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!

Show Notes:

Up until recently every hunter using a firearm had to make a decision with every hunt. Do they protect their future or relish the present? Tetra Hearing has changed the game for all hunters when it comes to saving their hearing and enjoying every precious sound of every hunt and game species. Whether you are hunting ducks, geese, turkeys, deer, pheasants, grouse, crows, doves, elk, or anything else the Tetra AlphaShield & Multi-Pursuit hearing devices can not only save your hearing but help you hear better and hunt better.  I make no commissions on this product and there are no affiliate links. These are my own opinions and this my very own detailed and passionate review.  This may be the most important podcast episode I have ever done. Please listen to this episode.

Pros:

  • Allows you to hear everything around you with crisp clarity.
  • Audio quality is exceptional, no static, hum, ambient sounds, distractions, etc.
  • Can be custom tuned to your actual personal hearing levels for each ear.
  • Instantly blocks out the sound of gun fire and loud calling to protect your hearing.
    • These are designed to both stop the incremental hearing loss that comes from infrequent shooting with the average deer and turkey seasons as well as stop the accelerated hearing loss caused by high volume shooting seen in hunting waterfowl, pheasants, doves, crows, etc. 
  • Utilizes advanced audio processing technology to filter out various sounds you do not want to hear but more clearly capture subtle sounds you do want to hear.
  • Filters out the majority of wind noise.
  • Amplifies the unique sounds of the game animals you are hunting like turkey gobbles and yelps, duck quacks and wing beats, deer grunts and footfalls, pheasants flushing, and much more. 
  • Far better than anything I’ve seen on the market. In my mind they have no competitors, no one else offering similar products is even in their league. 
  • Fits snugly in your ear and will not fall out.
  • Works great while wearing a hat, beanie, whole head facemask, camo head shroud, etc.
  • Can be put on in seconds.
  • Reduces flinching causes by loud muzzle blast and may help some hunters shoot more accurately.
  • Uses long lasting disposable hearing aid batteries you can easily and inexpensively get in bulk.
  • Super simple to use, there is almost no way to do it wrong. Before long you can easily put them on in the dark without effort or thought.
  • Is sensitive enough to pick up the faintest whisper and the wing beats of ducks but instantly blocks out the roar of magnum shotgun shells.
  • Can be programmed for the game animals that you personally hunt.
  • Improves your hearing so well that even archery hunters may want to use them to hear game more clearly from further away.
  • Designed by ear doctors and hunters, does its job with outstanding excellence. 
    • It is as if they thought of every intricate detail but put it in a package with unexplainable simplicity. 
  • Utilizes high grade hearing aid technology meant to be used constantly, reliably, and without down time. 
  • Comes with 6 different size tips to accommodate different ear sizes.
  • Tetra has confirmed that people with Health Saving Accounts (HSA) can use those funds towards purchasing their products.

Cons:

  • They fit too tightly for my small ears at first. They felt acceptably snug after a few outings. But after a few half day hunts they fit comfortably enough that I would forget I was wearing them. I’d rather them fit perfectly from day one, but this is still preferred over being too loose.
    • Some people with small ears may not wear them enough to find out that their ears will adapt to them and they become comfortable over time.
  • Sounds weird indoors and around town. But they are meant to be used in the field and they do thrive in their intended environment.
  • The battery door feels a little delicate when open. Should be fine, but be careful to take it is easy when changing batteries. 
  • Price. No two ways about it, they are expensive. Costing as much as a firearm makes them a significant purchase. A very well worth it purchase, but not something most people can casually buy without saving up. 
    • They do go on sale occasionally. And Tetra has said they are working on sourcing more cost effective components to lower the prices.

Final Analysis: Every hunter using a firearm should get these, especially those hunting game requiring regular and frequent shooting like waterfowl, pheasants, doves, etc. If you are a new hunter it would be better to hunt another season or two with a less than thrilling firearm and buy these before upgrading your gun. Everyone should put these on their vision list and prioritize them as they are financially able. 

Learn more at www.TetraHearing.com

Show Notes:

Today was a dream come true in the turkey woods! Gobbler down within 5 minutes of legal shooting time! But it didn’t happen by accident, this turkey hunt took strategy, preseason work, and a carefully thought out plan including tactics that are out of the ordinary for me.  On this episode I share the story and the strategy.

  • I am so excited and so thankful to God, Josh for letting me hunt here, my family supporting my hunting season absences, and everyone who has helped me learn, grow, and acquire effective equipment over the years.
  • This was an awesome hunt, even though it was short. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of, taking a long beard at daybreak on opening day! Especially since I got skunked last season. It felt like a redemption moment.

Check out the video for the full story and the five strategies that helped me take this beautiful bird. 

 

Show Notes:

Turkeys behave differently as the day wears on, so to boost your odds of success you need to adjust your strategies right along with them. On this episode I talk about a variety of late morning turkey hunting tactics.

Take Aways

  • Prime turkey hunting is usually the first hour or two of daylight, but it is only prime because birds make the most noise and are the easiest to locate.
  • Turkeys can be called and taken just as well as the morning goes on. But the game changes as the sun rises.
  • Late morning you need to hunt sign, travel areas, and where you heard the birds and called to them early on.
  • Tom will at times come back after the hens have left them, if you were close to them early, you have a chance in that same general area later.
  • Covering ground becomes a different game as the day wears on. But patience and persistence are both rewarded.
  • Listen to the episode to hear a variety of late morning tactics.

 

Show Notes:

Hunting where turkeys are supersedes all gear and every skill, nothing can help you unless you hunt near birds. On this episode I explain how to find a great spot to hunt gobblers be it on public or private land.

Take Aways

  • Turkeys need food, and occasionally take a drink as well.
  • Turkeys love three main habitat features; open hardwoods, cover, and grassy fields
  • If you hunt where turkey’s want to be and spend their time you will have drastically more success than if you just hunt random areas.
  • Turkey’s are upland birds, so focus your search on places that are dry and support good tree growth.
  • Whenever you are hunting you should also be scouting, trying to determine where your next hunt should be.
  • Turkeys are perhaps most visible when flying up to a high tree to sleep, if you can catch a glimpse in the evening you have found a spot.
  • Birds can move quite a bit of distance in a day, but they often roost in the same areas, look for roosting evidence.
  • Every time of day has its advantages for scouting. Try scout early in the morning to listen for gobbles, or mid day to look for ground sign, and late in the day to see them going to roost.
  • Listen to the episode to learn how to find a great turkey hunting spot.