Greatest Day of the Turkey Strut: April 8
Final week we jumped into our annual Greatest Days of the Strut sequence with a have a look at the primary day, April 2. With spring getting a firmer grip on the panorama, it’s an ideal time to take some clues from an knowledgeable hunter who hails from the Deep South for a have a look at his favourite day, April 8. Terry Rohm grew up in gobbler-crazy Pennsylvania however has spent a lot of his grownup life in Georgia, the place he wages annual duels with the robust Jap birds of the South. Anybody who persistently tags toms on this area (and guides others who do the identical, which Rohm does) can educate us all how you can put gobblers in entrance of our weapons.
Whereas nonetheless early within the month of April, Rohm’s favourite day is now later than it was once; declining chicken numbers have led to later openers in lots of southern states. Elsewhere, hunters from the Midwest and Northeast are anxiously ready for his or her openers, whereas in states like Texas, hotter climate has the breeding exercise heating up by the day. Should you’re season hasn’t began but, otherwise you’re not within the south, simply have a look at the strut stage beneath, and comply with Rohm’s recommendation when your birds are behaving equally.
The Professional: Terry Rohm, Georgia
Winner of the NWTF’s first two Grand Nationwide turkey calling championships, Rohm is aware of how you can run no matter kind of name you place in his fingers. However whereas he acknowledges calling may be essential, the veteran hunter, information, and pro-staffer for The Grind Turkey Calls instructed F&S that understanding sure X-factors—like searching stress, meals sources, terrain, and gobbler habits—are simply as essential on the subject of tagging a tom. “I hunt an outdated gobbler with lots of the identical techniques as I take advantage of for a mature whitetail,” he stated. “I scout a ton, I examine the panorama, and—since I hunt lots of public floor—I attempt to determine what different guys are going to do, and I do one thing totally different.”
The Strut Stage: Early Breeding
On the finish of the primary week in April, breeding is getting began in suits and begins the place Rohm’s hunts. Much like the whitetail rut, the dominant males would be the first to pair off with receptive hens, whereas jakes and 2- or 3-year-old gobblers will probably be hanging on the fringes, ready for motion. However usually, and usually later within the morning, these pissed off breeders will strike out on their very own, on the lookout for a hen they may not need to battle for. Until you need to interact in a protracted and probably fruitless marketing campaign with that dominant tom, these are the birds you need to deal with.
Professional Tactic for April 8: Work Distant Funnels for Receptive Toms
An avid public-land hunter, Rohm focuses on two key issues when scouting and searching a spot now. “I take advantage of OnX or different searching apps to take an outline of the world, and the very first thing I’m on the lookout for are the elements of the tract which can be troublesome for different hunters to entry,” he stated. “Then I search for terrain that may funnel turkey motion, as a result of they journey by means of the panorama identical to whitetails.”
Any time Rohm can discover a junction of a number of ridges or the sting of a creek or lake, he heads straight to that space to begin on the lookout for turkey signal. “If I discover tracks, scratching, or feathers, I do know I’m in a spot the place turkeys already need to be, and that’s one of many keys to calling up a gobbler; discovering a spot the place he already feels comfy.”
Rohm is a giant fan of utilizing locator calls, like a crow name, that may pull a gobble from even a reluctant tom. “As soon as I do know the place he’s, and I do know I’m moderately shut and may arrange in a spot the chicken is aware of nicely, I settle in and work him.” As achieved a caller as he’s, Rohm says he doesn’t do lots of fancy calling within the timber, particularly when on public land. “I’d moderately preserve it delicate and have the tom come searching me. I’ll reply to his first gobble or two, then as soon as I do know I’m in his head, I both tone it manner down or shut up utterly. If he’s already eager about me, there’s likelihood he’s coming, even when he doesn’t discuss lots on the best way.”