Are you a newbie spring turkey hunter getting ready for your first hunt? If so, here are some tips for getting started in this often-exciting activity. Spring turkey hunting is prime time for gobblers, and it is the time of year where many new hunters experience the first thrill of hunting. Here are some guidelines that can help get you started.
The Fine Art of Wild Turkey Scouting
One of the most difficult things about turkey hunting is just being able to locate the wild birds. Turkey scouting is something that takes practice. With time, an experienced hunter will be able to scout for wild turkeys in many different locations.
What is the easiest way to get started in wild turkey scouting? First, begin by locating general areas where you think you suspect (or perhaps you have been told) wild turkeys reside. This is a wild turkey habitat, and you should begin by noting the general areas where wild turkeys keep their habitat. Using this as a starting point, you can begin to refine your search for wild turkey habitats. Narrow down a larger area to a more specific are. Then move to a certain part of woods or a specific field.
If you do not have the benefit of experience, there are certain resources you can always turn to find out where the biggest wild turkey populations reside. Consult with conservation officers, wildlife biologists, hunting club members and sporting goods dealers are good places to ask about local wild turkey populations and habitats.
You may also want to check for state and federal lands, reservoir areas, wildlife management areas and military reservations. If possible, you may also want to consult with private landowners. Some landowners will actually grant hunters permission to hunt on their lands.
Do Advanced Field Scouting
There are many things you can do once you think you have reached an area with an active wild turkey population. This is where field scouting comes into play. You should be field scouting after you have found several possible hunting areas. You will want to use a map and mark the area where you plan to hunt. If possible, drive the back roads of the area to get a good idea of the local terrain, including the power lines, the high points, ridges, rivers, open creeks, river bottoms and other land features.
Learn to Use a Turkey Call
A turkey call or a locator call can be your best friend as a novice hunter. There are so many different kinds of turkey calls, but as a newbie, you should begin with just a few. Common turkey calls include an owl hooter and a crow call. Practice with these and see if you can get a response. Every time you think you hear a response, you will want to mark the general (as specific as you can) on your map. Resist the urge to continue to call a bird that is responding to you. Many times, this will cause your gobbler to become shy and they will not respond to you. If a gobbler becomes call shy, they will cease from responding during open season.
Dressing for Hunting Success
As a wild turkey hunter, a small but important part of your preparation is to dress for hunting success. This means camouflage and lots of it. Wild turkeys have a very good vision, so you will definitely want to avoid being seen. A complete camouflage outfit will include a camo suit, a face mask, gloves and a cap. You should also wear dark socks so that your flesh does not stand out when you sit down. You may also choose to carry a camo vest with lots of pockets where you can store extra shells and maybe even a snack.