Turkey Hunting Tips For Beginners
Turkey hunting has been a favorite sport of so many people since the earlier times. And during spring seasons, numerous hunters take part in this activity. They share turkey hunting tips and vie for the largest turkey. Actually, the trophy status of this fowl depends on its size and the length of its beard. And usually, only male turkeys are hunted. They are generally larger than the females, and their colors are darker. In addition, they grow beards on their chests that may reach up to nine inches in length.
There are also certain rules that hunters need to follow when hunting. The months, locations, bagging limits, and time schedules are usually the significant factors that vary for every state. Hunters need to consider these factors if they want to have a successful game. But for a beginner hunter, a few turkey hunting tips will be helpful, as well. For instance, checking out a prospective area during nighttime will enable the hunter to locate a resting turkey on a tree. This way, he can stick around in the morning and make a call before the turkey leaves the tree. Another tip for finding a target is to determine its food source. The fall season, particularly, is the time of year when turkeys ran out of insects and grasses to eat. So, they consume acorns and berries instead. And because of this, a hunter will be able to locate them faster.
Additionally, checking for droppings and looking for feathers are two other unswerving turkey hunting tips. The droppings of male turkeys look like question marks while those of the females look like small curlicues. Then, searching for signs near watering holes is a good idea too. Turkeys usually drink from these holes during daybreaks. And making use of a hen call is among the most popular turkey hunting tips. Basically, yelps, purrs, and clucks are simulated by the turkey hunter to lure his target. Nevertheless, it is advised that a hunter always bring several types of calls with him.
Then again, these turkey hunting tips are slightly modified during rainy days. Initially, rainy days are the best times to put the stalks on fowls; since they usually stay in more exposed areas during such weather. However, a hunter must retreat if he sees lightning. Then, he must head to an open field, after the rain, to shoot his target because this is usually the place where turkeys dry out.
Effective Turkey Hunting Tactics
Basically, there are a couple of turkey hunting tactics that hunters typically use today. These are stalking and calling. Stalking is actually what hunters may call the most unproductive tactic. It involves the pursuit of the prey in a surreptitious manner. This entails a hunter to move real quietly and slowly after his quarry. However, stalking can also be dangerous, especially if it is done on public property. For instance, a hunter that moves or walks in the woods can possibly attract the attention of other hunters; thus, being mistaken for a turkey and drawing fire from them. So, for general safety, this tactic must only be used on a private land with no other hunter around.
On the other hand, calling is the contrary of stalking. Of the two turkey hunting tactics, it is the more commonly used. It involves the usage of various female turkey sounds to entice the male turkeys. A few examples of such sounds are the tree call, the yelp, the purr, and the cackle. But the male gobbling call is also sometimes used to make other male turkeys deem there are intruders on their areas. So, instead of tracking down a turkey, the hunter lets it move toward him. Turkeys, after all, are very vocal. Nonetheless, turkey hunting tactics like this can become perilous if not done cautiously.
The calls can become truly believable that some hunters tend to shoot their fellowmen. So, in order for such turkey hunting tactics to be safe and effective, hunters must let their colleagues know they are in the area by wearing brightly colored vests on top of their camouflage or by yelling out to them. They must also never shoot until turkeys are in actual sight.
Different Types of Turkey Calls
Turkey hunters need to know the types of turkey hunting calls, which are mouth calls and friction calls. Wild turkeys are really cagey and evasive. So, turkey calling is necessary to lure and capture them. Friction calls are the most familiar turkey hunting calls since they provide ease of usage and turkey-like sounds. They usually feature round surfaces. And they require pegs to be drawn across these surfaces, which are typically slate, ceramic, and aluminum. Mouth calls, alternatively, are turkey hunting calls that are used by breathing through them. Factually, some four millenniums ago, the Native Americans used mouth calls that are made out of turkeys’ wing bones. But an example of today’s mouth calls is the diaphragm call. It is usually used whenever a turkey is in close proximity and making use of a friction call is not possible. It is also preferred by most hunters in camouflage because it does not involve any suspicious movement that turkeys may spot.
Essentially, friction-type turkey box calls are ideal for beginners. These are boxes with pivoting lids that slide to make sounds. The movements of the turkey calls normally require moderate amounts and might be ideally used in full blinds. Turkey box calls also produce more volume compared to the other types. Turkey hunting calls must become louder if hunters need to catch the attentions of gobblers that are very distant. Friction-type push button box calls are fine too. They are very simple, and only require a single finger movement to operate. Some may even be mounted on guns.
However, a box call will soon sound like a squeaking gate if the sides and the lid of the box lacked friction. The box can also get damaged if moisture gets into it. So, it is important to clean and store the box properly in order to maintain its effectiveness. Then, another type of friction turkey hunting calls is the slate call. It is also known as the peg call because it is used by scraping the peg’s end. It also produces a variety of sounds due to the combinations of its slate surfaces and strikers. In addition, this slate call is really well-known, and may be mounted to a leg. So, a hand may discretely operate the striker to rub the slate and produce a call. Nevertheless, it needs touch-ups every time because it is very vulnerable to oils and moisture.
