The Thrill of Turkey Fanning


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There are many things in the hunting world that can get ones heart pumping.

The bugle of a bull elk, the clashing tines of two whitetails fighting and the thundering strut and gobble of an alpha tom.

For the most part turkey hunting is similar to whitetail hunting, as such, one is usually ambushing the Tom similar to a whitetail.  Yes, the hunter chooses the location and set up, based off of knowledge, such as strut zones and roost locations.  However, for the most part the hunter is at the mercy of the bird.  Being confined to a blind or a set of decoys has never been much fun in my opinion.  Perhaps I am a product of today’s adrenalin society or maybe just too much time in the military.  Whatever the case, I like to be the one to decide when and where, to take the fight to the birds.

Having just recently gotten into turkey hunting I have become a huge proponent of fanning.   Fanning creates it’s own unique experience.  Granted it might not be the same thrill as a charging cape buffalo, but to hear the thundering gobble and to see an alpha Tom come running is exhilarating.  Your blood will pump and your adrenaline coarse through your veins.  If for some reason it doesn’t you might not have a heartbeat and probably can only go out at night.  As I mentioned earlier in this article, fanning allows the hunter to go from a static predator to an active one.  No longer do you have to wake up at 0300 in the morning to wait for the birds to come off the roost.  Instead, if you can locate the birds at any given time of day, then you have a great chance of fanning one in.  I have found my best results are when the birds are hot and heavy, calling and strutting.  Next time you find some Toms out in a field strutting. Grab your fan and calculate your approach.  Beginning your stalk and work the birds with your fan.  If the Tom is aggressive, he will come to investigate and challenge.  At which point you as the hunter have to decide how close is too close.

As hunters all of our bucket lists are long and varied.  However, this spring I urge you to take the fight to the tom and give fanning a try.  Scratch off a charging Tom from the list and enjoy the thrill.

Last modified: January 4, 2017

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