Hunters bring their turkey season questions to Thomas Gobbolier


With Ohio’s spring wild turkey season just weeks away it’s time to listen to hunting advice from Thomas Gobbolier, an unrecognized expert ,but a learned and insightful turkey fanatic.
In fact, Thomas has been outsmarted by elusive turkeys so many times that he claims to be the most sympathetic person in the world when it comes to unsuccessful turkey chasers. Mr. Gobbolier agreed to answer questions from frustrated fellow hunters.

Dear Thomas,
I’ve heard other hunters describe a tom turkey as “henned up” and reluctant to come to a call? I don’t know what that means.
Hen pecked in Dayton

Dear Pecked,
Duh! Are you from Mars or did you miss the health teacher’s most awkward lecture? Did you ever hear the claim that a bird in hand is better than two in a bush?
The term you are referring to describes a gobbler that is busy with a group of willing hens, a time period in the morning when a hot tom is busy doing his thing and to think he is going to go looking for the source of a distant clucking is like thinking a chocolate bar on the school lunch line is going be passed by for a side of carrots.
Keep this in mind; the way it works in nature is for the hens to approach the gobblers. He just needs to strut around and they will come. Only when his flock of hens head for their nests is he going to be willing to chase a maybe bird.
The “henned up” part of his day is usually over by late morning and that’s the time when he’ll allow his wondering eye and insatiable lust to take over. Be patient.

Dear Thomas,
How do I deal with a gobbler that hangs up?
On hold in Marietta

Dear Holding,    
You’ve got him coming but something stops him! There’s a long list of things that stop a gobbler and it’s a sure bet that it happens to every hunter.
For starters, consider this; Gobblers won’t walk down a steep hill, they won’t walk through a briar patch, and they won’t cross some fence lines. So get over it.

Dear Mr. Gobbolier,
I am new to turkey hunting and wonder what call and shotgun to buy.
Wondering in Youngstown

Dear Newbie,
Welcome to spring madness.
Let’s start with the calls. Buy something you can make a relatively good sounding yelp, cluck, and purr with. Buy just one call and learn to use it consistently and without a lot of movement. One call used correctly is much better than a dozen calls used poorly so add additional calls later, way later.
Now to the shotgun. If you own a shotgun now it is the right one. If you think you need a special edition, camo-covered, super-full choked, 3 ½ inch magnum shotgun, and have a bunch of money to blow, go right ahead, but I will tell you that the turkey you kill with your current shotgun will be just as dead as the one you shoot with your new super model .
Now go enjoy the best hunting experience one could ask for.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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