Even though most of the nation is still in the throes of winter, spring is right around the corner. With the changing of the seasons temperatures will rise, the foliage will begin to turn green and turkey season will arrive. Don’t get caught off guard for your turkey opener. Below are the top five things you can do to prepare for turkey season. Hopefully you tag out early on a spring gobbler!
Scouting is THE most important key to a successful hunt. Whether you are hunting private or public land you need to find the turkey. Go out before dawn and look and listen. If needed, use a locator call to get a response from a nearby gobbler. The goal is to determine where they turkeys are roosting at night. A word of caution: as with most scouting the goal is to locate your quarry with as little of an impact as possible. Do not alert the roosting birds to your presence.
Get out all of your gear and give it a once over to make sure it’s in good working condition. Make sure you have everything you are going to need. Pack your gear as if it’s a bug-out bag; ready to go at a moment’s notice. Go out to the range and dial in your gun/bow/crossbow. Make sure you know what the pattern is at 20, 30, 40 yards and get good at judging those distances. A turkey isn’t usually going to give you the chance to use a range finder.
Yeah, I know the word “study” can make you cringe, but this wont be anything like school. To prepare for turkey season you need to be familiar with turkey behavior and their habits. This will help you locate key habitat features that attract and hold turkey. By now you should know the general area of the roost tree. Pull up Google Maps and locate your hunting spot. Find the roost tree and begin to look for where you want to set up your blind. Once you finalize your spot don’t forget to have a fallback plan if the turkeys decide to go in another direction.
You know the old saying, practice “makes perfect”. Not only should you be sharpening your calling skills, but broaden your horizon and master all the different types of calls; diaphragm, box and pot calls. An effective call can mean the difference between success and failure. You should also be practicing your shot. By this I don’t mean standing at the range, patterning and sighting in your gun (we covered that already). No, I am talking about getting yourself into those uncomfortable positions you always find yourself in while turkey hunting; sitting, kneeling, squatting… Make sure that you practice real-world shooting scenarios when you prepare for turkey season. When the gobbler of a lifetime walks up, you need to be able to make one well-placed shot.
No I don’t mean you need to do more studying. One of the best things you can do to prepare for turkey season is to book a hunt with a reputable guide. Their job is to take care of all the scouting and prep work leaving you to concentrate on honing your shooting skills and bagging that turkey of a lifetime. Hunting with a pro will accelerate your learning curve exponentially. Start your search today at Fin & Field or check out Till Death Adventure Series for guides endorsed by Julie McQueen and Daniel Lee Martin!
By Shawn McCardell
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