Fall turkey hunting requires different tactics for success
Fall turkey hunting requires different tactics than spring hunts.
Fall presents many choices and opportunities for people who like to hunt and fish--almost too many.
Hunters in both Indiana and Kentucky now have fall turkey hunting seasons. Indiana just opened fall turkey season a couple years ago.
Whether there too many options for hunters or whether fall turkey hunting is tough or for whatever reason far fewer hunters bag the birds during fall seasons.
Indiana’s fall turkey archery hunt season starts Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 30, and reopens Dec. 3 and runs thorough Jan. 1. Shotgun season is Oct. 19-30. Separate licenses are required for spring and fall seasons, and one bird of either sex may be harvested.
While most Indiana counties are open to fall turkey hunting, some are not. Among those counties where they may be hunted are: Perry, Spencer and Posey.
Most people who hunt fall turkeys find it considerably different than spring gobbler hunting. They also find it more challenging, and that says a lot. Spring turkey hunting itself is a test of outdoor skills.
Fall turkey season is different from the spring hunt when toms are attracted to calls due to the mating season.
And while fall gun hunting can be challenging, it is hard to imagine shooting one with a bow and arrow. But some people love it because of the challenge and also because it is one of the earliest hunting seasons.
Fall turkey hunting in simple terms involves less calling and more scouting to find the birds--at least that is the experience of most hunters. Some hunters say the secret to fall birds is breaking up a flock and then waiting for the birds to come back into shooting range whether with a bow or shotgun.
Matt Lindler, a friend who worked for the National Wild Turkey Federation suggests several tactics can be used successfully during fall hunts, depending on the locality and state laws.
“Historically, one of the most common tactics is to sneak up on a feeding flock, run through the middle of it to break it up. The goal is to get the birds to fly in different directions,” said Matt.
He then suggests using a “ki, ki” type distress call or a “lost hen” type call to encourage the birds to reassemble. “A long series of yelps (10 or 12) works, progressively getting louder and longer.”
According to Matt, a group of gobblers also will regroup, but it usually takes them longer.