With spring turkey hunting quickly approaching, now is the time to get your mind and your gear in top shape.
Typically being the first hunting season of the year, turkeys present that climb out of winter hibernation and allows you to kick the dust off your equipment. Now is the time to thoroughly inspect your bow if you haven’t shot it since the end of deer season and to make sure all of its components are functioning correctly.
Get outside and shoot, so that when Mr. Thunder Chicken comes strutting in, you’re confident that your arrow will find its mark. Cleaning and oiling your shotguns during this time will go a long way, too. And get out and pattern your selected turkey load so that you’re confident in your setup.
Which tactic do you prefer?
Which turkey hunting tactic do you prefer? Are you more of a blind hunter, stump hunter, or a run and gunner?
I opt for several of the above depending on if I have my kids along with me or running solo. When taking the kids out, which tends to be my favorite choice these days, you can’t beat a blind. Let’s face it, if your early morning set-up missed its mark, the kids may get restless. A blind allows you to move freely while going undetected.
If boredom sets in, let the kids move around. I typically don’t let them bring electronics on outdoor trips, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little horseplay inside the blind. A good old-fashioned game of rock, paper, scissors may seem like a lost cause, but I promise you they will enjoy it. You’re creating memories they’ll never forget when inserting these silly moments. Or, as my daughter likes to do, they can sneak in a short nap.
The freedom of being mobile
Most often when I’m running solo, I like to run and gun for turkeys. I just enjoy the freedom of being mobile. I like to have birds located beforehand, and then I’ll sneak into the woods and just listen.
Many times, I’ll hold off on any calling for the first part of the hunt and let the birds tell me what to do. This is good also if you’re not the best at making turkey calls sound realistic.
Once I locate birds, I’ll put a plan together to sneak in closer for a shot. As mainly a bowhunter, this can get exciting in a hurry. Being able to sneak in close to these beauties is a fantastic time and gets the heart rate up.
Another option while hunting mobile is to incorporate a decoy. The last couple of years, I’ve had great success using a turkey fan. Whether hunting with my kids or by myself, the turkey fan has led us to many a successful hunt.
Just be sure to use your smarts while practicing this tactic. I would steer clear of this form if you’re hunting public land, especially during shotgun season. The last thing you want to do is have another hunter mistaking your fake turkey fan for the real thing and send you to the emergency room — or worse.
Best of luck to you this coming gobbler season.