As the sun-soaked days of April drag on, hen turkeys begin walking away from strutting toms to lay and sit on their eggs. Thank you Mother Nature. This is the perfect time to do a little turkey reconnaissance—both hands-on and with trail cameras—and find a longbeards mid-day strut-zone.
Recently, near my home in La Junta, Colorado, I did just that. My trail cameras were letting me know most hens were heading into a nearby CRP patch to lay and nest. Setting my cameras on time-lapse, I was able to watch and document when the hens were leaving the toms and where the toms were heading once the hens left them.
After checking my cameras and looking at an aerial image of the property, I made a late-afternoon plan. I would slip down a dry canal, pop-up my ground blind, set the decoys, and do some blind calling.
With my imposters placed and my calls out, I emitted a few soft hen helps from my Zink Power Hen Slate. Boom! A gobbler hammered back less than 200 yards away. I unzipped my pack and was reaching for my gloves and facemask when he gobbled again—on his own this time—and he was much closer. I barely had time to reach up and hit record on my video camera before he popped into view. I was excited and I didn’t give him long to inspect the Zink Avian-X decoys. My BOWTECH Carbon Knight, Victory VAP V1 arrow, and Rage Xtreme broadhead put him down quickly.
If you get the chance I highly recommend a mid-day or late-afternoon blind calling session for toms in search of some loving.
NOTE: In the video you will see I click on my watch and say I harvested the bird around 2:00 p.m. That was a mistake. I actually clicked on my Nike Fuel Band and in the excitement of the moment, read the first number of my calories burned for the day. Yes, spring toms get me a little worked up. I actually harvested the bird around 5:00 p.m.