Turkey hunting: 3 main methods to follow

Turkey hunting

Wild turkeys have the best hearing and excellent eyesight. At the same time, they are downright beckoning hunters. It doesn’t matter if you are learning to hunt turkey with a gun or a bow and arrow, you can experience excitement and heightened senses around this feathered game. Many states offer spring and fall turkey hunting seasons. And each time offers a unique experience. This article will help you fill your bags with turkeys.

Method 1. Before the start of the hunt

1. Obtain a turkey hunting permit. 

Contact your local EPA or EPA for licensing requirements and regulations. Also, a license can be obtained from an agency that is approved by the state (for example, like some sporting goods stores) or, depending on the area of ​​residence, through an online application.

  • Pay particular attention to the requirements of the State Hunting License. You will most likely have to complete a full course of hunting training in order to obtain a certificate.
  • Your license will contain information regarding the hunting season, the specified period and territory for turkey hunting, as well as how many individuals of a particular sex are allowed to be killed per day and for the entire hunting season.

2. Practice with weapons. 

Since a turkey is very easy to scare away, hunting it requires precision aiming. Practice shooting in different positions (sitting, standing, prone) and from different distances. If you have a shotgun, you need to patent it. A shotgun patent allows you to make an informed choice about which gun, projectile, and choke (the tapered end of the muzzle of a shotgun that shapes the spread of the shot) to use. To obtain a patent for a shotgun, follow these instructions:

  • Place a 1.2 meter square blank sheet approximately 35 meters from the barrel of the weapon. Shoot at the center of the sheet.
  • Draw a 70 cm circle around the center of the shot, covering as many holes as possible. Count the bullets in a circle.
  • Open the fired case of the same shotgun and count the number of bullets.
  • Calculate the percentage of holes in the 70 cm circle by dividing the number of holes by the number of bullets in the case.
  • Repeat this operation 10 times and then print the arithmetic mean based on the overall result.
  • If your shot pattern is small and concentrated in approximately the same place, then you have an excellent shotgun / cartridge / choke ratio. If the drawing is scattered all over the sheet, think about changing one of the items of equipment. Start experimenting with the size of the bullets, then the size of the case. If that doesn’t work, get a tighter choke that will focus the shot in a much smaller radius.

3. Collect your turkey hunting equipment. 

Apart from the camouflage suit, you will need some reliable ammo. Below are the basics – if you want, you can include additional items:

  • Choose your weapon. If you decide to carry a firearm, opt for a 12 gauge or smaller shotgun. The smaller the shotgun, the less its mass, respectively, it is convenient to fire a shot in a sitting position.
  • In terms of ammunition, autumn turkeys (young and small) require less charge than spring turkeys (more mature). Choose smaller bullets (50 grams for shot size 6) for young (turkeys) or chickens with smaller and weaker bones.
  • Calls from turkeys are priceless, as they bring the hunter closer to them, which contributes to an accurate shot on the spot. The presence of about three calls – a high shrill chill, a chest chill, and a high and low chicken gurgle – allows you to use them for the right purposes.

4. Decide on the bait. 

Bait is another way to get the hunter closer to the turkey. It allows the hunter to remain at ease and lie in wait for the prey.

5. Buy a screen. 

A tent is a very useful camouflage tool in turkey hunting, especially for shy game. The folding tent is very light and easy to transport. It gathers quickly and serves as a hunter’s hiding place.

6. Practice your turkey calling skills by listening and imitating clucks, squeals and purrs.

Sometimes you have to use a wide variety of sound combinations to lure out males. In the fall, reproduce clucking for partridges and clucking for turkeys. In the spring, do the opposite. Below are 4 types of summons:

  • Kii-kii is a high-pitched whistle emitted by a chick. It sounds like “faster-faster-faster” or “baby-baby-baby”
  • The mournful squeal, reproduced by partridges, pours in a series of 10-15 grievous lamentations.
  • A turkey gurgle is a chesty, hoarse sound that is slowly released. Sometimes this gurgle is followed by a purr, which means aggression.
  • Kuldykanie is a low, guttural sound made by males. A series of long such sounds can serve as a call for turkeys nearby. Make sure you are alone when you practice, as sounds like this can attract other hunters.

