Turkey hunting season is upon us and we’re here to make sure you’re ready. Turkeys can be elusive creatures, but you can nab a few if you have the right equipment. Here’s a few tips on the best ways to gear up and grab those gobblers.
Blinds are Best
Though turkeys roost in trees, hunting them from ground blinds is your best bet. They have a very small target area that makes for an ethical kill, so you want to make sure you’ve got a clear and open shot. Shooting turkeys in a tree would make it difficult to hit that target area. Catching them when they’re on the ground will provide you with a cleaner shot. Any of our Stump Scout Blinds would work well for turkey hunting. They are spacious, durable, and easily transported from one site to the next. You’ll be right at face level with any turkeys that wander up to your blind.
Cover-Up in Camo
Since turkey hunting is done on the ground, dressing in camouflage is of the utmost importance. Make sure you are covered head to toe in camo because turkeys have impossibly sharp eye-sight. They will spot a brightly dressed hunter from miles away. Dressing in all camo will allow you to roam the woods undetected. You’ll blend in more easily while sitting in your blind and on foot.
Success is Calling
Turkeys tend to respond well to calls, so make sure to pack your favorites. As with any calls, make sure you’re not using them so often that it comes across as aggressive. Friction calls like box calls are a great choice for beginning turkey hunters. Like learning an instrument, perfecting the pitch and tones of verbal calls will take time. Once you are comfortable, you can start introducing calls like the diaphragm call which imitate hens. These require a bit more precision to get the right pitch, but as long as you practice you’ll be able to use them in no-time.
To Decoy or Not to Decoy
Whether or not you use a decoy is a personal preference. You can choose to set up a jake and a hen in a mating situation, or simply stalk on foot. Some turkeys don’t like aggressive decoys. If you use decoys, try to choose ones that have a predominately blue tone to their head to indicate a calmer bird. A red tint indicates aggression and could scare other turkeys off.
Clear the Lane
Clean shots are important, so that means that you may have to carve out your own path in the woods. You may want to carry shears, or any other tool that will cut away brush, to clear a shooting lane. You’re going to need to shoot level with the turkeys, which means a low shot line. Brush could easily get in the way of important shots, so trim the vegetation around your blind (or whatever area you’ve chosen to set up shop) to open a clean shooting lane.
Hunting turkeys requires different tactics than hunting deer. They have their own calls and respond differently to decoys. If you travel prepared, you should be able to bag a turkey this season and celebrate Thanksgiving early.
What’s your favorite turkey hunting product? What gear do you never enter the field without? Let us know!