The spring of 2013 in Wisconsin has been one of, if not the most challenging spring season in history. More late season tags have sold out this year than in previous years. Some of my buddies are asking where do we find the turkeys? How is their behavior different?
Regarding where to find them:
With the improving weather hens have begin laying. I’m finding turkey nests with 4-6 eggs along with the occasional “drop egg” laying by itself. In the next few days here in west central Wisconsin the hens should complete laying and start incubating. When the hens are incubating they will not roost at night. For a few days this will cause some angst among the gobblers resulting in more gobbling activity.
At first the hens will sound off from their nesting areas as their interest in the toms wanes. So a hunter should experience good luck if they can get in the travel corridor leading from the tom’s roost to nesting area. Once the hens are in the incubation process they are unlikely to run to the gobbler, leaving him “available”. At this point hen talk should work to get the gobbler in.
If this were a normal year or the nature of things “catches up” to normal the gobblers would be forming summer bachelor groups this 6th season. Gobbler talk would then be more effective calling. Each area of the state is different so watch for the signs of what to do from the turkeys.
Key in on insect production areas, new wild flower and woodland grass growth. Hens seem to like to nest in open woodland near these areas. Gobblers like to loaf and refurbish their bodies after the long breeding season. Particularly late in the afternoon and early evening. This is a good time for the audio baiting tactic described in “How to Legally Bait Turkey post” Make sure you take your gun I have killed 2 toms this year between 6-7 pm calling in these areas.
Regarding turkey behavior-
Turkeys behave like turkeys and they are out there even if you do not hear or see them. Turkey behavior changes throughout the seasons and a savvy hunter tries to learn as much as they can about turkeys and their changing flock structure from spring thru winter.