Public land is way too crowded.
If you bumped into too many other hunters on public land last year, find the best-looking farms in your area on a mapping app, and then drive around on a Saturday afternoon before the season opener and ask for permission to hunt those spots. Make it clear that you only want permission to hunt turkeys (you’ll be long gone by deer season), you won’t be hunting with a big group, and you won’t rut up the fields. I bet you’ll land at least one in 10 of those spots—probably more. Why? People might pick up the phone and call these days, but not as many are willing to knock on doors and shake hands. With many farmers, that goes a long way.
If you swing by after the hunt with a thank-you card and a case of beer, I bet you’ll gain permission on that farm for years to come too. —A.R.
The second gobbling peak happens later in the spring, once most hens are on the nest and lone gobblers are looking for love.