But it is what makes turkey hunting enjoyable. Simply try it, watch what occurs, and learn from it. Turkeys can respond to a call from a long distance away but not to one from less than 100 yards away. You cannot hunt turkeys with a shotgun from a vehicle unless you have their permission. Only shoot if you are sure of what you are doing or if the bird is coming toward you rather than running from you.
Thanksgiving is all about family and friends. It is about giving thanks for everything we have instead of focusing on what we don't have. Turkey hunting is the perfect opportunity to share our joy with those we love most in the world. In fact, according to research conducted by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), more than 90 percent of hunters plan to include turkey in their Thanksgiving plans this year.
It is also about being safe and taking care of the environment. Since turkeys can get very big very fast they are important to protect because without them other animals would be able to eat all the food that should go to growing young birds and mammals. Finally, since guns are tools, it is important to use them safely and prevent injuries to ourselves and others.
How far will the turkey go to respond to your calls? They will hear you from 400 yards away on a large field. If you are hunting over rough terrain or in thick cover, they may not be able to escape easily.
The range of a turkey is much greater than that of other birds due to their large ears and hearing ability. A gobble from a wild turkey can be heard up to half a mile away. You can call turkeys by making various sounds with your voice or using a gobbler box. They love to reply to their own name as well as other calls.
They are very sensitive to sound and will flee in fear if threatened. If you make too much noise when hunting turkeys, even if it is not intentional, they will avoid you until you have moved off their territory. This can give you a chance to find another bird to shoot!
Turkeys need food, water, and sleep. They will travel if necessary but prefer not to move around too much during daylight hours. Turkeys become more active at night and will often visit feeders or drink from ponds at this time. They are most vulnerable while feeding or during mating season (November-February).
Hunters use different methods to kill turkeys.
Dialing 101 The use of turkey locator calls causes male spring turkeys to "shock gobble" when they hear a loud sound. A hunter can use this to pinpoint the exact position of a gobbler. Crows and barred owls are common locator cries. Duck, geese, coyote, and even hawk cries, among others, are effective.
Dialing 102 To attract female turkeys to your decoys, use hen calls or put down feathers. They will respond to their own species' calls or mimicked movements. Coyote howls, train whistles, and owl hoots are all useful hen calls.
Dialing 103 Spring turkeys need food during incubation, so provide cover crops or corn on the ground during breeding season. Provide food such as mealworms or crickets during non-breeding season. During winter, protect birds from the elements by providing shelter or heating lamps.
Dialing 104 Spring turkeys tend to travel in flocks, so try to spot other birds in the area that share their vocalizations. Listen for similar calls from other birds - such as other turkeys or animals that produce crow or dove calls. This may help you determine if other birds are present and where they might be located.
Dialing 105 Once you find a flock of birds, approach with caution. Don't run or make any sudden moves, since spring turkeys can be aggressive toward humans.
A friction turkey call is the best choice for a first-time turkey hunter. Turkey pot calls, box calls, and push/pull calls are examples of these. These are simple to use and a wonderful alternative as you prepare for your first spring turkey season.
Once you become more familiar with how sounds travel in the wilderness, you will be able to make higher-quality calls that will attract turkeys' attention farther away. But for now, a beginner call can get you closer to gobbling birds.
Friction calls work by creating vibrations that vibrate feathers on the bird's head and neck. As the feathers vibrate, they create sound. The harder you pull or push on the call, the louder it will sound.
As you learn how to use different techniques with your call, you will be able to make different sounds that may attract turkeys from farther away. But don't worry about making high-quality calls yet! Just know that going forward, you have options if you run out of ideas or need to hide from gobbler noises.
The best call for beginners is simply a call that gets you close enough to see and shoot gobblers. As you gain experience, you can advance to other types of calls that use different techniques to make different sounds. In fact, many experienced hunters never even pick up a brush call or paddle tail fan call!
Many turkeys, particularly senior Easterns, will only gobble once or twice in the afternoon, but they will respond quickly and quietly to your sounds. The best time to hunt in the afternoon is between 2 and 4:30 p.m., but you may hunt until dark on some days. Gobblers like to roost between 50 and 200 yards from hens. They also like to eat before sunset, so consider hunting after dark if possible.
Gobbling is a territorial display for males. It means "I am here." Gobbling starts early in the season as birds defend their territories. It usually stops around Halloween when most hunters stop shooting. However, if you hear gobbling late in the season, then there are probably still birds in the area. Just make sure you're not walking into any known turkey nests.
Gobbling often gets mentioned with wildfowl hunting, but it's important to remember that gobbling is a turkey behavior, not a duck or goose behavior. There are differences between the two species' calls that can help guide you to open water vs. land. For example, geese tend to go higher-pitched when flying, while turkeys go lower-pitched.
Also, note that not all gobblers are male. Young females will sometimes gobble to assert dominance over other females or even older males. This isn't normally a problem unless you come across a female gobbling aggressively toward your hunting partner.
The quickest approach to reduce the gap quickly is to "put the turkey to bed" the night before. These dominating, so-called shy gobblers will most likely gobble once or twice in the evening and intermittently on the roost in the morning. Pinning him to a certain region will greatly improve your chances. Go to the area each day after that and treat it like a hunting trip, not a trespass. If possible, wait for wildlife biologists to set up blinds near these birds so they are more likely to be drawn into them.
If you have been unsuccessful in drawing these gobblers out of the woods, try using an innovative method called a "turkey drive." This technique involves driving geese or other turkeys toward the shy bird with loud noises made from air horns or fire cannons. The flying birds should attract the attention of any nearby gobblers.
Shy gobblers are difficult to hunt because they don't usually respond to calls or disturbances. However, if you know where they are located in the forest, you can use this information to your advantage by setting up a blind in the area the next day. Gobblers tend to stay in particular regions within their home ranges, so finding one may help you locate more.
You may need to spend a few days searching different areas until you find some that produce results. When looking for shy gobblers, remember that it's important to keep an open mind.