Midday turkey techniques aren't all that dissimilar to early morning efforts. "You can kill a bird if you get it to sound off around midday," Bartholow stated. "Be subtle with your calls." Birds are more likely to arrive softly during noon hunts. They want to eat and will usually stop along the way to be fed by other turkeys.
After you locate a gobbler, wait until he gets close before shooting. This will give him time to fly away if you miss. However, if you do shoot and hit him, keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get up and walk away. If he does, follow him until he collapses or falls down, then go back for another shot.
Turkeys need to eat every day too. If they don't get food enough of their own kind will come to them to be fed. This is called pecking order behavior and it's important to protect your flock from being bullied by larger birds such as geese. You can do this by building an enclosure for them out of sticks and brush or even putting up decoys. Or you can hire someone who specializes in turkey farming to take care of it for you.
Overall, midday hunting provides hunters with a different experience than early morning or evening hunts. Since birds are less likely to be alarmed by noise at this time, you have a better chance of killing one.
Mornings, once again, give faster and hotter activity with loud birds, making them the favored time to go turkey hunting. Mornings have the disadvantage of fading into afternoons, and afternoons do not always give the same settings. However, if you can find signs of life during the afternoon, then go ahead and take your chances.
Evenings are great times for turkeys because it is when they are most active. The heat of the day has driven most animals into sheltered areas where they will sleep through the night. By morning many will be dead but others remain hidden until the cool of evening brings them out to feed again.
Turkey season runs from November 15th to February 28th. You can check current regulations at www.fws.gov/wildlife/hunting/regulations.html.
Turkeys are native to North America and were originally found in all 50 states plus Canada. They first came to Europe via Russia, where they were introduced into England for meat production. Today, there are three species worldwide: Eastern Wild Turkey, Rio Grande Valley Turkey, and Western Wild Turkey.
Eastern Wild Turkeys live in the Appalachians from Pennsylvania down through Georgia and South Carolina.
It's no secret that the majority of turkeys are heard, seen, and murdered first thing in the morning. It's the only time you can hunt in certain places, as stipulated by state game rules. However, for those that go turkey hunting all day in the spring, success can be very high in the afternoons. The mortality rate of birds decreases as daylight hours increase, so if you can stay on the land past sunset, you have a good chance of catching more birds.
Most turkeys are killed between November 23 and January 15. In the South, this is called "white tail deer season." Although hunters seek out mature white-tailed deer with antlers, most animals killed during this time are younger deer with black tails. Hunters use firearms to destroy these unwanted competitors for food and habitat.
In areas where predators are an issue, such as protected wilderness, turkeys are not taken by hunters. Instead, they are released unharmed. Organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation provide funding for conservation projects that will benefit wild turkeys and other wildlife.
After spending months traveling across America's woods and fields, eating corn and being chased by photographers, young turkeys turn malnourished. They lose weight until finally one cold December day they're trapped into a barn where their lives are spared so that they can be raised for meat.
Turkey production is increasing each year because farmers raise their own birds or buy them from producers.
Hunters and turkeys don't pay much attention in the afternoon. Birds crouch down in quiet areas to pass the time during the day. Hunters take naps to catch up on missed sleep, or they may work in the yard, around the house, or at their job. After a big meal, birds become sleepy too.
During winter, birds need all the rest they can get because it's hard for them to find food sometimes. They also need time to heal up from injuries or sickness. In the summer, birds tend to be more active because there's so much to eat that they have no reason to sleep much. But regardless of the season, after a good meal they're going to want to rest their bones for a while.
Turkeys love to scratch and peck for insects. This activity keeps their nails long and strong. Without these scratches, their feathers would be very short because they wouldn't be able to protect themselves as well.
In the wild, turkeys live in flocks with other species of birds. They communicate with each other using calls or gestures. If you watch birds in your backyard, you might see them showing off for friends by flying into a loop, perching on a branch, or taking flight again in a swift motion. These are all forms of communication that help their flock stay together and avoid danger.