Turkeys that like to frequent large fields or always seem to have a large flock of hens with them are usually hard birds to kill. They have everything they want right in front of them and they feel safe, so why should they leave to come investigate your calling? There are two tactics I go to when dealing with a bird of this nature and both involve picking a fight.
In the first scenario, if a known tom frequents a large field and roosts nearby I tend to get in as close as possible under the cover of darkness and place a feeding hen decoy and either a full-strut tom decoy or a subdominant jake decoy in the field. Some gobblers hate to see another male turkey moving into their home turf and will leave their flock of hens to pick a fight with your decoy. Always use extreme caution when using these realistic decoys on public land to avoid another hunter mistaking your decoys for a real turkey and firing at them.
If the first tactic doesn’t work, I’ll sometimes go after the dominant hen. Early in the season longbeards tend to stick close to their hens and can be very hard to call away from the flock unless there is a mouthy boss hen in the group. If I’m calling to a group of turkeys and a hen is loudly responding, I’ll try and pick a fight with that boss hen.
As long as she is responding, I’ll continue to call with loud yelps and “kee kee” calls. (The National Wild Turkey Foundation website is a good source for hearing many of the common turkey calls.) The hen will either get irritated and head in the opposite direction or come to investigate. If they become interested, a lot of times the gobbler will follow right behind as the hen comes to check things out.
Pressured turkeys are no doubt extremely tough to hunt and coax into range, but the feeling of success when you bag one is second to none. Be safe and get out there to experience the fun.