turkey hunting

Top 5 Turkey Hunting Mistakes

I’ve made plenty of mistakes while turkey hunting, and by plenty I mean a shit load. To increase your odds in the turkey woods and prevent you from making the same foolish choices I did, I’ve compiled the top five most common mistakes. Here we go…

shotgun pattern for turkey hunting

(1) Not knowing how your gun, choke, and ammunition work together

These three variables can produce very different results down range. It is of utmost importance that you take your shotgun with the specific ammunition and choke that you’re going to hunt with and practice shooting that set up at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. Your pattern at 10 yards is going to be a hell of a lot different and your pattern at 40 yards. Depending on your set up you could be crushing it at 70 yards, or barely able to poke 40. It varies A LOT depending on what set up you have. Make sure you know what your EXACT set up is capable of because you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re taking a shot outside of your lethal range. I have a made this mistake before and I can tell you… it leads to missed birds.

turkey decoy for turkey hunting

(2) Crappy Decoys

You don’t want to get out there and scare birds away birds because of your decoys. There are exceptions to this rule but in a lot of cases you’re better off actually not having decoys at all versus having a crappy $10 set that a gobbler is going to see, realize something is wrong and run the other way. I’d recommend spending a little bit of money on your decoys. We’re not talking a ton, $30 – $40 per decoy will do the trick. Take care of them and they will last you a very long time.

(3) Calling before you’re actually set up

Calling before you’re actually set up is recipe for a circus act! You’re in the wide open timber letting out a few yelps and he responds. A big thunderous gobble. He comes running at you while you’re scrambling to find a spot to set up and he busts you with your pants down.  Always be ready before you start calling. Rest against a tree, cover up, sit still, have your shotgun on your knee and you’ll never get caught in a frenzy again. I’d recommend using a light tripod to keep your shotgun in a ready position. If you are playing the walk and call strategy, simply form a game plan based on your surroundings BEFORE you start calling. If you hear that electrifying gobble, you’ll be able to set up within mere seconds.

turkey hunting tips and tactics

(4) Not been hidden enough

Turkeys have excellent eyesight. So good, you need to hide as if you were hiding from a person. You can sit in a full on ground blind, small brush blind, or simply use sticks and plants around you. Use face-paint, wear a mask, glove, and cover up any shine on your shotgun and camera equipment if you’re using it. Its a dead give away and turkeys will not tolerate it!

(5) Calling too loud and too often

This is especially important when a bird is still on the roost. When I first started turkey hunting any time I could get a bird to gobble I’d practically piss myself in excitement. I would call every couple minutes, die with excitement after each gobble, and  think that everything was going really great. When he hopped off the roost 30 minutes later, he slyly walked the other way because he caught on to my unnatural calling. If you’re calling too loud and too much it WILL turn them off.

Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the entire experience!

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Allie D'Andrea
allie@wornandweathered.com

Allie is the co-founder of Worn & Weathered and a hunter, public lands advocate, and wildlife conservationist.

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