It’s true work gets in the way of turkey season! Sometimes there is no way around it. It can be nearly impossible to take off every morning to enjoy a hunt. What should the approach be to turkey season when you have limited days to fill tags?
Opening day, you just can’t resist going out! There is something magical about opening morning that gets you out of bed and in the woods. If you are like me and cannot resist, then hunt. But when you do scout very intently. What you learn then will be used later. Take notice of the exact locations where birds are roosting. After fly down, remember which ways they travel and what they are traveling to. Opening morning birds can be tough to kill. Longbeards usually have hens with them. The gobbler may simply follow the flock, gobbling every so often. After you have the first day jitters worked out and the scouting report, stay out of the woods.
Here in Missouri our season is only three weeks long. With a few vacation days remaining I’d wait for late into week two or even week three to take off again. Gobblers will most likely be breeding hens for some time. When time is limited don’t waste it calling to henned up gobblers. Let them breed their hens. Then they will begin searching for hens. This is the time when gobblers become more responsive to the call. By this time many hens are out searching to find a location to nest or sitting on their nest already. This makes for lonely, responsive gobblers.
Your opening day scouting report can help determine where the birds are roosting. You know the general area of where to start your hunt. Once that bird sounds off, you also have a good idea of where they are likely to travel to. Setup and let the show come to you! Plan your days in the turkey woods accordingly. Learn early, then get in and hunt when the odds are more in your favor. Don’t let minimal vacation days stop you from filling your tags!