With turkey season fast approaching, I have decided to share with you my personal turkey hunting tips. Granted I still have yet to harvest a bird, but I think I finally have things figured out. This will be my year!
1. Wear layers. Turkey season is notorious for being thirty degrees when you get into the woods before daylight, but quickly changing eighty-five by the time the sun is up. Light layers are the best because you can tie them around your waist or shove them in your turkey vest as you warm up.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. In spring turkey season you will be walking, and sometimes running, for most of the morning. The first time I went turkey hunting in SC I thought it was a good time to break in new boots. BAD IDEA. I ended up spending the rest of the weekend hunting in pink Muck boots. Learn this lesson early.
3. Bring water. Again, running after birds tends to make you thirsty. Last year Josh had me climbing up and down mountains after those silly birds. We didn't have water with us, and I was so desperate that I almost drank from the creek. EWWW! I am pretty sure that I would have ended up with some weird infectious disease had I done that. Plan ahead.
4. Number four goes well with number three. Bring snacks. You will get hungry. Especially when daylight hasn't yet broke and you are waiting for the birds to fly down from their roost. Quiet snacks are best....perhaps some green apple licorice?
5. Make sure you have a sling for your gun. I didn't my first year and I had to carry it all morning. Across every single field, stream, mountain, and rocky ravine. We are lucky I didn't accidentally shoot a tree.
6. Face paint. While a face mask seems like a great idea at 5AM when it is freezing cold, it isn't. Once the sun comes up you will suffocate. Plus, they tend to squish your nose which gets very irritating if you are hot. Just don't forget to cover your ears with paint too. We have some really funny pictures where Josh's face is all black from paint, and his white ears stick out like lightbulbs.
7. Turkey call. Seems obvious, but I have heard stories of people who went out archery hunting for deer and left without their bow, and only realized it once they were in the tree. (*cough*Jarrid*cough*) Find one that works for you. I continue to try to use a mouth call, but after three years I still sound like a dying cat. Box calls work well for me, I can guarantee that I will call in an orange cat every time I practice! Josh likes slate calls, so that is what he chooses to use. Either way, we always end up in the woods with our turkey vests full of different types of calls.
8. Turkey seat. While I don't recommend an actual seat (way too much of a pain to drag through the woods with you after a bird), I like the ones that are more like cushions. I have one attached to my turkey vest and it is perfectly comfortable. If your turkey vest does not have one attached, then invest in one. It has transformed may uncomfortable tree stumps into comfy couches!
9. Turkey sights. It makes sense; you are trying to hit the skinniest part of this bird who will maybe stand still for a second. Why wouldn't you want to give yourself the best advantage? Josh got me amazing new sights for my 20 gauge this year. They are awesome for turkey hunting because they force you to keep your head up. I will double check the exact name of the brand and post them. They also make sights for goose hunting that work the same way. I was against Josh changing my sights until I stumbled across these. He used the goose sights and said that they were awesome. He was much more accurate with them then in years past.
10. Ground blind. Josh got me one for my first season turkey hunting just in case I was completely unable to sit still. While I did prove him wrong that first year, it is nice to be able to wiggle my feet a little bit while I am sitting in front of a tree. It gives me extra security that the turkeys won't see me, plus then I can leave my licorice on my lap without them seeing it.