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Old Long Beard Hunter Shares Advanced Turkey Hunting Tactics That Work Spring or Fall

Updated on January 26, 2016

Find and Chase that Old Long Beard AKA run and gun

This is not as they say your first rodeo. In fact, you have found yourself fooled by the ole wild turkey on more than a few occasions, actually many more than you care to admit to. Yet you still have that longing to chase that ole long beard, you know the one I am talking about, that ole limb hanger, the so-called un-killable bird.

Every spring when turkey season opens, you chase the same ole God blessed gobbler over the highest hill and through the gnarliest holler. Forgive me but I simply must ask, my turkey-hunting friend why do we do it?

Is it simply because we believe deep down in our turkey hunting heart, eventually we will discover new hunting tactics that will put the odds in our favor.

You bet we do, that is why we want to, no, check that we need to, learn advanced turkey hunting tactics and put the odds in our favor.

Getting Close But Not To Close

For seasoned turkey hunters as you and I that have been hunting for just let me say more than a few decades, we remember when there was not a wild turkey hunting season in many states. The numbers of wild turkeys in most locations just were not sufficient to make many statewide hunting seasons possible. Shoot the wild turkey did not even exist in many parts of their natural habitat. Blame what you will, the depression, market hunting, or simply no game management programs other than the see a turkey and shoot a turkey mentality. I remember the first time I saw a turkey while bow hunting for whitetail deer in Western Kentucky.

It was zero dark thirty of the first day of bow season for deer in Kentucky and I was hunting on the Christian, and Muhlenberg county line. Having made my way along the mile and a half trek to the honey hole I had discovered the previous year. Where to make a long story short, I was setting in my brand new fresh out of the box climbing tree stand. It was a foggy yet comfortable pre-dawn morning. I set with the safety belt around my waist, which would prove to be useful as the mornings events unfolded.

As it was, still pitch black and foggy I set in my stand with my eyes closed listening to the pre- dawn sounds of the woods and its inhabitants, chattering raccoons, something trotting through the woods, and a beaver slapping his or her tail on the water, getting my undivided attention and the ole heart rate up for a moment. With everything back to normal, my heart rate for one, I settled back into my thoughts with eyes closed.

Sunrise Turkey roost

Ah yes, my thoughts, earlier that evening I had read a book on the hunt for big foot, Sasquatch or the countless other descriptive names for the big hairy manlike creature. In this book were vivid details that described the manner in which big foot marked the boundaries of its territory. Some of the views expressed included, sent posts, scratching the trunks of trees, or simply breaking out the tops of trees as a testament to the size and strength of a particular individual creature.

With these thoughts occupying my subconscious, here I sit, motionless in a tree stand, with eyes closed opening them every few minutes to check if it is light enough to see the surroundings, and most importantly the ground. When suddenly directly behind the tree stand I was setting in, sounded like the top of the tree was being broken out. Limbs shaking, leaves rustling and all hell breaking loose, suddenly I found myself held in the tree stand by the safety belt, which was now around my chest and my ass on the platform of the stand. Oh yeah, I in my excitement tried to un-ass my lofty perch and if it had not been for the safety belt, I would be on the ground wondering how I got there.

You see, much to my surprise. Located directly behind the tree I had put my tree stand in was a turkey roost tree. The sounds they made when leaving the roost only a few feet from where I sat made a huge impression on me that opening morning of early 1980’s archery deer season.

When it is OK to Bust Turkeys Off the Roost

Turkeys leaving the roost make quite a bit of noise, so much so, for the experienced let alone the uninitiated turkey hunter to understand, he or she absolutely must learn the art of listening. Not just hearing what they think they heard, I mean you actually listen to the individual sounds one turkey, or a flock of turkeys makes before, while, and after they leave the relative safety of a roost tree.

Those sweet yelps

Tree yelps, are soft spoken, I am roosted over hear turkey calls. Think of tree yelps as pillow talk between close family members or the occasional overnight guest, about who is in charge of the morning’s activities before leaving the roost. Listen to the tone of the yelp, a low tone is most likely a gobbler, while a high-pitched tree yelp is a hen or quite possibly an adolescent bird.

Spending the better part of a beautiful pre-dawn day of turkey hunting, waiting for a mature tom to fly down from a roost full of mature hens, adolescent Jakes or hens, entertaining as it may be, is not going to put that ole gobbler strutting, spitting and drumming in front of you. In fact, you will find yourself playing the waiting game. To keep from spooking the turkeys on the roost, causing them to pitch out and leave the area. Long before you will be able to move on the ole thunder chicken off in the distance calling the hens to him. Remember the gobbler calls the hens to him, then the dominate hen controls the show.

Why Cackle

Fly down cackle, every morning the hens leave the roost they need to reestablish the flock’s pecking order. Bird brained as they are, the wild turkeys do not remember who is the dominate hen, the ole boss hen. The matriarch with all the experience and knowledge required to lead the flock safely where they need to go. The fly down cackle is much the same as mom yelling at the kids, get your lazy backside out of bed and get down hear right now or I will leave you behind to fend for yourself.

Then there is always that adolescent hen, much like the teenage daughter who knows everything. I am sure you know the one I am talking about, she challenges the ole boss hen every chance she gets. Unlike her human counterpart, the ole boss hen will not hesitate to put the beat down on the subordinate bird.

You see when love is in the air, and breeding season is in full swing. There are only so many gobblers to go around, which means, the assertive hen gets the best date, if you know what I mean.

Old Boss Hen and the Fighting Purr

Fighting purr, when kicking ass and taking names, the ole boss hen is not shy when it comes to trash talking, in other words the fighting purr. When the young hens and jakes for that matter get out of line, the ole boss hen takes it upon herself to quick fast and in a hurry reward the bad behavior with a good old-fashioned ass whipping. There is just something about a good flogging and having your head pecked all the while getting an ear full that makes a big impression on the uninitiated.

Challenge the Old Boss Hen and Lure the old Tom into Range

The next time you find yourself wanting to try a turkey-hunting tactic that works more often than not, work on the ole boss hen’s sensibilities, work on convincing her you are the new younger better new boss hen looking to take her gobbler away from her, set up and enjoy the show. Remember our goal; learn advanced turkey hunting tactics that make our turkey hunt a success.

Enjoy all your turkey hunting success and make a video. Mike

The author of this publication, Mike Teddleton owns the copyright to Old Long Beard Hunter Shares Advanced Turkey Hunting Tactics That Work Spring or Fall . The rights to publish this article in print or online can only be granted by contacting me the author in writing. You may use the intro and link back to the article directing the reader back to my post here at HubPages where they may find the story in its entirety


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    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Glemoh101 thanks for your comment.

    • Glemoh101 profile image


      7 years ago

      thanks for your useful hub ,

      I rated it and shared on facebook.


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