Turkey season is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year for a hunter. It’s exciting to shake off the winter months with warmer temps, longer days and strutting gobbling toms in the turkey woods. Whether you’re a new turkey hunter or a seasoned veteran these tips can help you be more successful.
1) GEAR IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE WHEN HITTING THE WOODS.
It is important to make sure your weapon of choice is in great working order. Comfortable clothes and boots are a must in being ready for all the elements Mother Nature may throw your way. If you’re not comfortable you’re not going to stay in the woods. You can’t kill turkeys on the couch!! Here is a practical list: waterproof uninsulated boots, lightweight camouflage pants, and shirt, face mask, gloves, hat, turkey vest, thermacell, rain suit.
2) KNOW YOUR TERRAIN AND BE FAMILIAR WITH THE PLAYING FIELD.
I hunted a property and was unsuccessful in harvesting a bird one time because I was unaware of a logging road that provided perfect access to a field the bird was in. Had I taken the time to learn my property previously in pre-scouting a different turnout may have occurred. As you learn the lay of the land and also be looking for roosting trees and places the ground is scratched up. Turkeys love to roost above water such as creeks and ponds. Turkey poop under trees is a tall tale sign of roosting trees. Turkey tracks with lines in the dirt of the roadbeds are great signs of strutting zones. Examples of ways to scout proficiently are boots on the ground and Google Earth.
3) TO DECOY OR NOT TO DECOY?
Early in the season, toms will predominantly have lots of hens around him. During this time toms are having to fight and show dominance to win over the ladies. I find a Jake decoy along with a hen set up earlier in the season works great to draw in the dominant toms. As they prepare to whoop up on the Jake little do they know you’re there generally within 30 yards to put him on the skillet! As the year plays on the hens will get bred and tend to nests. I generally use just a hen decoy later in the year with hopes of sounding like an easy date for a battle-worn old tom. Be sure to check out Deception decoys if you’re in the market.
4) THERE IS NO TOOL, CALL, CAMO OR GEAR THAT MAKES MORE GOBBLERS FLOP THAN PATIENCE!
Patience kills birds. Let’s face it when turkey hunting as hunters we are literally trying to reverse nature by getting the tom to come to the hen. Normally the gobbler gobbles and the hens come to him. A lot of time toms will answer you first thing in the morning. He will gobble off the roost until after daylight waiting for the hen he hears to appear below him or close. A lot of time other hens are doing just that. When a bird goes silent, your odds are he is “henned” up. Here is where a lot of hunters mess up!!! Stay put!!! He knows you are there “the hen” and later in the day as he and his dates break up a lot of times he will come investigate the area where he heard you earlier. Another successful approach is to go deer hunt turkeys where you know you have seen them in the past when they are not talking much. Soft calls and scratching in the leaves, as a feeding hen has been the death of many ole long beards. Bottom line, patience is key!!! Don’t let TV ruin your luck with the misconception that if it doesn’t happen in a few minutes it all over!!!!!
There are a ton of topics and tips out there. I learn something new every season. I hope you can take these few tips and apply them to your turkey season and be successful. Remember a successful hunting trip doesn’t always mean there is more meat in the freezer. Stay #8Upwithit.