Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting is an exciting sport and one that any hunter should try. Turkeys are smart and they have excellent eyesight so they can be a challenge to hunt. As with any sporting target when you are going on a turkey hunt you should do some preparation and follow some basic hunting rules.

1- Know the law of the state you are hunting in and get your license before hunting.

2- Dress for the hunt; do a little research beforehand so you dress appropriately not only for the prey but to keep yourself from becoming a target. For example, when hunting turkey, do not wear the colors of a gobbler: red, white, black or blue.

3- Read about your target animal so you understand better how to hunt them and why they do things they do. This will help you better set up your position for the hunt.

4- Know your weapon.

5- Use common courtesy with regard to other hunters and landowners.

6- Practice practical safety. Cover your decoys when carrying them to the field so you do not get shot. Make sure no other hunter is stalking your decoys when it is time to pick them up. Call aloud to other hunters rather than waving hands in the air.

When hunting wild turkeys you should use camouflage on your person and on your weapon. The turkey has excellent vision and will run from any nearby disturbances. Cover the gun or use a camouflage blind for your hunting experience. Be aware of any state laws that require you to wear hunter orange when moving in and out of the woods. If you can find a small bush or tree limbs to hide behind, this will enhance your camouflage efforts.

When you select a position for your turkey hunt choose open land rather than in the woods so you have a clean and clear line of vision. Sit in front of a tree or stump that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head so you have your backside protected from other hunters who may not know that you are positioned there and so your movements do not draw fire from behind your position.

There are several ways to hunt turkey. You can stalk them or use the waiting technique by sitting very still or in a blind and call them in to you. Stalking requires slow and careful movement. Check state regulations to determine if stalking is legal in that state or in that season. Stalking is best done on private land where you know that no other hunters are around you.

Calling a turkey is fun and also a challenge. Use either friction calls or mouth calls. With a friction call two surfaces are rubbed together to create a gobble sound. Turkey calls are meant to draw the gobbler in to your position where you can get a clean shot. In springtime the turkeys are most interested in female gobbling calls. Using a male call can also be effective in trying to bring in the dominant bird who will try to protect his area. The dominant tom is usually the biggest and proudest bird you see.

You can try using turkey decoy birds to bring in nearby turkeys to your location. Place them about twenty feet from your spot but be sure that you have about one hundred feet of clear vision beyond your position. Do not let the excitement of the moment cloud your judgment so much that you make a mistake and shoot towards another hunter or their decoys. A decoy is good to use when hunting turkeys because it gives the target turkeys something else to focus on rather than you and any movement you may make setting up your shot.

Always wait for the right and legal shot at a legal bird before shooting. Know how to field dress your turkey and do not waste the meat because you do not know what to do with it. Take it home and have some good turkey meals! Follow rules of hunting and conservation; know your limits. Be sure to thank any landowners who have allowed you to enjoy hunting on their private land.