Late fall and early winter means hunting season for turkey hunters. Turkey hunting, during this period of the year, continues to be an American tradition. This article provides some suggestions for the professional hunter and especially the beginner.
Before You Go; There are several important things to consider before you go hunting. Make sure that you have access (permission) to the hunting property you are using. Scout the territory a week or two in advance. Make sure that you have a clean and good operating gun, with plenty of shells. You will need the proper clothing. It can get very cold quickly. Have the proper equipment close by, while you hunt. This includes a first aid kit, flashlight, matches, binoculars, water, sharp knife, trail ribbons, compass and maps, gobble call, power bars, hunting permit and a good cellphone. Let people know where you are headed.
During the Hunt; If you use decoys, place them in an open area. Never transport them uncovered. Establish a clear line of vision (100 yards). Your shooting line should be approximately 20 yards. Always sit against a tree taller than your head and wider than your shoulders. If you see another hunter, call out to them in a loud voice. Do this, even if turkeys are present. Do this when taking down your decoys, too. Use a cluck or a purr to call your turkey. The gobble call will assist you. Practice the various calls before you go.
Openings and fields are your best bet for hunting turkeys. Flocks tend to migrate to open areas. It is also safer for the avid turkey hunter, to hunt in open areas. Many hunters prefer to use camouflage. This is a good idea provided no other hunters are in the area.
Some hunters prefer tree stands. I have never liked tree stands. I have had two friends, that have ended up paralyzed from falls. To me, it just is not worth the risk.
Picking out the dominate gobbler is not that hard to do. He will be the one with the long beard. He will also do most of the strutting every-time. The younger toms will shy away, when he is present. This is where your binoculars come into play. Do not be in a hurry to score a shot. Take your time and study the flock closely. Usually, the tom to gobble first is the dominate one.
After the Hunt; Leave the property as it was, when you arrived. Thank the land owner. You might want to return. If you have a good day, you might return a well dressed turkey to them later on. Be sure to take pictures of the birds you bag.