Turkey Hunting Prep - The Inside Spread
Category: Turkey

Turkey Hunting Prep

As the turkey hunting season nears, it’s time to gear up and get ready for what many of us consider one of the best times of the year. For those of us who relish the early mornings in the woods and the satisfaction of a well-planned outing, turkey hunting offers a unique challenge. We’ll cover some of the essentials of turkey hunting, from effective scouting strategies to choosing the right gear and honing your calling techniques. Whether you’re looking to improve your approach or just need a refresher before the season starts, we’ve got you covered.

Scouting and Locating Turkeys: A Key to Successful Hunting

As the turkey hunting season approaches, one of the most crucial steps for hunters is effective scouting. Understanding where turkeys roost, feed, and strut is essential for a successful hunt. Scouting should ideally begin well before the season opens, allowing hunters to observe turkey behavior without disturbing their natural patterns.

Locating Turkey Habitats

Begin by identifying potential turkey habitats. Turkeys typically prefer a mixture of open fields, dense woods, and water sources. Look for signs of their presence, such as droppings, feathers, dusting areas, and tracks. Early morning is an excellent time to listen for gobbles as males announce their presence to hens.

Using Trail Cameras:

The use cellular trail cameras can be a game-changer in scouting. Strategically place them near suspected roosting areas or feeding spots. Cell cams that send real-time images to your phone can provide invaluable insights into turkey movements and the time of day they are most active.

Understanding Turkey Behavior:

Turkeys have keen eyesight and are extremely wary, which makes understanding their behavior crucial. During early spring, males are more vocal and active, making them easier to locate. However, as the season progresses, their behavior can change, requiring different scouting tactics.

Scouting Techniques:

Walk the edges of fields and woods, looking for signs of turkeys. Use binoculars to spot from a distance, minimizing disturbance in their natural habitat. If you do encounter turkeys, observe quietly and avoid spooking them.

Importance of Patience

Patience is key in turkey scouting. Spend time observing from a distance. Understanding the daily patterns of turkeys in your hunting area can significantly increase your chances of success. By investing time in scouting and understanding turkey behavior, hunters can significantly enhance their chances of a successful and enjoyable turkey hunting season.

Gear and Equipment Selection: Essentials for Turkey Hunting

Selecting the right gear and equipment is a critical aspect of preparing for turkey hunting. The appropriate selection not only enhances the hunting experience but also increases the chances of a successful hunt. Here’s a guide to help you choose the essential gear for turkey hunting.

Choosing the Right Weapon

The choice of weapon is a personal preference, but most turkey hunters are required to use a shotgun or a bow. For shotguns, 12-gauge models with a tight choke are very popular, as they provide an effective range and power. If you prefer bow hunting, ensure your bow is properly tuned, and you’re comfortable with its draw weight and handling. Turkey are of course smaller target then many game animals so practice shooting often with any weapon you choose.

Ammunition Selection

For shotgun users, choosing the right ammunition is crucial. Look for turkey-specific loads that offer a dense pattern at typical turkey hunting ranges (20-40 yards). For bowhunters, broadheads designed for turkeys ensure a humane and effective shot.

Camouflage Clothing

Turkeys have keen eyesight, making effective camouflage essential. Choose clothing patterns that match the environment you’ll be hunting in. Don’t forget a camo hat and face mask to conceal your body from head to toe.

Turkey Calls

A variety of calls should be in every turkey hunter’s arsenal. Box calls, slate calls, and diaphragm calls each have their unique sound and application. Practice with your calls before the season to ensure you can mimic turkey sounds effectively.


Using decoys can significantly improve your chances of attracting a turkey. A combination of hen and jake decoys can create a scene that’s hard for a tom to ignore. Position them in a visible location near your blind or setup.

Other Essentials

Don’t forget other essentials like a comfortable seat or cushion, binoculars for spotting turkeys from a distance, and a reliable GPS or map for navigation. Remember, the key to successful turkey hunting prep is not just having the right gear but also knowing how to use it effectively. Spend time practicing with your equipment and familiarizing yourself with its features to ensure you’re ready for the hunting season.


Calling and Tactics: Mastering the Art of Turkey Hunting

Effective calling and strategic tactics are vital for successful turkey hunting. Mastering these skills can turn an ordinary hunt into an exciting and fruitful experience. Here’s how to enhance your turkey hunting prep strategy with the right calling techniques and tactical approaches.

Understanding Turkey Calls

The foundation of successful turkey hunting lies in effective communication. Familiarize yourself with various turkey calls like yelps, clucks, purrs, and gobbles. Each call has a specific purpose, whether it’s to attract a tom, calm a nervous bird, or challenge a dominant male. Practice these calls until you can produce them naturally and with confidence.

Choosing the Right Call

There are several types of turkey calls, including box calls, slate calls, and mouth calls. Box calls are loud and great for long-range calling. Slate calls offer a variety of tones and are ideal for subtle, close-range calling. Mouth calls, while requiring more practice, allow for hands-free operation, which is crucial when a turkey is in close range.

Decoy Setup

Decoys can be a game-changer. Use a mix of hen and jake decoys to create a realistic and enticing scene. Position them in a clearing where they are easily visible and consider the direction of the wind and sun to maximize visibility.

Tactical Positioning

Position yourself against a large tree or in a blind to break up your silhouette. Ensure you have a clear view of the decoys and the surrounding area. Remain still and patient; turkeys can take time to respond.

Adapting to Turkey Behavior

Be prepared to adapt your tactics. If turkeys are responding to your calls, continue your strategy. If not, consider changing your location, call type, or decoy setup. By honing your calling skills and employing smart tactics, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful turkey hunt. Remember, patience and adaptability are key in the unpredictable world of turkey hunting.

As we wrap up our look into turkey hunting, remember that success in the field comes from a blend of preparation, skill, and respect for the sport. Whether it’s through meticulous scouting, careful selection of gear, or mastering the art of calling, each element plays a crucial role in crafting a memorable hunting experience. For all men, women and children that share this passion, turkey hunting is more than just a hobby; it’s a tradition that connects us with nature and with each other. So, as you set out this season, embrace the early mornings, the quiet waits, and the heart-pounding moments of the hunt. Good luck and enjoy every moment of your turkey hunting adventure.


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