Lonely toms can make late-season turkey hunting worth the wait
PRATT -- It's May, and many outdoorsmen and women have turned from hunting turkeys to pursuit of spawning crappie or other popular sportfish. However, the avid hunter knows that there's still time to bag a big gobbler, and late in the season may be one of the best times.

By May, most hens have been bred and are on the nest. This leaves lonely gobblers with fewer hens to mate, making toms as vulnerable to a well-placed hen decoy and call as he might have been when the breeding season began.

While it's true that late-season gobblers can be wary from having been hunted, in isolated areas, toms may have been bothered little. Those that have may still respond to the hunter who is quiet and patient. Moving little and calling with caution are the keys. Low clucks sparingly used may be as effective as aggressive calling earlier in the season.

Hunters who haven't bagged a turkey this spring, or those who still have a tag to fill, shouldn't give up. The crappie will still be there once that bird is in the bag.

The 2008 spring turkey season runs through May 31. Turkey permits allow hunters to use either a shotgun or a bow. Online license and permit sales are available at the KDWP website,, under "License/Permit Sales" at the top of the home page. Permits may also be purchased over the counter, and second turkey game tags are available in units 2 and 3.