Method 2. Turkey hunting with firearms

1. Scout your turkey hunting area. 

Finding the location of turkeys in the fall is more difficult than in the spring, since the birds are not so vociferous at this time. However, there are typical locations where large flocks can be found:

  • Open areas such as fields with tall grass, cow dung (a source of food for turkeys!) And grasshoppers.
  • Corn, wheat and berry fields provide turkeys with a rich diet, which is why turkeys are their regulars.
  • The wooded areas are home to turkeys. Look for feathers, V-shaped scratches on trunks, and droppings at the base of trees. Male droppings are approximately 2 “long and” J “shaped. The droppings of females have a rounded shape.
  • If you want to hunt in a private area, you need to contact the owner of the site and request permission in advance. Thank the owner with a gift – this is a sign of courtesy.

2. Track and lure your turkeys. 

After you have studied the area and have excellent knowledge of the position of the soil, follow directly behind the flock. Place the bait near the perches and make various calls.

  • Set up your tent close to the bait (about 35 meters).
  • Press your back against a tree. This will help hide you from the turkey and allow you to mount a weapon without being noticed.

3. Remove the safety catch and hold the gun with the muzzle down. 

Aim the gun when you are fully convinced that you will get a clean shot at the turkey. You may need to use alternative bird isolation tactics to get a clean shot:

  • Shoot one by one. You can successfully shoot one turkey by attracting it with a soft and tempting purr.
  • Scare and call back. If you can’t lure the turkey out of the flock, try getting close to the group of chicks and partridges and start wildly waving your arms and making loud noises to make the birds rush off. When they begin to fly away (and, probably, who where), start luring them back with soft cues and plaintive lamentations. 
  • Block the path to food. If you have successfully tracked the flock and know where they feed in the morning, position yourself between roost and food. Place the ptarmigan bait next to your tent and play a series of calls to attract the turkeys.

4. When the turkey comes into your field of vision, shoot it straight in the neck. 

A shot in the neck or head area increases the likelihood that you will immediately kill the bird. If you only managed to injure her, track the bird and kill it quickly and humanely.

Method 3. Turkey hunting with bow and arrow

1. Train on the correct bow. 

Bows that are short axle-to-axle (85 centimeters or shorter) are good for turkey hunting because they are made for easy maneuverability when seated or lowered to the ground.

  • Axle-to-axis length is a measure of the distance between the bowstring and the center of the handle. Axle-to-axle length does not affect shot accuracy as much as arc height is the perpendicular distance from the point of tension to the fulcrum of the bow handle.
  • Decide on axle to axle length based on your turkey hunting needs. For example, if you are hunting from behind a tent, you should choose a shorter length to make the shot easier.
  • Adjust the mass of your weapons. The mass of the bow requires enough strength to decay the bow to fire. To shoot a large animal (for example, a deer), it will take about 30 kilograms (that is, you have to stretch 30 kilograms in order to shoot and kill).
  • When cocking your turkey scope, set the mass to 27 so you can keep your bow taut for as long as possible. This allows you to shoot quickly without the risk of being spotted. 
  • Use expanding arrowheads – flat, sharp pointed arrowheads. The flared nibs pass through, leaving significant holes. This is important as turkeys have few weak points.

2. Get as close to the bird as you can. 

Place baits 13 meters from your cover and shoot from 18-23 meters. Baits not only lure the bird closer, but also serve as an indication of where the bird is in relation to them.

3. Hide as best you can. 

Be it behind a large tree or behind a folding tent, hide more safely, because the turkey can easily recognize the slightest rustle. If you are worried about the movement of the drawing bow, use a crossbow – it is always drawn.

4. Aim wisely. 

To accurately kill a turkey, aim for the head (this scope is popular with those who use expanding points, as they completely blow off the head), at the wing, in the rear (a fractured spine paralyzes the bird) or at the legs (a tendon rupture will prevent the bird from leaving or flying away ). The humane death of a turkey is only considered if you kill it immediately.

Read More: How To Clean A Turkey? 5 Easy Steps


  • Foresters are a good source of information on the number of turkeys hatched per season. In addition to pointers for effective turkey hunting, they can also give you information on where to find the best turkey hunting grounds.


  • Live birds can be extremely dangerous, so approach them with caution.
  • Hunting in a small group is not only more fun than hunting alone, but also safer. If you are hunting alone, be sure to equip yourself with all sorts of devices: a mobile phone, a GPS navigator and a map of the area.
  • Rest assured: if you wear a bright orange element in addition to camouflage, it will be a sign to other hunters that you are really a hunter, not a turkey!

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