Paul Sawyer is beginning his traveling tour for turkey that will take him to three states in five days. His first stop is in Oklahoma, where he works to drop multiple gobblers with Winchester.
Birds of a feather flock together….until one steps out of the pecking order. During Paul Sawyer’s wild turkey hunt in Oklahoma, he witnessed what happens when the bird’s natural instincts come into play.
Dominance is a huge part of the animal kingdom. There’s an alpha dog in the wolf pack. One dominant male in a pride of lions. A flock hen, yep, she’s always watching.
Like their chicken cousins, turkeys establish a significant pecking order. The concept of dominance is biologically intertwined into the instincts of the birds. It’s all about mate selection. The dominant toms often get first pick at breeding with the hens.
During the fall and winter seasons, the hens, jakes and mature toms will determine the flock’s hierarchy. Typically, the bigger and more aggressive the bird, the higher their position in the pecking order. If a young jake shows interest in a hen and a bigger gobbler is around, you can bet the dominant tom will put that jake in his place.
Hunters can use the natural order of dominance and rankings to their advantage. In the wild turkey world, a hunter can base his or her decoy distribution and selection on what type of bird they want to bring in. For example, a turkey hunter may push a big gobbler’s buttons by putting a young jake decoy into a field (consider a hen or two as well). Ideally, the dominant tom will see the smaller jake on his turf, and strut in with swagger and speed to show the decoy who’s boss. The bird will assert his dominance right within shooting range…and the hunter can use the Winchester Long Beard XR to finish the rest.