• Help Support TNDeer:

Silent Toms

Harold Money jr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
414
Location
East Tennessee
The last gobbler I killed last year was with 5 other gobblers kinda bachelor grouped back up. They came into my calling silently with 2 birds strutting and the rest sneaking along. I shot one of the back non-strutters and it turned out to be probably my largest bird ever. I think the two strutters were 2 year olds. I had between 16-20+ gobblers on that farm and they gobbled very very little on the ground. We killed 5 birds hearing about 5 gobbles total on the ground, they gobble their heads off in the tree.
BTW. The best way for killing em on that farm has been slow calling around 10-11a when the hens have left em.
 

fairchaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,814
Location
TN, USA
The last gobbler I killed last year was with 5 other gobblers kinda bachelor grouped back up. They came into my calling silently with 2 birds strutting and the rest sneaking along. I shot one of the back non-strutters and it turned out to be probably my largest bird ever. I think the two strutters were 2 year olds. I had between 16-20+ gobblers on that farm and they gobbled very very little on the ground. We killed 5 birds hearing about 5 gobbles total on the ground, they gobble their heads off in the tree.
BTW. The best way for killing em on that farm has been slow calling around 10-11a when the hens have left em.
Define slow calling. Not being sarcastic; I really want to know.
 

Harold Money jr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
414
Location
East Tennessee
Cut a couple times literally 2, 3-4 light yelps, nothing loud, obnoxious or excited think of a hen talking to herself, then leaf scratching. Wait several minutes approx 15 minutes to call lightly again if/when I do hear a gobble I pretend I don’t hear him and do it again 2-3 minutes after he gobbled. It’s been my experience the next thing I hear is a gobbler or 2 running in or I’ll hear drumming and they are easing in. I usually don’t hear more than a gobble or two and usually don’t need to hunt more than about 40 minutes. Either way it’s by far the most effective way for me to kill birds. I don’t use any decoys.
 

Popcorn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
479
Location
Cookeville, TN Cadiz, KY and random other places
Speaking of silent toms. What’s your best approach to kill one that does go silent?
Patience, soft and sparse calling only. My best gobblers have been late season, mature, call smart gobblers. Scout them, get on them, be patient and only call soft and sparingly. I call like I am a feeding hen with a few soft yelps maybe a feeding purr and then put the call down for 20 minutes.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,505
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
And I have zero interest in killing a non-gobbling turkey.
Did you actually mean this,
or that you have zero interest in killing gobbler that is not putting on a show?

Often, older Toms will come in, putting on a great strutting show, spitting & drumming (just not gobbling). They often put on a better show than the young 2-yr-old Toms.

Personally, I'd rather hear drumming than gobbling.
Both, even better.

I have zero interest in simply "shooting" a distant turkey I might happen to see, as I want him to "play the game" and put on his "ritual" show. But his gobbling is not necessarily a part of that.
 

megalomaniac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
9,569
Location
Mississippi
I don't enjoy shooting a silent sneaking in bird either. First bird of the year, he's toast... but if I have already killed one that year, I usually won't shoot birds that come sneaking in silent with uncolored heads. I'd rather save him for another day when he can put on a show.
 

Harold Money jr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
414
Location
East Tennessee
I killed a buck one time that made 5-6 scrapes and 4-5 rubs on his way by me grunting the whole way to fight another buck. The arrow passed through him and he was working a scrape when he fell over dead. Was that exciting? It absolutely was but, I’m not gonna pass other bucks up just because they didn’t put on the same show. Personally I love a gobbling turkey but, if I call one in and he decides to be quiet he gets shot just the same. The vast majority of the gobbling their heads off birds I kill are 2yo with 3/4” Spurs, the quiet ones are usually older birds with big spurs which I feel a certain accomplishment. Memories, breast/thigh meat and spurs are my turkey trophies in that order.
 

TheLBLman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2002
Messages
28,505
Location
Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
I usually won't shoot birds that come sneaking in silent with uncolored heads. I'd rather save him for another day when he can put on a show.
Same here, but some of the best "shows" I've ever seen did not include gobbling (just usually do). I've watched some old Toms do a lot of strutting, spitting & drumming, minutes on end, right in my face, with a bright red head/neck --- but sometimes without gobbling.
 

Boll Weevil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
2,815
Location
Hardeman
To LBLs point a lot of older toms spit and drum and just don’t gobble as much as a 2yr old. Most of my big spurred turkeys gobbled far less than most of my little spurred turkeys.
 

philsanchez76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
625
Location
Middle TN
I killed a buck one time that made 5-6 scrapes and 4-5 rubs on his way by me grunting the whole way to fight another buck. The arrow passed through him and he was working a scrape when he fell over dead. Was that exciting? It absolutely was but, I’m not gonna pass other bucks up just because they didn’t put on the same show. Personally I love a gobbling turkey but, if I call one in and he decides to be quiet he gets shot just the same. The vast majority of the gobbling their heads off birds I kill are 2yo with 3/4” Spurs, the quiet ones are usually older birds with big spurs which I feel a certain accomplishment. Memories, breast/thigh meat and spurs are my turkey trophies in that order.
^Yes! My reality is that I am not good enough to pass up a single turkey killing opportunity.
 

woodsman04

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
563
I’ll shoot a silent gobbler as long as he is playing the game. By that I mean strutting, drumming, or looking for a hen, and I call him up.

I ain’t going to set in a foodplot and shoot one that just walks out there feeding.
 
Primary

Primary

TNDeer Assistant
Here are some related products that TNDeer members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TNDeer’s partner,Primary, where you can find links to TNDeer discussions about these products.

 
 
Top