Do you always end up going home with thin, dry turkeys after a long day of hunting? Here are some spring turkey hunting tips to help hunters of all levels bag the biggest, thickest gobbler in the field.
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10 Spring Turkey Hunting Tips Every Beginner Should Know
1. Hunt During the Day
The early bird catches the worm, so if you want to catch an early bird, you’ll have to wake up even earlier.
Turkeys are known to start their days relatively early. Ideally, you should be at the hunting site and preparing your gear at least one to two hours before the sun rises.
One of your biggest openings to attack flocks of turkeys is when they’re searching for food and water.
2. Scout the Area
Mastery of the hunting site will prove to be useful when looking for vantage points and hunting spots. Remember that turkeys are very alert and cautious. You’ll have to maximize all the rocks, curves, and hill elevations to effectively hide your presence and remain undetected.
3. Learn to Predict the Weather
Turkey activity tends to decrease during rainy or windy days. Ideally, you should go turkey hunting on fair, sunny days with enough clouds to keep the temperature fair and cool.
Avoid hunting on days with strong winds as well. Not only do strong winds mess up a shooter’s accuracy, but the wind might also overpower the gobbling noises that turkeys make.
4. Avoid Busy Turkey Seasons
Have you ever had a turkey run away at the sound of your bird caller? There are two reasons why gobblers might dislike the sound of a bird call.
First, the hunting field might be oversaturated with hunters. With dozens of hunters using different types of bird callers, gobblers start to get scared and associate these sounds with danger.
Second, turkeys aren’t hypersexual. Callers only work on sexual birds that are in heat and easy to attract with mating calls and sounds.
So even if you’re a skilled caller or have the latest, most expensive gadgets for bird calling, you might not yield the results you’re hoping for if you’re hunting turkeys. Sometimes the best call for turkey hunting is no call at all.
5. Locate Roosting Areas
Position yourself near roosting areas. Turkeys tend to roost in the same area multiple nights in a row—especially if there’s a nearby food or water source. It’s safe to bet that gobblers might still be around if you see freshly made roosting sites.
A good approach here is to check for roosting areas one or two days beforehand. Make a map of all past, current, and possible roosting sites so you don’t waste time locating them during the actual hunting trip.
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6. Glass Gobblers on Canyon Rims
Turkeys have a habit of strutting around canyon rim near crop fields. Shooters used to glassing can use this to their advantage because canyon slopes have many edges and creases to hide in. Stay two or three miles away from the prey to avoid prematurely flushing them.
Also, bring a good pair of binoculars and scopes. Glassing is a relatively difficult technique only experienced shooters can perform, so be careful. Otherwise, you might end up wasting good shots.
7. Know When to Use Decoys
Have you ever experienced having aggressive gobblers attack your decoys? Contrary to popular belief, turkeys can be quite aggressive if they feel their territory is being invaded by an outsider—especially if the outsider is also a turkey.
If you place a sole decoy in the midst of a band of aggressive jakes, they might attack the decoy thinking it’s a solitary outsider intruding their area.
However, this isn’t to say that you cannot use decoys anymore. Some turkeys actually enjoy being in the company of other gobblers as it assures them there are no predators or threats around.
8. Know How to Find a Good Turkey Hunting Spot
Patience is crucial when it comes to turkey hunting. Find and build a comfortable hide to position yourself in so you don’t get bored or uncomfortable while waiting for your prey.
Remember, gobblers aren’t the strongest nor the smartest, but they’re certainly one of the most observant. Seasoned hunters know that these birds will run away at the mere sound of a light stretch or cough.
9. Listen for Gobbling
Glassing turkeys near canyon rims, spotting freshly nested roosting sites, and locating feeding/drinking locations are all solid ways to track down turkeys, but nothing beats the basics: tracking down gobbling noises.
However, don’t come rushing in at the faintest sound of gobbling. Remember that turkeys are very cautious, so even if you happen to track down their gobbling, you should still exercise caution when approaching them.
Note: Another reason not to use bird callers is these might overpower the gobbling sounds that turkeys make.
10. Familiarize Yourself With Turkey Hunting Laws
Bear in mind that different states have varying laws when it comes to turkey hunting. For example, states like Alaska do not allow the killing of turkeys for sport or recreation, while gobblers are fair game in states like Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin, among others.
Similarly, most states do not allow the use of specific rifles. In fact, hunters can only use rifles to shoot down gobblers in Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, and six other states.
Don’t forget the maximum number of turkeys you can bring home. Most state laws allow hunters a season limit of two bearded turkeys.
Check out this video by The Sticks Outfitter where they share the best, most important spring turkey hunting tips for hunters of all levels:
These are just some of the most important spring turkey hunting tips for hunters to follow. Feel free to explore other ways you can improve your session and increase the chances of bringing home a big, fat, chunky turkey to cook for dinner.
Overall, the goal is to familiarize yourself with the hunting field, study the common eating and sleeping habits of your prey, and know their strengths/weaknesses. These gobblers are fairly smart and agile, so don’t underestimate them.
How do you prepare for a turkey hunting trip? Share your spring turkey hunting tips with us in the comments section below!
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