Fall Shotgun Turkey Strategies

Fall shotgun turkey hunting, available in select WMUs in New New Hampshire (click here for season details and locations), calls for different strategies than those used during the spring gobbler season. The traditional method for hunting fall birds is to break up a flock and then to take a bird as they attempt to regroup. A skilled caller can attract birds by simulating a "kee-kee" call, which is a call given by turkeys while they reassemble as a flock. Another method is to identify active turkey areas, and then to sparingly call to attract curious/social birds to your position. Clucks are generally used for attracting adult males, while soft yelps, clucks and feeding purrs can work for females and juveniles.

Hunters must be very selective in deciding when to shoot, both as a matter of safety and to guard against hitting more than one bird with a single shot. Even if the turkeys are not "flocked up," their cryptic coloration, coupled with the pellet pattern cast by a shotgun, requires that hunters exercise restraint in choosing when to shoot. Hunters are also reminded to use good judgment in where and when they hunt. Pursuit of flocks near roadways or homes is strongly discouraged for reasons of safety and fair-chase, and because it can damage the public image of hunters.

The fall shotgun permit entitles a hunter to take a single bird of either sex with a shotgun. Hunters can take only a single turkey during the fall, either with bow and arrow during the archery season, or with a shotgun during the shotgun season. The bird must be tagged with the "fall" tag that comes on the regular turkey license. --Mark Ellingwood, Wildlife Programs Administrator, N.H. Fish and Game


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