DEKE TERRITORIAL TURKEYS
By the time the leaves have mostly fallen, fall turkeys—hens and toms—will be locked into a tight feeding pattern, and they don’t take kindly to any bird that cuts in line at their chosen buffet. This willingness to defend their dinner is a weakness all fall turkey hunters can exploit. Here’s how:
Observe: Whether you’re sitting in a treestand simply watching, or need to get in the truck and glass some picked cornfields, take note of where you see turkey flocks. If a group of birds is scratching their way through a field in search of waste grain today, they’ll be there tomorrow, likely at the same time.
Hide and Deke: For a bowhunt, carry in a hub-style blind and brush it in. If a 12-gauge is your thing, put an oversize oak at your back and make a natural blind on the field edge. Remember that you’ll have multiple sets of eyes to beat, so pay close attention to your hide. Either way, a single feeding-hen decoy is the ticket. Place it 15 yards out and clearly visible to any birds entering the field.
Talk Smack: The soft, subtle calling that many advise for fall doesn’t work here. Instead, you want to shout at nearby birds and let them know how much you’re enjoying their groceries. Loud, aggressive yelping and cutting with a diaphragm call or a box call is a good way to get their attention. Add in some leaf scratching to fully sell the ruse. When the head honcho in a group of toms sees this, he’ll lead the whole flock in. Ditto for the matriarch of a gang of hens and poults.