Image Courtesy of Game of Inches TV
By James Nelson of huntingresearch.org
If you are an experienced hunter, you know that turkey hunting can be one of the more difficult hunts to carry out successfully. This is because turkeys have exceptional eyesight and hearing ability, making them a challenge to hunt. Turkey hunting does offer a lot of different challenges. Make sure you don’t fall prey to common turkey hunting mistakes. Below are some common mistakes that you should avoid during your next turkey hunt.
Lack of Practice in Turkey Calling
If you are going for your first turkey hunt and it is going to be your first time using a turkey call, you should practice turkey calling before going on your hunt. Creating the perfect call will really help lure that gobbler into shooting range.
Having the correct calling technique is often difficult and requires a lot of practice to get the hang of it. By constantly practicing, you will eventually be more comfortable with your calls and you will understand what they do and the different varieties of sounds that can be made.
However, do not practice at your hunting location as this will educate your target on that specific calling. Bear in mind that being able to achieve the right rhythm is more important than hitting the right tone or sound of the call. Therefore, practice well before the hunting season begins.
Image Courtesy of Bowhunting.com
This scenario illustrates the saying “too many cooks spoil the soup”. When you are performing a calling, you are basically mimicking as a hen reaching out to track down a male turkey and letting it know your whereabouts. A turkey will respond to your calls by gobbling and waltzing around waiting for the hen to find him.
However, as we are the one mimicking the calling, no hen will be going instead we are trying to attract the turkey over. This requires your target to go against its natural instincts, thus requiring more time to persuade it. You have to understand the difference between communicating with the turkey and over calling it.
Since it will be difficult to persuade an animal to go against its natural behavior, you should avoid calling every 30 seconds. If you realize that you are not receiving any response from your target, try not calling more than every 15 minutes.
If he is answering your calls and heading towards your location, start to call faintly and not as often. This will eventually force your target to look for you making it move closer to your area.
Not staying still
When you are hunting animals such as deer and moose, making a slight movement or fidgeting might not create that huge of a distraction in your target’s eyes. But when it comes to having turkeys as your target, it will most probably be gone in a blink of an eye.
Turkeys are well known for their amazingly tuned sense of vision and hearing that is probably twice as good as yours. Making any tiny movements like scratching your face or adjusting your posture will catch your target’s attention.
Therefore, try your best to minimize your movements whenever you have a turkey close to your proximity. Patiently wait until your target has its head hiding behind a rock or tree that blocks its vision and your spot.
Not Enough Scouting
Scouting can be very tiring and time-consuming to carry out but it is necessary no matter what critter you are hunting. Proper scouting can result in favorable outcomes as you will understand the pattern of movement and lifestyle of your target.
A hunter who goes into the field without the proper amount is much less likely to be successful compare to the prepared hunter. Therefore, it is important to carry out some scouting to have an upper hand.
Before the season of turkey hunting begins, it is recommended to head out to the field before dawn time to discover the location where turkeys are roosting and where they go during the day for resources. Just by attaining this important and simple information, you are on your way to a successful hunt during the season. Knowing where your target will be is the endmost goal of scouting.
Using Unsuitable Decoys
Using a decoy is highly beneficial when it comes to turkey hunting. However, it takes years of understanding to strategically place your decoys at the right time and position. The most common mistakes made by hunters while using decoys is using the wrong kind, placing the decoys too far away or even having it right in front of them.
There are a wide variety of decoys sold in the market. The issue is knowing which decoy to use at what time. Usually, a big strutting turkey decoy is only successfully used during the beginning of the season but will scare off your targets at the end of the season. A hen decoy is essential to have in your hunting strategy as its efficient throughout the season and it's your best chance at attracting toms.
Besides that, hunters have the tendency to install their decoy out of their shooting range. Your decoy should be placed at least 15 to 20 yards away so that when your target approaches the decoy, you will have a close enough range for an accurate shot.
Another hunting mistake that hunters make is placing the decoy right in front of them. Your target will definitely spot you when approaching the decoy if you are directly behind the decoys. Ideally, you should place your decoys at a comfortable shooting distance and at a 45 degree angle from your non shooting hand.
Image Courtesy of Bowhunting.com
Turkey hunting may sound difficult and easily done wrong when you are not aware of the underlying concepts. However, you can have a ton of fun turkey hunting when you do it right and everything comes together. All of us make mistakes sometimes no matter our experience level. Learn from your mistakes and keep hunting. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Animals are never completely predictable, but the more experience you get turkey hunting the better you’ll be at it. So get out there and have fun!