Turkey patterns constantly change during the Spring season, knowing what those are and what they might mean for your hunt can be critical in filling that tag. During the final week of May, turkeys may exhibit specific behaviors due to various factors, including breeding activity, weather conditions, and hunting pressure. Here are some key behaviors to consider during this time:
1. Breeding activity: By late May, the turkey breeding season is typically winding down, but there may still be some late-nesting hens and active gobblers. Toms might continue to gobble, but their response to calls may be less enthusiastic compared to earlier in the season. However, if you come across receptive hens, gobblers may still be in pursuit.
2. Roosting patterns: Turkeys generally maintain consistent roosting patterns, and during the final week of May, they may still be using the same roost sites as earlier in the season. Pay attention to where turkeys roost, as it will help you plan your morning setups.
3. Feeding routines: Turkeys will continue to feed throughout the day, with a focus on replenishing their energy reserves after the breeding season. Identify preferred feeding areas such as open fields, agricultural fields, or mast-producing trees. Turkeys will often travel to these locations during the late morning or early afternoon.
4. Increased wariness: As the season progresses and turkeys have experienced hunting pressure, they tend to become more cautious and wary of calls and decoys. They may be less responsive to aggressive calling and exhibit more skepticism towards decoys. Using subtle and realistic calling techniques can be more effective.
5. Adjusting to weather conditions: Weather can play a significant role in turkey behavior during late May. If the weather is warm, turkeys may adjust their activity patterns and feed more during cooler hours. Rainy or windy conditions may limit their movement and make them more likely to seek sheltered areas.
6. Changing habitat preferences: By late May, turkeys may alter their habitat preferences. They might move from dense cover used during the breeding season to more open areas, such as fields or edges of woodlands. Consider scouting to identify these transitional areas.
7. Hunting pressure impact: Turkeys that have experienced hunting pressure throughout the season can become more difficult to hunt. They might move to less-accessible areas, become more nocturnal, or change their patterns altogether. Adjust your hunting strategies accordingly, such as hunting quieter or less-pressured locations.
Observing turkey behavior in your specific hunting area during the final week of May is crucial. Spend time scouting, noting any changes in turkey activity, and adjust your hunting techniques accordingly. Adapting to their behavior patterns can increase your chances of a successful hunt during the closing days of the season.