8 Turkey Hunting Tips and Tricks
Hunters don’t have much to look forward to after the snow melts away and the winter season ends, with one wonderful exception: Turkey Season. Turkeys are incredibly smart and are one of the more challenging birds to hunt.
We’ve got eight turkey hunting tips and tricks to make your next one a successful one!
1. Scout early
Don’t just show up to the woods on opening day and wing it! Get out ahead of the season to find your local flocks- preferably five to six days in advance. You’ll have your best luck around local food sources and pastures. Keep your eyes peeled for tracks, droppings, and spur scratches. Be sure to head out and drive around when it’s raining! You could even make use of a trail cam like this one from Runnings. Turkeys prefer to be in open spaces during the rain, so driving around with your eyes peeled could lead to spotting the flock in a field from a nearby road. All without having to leave the comfort of your vehicle!
2. Recon the Roost
The best way to find a turkey in the spring during season is to locate their roost the night before. Listen for gobblers flapping their wings or light gobbling as the birds settle in their roosts for the night. This will give you an idea of where to set up early in the morning. Still can’t find them? Try using a locator call to get a better idea. Just be sure to head out into the woods early enough to get to cover before daybreak.
3. Stealth is your friend
When entering the woods in the morning, remember that turkeys have sharp senses and can hear and see you more easily than most other game that you hunt. Don’t use a flashlight when you traipse out into the woods in the morning- that is unless you want to let the turkeys know you’re there! Be sure to wear the appropriate camo pattern for your environment- Runnings has a huge selection of hunting apparel to choose from. Also, if you’re the fidgety type, we recommend using a ground blind like this one from Runnings.
4. Learn how to talk turkey
There are a variety of turkey calls that will work in a variety of situations. For example, the Primos Bombshell call is great for beginners! If you’re looking for a great box call, try this Primos Box Cutter. More advanced callers are likely to prefer the Primos diaphragm calls to keep both hands free.
Don’t be afraid to overcall sometimes! If the birds aren’t working, consider going all-out with your calls, using both a diaphragm call and box call at the same time. If a gobbler insists on staying in his roost, consider slapping your hat against your thigh to simulate wing flapping and scraping nearby leaves. Sometimes it’s the “natural” sounds that get a tom turkey’s attention!
Need more instruction? Scope out the Primos YouTube Channel for all sorts of calling how-to videos!
5. Decoys make the difference
While there are a variety of decoys that you can use, Jake decoys and stutter decoys can lead to shy Toms staying away from your spread. That said, you can never go wrong with a single hen decoy. Just make sure to match your calling up to the decoy(s) you use- consistency counts!
6. Try a late morning hunt
When the hens move out to feed and nest, many Toms that were wary of approaching in the early morning hours are still ready for action. Take advantage of this by staying out in the late morning hours to capitalize on the day’s “second chance hours.”
7. Choose your weapon wisely
Make sure select appropriate loads for your shotgun for turkey season, and to use the right choke. Be sure to sight in your gun for turkey season just as you would for deer season. The same goes for bow hunters as well - practice makes perfect, and you never know just how many chances you’ll get at that trophy tom!
8. Be patient
There’s a good chance you won’t get your gobbler on day one of turkey season. But patience and persistence pay off. Keep hunting the same birds, learning their movements and habits, and if you hone your calling and can remain undetected, you’ll likely get a shot at that Tom you chased all spring!
What are your favorite turkey hunting tips? Share them with us on our Facebook page! Until next time, good luck hunting those gobblers from all of us at The Rundown!