To trick a hung-up gobbler to come crashing into your set-up, make him an offer he can’t refuse
The resonant throaty thunder of the tom’s opening gobble sent a familiar electrical tingle up my spine, straight to that special receptor deep inside my turkey-hunter’s cranium. Cranking up the voltage, the tom then began his stately procession, gobbling and strutting closer to my set-up through the post-dawn sunlight. My rising anticipation soon changed to frustration, however, when he stopped advancing 200 metres out, refusing to close the gap.
A gobbler will hang up for a variety of reasons, living as he does in a world of constant risk from coyotes, hawks, humans and other predators. It could be that he saw you move or you made a suspicious call, or that he’s simply an educated bird, having been shot at before. A physical obstacle such as a creek or deadfall will also short-circuit an advance. Or he could just be a dominant bird figuring he’s done enough legwork and it’s up to any hens to humbly approach his regal presence instead.
Whatever the reason, it’s at that point the game within the game begins, when you must either convince the bird to come within shooting range, or successfully work yourself closer for a shot. When toms hang up—and they will—try these seven tried-and-tested tactics for flipping the switch and making a connection.