Each year we tell hunters that one of the most consistent areas to hunt is the roost tree early morning and with good reason…it can be dynamite! The roost tree is also a hunt you can get burned on pretty easily and often, not because of the caller. The birds may still remember a hen that yelped to them from a tree the night before and at first light, fly down and head straight to her even with you closer and louder. Another hen can steal the show right when you are calling to him in the tree. And still there is the opportunity to bump him by trying to get too close to the roost.
In the morning, start off really slow and weak with some basic clucks, and very weak and short yelps. Just enough to let him know you are there. Then listen to what other hens are saying while gauging the response of the Tom. Sometimes, staying ahead of other hens calling can be smart. If another hen is trying to steal the show, step it up and let that Tom know your excited too. However, if he is not responding to that loud mouth hen, then tone it down and be the quiet one. In the end, you really need to read the Tom and what HE WANTS. This advice changes when they hit the ground but in the tree, start soft and let him hear what he wants. Any given morning, that Tom has to choose which direction he will fly down to. Terrain aside, give him some reason to fly down in your direction. Good luck and don’t get frustrated. Turkeys don’t read the books so they just don’t know how they are supposed to respond.
Get em’ out there