Saturday, July 29, 2017

Basics Of Turkey Hunting

Here is a guest post from Build Great Farms! There is a link to their blog at the bottom of this post, be sure and check them out!

Turkey hunting has been a popular pastime for generations, a trend unlikely to change anytime soon. Turkey hunting season is generally the Spring, at which point hunters gather to see who can catch the largest turkey and/or the one with the largest beard. The winner generally receives a trophy for their efforts. If you are considering joining a turkey hunt or merely wish to improve your performance in them, here are some tips that will help you catch a turkey.

 1. The Value of Patience 

 All turkey hunts are a waiting game as hunters anxiously await the appearance of their targets. Turkeys have exceptional eyesight and hearing, preventing you from catching them unless you are extremely quiet and still. The turkey hunting process can take hours even after a turkey returns a call, so you should be prepared to be patient before taking up the hobby.

2. Learn the Rules 

 The laws governing turkey hunts vary from state to state and among organized competitions, so you should ensure that you have a complete grasp on the rules for every event you participate in. Time schedules, bagging limits, and legal hunting grounds are all matters of particular importance that you should look into.

 3. Use a Hen Call 

 Most turkey hunters rely on hen calls to make clucking, purring, and yelping noises that convince turkeys other turkeys are in the hunter's area. A real turkey doesn't make the same sound every time, so you should try to have a variety of hen calls to mimic the vocal range of actual animals.

 4. Adopt an Expert's Approach 

 Relying on luck is unlikely to help you nab a turkey. Instead, try scouting an area at night to locate a turkey resting in a tree. Remain in the area until daybreak, and call the animal before it has a chance to go anywhere else. Turkeys are naturally social creatures that seek companionship when they wake up at sunrise, so you have to be ready to act when the turkey begins to stir.

 Alternatively, camouflage yourself in an area where turkeys are likely to feed or drink. They are bound to get hungry and/or thirsty eventually, ensuring that you have a target to go after. The best time frame to do this is late afternoon to sundown.

 5. Know Your Target

 Generally speaking, you are looking for a male turkey when you are on a turkey hunt. Male turkeys tend to be physically larger than their female counterparts, a crucial advantage when size is the factor deciding who wins. Male turkeys are categorized by beards on their chest that can grow to over nine inches long. Some turkey hunts use these beards to determine the winner, forcing you to catch a male to have any chance at all.

 It is also possible to identify the gender of a turkey you are tracking before you can actually see it. Veteran hunters can identify male or female based on coloration, with males tending toward the darker side of the spectrum. This can help you determine if a feather trail is worth following. Turkey droppings also vary by gender, with females leaving behind small curlicues while males look kind of like a question mark.

 6. Using the Weather 

 Rainy days are typically the best time to hunt turkeys, but take cover if lightning is in the area. Turkeys frequently congregate in an open field to dry out after a storm, a fact experienced hunters use to help locate them.

 Catching turkeys is a difficult endeavor, but the rush you get from a successful hunt is worth the effort. Armed with these tips, you will be turkey hunting with the pros in no time!

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