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Turkey Season - Are you ready for it?!
Spring is in the air and turkeys are on the move! Now is the time to get out and locate where those turkeys are traveling to and from.
They have fairly predictable routes where you can discover a good location to set up a ground blind and watch and hopefully shoot one when your hunt is under way. I will often drive around the country at dusk to listen for the turkeys gobbling while they fly up to roost for the night. Any loud noise you make will produce a "shock gobble", where they will answer back, letting you know where they have roosted. You can slam your car door or blow into a predator game call which will shock them into a gobble.
I don't bother with camo clothing when I am hunting from a ground blind. Any good manufactured ground blind should have a black backing on the inside, therefore you should also wear black. The turkeys won't know you're in there!
Be sure to pack along your favorite turkey call, whether it be a box, slate or diaphragm call. I personally like to use slate calls.
In the morning at dark-thirty, listen for the turkeys and if they seem to sound well off in the distance, don't be shy about calling them in. If they have roosted extremely close to where you are set up, you can stay quiet for the most part, with minimal sound from your turkey calling.
If you are archery hunting, there is no need to set up your turkey decoys more than 10 yards from your blind. A turkey has a kill zone the size of your fist and you don't need to be taking any unethical shots resulting in a wounded bird. Shotgun hunters have more leeway here. I like to use two henas and one jake (immature male turkey) decoys. Sometimes, depending on where in the season it is, (usually the beginning) I will use a tom (mature turkey) decoy instead of the jake. You can experiment with decoys and calls to see which works best for you at the different parts of the turkey hunting season.
Be patient, but if your turkey leaves the area, or never came to you, who says you can't pack up your blind and head out to another location? Because I have two blinds, I like to keep one set up in a particular spot, but if they are a no-show, I can hop in my vehicle with my other blind and search for another area to try. I usually end up back at the first hunting site by late afternoon in hopes they'll come back to that area.
While shooting hens is illegal during Minnesota's spring turkey season, (only legal in the fall) they are still fun to watch. After all, those are the ones the males are after and you are after the male.
Patience is what brought this beautiful bird (below) into my decoys so as I could get a shot off on this turkey. I thought it was so magnificent that I got a full body "drape".
If you love to be out in the fields and forests and feel that waiting for fall deer season is just too long to have to wait, why not try your hand at North America's native bird, the wild turkey?
Alaska and the Yukon
North Alabama, Mississippi p
and North Georgia
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