What Turkey Should I Shoot?
Turkey season is coming around again, and it’s a great opportunity for inexperienced hunters to get some experience in hunting. If you’ve got your license but have no idea what to expect on your hunt, here are a few tips.
Choosing a Turkey
Those days of fighting over frozen turkeys the day before Thanksgiving are over. You’re bringing home a bird that no grocery store can offer. But how do you know what the right type of bird is? It’s important to remember you can’t hunt hens during spring seasons. Hens are smaller than the males with pale colored heads and dull feathers. Male turkeys will be the largest in the group with bright red heads accented with white and blue and a beard.
Juvenile males are known as jakes. Their beards aren’t as developed and they stick out from their chest. Turkey tails don’t mature until adulthood, so jakes have an incomplete tail with their middle feathers sticking out farther than the side ones do. A mature male turkey (or gobbler) have fully developed tails and beards that are eight to 12 inches long. Seasoned hunters wanting a trophy bird choose gobblers with the biggest beard, but the beard size won’t affect the taste of the meat.
Turkey Hunting Basic
You’ll need to get up before the sun in order to have any luck. It’s basically impossible to get a turkey in the middle of the day, and most turkeys are bagged in the first hour of hunting. Talk to experienced turkey hunters and find out the ideal spot to stake out. You want to arrive before the sun rises to get into position before the turkeys end their roosting.
You’re going to have better luck using a turkey call. Don’t be so prideful that you don’t use one, especially as a new hunter. If you’re inexperienced at calling, get a box call. They’re easy to use and effective. Push button calls are incredibly easy to use and they only require one hand to work them.
Finally, don’t worry about scent control like you do with deer hunting. Focus your attention on concealing your presence with camouflage. You can’t just cover your body, either; your face and hands need to be covered, too.
As a new turkey hunter, the best way to be successful is to consult with experienced hunters. They’ll give you the best tips and advice on where to hunt.
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