Seasoned hunters know all too well: turkeys are among the most challenging game species to hunt. Wild turkeys are well known for their excellent vision, great hearing, and exceptional instincts. They can spot the slightest movement or hear a tiny branch snap from great distances, and be out of there in a flash. To help ensure successful hunting experiences, our turkey-hunting guests are instructed to come camo’d from head to toe, but we also deploy a number of other tactics – before and during the hunt – to make sure guests have the best opportunity to take a bird home.
- Scout, scout, scout. “Luck” is where preparation and opportunity meet. Spending time in the woods to learn where turkeys are, how they are using the habitat, and where they like to be significantly increases your odds of being in the right place at the right time. Knowing where turkeys are roosting before heading out to hunt cuts down on time spent meandering through the woods seeking a gobbler. Our guides keep track of the number and location of toms roosting around Cabin Bluff’s 24,000 acres in coastal Georgia so you can get on the birds – fast. But keep in mind: gobblers do not always follow the script. This can result in a “cat & mouse” game between us and the turkey. With our guides’ knowledge of the habitat, each move is strategic, putting you in the best position for success.
- Don’t get too close. Don’t underestimate a turkey’s eyesight, hearing ability, or natural instincts. During our hunt, we’ll approach a roosted turkey slowly and carefully, calculating every step as we grow closer. Once we’re at a comfortable distance, we’ll pick a good place to set up and begin calling to bring him to us, instead of the other way around.
- Call soft & sparingly. Speaking of calling, we try to mimic the natural calls and cadence of a hen “talking” to a tom. While calling loud and aggressive is sometimes needed to convince a stubborn gobbler to come, soft calling is often the best approach.
- Patience. Depending on a gobbler’s response to our calling, a turkey hunt can be as short as 10 minutes, or it can take 4 hours. We have a “hot breakfast” approach at Cabin Bluff: get the bird in time to head back to the lodge while hot bacon and eggs are still being served. Although our guides know the turkeys and the lay of the land well, turkeys can be hard to predict, making them a challenge to hunt! While making it back for “hot breakfast” is nice, patience goes a long way towards a successful hunt.
- Don’t lose focus when it’s quiet. Often, a tom will grow quiet as he approaches his hens (or in our case, as he approaches us) and not respond to every call. In our experience, a solid 10-15 minutes of silence from the tom doesn’t necessarily mean he’s jumped ship – he may be slowly approaching. Follow your guide’s lead. Stay focused and ready.
We like to think hunting turkeys is just as much art, as it is sport. As you'll see displayed upon the lodge walls upon arriving at Cabin Bluff, turkey hunters have found this a premier spot for nearly 100 years.
Pre-season scouting suggests that we have lots of gobblers this year - plan your trip today! We’ll even clean, prepare, and vacuum seal your bird for safe transport home, and facilitate mounts.