You have to start somewhere. Here's how.
You're looking at this for one of two reasons. Maybe you've never gone turkey hunting before but have been inundated with all the articles, videos, and your friends telling you how awesome chasing longbeards is. Or, maybe, you went out for your first season and didn't come away successful.
Don't worry, I have something for both types of hunters and even some help if you can get out for a Fall season.
This list will be in no particular order with the exception of this tip. Your first priority should always be to find the birds and hunt where the birds are. Trust me, from experience, you don't have to be that great of a caller if you put in the extra effort to know where birds are.
2. Scout AGAIN
So I'm double dipping, but so should you. You're hunting, not shooting. If you find a bird that you would like to hunt and have patterned, great. Now, go find a second and third bird. You aren't the only one hunting, and birds can be fickle.
3. Learn How to Use a Diaphragm Call
I started out using a Quaker Boy push button box call, which I still use. There is nothing wrong with any call that you can work effectively, except for the amount of movement it takes. I learned pretty quick that a tom can see me reach for my call before I can even see him. So a diaphragm call is a must, especially if you're not hunting from a blind.
4. Less is More
At one time or another, we're all guilty of calling too much. When you are a new turkey hunter, you've done all your scouting, and you have a roosted tom gobbling his head off, you will call too much. I still catch myself calling too much on occasion.
5. You're Using the Wrong Calling Technique
I'm not expecting you to know what every sound a turkey can make means. You just need to know a few good ones and one to avoid. Yelp and cluck when the tom is in the distance and is responding to your calls. Cluck when you can tell it is moving closer to you and purr when you see him. Don't use the purr and cluck, that tom will hang up every time. A hen will make that noise when she is spooked by something or mad. When hunting birds in the fall the lost hen or assembly call will be your go to. It's just a louder series of yelps.
6. Turkey's Need to Eat
So everything is going wrong. Your calls aren't working, you haven't been able to pattern birds, and you aren't finding sign of them. Then just post up on a food source and wait. In the early fall and spring open fields are my go to as a turkey will love nothing more than to bug through the tall grass. Throw out a single decoy and relax.