Turkey Hunting Tips

1. When hunting with a partner, set the person doing the calling up behind the shooter. This will keep the attention focused away from the shooter and movement will be towards the calls which should present a decent shot for the hunter. Be sure that you have some rules set before hunting with a partner. Knowing what the caller will do when a bird comes within range is essential to success.

2. Nothing is more uncomfortable than backing up to a tree and settling in only to find that tree roots or damp ground are creating a very unpleasant experience. Serious turkey hunters rely on being comfortable in order to score on that big old tom and a reliable seat is a terrific addition to your turkey hunting gear. Most secure directly to the hunter and provide that extra padding for long comfortable hunts.

3. If your state allows the use of elevated platform hunting or simple treestands you should take advantage of this opportunity when possible. A turkey has eyesight said to be ten times better than that of us humans and any chance you can create to avoid this sharp vision will always work to put the ball in your court and increase the percentage of success.

4. Once you have settled down to hunt give yourself some time to relax and truly settle in before calling. Many times you will find that after the initial excitement has calmed that you may be better off to turn one way or another due to obstructions of vision not realized from a standing position. Do not force yourself to sit uncomfortably. Make your move before it’s too late.

5. When a turkey is approaching from behind you the best advice is to stay as calm as possible and be patient. Never try to jump and turn towards the bird in the hopes of connecting with a lethal shot. Regardless to what you may understand to be true, the wild turkey can move very quickly and you run the risk of wounded a bird that could escape and die later.

6. In todays day and age of turkey hunting we are allotted the fortunate opportunity for some great products that our forefathers simply didnt have. A turkey vest is a great purchase for those who plan to get involved in this sport. Vests have a pocket for just about anything you could imagine carrying in the field and they make a handy pack for having everything in one convenient place.

7. Knowing the distances you are able to effectively make a clean kill on a bird is imperative to the hunt. Judging the same distances in the field however is another story. Try to train yourself by using your decoys. Place them at random distances and write down your estimate. Measure off the distance and check the results. No decoys? Simply create a cardboard silhouette.

8. Don’t get stuck with the same call time after time. By same call we dont mean the same sound. We are referring to different types of calls. Everything has it’s place as some calls work better on colder days than others and the same applies for rainy days. Being a well-rounded turkey hunter means being able to adapt and utilizing different call types gives you an advantage.

9. Straying off the topic just a bit, keep in some mental notes of the area and other game spotted while scouting for turkeys. That ideal turkey hunting spot could just be the ticket you have been looking for during the deer hunting season. A lot of the same principles apply and more times than not the same woods that hold turkeys are preferred haunts of the whitetail deer.

10. Take into consideration how the sun will penetrate through the forest canopy during the time you will be in your hunting spot. You’re much further ahead to get comfortable in a spot that will be shaded rather than in direct or even broken sunlight during any portion of the hunt. The shade will work in your advantage to deter subtle movements spotted by the bird.

11. It’s a given that patterning your gun is very important before season gets started but most people never give it a second thought if they change loads or brands of load. Take the time again to realize that there may be a change in patterning which could cost you a bird or worse yet wound a bird. A few shots, and possibly some minor adjustments, could make a world of difference.

12. In todays day and age of turkey hunting we are allotted the fortunate opportunity for some great products that our forefathers simply didnt have. A turkey vest is a great purchase for those who plan to get involved in this sport. Vests have a pocket for just about anything you could imagine carrying in the field and they make a handy pack for having everything in one convenient place.

13. It pays to have some spare equipment with you on each trip. You dont necessarily need to carry an entire arsenal along with you in the woods but having the extra gear in your vehicle can save a day of hunting. Given the choice, would you rather drive back home for the gear or walk back to the truck? Easy decision there and an extra call or two isn’t that big of an added expense.

14. Never shoot at a strutting bird. Calm yourself down and wait for a better shot when he extends his neck to gobble or try to bring him out of that strut with a soft yelp from your call. If all fails and the bird wanders off into the brush don’t get discouraged. He may come back and if not you can rest easier knowing that he is there for another hunt rather than crippling a bird by being impatient.

15. If you spot another hunter approaching never attempt to create a movement type gesture to make him aware of your presence. Announce yourself in a well defined audible tone of voice while remaining still until you have their attention. It is not recommended to let a hunter simply pass by as he could double back and set up in the same area.

16. Decoy setup should be nothing large like a flock of birds as seen in waterfowl hunting but try to change your setup to avoid repetition. Two hens and a jake works well as long as the same big gobbler isnt hanging up outside of the decoys each time he visits. If so try changing the decoy set to one or maybe two hens without the jake. Mix it up and keep them interested.

17. Never think for a moment that just because a turkey has tremendous eyesight that they lack in the hearing department. Always approach your hunting area as you would when hunting deer or similar big game animals. Put a turkey on alert and they tend to fly down from their roost in an opposite direction of the offending noise. That would be you.

18. Common sense tells you that avoiding detection is your best route to succeed while turkey hunting. Take advantage of cover to break up your human outline but not create shooting obstructions or blind spots. Leaning back against a large tree while dressed in camo offers plenty of breakup and a buffer zone for someone who may be stalking your realistic calling technique.

