Quest for 450: Keys to The Afternoon Hunt for 443

When Mike shot his second gobbler while hunting with Spook Spann in Tennessee, it was a late afternoon hunt, which requires a different mindset and approach than when hunting gobbling birds in the morning.

By afternoon, most gobblers are loafing in the shade (if it’s hot) and roaming in search of food and hens. Most will particularly want to roost near hens if it is getting close to roost time, so that they can be with them as soon as it is time to fly back down the next morning.

“Set up is a big key to a successful afternoon hunt,” said Mike. “It comes down to the 3 Ps of position, patience and perseverance.”

First, based on scouting and where birds roosted the night before, set up in areas they will work back toward in the afternoon without setting up right where they want to roost. Doing the latter can mess a spot up for future hunts, particularly if multiple birds roost in the area.

Once set up, don’t expect turkeys to just come running up. Turkey vocalization is naturally in short supply in afternoons as birds loaf and lounge before returning to roost. Gobblers often won’t really start gobbling until they are getting close to roosting for the evening.

Set up, call periodically and stay patient. Afternoon hunts seldom play out quickly. But remember, it takes more than just the patience to sit there, it takes the perseverance to stick it out, keep calling and when the time comes, making something happen. Once a bird responds, the odds are in your favor that it is not with hens, keep him fired up with your calls until he commits and get ready.

“We were in the right spot and stayed with it and called and worked the turkeys to us,” said Mike. “That’s as good a way for things to play out as you can expect with an afternoon hunt.”

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