My Top Ten Tips For Women Turkey Hunters
|Teaching/Tips - Tips for Firearms|
These tips will have you on your way to harvesting more turkeys.
1. Enroll in a Hunter Education Course and pay special attention to the rules for safe turkey hunting portion of the class. Likewise, some of the turkey hunting workshops held by such organizations as Women in The Outdoors and Becoming An Outdoors Woman or in-store promotional seminars are an excellent introduction for the beginner. If at all possible, I recommend that every new hunter find a mentor or someone to go afield with those first few critical times.
2. Get to know your gun .... Do your own pattern testing with a variety of loads this way you'll be sure of your exact effective range. Personally, I prefer a single shot or a pump shotgun over an automatic and for the past couple of years a muzzeloading shotgun has added an extra dimension of fun to my turkey hunting. If shotgun recoil is a concern to you, opt for a Sims recoil reduction pad, or a smaller gauge gun or perhaps a lighter shot load. Turkey hunting is not a macho contest it is a rewarding experience in which anyone may participate .... large, small, young, old, male or female.
3. Start with simple to use calls and stick to basic yelps and purrs that you feel confident with before expanding your turkey vocabulary. Friction calls such as the push-button styles are very simple to operate and are potentiall poison on turkeys. Don't over call. While it is fun to have a back and forth conversation with a gobblin-his-head-off bird, play a bit more hard-to-get.
4. Decoys are a great tool for successful turkey hunting when used appropriately . I routinely carry a Buckwing hen and strutting jake decoy in my back pouch along with the umbrella-like expanders to place inside them. Always place the jake nearest to you for an oncoming gobbler will approach and confront the jake first before romancing the hen. This will give you the opportunity to shoot before he becomes the wiser. Highly pressed birds in late season will often spook from decoys particularly if they became educated to decoys earlier in the season. A younger/ lesser tom may be intimidated and keep his distance from a male decoy, very likely he remembers his last whipping for courting strange hens.
5. Hunt in comfort... Stay dry.... Even if the weather is fair, I have found that hunting pants lined with Gore-Tex prevent ground dampness from creeping into my clothes. Most of the time there is a light weight rain suit in the bottom of my game bag. I have found that turkey hunting is often at its very best during a spring shower. ( Hint... Head for an open field as soon as the rain subsides , that is where the turkeys will congregate to dry their feathers) Turkeys don't like being wet any more than we do.
6. Blend in with your surroundings by sitting still and camoflauging completely.... this includes head, face and hands. I have found a cap with attached face net is quick and effective. The face net is stuffed under the cap during those times of not actually hunting. Another choice is the separate face mask which can be pulled down as a neck gaiter during off times. This type fits closer to the face and I prefer those made from a soft cotton or fleece fabric to those constructed of net material for nonchafing comfort. Remember... turkeys are not color blind so match your camo colors to the greens, browns or greys of your surroundings. I routinely depend on my die-cut leafy suit to instantly transform me into a bush.
7. Take care of your feet... My turkey hunting boots really get a work out. From flooded river bottoms of the Southeast to thorny Texas cactus patches, from the rough boulder strewn terrain of the Merriam to snow in the North and the rolling Midwest hardwoods, I depend on good tall footwear for leg protection, ankle support, ground gripping traction. A Gore-Tex lining for warm dry comfort and a minimal overall mass weight are also strict requirements. I've found the 16 inch Cordura Snake Boots to be dandy. They provide all of the components needed for every turkey hunting situation.
8. Carry everything with you including your recliner .... with a turkey vest with a built-in back support . It is always advisable to have a large tree to break up your outline and support your back however in many set-up situations this luxury is simply not available. The Turkey Lounger Vest by Bucklick Creek and the Epeard's Lounge by Little Big Horn, solves this dilemma by integrating a padded fold-down stadium-style seat into the vest for back supporting comfort anywhere. I have successfully set-up on turkeys in fence rows, weed patches and other places where I would have never been able to in the past. These multi-pocketed vests have a special designated place for every imaginable hunting accessory plus a large game bag and blaze orange safety flaps.
9. Don't get caught without your knee up..... That perfect shot often takes a while to present itself, trying to maintain a steady shooting position without the aid and support of your knee is next to impossible. Make it a habit to get into a position you can hold just in case you get pinned down by a slow gobbler.
10. Set realistic goals, follow game laws and have fun! ... Many first birds have been jakes which is nothing to be ashamed of in areas where they are legal. Think Safety First and Always ! Remember the three P's of turkey hunting are POSITION, PATIENCE, and PERSERVERANCE