Two-man Turkey Hunt: Calling Partners Help Bag Hung-up Turkeys


Bringing your buddy along when hunting turkeys will sometimes produce far better results than going one-on-one against the “feathered fox.” Even though turkey hunting is basically an individual sport, there are several reasons why two should hunt together.

First and foremost is the fellowship that comes from sharing the experience of calling, watching and bagging a turkey. Also, a hunter can lengthen his season by taking a novice hunting. Making tactical decisions, calling and showing a newcomer when to shoot, sharpens your own skills and allows you to hunt—even if you can’t shoot after filling your season’s limit.

Often, there are tactical reasons for two. Smart, old gobblers that have been shot at in the past may be call-shy and man-shy. These birds can be outsmarted when two hunters combine their skills and knowledge.Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 1.35.23 PM

If you come across a turkey that struts and gobbles just out of gun range and refuses to come in to where you can take him, then that bird will twist your mind and cause you to wonder if you really know how to call and hunt turkeys. Most hunters refer to these as “hung-up gobblers.” He’s hung-up at the spot where he’s strutted and drummed; he refuses to come in to where you can take him.

Dean Davis, of Mississippi, considers the hung-up gobbler as one of the most difficult bad birds to call.

“I usually hunt with a partner,” Davis explains. “When a turkey is hung up, the person calling the turkey needs to back up and continue calling as he backs farther away. The shooter will stay at the site where we’ve first called to the gobbler. The gobbler believes the hen is leaving, which generally will make him come in closer to the shooter.”

If you’re not hunting with a buddy and have tried to call this type of gobbler by yourself, Davis suggests that you stop calling to have success.

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“If you call less, you’ll make the gobbler more curious. I always like to think about this situation as similar to calling my friend. If my friend constantly is calling to me, I know he’s coming. But if he suddenly shuts up, I’ll become more curious.”

If calling less doesn’t work, Davis says he will get closer if the terrain is not too difficult to move on without the gobbler seeing him.

“I’ll try to move and get a different calling angle on the hung-up gobbler,” Davis emphasizes. “Bad turkeys that are hung up sometimes won’t move toward you. Often, there is an obstruction between you and him that you can’t see, such as a blow-down, a creek or a fence that he refuses to cross.”

When calling hung-up gobblers, he added that relies on friction calls from Primos and HS Strut.

To make turkeys come running to you, don’t use the same strategies you’ve tried in the past. These tactics will get a mind-bending bronze baron to ride home in the back of your truck this spring.


 For more information, find John E. Phillips’ book, “The Turkey Gobbler Getter Manual,” at To learn more about turkey hunting by Phillips read “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible,” “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World,” “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” “How to Hunt Turkeys with World Champion Preston Pittman,” “The 10 Sins of Turkey Hunting with Preston Pittman” and “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting.”