How many times have we heard the saying "three's a crowd'? It seems no one likes to be crowded or willingly wants to share their space or be disturbed when in pursuit of relationships. Even in nature the saying holds true. Ever watch the reaction of a flock of geese feeding in a field? They don't tolerate being crowded. Wings start slapping, necks extend with beaks snapping and aggressive hisses and honks mark the boundaries to the intruders. After a long winter and the large turkey flocks begin to separate and form tribal groups the male dominance pattern develops in the jakes as well as the old toms. Strutting, fighting and chasing are common scenes in green fields and along wood lines in rural areas.
I came across a technique one spring while hunting turkeys with my fiancé. We were set up at the edge of a clover field with our backs along the wood line. Turkeys had been gobbling at dawn across the field in the woods. I ran the usual yelping routine most turkey hunters use and listened for responses and signs that a gobbler had heard me. That morning seemed to pass uneventful. I had heard a gobbler in the morning hitting it hard from the trees. But as all turkey hunters know, sometimes they just go the other way with a sneaky hen leading them on. It became quiet and time was running out. In my state we have to stop hunting at noon. We packed it up and decided we would scout around a bit later in the day.
I knew the area held lots of turkeys. I wanted to snoop around and find out the afternoon routine. After an hour or so of stalking around I heard a gobbler in a field below me. I listened as I moved closer to find him. I located the tom strutting alone in the middle of a winter wheat field he was gobbling and strutting putting on a real show. We sat down and watched him call for his hens for 20 minutes or so. I wanted to see if he would answer my yelps. I cut on my mouth call and yelped a string or two. He gobbled and faced us but he didn't move. He just strutted in the afternoon sun and gobbled. I tried countless times to get him to move but he stood fast. My fiancé used her box call and I yelped but he didn't move. She asked why we couldn't gobble back at him? I smiled and said we can, never thought of it till you said so. We both have gobble calls and use them in the house all the time practicing and joking with each other. We became quiet good with them. I said I would move to her right about 25 yards and gobble and after a minute or so for her to gobble with hers. I proceeded to gobble at the tom and he went into a strut and moved a few feet my way and then he gobbled again. I yelped a few times to sound like a hen was here and gobbled again. In the mean time Geri was gobbling off to my left. We double teamed him and he couldn't stand it. That gobbler ran toward us for 30 yards, stopping and strutting, then trotting on forward. We alternated gobbles and double gobbled again and again. He was coming at us for sure. Too bad it was 3:30 pm though. Right in front of us bigger than life at 15 yards was a mature big beautiful gobbler. He stopped and strutted staring at the wood line. I know he felt he was duped but he stayed for a minute or two then slowly walked along the edge of the field. I was tempted to fire him up again. I looked over at Geri and gave her a thumbs up. We might be on to something here I said when she finally slipped over to my side. That turkey reacted to the other gobbles with a passion. I Knew I could use this tactic again here on this property. We hunt on a private farm and have privacy when hunting. I would use caution any time using a gobble call wherever you hunt.
The next morning we couldn't wait to get back to the farm. We set up at the bottom of a sloping hay field between two wood lots. Turkey sign was in the field and they liked to roost in the woods we knew from past hunting trips. I set out a hen decoy and a Jake 30 yards out. We sat 25 yards apart just like we did before. We let the morning happen enjoying the spring dawn as it unfolded. I yelped a bit to the already gobbling turkeys. I had a gobbler cut me off . I yelped he gobbled, once , twice, silence. I waited and watched the fields and listened. I was anxious to try my new tactic. It was quiet for an hour when I let loose a gobble. I gobbled again a minute later then cut and yelped. Geri gobbled, I gobbled, then he gobbled. We both looked down in the field for the gobbler, nothing. I know he was there somewhere. I gobbled again and was surprised to hear him to my left at the edge of the field. We double teamed him after I gobbled again and Geri joined in. He was coming right up the hill to the Jake and hen decoy. I heard him spit before I saw the white and blue head pop up over the rise. He was on my side and was determined to get to the gobbler on his turf. We watched the show as he spotted the Jake and began to whip him with his giant wing slaps. I clicked my safety off and he stretched his neck out looking for the sound I deliberately made. That was his last memory. I admired the beautiful old tom before I gave him a piggy back ride back to the truck.
This method will work at certain times during the hunt. Wait until the toms are alone and the hens are feeding. Play on the gobblers natural instinct to protect his harem and his territory. He will respond to invading gobblers in his area. Dominant birds are fierce and they will want to drive off another bird moving in. Try this method of double team gobbling next time the toms move off with a hen. Wait till things get quiet. Set up in a good strategic area and begin the invasion. I know you'll have fun.