Turkey Hunting Gear
Turkey hunting gear is essential to have a better chance of capturing a turkey. And vests, fanny packs, and back packs are the usual choices for containing these gears. There are actually several types of vests, but a lot of hunters prefer the jacket styles. These vests enable them to carry their hunting gears with just one packing. They are also very convenient and practical. The back packs, on the other hand, allow more space for the turkey hunting gear. So, hunters may carry more stuff aside from the basics. In addition, back packs can be used as backrests, as well.
Then, the fanny packs are quite similar to the back packs, but they are cheaper. Plenty of hunters like them because they provide easy access to the turkey hunting gear inside. These gears are mostly a shot gun, bullets, camouflage attire, and turkey calls. A turkey tag pencil, gloves, face mask, compass, knife, toilet papers, bug spray, snacks, and water are also brought along. But sometimes additional turkey hunting gear such as decoys, flashlight, map, binoculars, kits, two-way-radio, camera, and extra supplies are brought, as well. An extra pair of gloves, for instance, is necessary. Not to mention, other pieces of camouflage clothing like facemasks and hats. Being in the wild is dangerous, and there is no guarantee that a hunter’s supplies will be enough. So, it is really important to have items in stock in case the main ones get lost or damaged.
Nevertheless, not every camouflage is identical. A hunter must remember to choose a camouflage outfit that will be appropriate for the season. For instance, in spring time, the plants and the leaves of trees have not yet grown. So, a camouflage with brown and gray patterns will be more suitable compared to another with green patterns. Moreover, a hunter must always keep in mind never to wear any piece of turkey hunting gear with white, blue and red colors. A hunter that wears such colors will not only be spotted by his quarry but will also be put in danger. These colors are similar to the heads of male turkeys, which are the actual targets. So, wearing anything in any of these colors will be like provoking other hunters to fire an aim.
Fall Turkey Hunting Techniques
Although it is more associated with spring, fall turkey hunting is just as favorable. But to have a successful hunt, a hunter must possess a flexible way of thinking and adaptive approaches that differ completely from spring turkey hunting. Moreover, this hunter should bear in mind that a fall turkey is different from a spring turkey. The way turkeys act in fall is different from the way they act in spring. During the spring season, the main focus of these birds is propagation. But during the fall season, their main focus changes to feeding and flocking.
So, this hunter must look in places where turkeys eat when he goes fall turkey hunting. He must also look in places where they rest. These places are most probably the exact places they occupy in spring. Then, he may also use the traditional fall turkey hunting technique which is known as flock busting. This technique works by locating a flock and breaking it up. Such break-up may be done by the hunter himself or by his dog. He or his dog has to scatter the turkeys in different directions. And once they have been scattered, he can then use his turkey call and recall the flock. Nonetheless, this turkey call must be appropriate for fall turkey hunting. Usually, the kee kee call is used to recall a turkey family. Kee kees are actually the call of young turkeys. And such calls are mostly answered by mother hens or turkey siblings. Then again, cluck calls and yelp calls may also be used to recall a flock of hens. And gobbler yelps may be used to recall a flock of gobblers.
The hunter also has to remember that scouting is the key for separating flocks. So, he needs to determine the turkeys’ food source and locate this area. Then, he can check for tracks and droppings. He can also look around water holes and roosting spots. And once he has found the signs, he can go to his hunting area to wait for the turkeys. The best time he can use this fall turkey hunting technique is during the late afternoon or just before sundown. The turkeys, after being alone all evening, will be very eager to come together at sunup. On the other hand, flushing the turkeys off their roosting spot at sunup is also a good option.
Why A Turkey Hunting Guide Will Help You
Turkey hunting is a sport that does not always have a winner. Of course, winning this game means capturing or killing a turkey for dinner or for show. Patience is basically the number one criterion of this sport. Hunters have to wait for hours until a turkey arrives. Then, they will try to call several times before they get answers. And sometimes, even if a turkey has already answered a call, it will still take a long time before it finally reaches the hunter’s proximity. Because of this, turkey hunting has been regarded as one of the most challenging sports. However, not all aspiring hunters can become successful. Turkeys are very difficult to catch because they have excellent vision and hearing. So, a turkey hunting guide might become handy.
A turkey hunting guide will most likely suggest that a novice hunter exerts patience during the times when a turkey has answered his call and is slowly approaching, as well as, during times when there is no barrier between him and the fowl. This hunter has to remain motionless for a long period of time before he shoots, because even a single movement can scare the turkey away. Then, another useful tip that may be found on a turkey hunting guide is to close the breach in some situations. So, instead of waiting, a hunter must advance quickly to the turkey’s position when he hears it gobble. Turkeys usually do not mind their environs; thus, providing an opportunity for the hunter to follow it. Also, it is a great idea to go around the turkey to interrupt its path.
And in times when a hunter comes across two gobblers, a good turkey hunting guide will suggest that he teams up with a colleague. He can call the turkey and have his colleague wait at the other side of the forest. So, when the turkey walks away from him, his colleague will be able to capture it. But if his colleague missed, the turkey will just probably turn around toward him. In this case, the hunters will be able to capture the turkey whichever direction it goes. In addition, the correct part to aim for can be read in a turkey hunting guide. This will be the head of the turkey or its vital internal organs. Nonetheless, a hunter must have practiced really well prior to the hunt, so he can have more chances to succeed.