Soft calling may be the easiest way for new or long-time turkey hunters to up their chances of success in the woods. On this episode I talk about how to accomplish more by calling less and quieter in many common situations where gobblers are close by. 

Turkey hunters tend to want to call loud, aggressive, and often. There are certainly times when this approach works but more often the soft call is what is going to get turkeys to come into range. There are a variety of reasons for this but the biggest one is simply that most hens call softly and sparingly most of the time. 

Most turkey hunters only hear the loud aggressive calling because they do not get close enough to hear the softer and more subtle sounds. But it is that subtlety that will help put more birds on your wall. 

And the best part is, it involves calling less with more margin for error, something that is perfect for new hunters.

Listen to the episode to learn about soft calling.

This is a special alert episode to help you be successful despite the current struggles to get turkey hunting ammunition. I cover strategies to find the ammo you want, as well as how to select a plan B shotgun shell, and how to find unconventional turkey loads.

No matter what ammo you end up using, make absolutely certain you pattern test that new ammo before taking it into the woods. You need to know how it performs at hunting distances and you need to know where to aim on the turkey because every shell can be different.

When it comes to turkey hunting, sometimes fixing mistakes can do more to boost your chances of success in the woods than anything else. On this episode I share 7 bad habits that new and experienced turkey hunters easily fall into that can cost them hunts.

People often try to figure out exactly what they should do or what the next big thing they can add to their strategy or gear to make them better. These aren’t bad ideas but if you are making big mistakes or have a few underlying bad habits, you need to fix those first. Else any incremental gains from better strategy or gear will not amount to much.

Plugging the lowest hole in the bucket requires a willingness to learn and a dash of humility. We all have blind spots, and we can all improve in different areas.

Listen to the episode to hear the 7 turkey hunting bad habits. 

Every time you walk into the woods hunting turkeys, you also want to walk out of the woods! Some hunting safety measures are obvious but others, are not. On this episode I talk about 14 practices that can help keep you and others safe and how they specifically relate towards hunting turkeys. 

14 Ways To Not Die Hunting Turkeys

  1. Never chamber a shell until you are hunting. – There is more to this than you think.
  2. If you realize other hunters are in the area you plan to hunt, go elsewhere.
  3. Don’t use decoys on public land.
  4. Do not wear anything with red, white, and blue.
  5. Never lend a hunter a gun he is not familiar with – And don’t hunt with a gun you haven’t shot.
  6. Assume every sound is a hunter. This sounds easy but most hunters do exactly the opposite. 
  7. Never call while you are moving. Always stop.
  8. Never stalk a calling turkey. You will find yourself walking right into other hunters.
  9. Never split up with a hunting partner. Hunt together or in different locations. 
  10. Try to be perfectly still while waiting to ambush a gobbler.  This is good safety and good hunting.
  11. Sit up against a tree that is big enough to protect you from being shot from behind
  12. Wear orange walking in and out of the woods. A small hat is all you need.
  13. Be very careful when you are exhausted. This HUGE.
  14. Be very careful when you are excited. This is EVEN BIGGER. 
  15. Listen to the episode for all the details!

Some of these things I have learned the hard way. Some I learned from turkey hunting legend, author, and mentor, John McDaniel.  He is the one who inspired me to do an episode on this topic to try and save people pain and worse while engaged in one of the most joyous pursuits in the woods. 

Few things hinder turkey hunters more than believing untruths. So, on this episode I am going to bust some commonly held turkey hunting myths to help empower you with good information to find more success in the woods.

I am not sure how some hunting myths get started but in general I think it is some combination of urban legend, lazy thinking, poor science, overzealous marketing, bad tradition, or down right sabotage.

Every sport has its myths, but turkey hunting has some serious ones that will keep you out of the woods and far from potential opportunities if you let them steer you. But the truth will set you free!

Listen to the episode to hear the myth busting.

Trail cameras can be very helpful for turkey scouting but to get the best results you need to use them differently than you do for other game. On this episode I share four major tips to use game cameras specifically for turkey scouting.

Take Aways:

  • The best trail camera strategies for deer are not the best for turkeys
  • Gobblers are shorter than deer
  • Turkeys move through areas that deer often pause in
  • Turkeys have less size and mass to set off camera sensors
  • Birds can walk through areas that deer may go around
  • Never trust the specs on a camera, always test it
  • Test every camera you put up to make sure you have the ideal angles and detection range
  • Check cameras during the middle of the day when turkeys are not likely to be in morning hunt areas
  • Listen to the episode to learn how to use game cameras for spring turkey scouting

Can you start scouting for turkeys too early? Or better still, when do you get the best returns for time spend scouting? On this episode I talk about the best times and situations for spring turkey scouting.

Take Aways

  • In the winter turkeys seek out habitat that helps them survive the winter, by spring they move into other areas.
  • As the breeding season approaches, turkey flocks break up and movement patterns shift.
  • Scouting in the winter can afford some value but because so much changes, the learnings can only provide general help.
  • After the breeding season, turkey habits and movements change again as poults are born and raised.
  • Then turkeys begin to flock up again and their habitat shifts.
  • So there are specific times that have high value for scouting.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the best times to scout for spring gobblers

Every turkey season we should gain new insights that will help us become more effective hunters. And the only thing better than learning from your own experiences is learning from other people’s too! On this episode I share the most important thing I learned about hunting spring turkey last season.

Take Aways

  • Being in the right area can help new turkey hunters overcome many other shortcomings.
  • No amount of skill can make up for being in the right place at the right time.
  • You cannot take turkeys if there are none in the area. 
  • You can get about 80% of the benefit of calling gobblers from about 20% of the skill.
  • It is not as much about finding the right exact spot on the ground as putting yourself in the right area and adjusting your spot as needed.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the most important thing I learned last season!

Has a myth ever hindered you? The truth can lift burdens and bring freedom. On this episode I debunk 7 hunting myths that make it hard for people to start hunting or to pursue new types of game.

Hunting myths can mostly be broken down into two main categories, internal and external. 

Internal Hunting Myths

  • These are things you believe about yourself.
  • Things no one told you.
  • They may be started or perpetuated by a bad experience or observation.
  • You never questioned them because they seemed to always there.
  • Now is the time to question things!

External Hunting Myths

  • These are things someone else told you were true.
  • They are based on tradition, folklore, experiences, and something basically nothing.
  • Things are said enough times and over enough generations that people assume they are true.
  • You never thought to question these things because you never had a reason.
  • This is the time to start questioning!

Listen to the episode to hear the 7 myths that bog down new hunters.

A bad hunting habit can cost you a lot of opportunities while pursuing predators. But fixing a bad habit can readily boost your chances of success hunting coyotes, foxes, and more while seemingly doing nothing different. On this episode I identify several bad habits for predator hunting and how you can easily fix them.

Take Aways

  • Predator hunting can seem relatively simple at times, but it is a very skillful activity.
  • What you do, how you do it, and what you omit makes all the difference.
  • A bad hunting habit can appear invisible to you if it is not called to your attention.
  • Doing everything right can often be overshadowed by the negative effects of a bad habit.
  • A habit is not a one-time mistake, it is a regular tendency, something that follows you hunt-after-hunt. 
  • No one is immune to picking up a bad predator hunting habit. It can and will happen unless you intentionally work against it.
  • Every bad habit that you fix can make a big difference in how successful you are.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the three bad habits for hunting coyotes and foxes.