Field Notes

Tips From the Pros - "Crank-Up The Heat"

This past April, I found myself on the top bench of a mountain trying to fill my last turkey tag. Other than opening weekend, the hunting conditions had been extremely tough. A combination of high-winds, thunderstorms, and hen-pecked gobblers made it seem almost impossible to close the deal. In addition, having to clock in at work during the week was also really cutting into my hunting schedule.

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Mid Season Turkey Tactics

As you transition to mid season turkey hunting, remember that this can be a very tough time to attract a Tom. Hunters must be persistent and overcome the physical and mental tests that a hunting season brings with it.  As the season wears on many of the hens are ready and spending nearly all day with the gobblers. This time of the season can find the turkeys being fairly quiet with their calling. Try these tactics during your mid season turkey hunts. 

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Gobbler Guide

If you want to tag more gobblers this season, then learn to correctly identify these predictable turkey transitional phases and match your hunting strategies accordingly.

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Shock & Awe Turkey Calls

Without question, a shock call can be one of the most valuable tools that you carry into the spring woods this season. For good reason, shock calls enable you to effectively locate and monitor the current movement or directional travel path of gobblers. These calls have excellent volume, which means you can make contact from extended distances and during windy conditions that often impair a longbeard’s ability to hear a traditional-style hen call. Plus, shock calls allow you to pinpoint a gobbler without actually persuading him to approach your calling position.

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"Fake a Fight" with David Hale

“Getting feathers ruffled and tempers flaring brings up another lethal tactic that can really pay huge dividends when gobblers are whipped and locked-down by the ladies. Strategically simulating a fight with your calling can coax an entire flock to your setup in a hurry! 

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Tips from the pros - Break the Rules with Chris Parrish

“When I first started chasing longbeards, I strictly followed many of the so-called laws or golden rules of turkey hunting. As a result, my personal experiences, mistakes, and success in the field have taught me that many of these rules simply don’t hold water. For example, I had once read that a turkey hunter should never call directly to a hen that is accompanied by a longbeard. According to the theory, this will only trigger a jealous response that will cause the hen to lead the gobbler off in the opposite direction."

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Early Season Turkey Tactics

Early season can be feast or famine depending on whether you have an early or late spring. You will find turkeys in one of two phases.

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Preparing for turkey season - Be Prepared

Every turkey hunter knows that when the days start to get longer and warmer then Turkey season is right around the corner. The worst thing that you can do is let it sneak up on you - unprepared. Nothing can ruin a hunt like getting to the woods, or field, late and without the right calls and equipment. Take a few minutes in the week prior to your season opener to inventory what you need for a successful hunt.

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Knight & Hale pro staffer wins Junior NWTF Grand Nationals

NASHVILLE, TN – Like father, like son. Clay Prudhomme, son of world-class turkey caller, Mark Prudhomme, winner of a record 17 NWTF Grand National Championships, won the 2015 Mossy Oak/NWTF Junior title last weekend.

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Know Your Flyway

If there were major road systems marked in the skies for waterfowl, then flyways would be those routes.  Used by migratory birds as a result of evolutionary history and genetic programming, and layered with some learned experiences, these routes vary from the simple and uncomplicated to the extremely complex.  No two bird species follow the exact same path from beginning to end.  And flyways can be greatly affected from year to year by weather conditions, predators, hunting pressure and available food and water sources.  Too, the waterfowl populations that use these preferred migratory routes differ greatly in their numbers, travel speeds, travel distances, breeding ground origins and final destination points. 

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