I’m a firm believer in getting knowledge and tips from many different people and sources, then turning that information into your own style of hunting. No two hunters do it all the same, or even use the same equipment the same way. That’s why it’s fun for all of us to talk about our experiences. And the same applies to the animals out in the wild. No two are the same. What one will respond to, another won’t. You might have to change it up to get them to come in or at all. That’s the challenge in our sport. If it was easy it wouldn’t be near as much fun.
Here are some of my tricks and tips.
First and for most be accurate with your gun or bow. No one wants to wound a bird and tracking a turkey is nearly impossible all those feathers soak up any blood you would need.
Go to your local hunting outfitter and get some turkey targets. Then go to a safe place that you can shoot. Make sure you have equipment you are going to hunt with. The gun your going to use and the ammo you have purchased for the hunt. Start out at 20 yards. Shoot the target, then go look at your spread. This will show you how accurate and tight the pattern is. Then set up another one at 30 yards and do the same thing. If you have never done this before you might be surprised how big the spread is and the changes in your pattern 10 yards. This will also tell you how far you can shoot and still have an accurate shot.
The same goes with shooting a bow Remember, A confident shot is a good shot.
Next tip is good cover. Either with a good blind, or with good camo clothing. Remember these birds have very good eye sight. If your going to use a ground blind get one that blends in to the surroundings that you will be hunting in. And get out there a few days earlier if you can. As long as you feel comfortable leaving it out there and set it up and secure it properly.
Now calling. Get a good call. One that’s easy to use. Just like shooting practice, practice, practice. There are calls that you can buy that come with a CD or a DVD that show you how to use and properly maintain the call. If you put your mind and your time in to it you can master it like a pro.
Getting the decoys, there are a million or so different decoys out there. Ranging in price from $15 to $100’s. It’s up to you, and the money you have in your budget to spend. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get the decoys you need. You only need a couple I would start out with a hen and a Jake. It has worked for me and it should work for you too.
When it comes to setting them up, put them out at about the yardage your hoping to take the shoot at. Place them in a group with a good spacing between them so their not right on top of each other. Try to make them look like you would see them on the edges of the fields that you pass every day.
Scouting out the good spot. This is not a go out one day, drive around find a field, get permit ion and your set. You have to go out there a few more times. You have to study them and their routine. What days they go what way. And how many there are. Turkeys have big territories and they can cover a lot of ground in a small mount of time. You need to find out were they roost. And which way they go. Once you get that all down you know right were to go to make the hunt successful.
The last thing and most important, have fun, be safe and pass on the knowledge and the love for the sport to others. It’s the challenges in the outdoors that make our sports so interesting, and addicting. Share the experience with someone. You’ll be glad you did.
John Rotter JR
Duck Junkies pro staff member