Here at the Strut Zone, we’re hearing from a lot of turkey chasing buddies around the country, even as we travel ourselves in pursuit of gobblers. A guy who’s no stranger to Outdoor Life readers, photographer John Hafner, just checked in. Here’s what he had to say about his recent hunt this week:
“Just got back from a great hunt/photo shoot in Kansas with McMillan Outfitting. Killed a bird the first afternoon of the hunt. The birds were responsive, but henned up badly.” How did he close the deal?
“Covered lots of ground, saw several strutters and worked a lot of different birds throughout the day … only to be outdone by aggressive, vocal hens. I was finally able to pull a two year-old away from the flock around 5:30 p.m. as the birds crossed a field. Watched 30+ birds – hens, jakes and longbeards – feed, fight and frolic for nearly two hours hour at 75 yards. Finally, after a few soft yelps, I was able to coax a gobbler from 60 yards to 40. My bird might be a Rio-Eastern hybrid [see Hafner’s photo], as his tail feathers are darker than what you typically see on a Rio. Great hunt. Great company. Will definitely hunt Kansas again next year.”
It pays to think like a turkey gobbler, even if he’s running with a bunch of hens. How are you guys handling henned-up situations around the country? Got any cool tactics to beat the challenge?