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Expert Hints For Gobbler Hunters

With spring gobbler season set to begin on May 4, many of us are looking for a little expert information that might help us tag a tom.

I have recently been in contact with Tony Hudak of Noxen, PA, who is an expert gobbler hunter. He has killed toms in the 49 states that have spring seasons.

Just before leaving for a recent gobbler hunt in Mexico, where he completed the Mexican, World, and Slam of Slams of gobbler hunting, he shared some hints about spring turkey hunting.

Hudak is a true turkey hunter. He does not use baits (aka food plots), blinds, or decoys to kill turkeys, giving the toms a sporting chance to defeat him. He is the type of turkey hunter I admire.

He said the best advice he can give is to scout as much as possible before the season. He notes that he tries to get out during the winter to scout while he is hunting for shed antlers.

He continues, “My real hardcore scouting begins around St. Patrick’s Day and goes till the season begins. I scout for a couple hours before work and all morning on weekends.”

He scouts as many different locations as he can.

“Even if the birds are not gobbling right on the property you hunt in early April, there is a great chance they will be in May after dispersing from winter flocks. So don’t confine your listening to just your actual hunting areas.”

“Try to locate as many different gobbling turkeys as possible before the season. Just because you might have a dozen or so birds located does not mean you’re in the driver’s seat on opening morning. A lot of things can change, so having multiple options is best.”

He insists that you need to know the terrain where you hunt, especially if you are a “run-and-gun hunter” as he is.

He likes to cover a lot of ground when hunting and always tries to be on a higher elevation on a ridge than the bird he is hunting.

“Knowing the terrain includes knowing where obstacles such as fences, streams, and ditches that gobblers might be reluctant to cross are located so that you can set up properly.”

He also believes in getting as close to a roosted gobbler in the dark as possible. That way the tom doesn’t have far to go in his search for the “hen.”

You can bet that as “the worst turkey hunter in the Cove” I will try to use Hudak’s hints this spring.


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