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Strange Tom behavior
Took my grandson out turkey hunting this weekend. Heard some gobbles in response to our calling, but had something happen that I have never had happen in my limited turkey hunting experience.
We had set up where I had seen turkeys before. Called a couple of times and had what I thought was a hen respond. Kept calling and what to my wondereous eyes should appear but a what appeared to be a tom. Red head, but was too far to see if it had a beard. At 100 yds it yelped like a hen and then stopped, evidently saw something it didn't like and disappeared.
Merriams, 6500 ft elevation in the ponderosa pines in AZ.
Wondering minds want to know. Is this normal behavior for a tom?
Yep. Heavily hunted toms often yelp instead of gobble. Sometimes toms just yelp. Slower, more drawn out yelps. Once you verify hearing it, you can almost be certain when you hear it again.
Sounds like you run into a turkey that wasn't "dominant" or, was shy from pressure. God Bless
Once when deer hunting in Central Texas, 23 hens and one tom single filed across a 75 acre oat field toward where I was hunting in the edge of the mesquite brush. The tom was last in line and was yelping his head off every step of the way. He would stop once in a while and the hens would get 30/40 yards ahead of him and he would catch up, and continue with his yelping. I never did figure that one out. I think he had gender identification issues. :)
Biggest ton I ever shot came in yelping and I thought it was a hen. Had 1 3/4 inch spurs weighed over 20 pounds and 11 inch beard. You never know when turkey hunting and always see something new thats why its so much fun !
I had no idea, good to know!
Thanks for the responses. Normally I do not hunt in the ponderosa for turkeys, but I have seen this group at the same place about a mile from the house several times. I usually hunt about 20 miles from the house in the Pinions where I hear gobbling turkeys, so have never heard toms yelping before.
Took the grandson out Sunday AM and the wind was blowing so hard I was worried about falling trees so we went back to the house and waited until the wind had died down. Didn't get any gobbles or yelps either.
He has two more weekends to hunt.
Toms yelp and hens can gobble (and strut).
Exactly what Glunt said. I've seen all of those. Had a hen strut into some decoys years ago in central Oklahoma. Toms yelping, quite common.
Had this hen come into decoys full strut a few years back. Graced us with her presence for nearly 45 minutes. I'll never forget it.
I've seen a hen strut too. One thing I've learned with turkeys is expect the unexpected. They do the darnedest things. Earlier this season I had a jake come in and nestle up on the ground next to a tree almost like he was on a nest. He looked like he was taking a nap. After about an hour he got up and went back about his jake business.
It's a regular part of the turkey world. Several two-year-olds we've worked this year gobbled in the distance, but yelped when they came in.
Listen to a good roost some morning, and you'll be able to tell the difference between hens and lower, slower Jakes.
I watched a mature Gobbler yelp and Gobble today. Shortly before I introducing him to a Winchester number 5 Longbeard load that MISSED it's mark. Sometime before daylight while going through the brush, my stick on sights come off the rib of my GUN! Lets just say I didn't line everything up as well as I thought before pulling the trigger. :^)
I have saw three different hens strut. Twice, in response to hen decoy's. As Brotsky said, sometimes they do the darnedest things.
God Bless men