The fall wild turkey hunting season is here, and the holidays have commenced. Some things just go hand-in-hand.
While it's true that 42 states offer both spring and fall turkey seasons, there's nothing like having crisp mornings, warm afternoons and the changing colors of leaves to enjoy while pursuing your Thanksgiving feast.
When to Hunt Turkey
For most states, the fall season runs between early October to Late November, which is perfect timing for the holidays - especially for sportsmen who would sooner jump in an ice-pond than brave holiday crowds for a store-bought turkey.
However, as any seasoned turkey hunter will tell you, wild turkeys not only have incredibly keen eyesight and hearing, they also have an uncanny ability to locate exactly where a sound is coming from. Altogether, these factors can make bagging your turkey a less-than-sure thing, especially for new hunters. So what do you need to know to make it happen?
Wild Turkey Hunting Best Practices
Here are some best practices which can be utilized to increase your chances of bringing home a holiday feast:
Learn to call - The best way to improve your luck is by knowing how to call. For the fall season, this means mastering three calls: the kee-kee, the "lost assembly" yelp, and the purr. You can also use a gobble, although it may be more effective during the spring season. But keep in mind: toms (adult male turkeys) gobble in the fall to establish dominance, so use this as a backup resort. Also remember that learning how to call correctly may take a few seasons of practice, so don't expect overnight success here.
Pre-season scouting - Knowing the behavior patterns of wild turkeys is another good way to improve your chances of success. This usually means finding feeding areas and roosting spots. Roosting spots are particularly helpful since birds are relatively calm and easy to harvest from their early morning perches. You can do scouting in the early evening (just don't use a light) as the birds go to roost in trees, and you can also use an owl or crow locater call to get location-revealing gobbles.
Get the right gear - Another way to ensure you have the best chance of bagging a bird is by outfitting yourself with the correct gear. Our Thicket full-size turkey hunting blind and Grand Slam vest are good examples of what you need to be sure you're well concealed, comfortable and able to carry everything you need during your time in the bush.
With the Grand Slam vest, for instance, you get features such as a "sit anywhere" kickstand frame, padded fold-away seat, and a Smart Phone sleeve which allows you to use your phone while it's still in the pack. The Thicket blind is also great to have for both turkey and deer hunting, and it has dual mesh windows which slide for easy positioning along with a 180° Silent-trac window system which allows unlimited window positions.
While fall season wild turkey hunting may have some unique challenges, there is no better way to enjoy this time of year than with fresh game on the table. By learning the calls, doing some pre-season scouting, and gearing-up with the proper equipment, you will have the best chance of bagging the tastiest holiday dinner you've ever had.
So happy hunting, and enjoy the feast!