Turkey Hunting Tips and Tactics
With the fall turkey hunting season opening in most areas during the month of October, now is a more important time than ever to brush up on your turkey hunting tactics. Below is a list of tips to help you refresh your mind, or learn new information going into this year's turkey hunting season.
Find Open Areas
Gobblers (male turkeys) like an open space where they can easily monitor for danger, and be seen by hens (female turkeys). For better turkey hunting, seek out the high points of ridges which offer a good view of the surrounding area. Agricultural fields and hunting roads are two other ideal locations to find turkeys.
Listen for Clues
Keep your ears open while turkey hunting. Squirrels and blue jays will be quite vocal if a turkey is approaching. Familiarize yourself with the spit and drum sounds of a strutting gobbler. When you hear the noise, you’ll know a turkey is in the vicinity.
Turkeys are rarely vocal and extremely cautious. If a turkey comes into your immediate area it will do so quietly, so you are most likely to be unaware. Place your back to an object that will keep you hidden, and have a wide open field of vision in front of you.
Know When to Call
If you find yourself hunting late into the fall turkey season, keep calling to a minimum. Call softly at first, and then transition into a few basic yelps. If a turkey does not answer, run through the same series of calls, adding a little more volume to each rotation. Perform a gobble as the last response to any noises you may hear. Be careful not to overdue the gobble. Late into the season turkeys are not calling a lot, so neither should you.
Another late season turkey hunting tip is to use decoys. The visual component will help attract the bird, which is especially crucial since you're not calling as much. Place the decoy in an open area, as to increase its chances of being seen.
Read the Roosts
Locating a roost (perch where the bird will rest at night) is one of the best tactics to use when turkey hunting. A good way to know if there are turkeys in the area is to set up before dawn. Turkeys will make a lot of noise while coming off the roost. They will yelp in order to re establish contact after a night of separation, beat their wings as they fly down, and cluck as they wander about.
Howlett, D. (2005). 10 TIPS TO TAKE THE TOUGHEST TURKEYS. Outdoor Life, 212(4), 54-57.