By Steve Wall
As we near spring, turkey hunting season is right around the corner in many areas of the country. What better time to start thinking about gear, tips, tricks and strategies. I would also like to do something a little different with this blog post. I would like to start a discussion about your tips, strategies or questions you might have! Please use the comments section at the bottom of the post to engage in this discussion!
Let’s start with what you will need to turkey hunt this spring! There are obviously a few essential items and then there are other items that will help you be successful in harvesting a turkey.
- Weapon (Shotgun or bow)
- Camouflage (Turkey’s have great eyesight)
- Turkey Call
- Box Call
- Mouth Call (takes some practice, but great if you need to call when birds are in close)
- Slate/Glass Call
- Push-button call (great for one-handed calling)
- Locator call
- Owl (great for locating roosted birds)
- Crow (great for locating birds throughout the day)
- Gobble (great for locating birds throughout the day)
- Ground Blind (great for concealing movement, especially if hunting with the bow)
- Comfortable seat/cushion
- Gun rest
- Turkey Vest
What kind of strategies do you use when hunting turkeys? Some hunters like to set up in one spot along a field edge where they know turkeys like to frequent during the day. Other hunters like to locate turkeys and then close the distance before setting up and trying to call the turkeys in. I am generally more of the later. I like to try to move around and try to locate or spot some turkeys and then make a game plan to get them within range. It is difficult enough shooting a turkey with the gun, but if you are going to try shooting one with the bow your best bet may be setting up a ground blind and waiting for the turkeys to come to you. A ground blind, along with a couple of decoys, will help hide the extra movement of drawing your bow. If you have done some scouting or know the usual patterns of the turkeys, this can be a very successful strategy.
Do you hunt turkeys with decoys? Decoys can be a great tool to help bring that big tom into close range for a shot. How many decoys do you put out? What combination of decoys do you set out in front of you? A jake and a hen, a tom and a hen, a tom, jake and hen or some other combination. A very wise and successful turkey hunter recently told me, “Trust your camouflage, set your decoys at close range.” I definitely agree with his advice, if that tom hangs up and doesn’t come all the way to the decoys hopefully he will still be within range. Setting up your decoys at close range is especially important when hunting with the bow.
Do you have questions about turkey hunting? Do you have any tips or strategies you would like to share? I HIGHLY encourage you to post your questions or tips in the comments section below. Lets see if we can get a great discussion going so that we can all be more successful this spring! Please join in whether you are a novice or experienced turkey hunter!