Wild Turkey Tips
Turkey hunting has the potential for being very dangerous because you are making turkey calls and sounds lika a turkey and are wearing camo clothing, making you nearly invisible. Other hunters may be attarcted to your location or mistakenly identify you as a target.
- For your personal safety, wear a camo turkey hunter's vest that features blaze orange panels you can display when moving around. Or, for additional safety, wear a camo turkey hunter's ballistic vest that will protect against shotgun blasts.
- Never stalk a turkey. The chances of getting close enough for a shot is slim, but the chances of becoming involved in an accident are increased.
- Eliminate the colors red, white and blue from your turkey hunting outfit and gear. Red is the color most hunters count on to differentiate a gobbler's head from the hen's blue-colored head. White can look like the snowball-colored top of a gobbler's head. Leave those white T-shirts and socks at home. Not only will these colors put you in danger, but they can be seen by turkeys as well and will alert them to your presence.
- Never move, wave or make turkey sounds (calls) to alert another hunter of your presence. A quick movement may draw fire. Yell in a loud voice and remain hidden until you are the person recognizes you as a human.
- Never attempt to approach closer than 100 yards to a roosting turkey. The wild turkey's eyesight and hearing are much too sharp to let you get any closer.
- Be particularly careful when using a gobbler call. The sound and motion may attract other hunters. Using one in a heavily hunted public area is especially dangerous.
- When selecting your calling position, don't try to hide so well that you can't see what's happening around you. Remember, eliminating movement is your SECRET to success, not total concealment.
- Select a calling position that provides a background as wide as your shoulders, and one that will completely protect you from the top of your head down. Small trees won't hide slight movements of your hands or shoulders which might look like a turkey to another hunter who might be stalking your sweet calls. Position yourself so that you can see at least 180 degrees in front of you.
- Camouflage conceals you. It does mot make you invisible. When turkey hunting, think and act defensively. Avoid all unnecessary movement. Remember, you are visible to both turkeys and other hunters when you move even slightly. Sitting perfectly still will help you bag more turkeys than all the camo you can wear, even if you wear the newest patterns available.
- Never shoot at sound or movement. When turkey hunting, assume that every sound you hear is made by another hunter. Be 100% certain of your target before you pull the trigger. You can never take the shot back if you make a mistake.
For best sucess, the SECRET is to pick an open area
- A place where you and the turkey can see for at least 50 yards. In this type of location, a bird can not sneak up on you without being seen.
- An area that is too open, such as a small clump of trees in the middle of a field, can be too open, causing a tom to hang up because he can see everything. He may not see what he's looking for....namely hens.
- In a very open set-up like that, be sure to use a few Hen Decoys and add a Movement Hen Decoy for added realism. In this way, he may feel comfortable coming over to investigate.
- Try to get on the same contour and ridge with the bird.
- A gobbler that must cross an obstacle, like a creek, fence, thick brush, or ravine to get to you, often hangs up on the opposite side and refuses to come through.
- If you encounter one of these situations, and decide you can't get across the obstacle, set-up as close to the obstacle as possible in the hopes of having the bird approach the obstacle within range.
- Don't sit too close to a deep ravine. Sit at least 40 yards away from the edge of the drop-off.
- If you're too close, a bird may be coming to your calls, and you won't know it or see him until he's right in your face. Usually you will have had no idea he was coming and he'll spot you and retreat before you can shoot.
- Sit against a tree at least as wide as your shoulders for protection, camouflage and comfort.
- Face the direction you expect the bird to approach from, with your left shoulder pointed in that direction (if you are a right-handed shooter). In this way you have a wider swing with your gun in case he doesn't appear where you expect him to.