By Brandon Wikman
Turkey hunters have been bred to wake with the stars, taught to savor a cup of robust coffee, and then venture afield with the moon still high in the sky. The age-old tactics of sneaking into the woods in pitch black has slowly disintegrated and evolved into a new revelation of strategies– turkey hunting during the mid-morning mayhem.
If I had a dollar for every time I came home after watching my gobbler disappear into a flock of hens during my early morning hunt, I’d be able to retire at the age of 23 – quite the feat if you were to ask me. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities trying to bag a bird at first light due to being attacked by a massacre of smooth talking hens. They seem to always gravitate towards my adversary and strip away my target and walk him away feather-in-feather. This will often leave me sick to my stomach and eager for more as the hurdles of hunting the wily species of turkey penetrate my perception.
As rain clouds of doubt clear, mid-morning seems to turn a new leaf and offer a buffet of salivating dishes often served on a silver platter. Typically, turkeys will do their thing after they fly down and parade around the field and back into the woods within a few hours. By 9-10 o’clock, birds will begin splitting and dispersing into their own grounds. This offers a prime time chance when mister long beard will fire back up and light the woods with gobbles.
As many turkey hunters can attest, your odds of success begin lifting like a hot-air balloon come mid-morning. The window of opportunity cracks the widest when you can find your bird hanging solo searching for a playmate. A simple stroke of a yelp call on your box call could very well treat you to a fascinating charm of gobbles.
I would have to say that I wouldn’t suggest that you completely trash early morning hunts. I mean, at the end of the day, every moment in the woods hunting increases your odds in some way, shape or form. All I am saying is don’t throw away the idea of not hunting at all if you don’t wake with the roosters – because sometimes hunting during mid-morning can be the spike you’ve been waiting for.
I will be venturing out later this week in pursuit of an eastern in Wisconsin. You can count on me sleeping in a few more hours and hunting hard the rest of the day. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!