Wild turkey hunting season starts March 19th through May 1st so get your hunting gear ready!
There are very few outdoor activities that compare with spring turkey hunting. It can be exciting, definitely challenging and addicting. Even the most experienced hunter feels his heart in his throat when a gobbler sounds off up close. Why? Because a wild turkey has very keen senses. It’s hearing and eyesight are among the best in the woods. That and the fact that a turkey will flee at the slightest hint of danger and you have a challenge on your hands. This is why it is so intriguing and has begun to attract new hunters to the sport. This article covers a few tips and tricks from King’s Kamo:
1. Although turkeys can’t smell humans, their eyesight is very keen. You must be in head to toe camo and use a face mask. Set up in the shade if possible. A camouflaged shotgun is also a good idea.
2. Set up with your back against a large tree for safety and concealment. If you are right-handed, position yourself at about a 90 degree angle to an approaching turkey. Your left shoulder should point at the turkey rather than sitting face on to the turkey. This gives you the most versatility to shoot.
3. If possible, locate Toms in the evening. You will hear them “cackle” and fly up to roost right before dark.
4. Turkeys will “shock gobble” at everything from a coyote howl or crow call to a horn honking! Use a “locator call” to locate toms in the evenings prior to fly up or in the mid morning. Then, go to your turkey calls once you are setup and ready.
5. In the morning, sneak in under cover of darkness, and setup as close as you can to the “roost tree” without spooking the turkeys (75 to 150 yards if possible). As daylight starts to break, give some light hen yelps (“tree yelps”). Once the gobbler answers you, call according to his response. You don’t want to jump all over him, but you can also be too timid. If he is liking your calls, keep him fired up.
6. Decoys can work great to distract turkeys coming to the call. You can use just hens, a hen with a jake, or we’ve also found a gobbler decoy (B-Mobile) to be very effective. Position the decoys where you will have a good open shot when the tom gets to them.
7. Learn to use a slate call, box call, and mouth calls if possible. Some turkeys will prefer one sound while others will like something else. This will make you more versatile and more successful.
8. Once hens get bred and start going to sit on their nests in the morning use this to your advantage. Gobblers will be out looking – this is when hunting mid-morning all the way through afternoon can pay off big.
9. Never wear or carry anything red, white, or blue when turkey hunting since these are the colors of a gobbler’s head.
10. When carrying decoys or a turkey out of the woods, drape them with fluorescent orange for safety.
The National Wild Turkey Federation wants to help the novice hunter get started and to keep the experienced hunters ready for action. Read more tips here
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