The time has finally come – you’re about to embark on your first turkey hunt of the season. All you can dream about is the thrill of sitting there quietly, scanning the terrain around you and the sounds of a tom somewhere close, but hasn’t quite poked his head out yet. Then, you spot his ten-inch beard. You can almost feel your heart skip a beat from the excitement as you lay asleep. You take your aim and shoot. Success! You’ve just bagged your first turkey of the season when the alarm sounds.
Of course, it isn’t always as simple or easy as your dream led you to believe. Knowing this, we’ve assembled five turkey hunting tips to make this season a dream come true.
1. Seek and Ye’ Shall Find
The first thing you want to find out is where the rascals are roosting. Wild turkeys tend to stay in an area if food or hens are around. Gobblers tend to travel in a circular pattern during the day then end up back at their roosting tree at night.
Finding droppings that are chalky means they haven’t been there for a long time. Instead, look for soft, moist droppings. This means the turkeys have been there recently and will most likely come around again.
Found their favorite spot? Time to find a spot to set up your blind. Dinner is coming.
2. Food for the Soles
After walking around in the wilderness for a while, the soles of your feet will get tired along with everything else on your body. You can count on the fact that you’re going to get hungry. Take along some good-for-you snacks while you’re on the prowl.
Summer sausage and crackers, or trail mix and peanut butter tend to be a safe bet. Our personal favorite is mac and cheese with bacon or some good ol’ deer jerky. Yum.
Whatever you bring, it’s important to pack food that keeps your energy levels up without an abundance of sugar. Foods high in sugar or starch give you a rush at first, but will soon leave you feeling the crash and burn. Choose food that is high in protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Forget about counting those calories when on your hunt, since you’ll be burning a lot of them, you get to consume as much as you want.
3. Dress for Success
Wild turkeys are well known for their great eyesight. And you need to stay hidden if you expect to take a big tom home for dinner. Camo is an obvious choice. Because most turkey hunting seasons are in spring and fall, you’ll need to be prepared for rain and/or snow. It’s not all too uncommon to experience cool mornings and warm afternoons.
Don’t forget to bring good waterproof outer clothes that are quiet. Stay away from the plastic camo rain suits or you’ll scare off your intended target in a heartbeat. There are many great pull-over options in the marketplace that are sure to do the trick.
Lastly, because the temperatures can change frequently during turkey season, be sure to bring layers that are easy to get in and out of and that also fit under your camo.
4. Practice Shooting
It is a good idea to practice shooting between hunts. The military requires soldiers to learn how to shoot using their non-dominate hand. For you, it could mean taking a shot without turning your entire body around when a tom sneaks up from behind. Having this ability to fire from either hand could mean success or missed opportunity in the field.
5. Calling Types
Another skill to practice is multiple turkey calls. Finding and attracting a big tom with calls takes skill. And you need to be able to use different calls with the right sound and cadence. By using a mouth call, a slate call, and a box call, your tom will come running to join the party because his curiosity is irresistible
Now you have a few good tips to make your first turkey hunting seasons as successful and enjoyable as you always hoped and dreamed it would be. Be sure to stop by our turkey hunting product page to purchase all your must-have gear this season. Happy hunting!