Near my hometown of Vicksburg, MS
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5 Turkey Hunting Tips Every Beginner Must Know Before Venturing Into The Woods
A beginner turkey hunter?
Congrats. You’ve just joined one of the most fun activities man ever discovered. It dates back to centuries ago when the man used to hunt the birds for food and fun.
But one thing most people will never tell you is that hunting these birds isn’t always a walk in the park. They’re highly engaging, intelligent creatures.
You might have to spend hours before you successfully entice one to your range.
But with the beginner turkey hunting tips and tactics I’m about to share with you below, you’ll easily sail through the turkey woods on your very first day.
Here we go…
1. Pick A Favorable Hunting Spot
The No.1 mistake all beginner hunters make is dipping their feet into the turkey woods without first identifying a particular area to hunt. If you want to hunt the birds, you ought to go where they are.
Assuming you’ve already identified the area you wish to hunt in, obtain a large map for the same. Mark a large location where you’re likely to find the turkeys, narrow it down to a smaller area, piece of property, and eventually into a hunting zone.
You can enlist the help of area biologists, hunt club members, DNR workers, etc., to help you identify the turkey hotspots in your hunting area.
Don’t hesitate to look into private and public lands as well - juts ensure you’ve got the necessary permits.
And while scouting, look for signs like - ridges, high points, gobbling sounds, dry creeks, feathers, river bottoms, droppings, power lines, etc.
2. What’s The Best Time To Hunt?
This is the sad truth - turkey hunting isn’t the game for folks who like sleeping. Get up early, earlier than the birds.
Although most beginners prefer hunting in the middle of the day - which might still be viable - it’s not what I’d advise you to do…
If you can manage to get to the hunting spot you’ve identified above before the sunrise, the higher your success rates will be. You’ll minimize your chances of being spotted by the roosting birds.
3. Ensure You’re Totally Camouflaged
The wild turkey has got an excellent vision. Does that ring a bell in your mind?
It means that you’ve got to cover yourself entirely, else the bird will spot you before you even hunt them down. That alone will ruin your hopes of bagging any bird.
Cover yourself from head to toe - consider wearing camo hunting jackets, turkey vests, long-sleeved shirts, masks, and even boots (black ones will do better).
Above all, always ensure that your camo colors blend well with the environment you’re hunting in. Of course, this will depend on the time of the year you’re hunting in.
Take Note: No matter how well camouflaged you are, the birds can still notice you if you keep making some random movements. Still yourself!
4. Bring Along The Decoys
This is the best advice you’ll ever get from experienced turkey hunters - hunting the birds with decoys dramatically increases your hunting success.
But that’s not all. You’ll also need to learn how to set them up properly; else, not even a single bird will approach them.
If hunting in the early season, set up a hen decoy alongside the Jake (or even a gobbler) decoy. This is sure to make a Tom jealous and send him running towards your setup for a perfect shot!
As the season draws towards the end, you’ll just need to use 1-2 hen decoys only. At this time, the gobblers are already tired fighting for a mate. They’ll think that fighting with the Jake decoy for the “hen” will be too much work for them.
As a side note, ensure you buy a turkey decoy that displays a higher level of realism - regarding appearance, motion, etc. - it’s the secret to convincing even the wariest birds to come to your setup.
5. Turkey Calling Will Draw The Birds To You Faster
I repeat, calling the turkeys, plays a significant part in bringing them towards your range for an easy shot.
The idea behind using the turkey call is to produce sounds similar to those made by the birds (e.g. purrs, yelps, kee-kee, clucks, etc.) with the aim of enticing the gobblers.
Being able to use the turkey calls correctly doesn’t come easy. You’ll need to invest time in learning the various types of calls out there.
Don’t hesitate to seek the help of pro turkey hunters on how to use different calls to make different vocalizations.
Keep in mind these additional tips as well:
- Consider hunting alongside a friend who knows the ways of the turkey woods. This will significantly improve your learning curve
- Ensure you fully understand all the set rules and regulations of your hunting location
- Invest in the right hunting gear
If you’re planning to venture into the turkey woods for the first time, you need first to learn a few things about the birds and how to get them to your range for comfortable shooting. With the five tips and tactics above, you’ll raise your chances of bagging that bug gobbler on your first ever hunt.
Keep in mind that hunting is a waiting game. So don’t despair when you don’t sight any gobbler on your first day. Don’t give up; they’ll eventually show up, and you’ll start taking them down like a pro.
Wish you luck!
Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow.com, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!