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Hunting Late Season Toms by Grant Woods

Turkey season is still open in some northern states. I really like hunting turkeys during the late season! Typically a majority of hens have started nesting by this time of year and stopped responding to gobblers.

Gobblers that were almost impossible to call for weeks because hens were going to them daily are now very responsive to calls. In fact, often multiple gobblers will respond to a single hen. Even though gobblers tend to be very responsive to calls during the late season, they may not gobble much.

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If a tom responds to my call during the late season I often don’t call much more. Two and four legged predators have chased turkeys for months and the surviving toms tend to be very alert.

Given all this, my late season strategy is to locate a tom and set up in an area where he’s comfortable (fairly open with good concealment cover for me) and call just enough for him to respond. If I’m convinced the tom is coming I sit back and enjoy the show.

Late season can be the best time to tag a tom, especially if a hunting strategy is used that matches the stage of the turkey’s breeding cycle where you are hunting.

Chasing turkeys together,


Dr. Grant Woods
Dr. Grant Woods
Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Dr. Grant Woods has consulted on wildlife research and management from Canada to New Zealand. A hunter since childhood, he not only knows how to grow big deer, but how to effectively hunt them as well. His work serves to improve deer herd quality and educate hunters about advanced management techniques.