As spring unfolds in Maryland, late-season turkey hunting presents its own set of challenges and opportunities for improving your technique. While the early season may be marked by the excitement of gobblers responding eagerly to calls and decoys, late-season hunting requires a different approach. Here’s a guide to finding success in the late season, focusing on patience and tactics that don't rely on calling or decoys.

Finding Them

During the late season, turkeys often change their patterns, posing a greater challenge to locating. Factors such as increased hunting pressure or changes in feeding and mating habits can contribute to their elusive nature. To find them, focus on scouting and identifying their new patterns. Start by spending time scouting before your hunt, searching for fresh signs such as tracks, droppings, and scratching. Pay close attention to feeding areas, roosting sites, and travel routes, which may include agricultural fields, open hardwoods, or forest edges.


Utilize trail cameras to monitor turkey activity in specific areas, gaining valuable insights into their movement patterns and aiding in the selection of the best spots for your hunt. Remember that late-season turkeys still need to roost. By locating their roosting sites, you can plan your setup accordingly. While turkeys often roost in the same general area, they may switch trees as the season progresses.

No Calling

In the late season, turkeys may become call-shy due to increased pressure and their own experiences. Rather than relying heavily on calling, it's often more effective to let the turkeys come to you naturally. Emphasize stealthy movement and strategic positioning. Utilize natural cover to conceal your movements and seamlessly blend into your surroundings.  If you choose to call, keep it minimal and subtle. Soft purrs and clucks can be effective, but avoid aggressive or loud calls that may spook wary birds.

Don’t Use Decoys

While decoys can be effective earlier in the season, late-season turkeys may be more suspicious of them. Without the visual cue of decoys, turkeys may be more inclined to investigate cautiously, giving you a better chance for a shot. Focus on creating a natural-looking setup, on the ground in the shadows. Position yourself where you have good visibility and can easily blend into the environment. Emulate natural turkey behavior by scratching in the leaves, softly purring, or making subtle movements that mimic a feeding turkey. This can be more convincing to late-season birds than decoys.

Be Patient

Late-season turkey hunting demands patience above all else. These birds may be slower to respond, requiring extended waits for the perfect opportunity. Prepare yourself for prolonged periods in your setup as late-season turkeys often approach at their own leisurely pace. Avoid the urge to shoot at the first sight of a turkey. Instead, wait for a clear and ethical shot opportunity to present itself. In Maryland, late-season turkey hunting poses a distinctive challenge, one that rewards hunters who adapt their tactics. By prioritizing scouting, exercising patience, and employing subtle approaches, hunters can still achieve success as the season draws to a close. So, equip yourself, venture out, and embrace the late-season hunt with unwavering patience and determination.


Need places to hunt? Check out our Turkey hunting locations article!

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