Late season turkey hunting often gets a bad rap. If you change your perspective and make a few adjustments you can still have a successful hunt.
Location is a key component. Late season means green leaves and more vegetation making it harder to see and hear birds in the woods. Long ridges and large fields are great spots to setup late in the season because your decoys will be more visible and your calls can be heard all around.
During the late season, it’s very common to see solo gobblers. When setting up decoys during the late season I steer clear of putting out jakes and toms. Instead I like to use one or two hens and it’s best to use a breeder. If you decide to use two, a feeder and a breeder work well together. Avert from jakes and toms because it could potentially spook away a leery gobbler thus spooking him out of the area for a while. When it comes to decoys in the late season, simplicity is optimum.
Play the weather. On warm and sunny days with the temperature above 70 degrees gobblers are more likely to be quiet. They will usually go somewhere cooler and moist. Therefore, you’ll want to setup in shady spots.
Always be sure to dress accordingly and use layers to your advantage. More vegetation means more green may be required to blend into your surroundings.
Calling is a wonderful tool to help bring in gobblers and jakes. Soft calls are fundamental to success during the late season. Especially early in the morning, be sure to start soft, then increase your sound throughout the day. You don’t want to sound unnatural because then you’re defeating the point of calling in the first place. Sometimes the best thing to do is be quiet and not call for a while. What type of call you choose to use is completely up to you and who you’re hunting with. The slate and box calls are the easiest to use, especially for people who are just starting. Mouth calls can be great but require much more practice and if not used properly can sound quite absurd. Whoever is doing the calling should pick what they’re most comfortable with and what will benefit you the most.
Late season turkey hunting can be quite simple, just make a few adjustments and you can still have great success!