the wrong moment and twitch at the wrong time or a hen sees you from the side where you trying to set up on a gobbler you’re busted doesn’t matter so use your hand me down camouflage use the cheap camouflage whatever you have but really to be a successful turkey hunter you just have to control your movement.
10) Only Gobblers Have Beards
So for our 10th and final myth, this myth says that only toms can have beards. We know this isn’t true. Hens can also have beards, actually, around 5 to 10% of hens can naturally grow a beard. It’s normally short and can get up to seven to eight inches long. It’s normally really thin compared to a toms beard. It will still be visible and have plenty of hair but it will be really thin hair.
On top of beards around 1% of hens can actually grow spurs. Both of these are due to a genetic mutation in the female embryo when it’s growing. The beard doesn’t have any effect on the hens’ ability to mate. She’s still fertile and there hasn’t been any research showing that a hen with a beard is less attractive to a gobbler. Hens with beards can also be harvested in some states that have bearded bird spring seasons. So, just check out your local DNR know what your laws are, and if you see a bearded hen take it out
This wraps up the podcast for today I went over 10 turkey hunting myths. I wrote an article about 20 so if you want to go to omegaoutdoors.blog/turkeyhuntingmyths you can read the other 10. let me know what you think about them. Thank you for listening(and reading) and I hope you have a wonderful day.
Thanks for reading my article about turkey hunting myths. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content, subscribe to my weekly update. If you have any other questions about turkey hunting myths or just want to connect, feel free to email me at Patrick.Long@omegaoutdoors.net.
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