Turkey hunting is a famous outdoor interest that combines the joys of the chase with the splendor of nature. However, it’s more complex than grabbing a shotgun and heading into the woods. To have a successful hunt, comprehend turkey behavior, learn how to set up decoys, use calls effectively, and more.
This post cowls the essential tips every turkey hunter must recognize. From scouting and locating turkeys to placing the nice shot, you’ll learn how to boost your odds of a successful hunt and convey that trophy bird home.
Though turkey hunting can be enjoyable, it requires plenty of information and capabilities. So, these vital tips will assist you even if you’re a seasoned hunter or newbie. Read on!
1. Getting Quality Gear
Quality gear is the first to note when planning a successful turkey hunt. Imagine wearing loose, noisy clothing that hampers your movement, making it impossible to get close to the birds. To avoid this, invest in proper camouflage clothing. They help you blend seamlessly into the surroundings, evading the keen eyesight of turkeys.
You can get the best turkey hunting clothing online if you take the time to do thorough research before buying. The reason is that online shopping provides access to various brands, styles, and sizes. But you can make wise decisions by reading customer reviews. With reviews, you can gather valuable insights about the quality and performance of the clothing.
Aside from clothing, you can’t imagine using a subpar shotgun that jeopardizes your shot accuracy. So, investing in high-quality equipment is a game-changer.
Also, a well-fitted turkey hunting vest keeps all your essential gear organized and within reach. Choosing a reliable shotgun, one you’re comfortable with, ensures precise and ethical shots.
And don’t forget the turkey calls—opt for top-notch ones like box calls, slate calls, mouth calls, or diaphragm calls to mimic turkey sounds skillfully. With quality gear, you’ll be prepared for a rewarding and triumphant turkey-hunting adventure.
2. Scout the Area
When hunting for turkey in a particular area, scout that area. Scouting means looking around and learning more about a certain place before the real activity occurs. The main goal of scouting is to know the area and learn helpful information to make the action more successful and safer.
Though often overlooked by hunters, scouting is an essential activity. The best thing you can do when scouting for turkeys is to listen. Observe any signs of the birds, from tracks on the ground to their calls in the distance.
All these give an insight into where they’ve been and where they’re likely to go.
Also, watch for droppings, feathers, dust baths, or wallows, and note which direction they are heading. With ample preparation and knowledge of your land area, you can spot prime areas for setting up a spring turkey hunt.
3. Monitor the Weather
One of the essential tips for successful turkey hunting is to watch the weather. That’s because the weather can be unpredictable, especially during the spring. These changing weather patterns affect bird behavior, but understanding the forecast can give you an edge in the field.
For example, if you’re dealing with snowy conditions, breeding behavior will slow down, but birds will still need to find food. Rain can reduce visibility for turkeys and make them more likely to seek out open fields. A gusty wind will send them to low wooded areas instead, and calm, sunny days make for optimal hunting time.
You can better your chances on a turkey hunt by tracking the daily forecast and learning how climate change can affect you.
This information proves even more valuable when hunting public land since many hunters can access the same locations. It could be just what you need to secure a successful spring turkey hunt!
4. Use Decoys Strategically
Using decoys can increase your chances of a successful turkey hunt. Decoys serve many purposes, such as attracting turkeys, keeping them in view, and deterring aggressive birds. However, the key challenge lies in selecting the proper setup based on your hunting location.
It’s beneficial to deploy more decoys in areas with clear visibility, as they can be seen from a distance. This higher visibility encourages turkeys to approach. Consider incorporating strut zones into your setup, enticing Toms (mature male) to come closer. Mixing a tom decoy with hens (females) often sparks curiosity in male turkeys, drawing them in for a closer look.
In contrast, it’s best to adopt a “less-is-more” approach when hunting in thickly covered environments. Reducing the number of decoys in such settings can prevent overcrowding.
Further, nothing compares to the allure of an actual live hen within shooting range. Position yourself near a live hen to attract the attention of passing Toms, providing an excellent chance for success.
5. Hunt in the Afternoon
One of the essential tips for successful turkey hunting is to hunt in the afternoon. The best times of day for hunting, especially when targeting turkeys, are early morning and late evening. This is when the male turkeys will be out looking for mates, and during those times, you’ll likely spot them in their search.
Hens will also take off earlier in the morning to hunt for food, making them easier to find and stalk.
However, too often, hunters forget about or ignore an important part of the day—the afternoon hours after the sun comes up. While some turkeys may roost or settle down for a nap around this time, there can still be success. A few male turkeys might be out searching for receptive hens. So, patience is the key to afternoon turkey hunting.
If you’re patient enough, you’ll successfully hunt some turkeys down because you might catch them unaware!
6. Stay Hidden
Concealment is a crucial tactic when hunting wild turkeys. Turkeys have highly evolved eyesight and can see the full-color spectrum and a 360-degree field of vision. As a result, wear patterned camouflage to help you blend in with your environment so you won’t raise any alarms for nearby turkeys.
Even if the bird doesn’t immediately spot you, it may detect movement or an otherwise unnatural shape in the scenery. To avoid this, set yourself against a backdrop of trees or dense vegetation so as not to stand out too noticeably.
Turkey hunting requires skill, patience, and a deep understanding of the turkey’s behavior. Following the essential tips in this article can increase your chances of a successful hunt. Remember to scout the area beforehand, set up decoys strategically, and watch the weather.