Turkey season preparation is in full swing. If that brings up past memories of struggling to call birds into your range, read on! We’ve compiled some useful tips for your next wild turkey hunt this Spring.
Let’s get to it!
A well-placed hen decoy can not only add realism to the setup, but will also indicate if the gobbler is within the kill zone to take it down as ethically and quickly as possible. Place it no further than 20-25 yards from your hiding spot, and keep in mind your shooting ability and the equipment you are using to ensure an ethical kill range.
Decoys need to be visible to approaching turkeys, so place them in an open area, like an agricultural field or power line corridor. The decoys act as visual tools to give wary birds something to focus on as they approach from afar.
Never carry or move an uncovered decoy.
Keep exposed skin to a minimum to blend in the area. Wild turkeys have incredible vision, so the less exposed you are, the better. Don’t be shy about getting a camo suit, cap, facemask and gloves to increase your chances of success.
Bear in mind that foliage can vary between early Spring and late Spring, so try to match the colour of the foliage where you will be hunting. Early on in the Spring season is likely to be browns and grays. Later on tends to get some green mixed in as the leaves come out.
Avoid wearing anything red, white or blue since these colours tend to be on a turkey in the Spring. Be extra careful when turkey hunting because you’re dressed in camouflage. It’s recommended that you wear a blaze orange cap or gloves while walking and take them off when you’re ready to hunt. As you’d expect, most turkey hunting shooting accidents occur because one hunter mistakes another hunter as game.
Use gobble calls only to locate your target, not to attract one. Other hunters may think you are a turkey!
Turkeys have all day to keep you waiting for that perfect moment. When out in the open, their only concern is survival. Be patient, but also be ready to act quickly on the opportunity when it does arrive. Ian McCleary, co-host of The Real Outdoor Experience, says it took him three seasons to finally get his first turkey.
Chasing gobbles can lead to a frustrating experience and you will see yourself constantly leaving a turkey that has stopped gobbling to get started on one that is. Moving around persistently is almost guaranteed to stop them from gobbling to begin with. Get comfortable and don’t lose hope if you don’t see results immediately.
5. Get a Hunting Map
On top of giving you the ability to plan your trip in advance, a hunting topographic map for GPS will indicate forestry trails, hunting zones, ZECs, wildlife reserves and national and provincial parks. No cellphone reception is required, saving you time and aggravation. Also available are hunting mapbooks (Quebec-only for the time being) and custom maps (Quebec-only for the time being), printed on waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper.
Turkey hunting is not easy. Being one of the most difficult game animals to hunt, it requires lots of preparation, patience and perseverance. With the right techniques in place, and some adjusting, you’ll improve your turkey hunting skills and come out successful.
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