By February, most turkey hunters have started to run a slight “spring fever.” They begin patterning their guns, practicing their calling and buying new gear they’ve seen experts use. While these preparations are important, they’re not the most important. “Safety first” should always be on the mind of a hunter. Below are the National Wild Turkey Federation’s tips for having a safe hunt that you should consider even before heading out for a wild turkey adventure.
Before the hunt preparation tips:
Check with your doctor if you have any medical concerns.
Hunt within your physical limitations.
Let your hunting partners know if you have physical limitations.
Let someone know where you are hunting and when you expect to return.
Work to have a basic understanding of first aid.
Carry, and know how to use a GPS, a map and compass.
Pack a bottle of water and something light to eat.
During the hunt defensive hunting tactics:
When you sit down to call or if you’re setting up on a gobbler, select a large stump, blow-down, tree trunk, or rock to lean up against that covers the width of your shoulders and is higher than your head.
Do not wear white, red, black and blue when turkey hunting; this includes handkerchiefs, socks, long underwear and even items like candy wrappers. These are the same colors of a male wild turkey. When calling, select a spot that is in open timber rather than thick brush: eliminating movement is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover. Be discreet and careful when imitating the sound of a gobbling turkey.
Always be alert. A good woodsman can always detect movement in the forest by watching other game or listening for the alarm cries of bluejays, crows, squirrels, or woodpeckers. Always be aware that other hunters could be moving in on the bird you’re calling.
When another hunter is in your presence, never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert the other hunter. Remain still and call to them in a loud, clear voice to get his/her attention. These tactics are safer than quick movements. Use common sense.
If you are calling over decoys and elect to move to a new location, before leaving your set up, check carefully to ensure no one is stalking your decoys. Should you see someone in the area, the rule above applies.
Safety Tactics was last modified: January 29th, 2018 by Bill Winke