19. Turkey hunting can be frustrating since these birds have very keen eyesight and many times are prone to previous hunters trying their luck to fool the wise old bird. A tip for the beginner is to practice their calls diligently in an area they wont be hunting. Listen to tapes or the audio here on the site and try to mimic the vocals. A newbie to the sport may want to begin with a push button call.

20. Target identification is paramount while turkey hunting. Everyone comments about the hunter who shot another hunter but it can and does happen. Keep in mind that there are possibly dozens of other hunters in the same woods sporting the same camo clothing as yourself. Know your target and what’s beyond your target in advance of pulling that trigger.

21. When creating your setup for each hunt pay particular attention to possible obstacles. Never assume that the bird will walk in from a predetermined area as we all know that hunting seldom lends us a perfect plan of attack. It doesnt take much more than a small sapling to deter a shot for a good clean kill. If possible, physically walk the immediate area you plan to hunt verify potential obstructions.

22. Never force your hand while turkey hunting as the outcome will invariably fall in the turkeys favor. If you’re trying to approach a particular group of birds that are within eyesight you’re more than likely going to be walking away with nothing more than a lesson. Set yourself up close, out of the direct line of vision, and begin calling. If you get busted pack it in and start fresh in a new area.

23. It pays to have some spare equipment with you on each trip. You dont necessarily need to carry an entire arsenal along with you in the woods but having the extra gear in your vehicle can save a day of hunting. Given the choice, would you rather drive back home for the gear or walk back to the truck? Easy decision there and an extra call or two isn’t that big of an added expense.

24. Before you head into the woods with your new turkey hunting blind you should aqquaint yourself intimately with its features and the setting up process. Also test your blind on windy days as you may encounter that a flap or window may need some sort of dampening to reduce noise especially with older portable turkey blinds. Dont wait until your in the field to find these problems.

25. When hunting roosted turkeys try setting up at least 100 yards from the roost area the next morning. Pay attention to the direction that the sun will rise as not to create your setup with the sunlight in your eyes. Take advantage of those shaded areas whenever possible and avoid spots that obstruct your view from the predicted path of travel for the birds.

26. During the fall hunt try to find flocks of birds and scatter them. They will disperse into a number of different areas but most will return with relative consistency. You can take advantage of this behavior by quickly setting up after you have scattered the flock. Begin calling shortly after you have positioned yourself. Younger birds tend to answer quickly and come in fast.

27. Often while hunting turkeys a decision needs to be made to move to another area. Many times this decision also includes the hunter who is hunting over decoys. If you think about it for a moment these decoys are realistic enough to fool a sharp eyed turkey and will easily fool another hunter. Before retrieving your setup be sure another hunter is not hunting your decoys.

28. If that bird you have been calling suddenly goes silent dont feel as if all is lost. Many times a gobbler will go into stealth mode and approach silently while scanning the area for anything that looks out of place and listening for further calling or noises that may be interpretated as danger. Give yourself some time before moving and use some soft calling techniques.

29. Once you have settled down to hunt give yourself some time to relax and truly settle in before calling. Many times you will find that after the initial excitement has calmed that you may be better off to turn one way or another due to obstructions of vision not realized from a standing position. Do not force yourself to sit uncomfortably. Make your move before it’s too late.

30. Although the colors red, white, and blue, may be very patriotic, they have no place in the turkey hunting world for safety reasons. These three colors ironically enough represent a turkey in the hunting woods and can spell disaster for the individuals who have habituated themselves with that popular old bandana hanging from their back pocket. Leave these colors in the vehicle.

31. Give them a break. Don’t hunt the same birds hard day after day in the hopes of finally scoring on big old Mr. Tom. In nearly all scenarios you will only educate the birds into association that your techniques and sounds do not represent of a lonesome hen looking for Mr. Right but rather an instance that should be avoided at all costs. A couple days away can work wonders.

32. When hunting with a partner, set the person doing the calling up behind the shooter. This will keep the attention focused away from the shooter and movement will be towards the calls which should present a decent shot for the hunter. Be sure that you have some rules set before hunting with a partner. Knowing what the caller will do when a bird comes within range is essential to success.

33. Decoy placement can take on many forms and for those who already have an idea of which way the birds are traveling you should set your decoys accordingly. Try arranging your placement so the decoy is facing away from the expected travel path of the birds. This will create the illusion that the decoy is not interested and could bring the tom around to work a new angle.

34. When youre setting up for your hunt try to keep your effective shooting range in consideration. If the range you patterned your gun at was 40 yards then selecting a spot that only allows that distance shot or less will work to your advatange as any bird within this area would present an opportunity. Always try to associate yourself with possible obstructions within this parameter.

35. Don’t get stuck with the same call time after time. By same call we dont mean the same sound. We are referring to different types of calls. Everything has it’s place as some calls work better on colder days than others and the same applies for rainy days. Being a well-rounded turkey hunter means being able to adapt and utilizing different call types gives you an advantage.

36. Common sense tells you that avoiding detection is your best route to succeed while turkey hunting. Take advantage of cover to break up your human outline but not create shooting obstructions or blind spots. Leaning back against a large tree while dressed in camo offers plenty of breakup and a buffer zone for someone who may be stalking your realistic calling technique.