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I have found it far more difficult to get a turkey to backtrack, and far more productive to get ahead of a bird… In fact, I remember one time I have made a bird turn around and go back to where he just was.

Has anyone found it productive to try and make a turkey backtrack?
 

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Are you referring to calling to Spring gobblers in a situation where a gobbler is going away from you as you are calling to him and he is gobbling back but keeps going away from you?

If so here is what I have found:

1) Often gobblers are with hens and don't need/want to go to another hen or as some believe the hen or hens with him will lead the gobbler away from a rival calling hen, but perhaps he keeps calling with the hope the distant hen will finally come to him or at least follow the flock.

2) Some gobblers do this because they are heading to a hen we don't see or hear. They can hear and see better than us and we all know just how quite a hen calling CAN be and how well it blends in to noises in the woods.. other birds, etc. Also a gobblers view to spot or hear a hen is much better from from a tree than our position on the ground.

3) Some gobblers I believe are resisting coming to our calling as all the while believing it is a real hen but are operating under their nature where the hen comes to them or at least to where the gobbler can see the hen before they commit and approach the hen.

4) The gobbler could be heading to a hen feeding or his strutting area to which they are familiar and comfortable with...Whereas, sometimes turkeys ARE creatures of routine.

5) I have more than once observed a gobbler gobbling and going to another gobbling turkey before they head off on their journey. On a few occasions after meeting up the two birds come together and come into my calling either quite are calling.

6) This could be a Jake who just likes to hear himself sound off but is not brave enough to head to a calling unseen hen for fear there may be a wise old quite gobbler with long spurs there with her already.

However, four hunts come to mind where I resisted the urge to move on a gobbler who gobbled and went in the opposite direction from my calling location. I stayed put to keep calling and the gobbler finally returned and came to me. Two of them took over an hour. All were VERY cautious and gobbled every 20 minutes +-, circled to my left and right a few times before coming into sight/range 20 yds. +- and those hunts are at the top of my personal list as the most exciting and thrilling hunts I have enjoyed of many years of Spring Gobbler hunting. They were all mature big gobblers. One taken in MO weighted 26 lbs 4 oz. field dressed, has three beards 11", 7" & 4 1/2" and occupies a space in my loft.

Sometimes moving and setting up where you think a gobbler might be heading is the right decision other times not. That is what makes it so much fun.
 

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gobble561 said:
Has anyone found it productive to try and make a turkey backtrack?
I've done it, usually by slowly dogging them and doing very little calling 'til I got to the right situation (terrain). But, productive? No.

Much more productive circling out ahead of them.
 

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I have had several situations where I stopped calling hung up gobblers and waited till they started walking away almost out of sight and a couple quiet clucks brought them right in close.
Happened this year,I had two with a hen that left her and both came to me.
 
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