Because of the keen senses of wild turkey, turkey hunting can be both challenging and rewarding all at the same time. It isn’t like shooting fish in a barrel. If you make a noise or accidently spook the turkey, your chances of shooting one down that day could easily be ruined. The following tips can help make your hunting day go a little more smoothly.
Before you can hunt turkey, you need to locate them. This may take a few days, especially since they can easily be scared off when you are tracking through the woods trying to find them. Start with the big picture and try and narrow down areas where you believe turkeys would generally live. This will take a little research on your part. Talk with some of the hunters in the area to try and get some inside information.
You can’t wear the traditional orange hunting gear when hunting wild turkey. Camouflage is an absolute must. This means covering your hands, face, and body in order to prevent yourself from being seen. While it may be difficult to do depending on your budget, try matching your camouflage to the area where you will be hunting. This will definitely increase your chances of success.
Calling is a very important skill to hone. Imitating a hen is a great way to get male gobblers into shooting range. However, it takes years of practice to get the call down. If you can, practice with an experienced hunter so you can get both the call and the timing down. Hens make a wide array of different noises, such as clucks, whines, purrs, cuts and yelps.
When calling to a male turkey, sometimes they may act as if they want the hen to come to them. Obviously this is out of the question, so you have to work to change his mind. This is where patience plays a vital role. It may be tempting to try and lure him in as fast as possible but this will usually spook him. Let the male turkey have his fun. If he is love-starved enough, he will eventually come to you. Wait and listen. If you send out a yelp and he doesn’t respond, wait a little while before you do it again. If he does respond but doesn’t come to you, give it some time. He responded, so you know he heard you, but he may be playing games and you will have to wait him out.
Use the morning as your set-up time. Try and get as close to the roost tree as possible. Experts suggest at least 75 to 150 yards. Then, once morning breaks, start making yelping sounds to attract the males. Don’t be too aggressive but make sure you aren’t too timid. If he responds, he’s interested.
For safety, never wear or carry red, white or blue being that this is the color of a gobbler’s head. You should also drape any decoys you bring with orange to prevent other hunters from shooting them.