Tips For Spring Turkey Hunting | Scouting, Calling, Decoys, & Strategy
By: Dylan Hayward
Spring turkey season is right around the corner, and as it is approaching fast, many hunters all across the country are getting prepared for one of the most exciting hunts that a hunter can experience.
I’ve met a few people in my life that I would consider turkey hunting “experts”. This seems to be something that takes a crazy amount of dedication, experience, and knowledge that few people possess.
However, whether you’re hunting in the midwest for easterns, or headed to Florida to chase the coveted Osceola, there are some basic tips and tricks that can be universally used to help make sure your hunt is successful.
Turkeys populate 49 of the 50 US states, as well as parts of Canada, so most likely wherever you live, you have a good chance of finding some birds if you look hard enough.
I typically start scouting a few weeks before the season starts as the birds will already begin breeding in late March and early April. Turkeys tend to be most active in the early mornings, and tend to favor open fields where they can see great distances. I have also had great success roosting turkeys at dawn, this helps me locate flocks and generally wherever they roost, they’re going to fly down very close in the morning.
Pick yourself up some Vortex Binos and start glassing some field edges in the early morning, to get a good idea on where some flocks are located.
All three calls have their place in a hunters turkey vest, but I have found that someone that knows how to effectively use a diaphragm, generally will have no probably calling a Tom in. With its versatility in pitch and volume, as well as not having to use your hands which will help conceal you from a cautious bird, this call has helped me immensely on my spring hunts.
While I love using decoys, I don’t think that every hunt has to include them. If I am hunting in thick timber and I know a bird is close by, I won’t even bother using a decoy.
However, if I am hunting a big ag field, or a food plot, I prefer to place my decoys about 20 yards away from where I am hunting, with a presentation that will make a Tom curious and eager to investigate.
There are hundreds of decoys on the market ranging from $15-$200. While I think the more expensive decoys are awesome, I have killed countless birds using a $15 foam decoy with a stick to hold it up.
That Tom doesn’t care how much that decoy costs.
If the scenario looks real, he will generally want to either breed or fight, prepare for both. I like to place a jake decoy that is in half-strut facing a hen that is laid down. This seems to really get a longbeards blood pumping and have him throw caution to the wind as he approaches.
Turkey hunting is unlike any other hunt out there.
The back and forth communication that you have with the Tom, the intensity in the bird's body language and the thunderous roar of a turkey's gobble makes it one of the most exciting hunts I have ever experienced. I have always said that the best way to learn how to hunt turkey is simply by trial and error.
These tips will no doubt help you gain a baseline for how to hunt these incredible birds, however, the best way to learn is to get out there and find out an effective strategy that works best for you.
Either way, I guarantee you have an amazing time this spring chasing some thunder chickens.