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Silent Toms

Layne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
246
Location
Eads TN
Where I hunt in MS I've found that gobbling pretty much correlates to the number of gobblers we have. In years where we had a good population of gobblers they would gobble at a owl hoot early morning religously and continue to gobble until well after fly down. As the population of gobblers decreased the gobbling stopped, they will rarely gobble at a owl hoot now and many times never even gobble on the roost.
They just don't need to gobble, there is very little competition for hens and they know they will hook up shortly after fly down.
 

Layne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
246
Location
Eads TN
Speaking of silent toms. What’s your best approach to kill one that does go silent?
for me I either stay put and wait for him to return or I try and move to a spot that I know they like to hang out at. I'll soft call just a little and sit and wait... both these are boring to me but if you have patience they will work, most of the time I just lack the patience.
I didn't start turkey hunting for silent toms, that's what deer season if for...
 

Bgoodman30

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Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
871
Turkeys absolutely gobble better when the BP is rising. Think cool crisp morning with heavy dew. If you have been out on several mornings like this and don't hear one then they either aren't there or maybe just one old wary bird with lock jaw. I hunted a bird last several years that almost never gobbles but if you catch him on a high pressure morning he will sound off on roost at least.. Good luck
 

Bgoodman30

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Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
871
If you have to hunt a silent bird, find a good setup where turkeys frequent. Flat ridge top, hidden fields, scratching, dusting and call soft and listen for drumming. Once you learn to feel drumming in your chest you will know he's there..
 

Monk74

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
70
Agree, and would add to this (typically still related to that hunting pressure):

1) More adult gobblers (longbeards) per hen = more gobbling, typically a lot more gobbling, especially when there are high numbers of the most vocal "young & dumb" 2-yr-old Toms.

2) Older Toms tend to gobble less than younger ones.
But if you have a good number of longbeards, they all tend to gobble more regardless of age.

Back when TN had a 2-bird limit, I believe much of the reason there was so much more gobbling was because we had a higher ratio of male birds to female birds.
I’ve also seen Jakes mob up and almost run to any gobbling. Then gang up and kick his tail. I assume this would suppress mature toms vocalizing.
 

Derek

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
32
Location
Rutherford County
If I know there are turkey in the area I'm hunting, I don't care so much if they don't gobble. I had rather hear them but I have killed plenty of birds that never gobbled. I hunt the vocal ones early. From mid-morning to mid-afternoon I just set up and get comfortable. Do a call sequence once every 30 minutes or so. If they are in the area they will usually come if you are patient.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,505
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
If they are in the area they will usually come if you are patient.
This is so very true, but very few hunters are patient enough, especially regarding staying put, and patient enough not to call too often and/or too loudly.

Often, you'll hear an older Tom gobble once or twice on the roost, then no more. Answer him back, your volume depending on the distance between you.
That's it.
(Usually) if you can hear him, he can hear you.
He heard you, he now knows your exact location.

Your trying to move closer often just exposes you & confuses him,
and too often makes him less likely to come your direction,
especially if he actually sees you or hears you make some unnatural sound.
 
Last edited:

thirdwilliam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
2,038
Location
Middle, Tennessee
Biggest reason for lack of gobbling in my experience has been one of three things:
1) Hunting pressure and those hunters doing to much calling
2) too many jakes running into the gobble
3) more hens than toms to go around.
I have found later in the season mid day hunts are better for number 3.....
 

Dennis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
68
I like the ones that come in silent personally. If I know there are toms in the area, I don’t worry about whether they gobble or not. I set up in areas I know they frequent and call periodically and wait a lot. It is fun when one shows up unexpectedly.
 

TN Larry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2003
Messages
6,276
Location
Baxter, Tennessee
Honestly, I am a very impatient turkey hunter if they aren't gobbling. I'm not talking about gobbling and then coming in silent a little while later. I am talking no gobbling at all. That doesn't excite me and guarantees that I'll be fishing pretty early that morning which is no problem either as I juggle the two every year.
 

JCDEERMAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,179
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
Honestly, I am a very impatient turkey hunter if they aren't gobbling. I'm not talking about gobbling and then coming in silent a little while later. I am talking no gobbling at all. That doesn't excite me and guarantees that I'll be fishing pretty early that morning which is no problem either as I juggle the two every year.
🤣 same here, especially if I am not even getting pictures of turkeys. I tend to start deer scouting, looking for sheds and assessing new areas to hack & squirt that fall. If one gobbles, well, I'm ready to go!
 

cowhunter71

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Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
521
Location
McMinn County
🤣 same here, especially if I am not even getting pictures of turkeys. I tend to start deer scouting, looking for sheds and assessing new areas to hack & squirt that fall. If one gobbles, well, I'm ready to go!
I assume you kill your Turkeys at the same "bait station" you kill your Deer at.
 

PalsPal

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,807
Location
TN
If you are referring to bait stations as food plots, planting nut and fruit bearing trees and using prescribed fire to promote natural grasses and forbs on 2-20 acre blocks, then you are absolutely correct!
Good thing I wasn't drinking something when I read this 😉

I'm usually pressed for time and while I'll give them 30-45 mins, I'll move on if they had been hot earlier. Chances are they have gobbled up a hen.

And I have zero interest in killing a non-gobbling turkey.
 
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