If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile, you guys are probably aware of our love for turkey. If not, we here at Pro-Tracker LOVE us some wild turkey. Homemade turkey bacon, turkey burgers, turkey jerky; chances are if anywhere in the contents it include wild turkey we have at one point or another tried to stuff it in our collective faces. That being said, one of our favorite traditions is going on a fall turkey hunt for our Thanksgiving turkey. Unfortunately, when you tell your family you’re going out to bring home a key aspect of your holiday feast there are expectations that you will, in fact, bring home a beautiful bird. This pressure can sometimes throw you off your hunting game, but fear not friends. We here at Pro-Tracker will help save the day by offering you our Top 5 Fall Turkey Tips to help make sure you’re bird is the highlight of this year’s fantastic feast!
1. Charge that Pro-Tracker! Did you know that you can even use our Pro-Tracker, Ultimate Recovery System on small game, like a turkey? Well, you certainly can! This is incredibly helpful in case you get in a bad shot and your bird takes flight, or as tricky turkeys often do, launches into the air or speedily flees into some heavy coverage brush. No one wants to come home empty handed because they had a bad shot and their turkey had little or no blood to follow.
2. Do not underestimate the need for scouting. Pre-scouting in the fall is an absolute must. As there is less food, the flock will need to cover a much broader area in order to find sustenance. Turkeys as a whole are often a lot quieter in the fall as well, so knowing what to look for is important. You’ll want to keep a keen eye out for turkey scratching, feathers, and droppings. The more scratching, the more likely that that area is frequently traversed by the flock and would be a good place to set yourself up.
3. Do not underestimate the power of calling. Especially in the fall, a lot of people tend to rush in and break up groups of birds, similar to flushing out a pheasant, in the hopes that the birds will go in all different directions and then slowly trickle back to your location to regroup. While this can work, it’s tricky business and doesn’t guarantee that they birds will break properly or that they will actually return to your location. Rather we’ve found that if you exhibit some patience you’ll have much more success. Set up in a good location, where you’re hidden but still have a clear view of an area where there is evidence of a flock, and just begin to call. Make sure to start your call off in a plaintive manner and then try to match the tone/cadence of any responses to be extra convincing. Chances are it will draw some birds into your area. Don’t shoot the first ones though unless they look like a winner; since turkeys like to flock where one turkey goes, others are soon to follow.
4. Embrace the dummies. Turkeys are a bit odd in that they like to flock, but are also quite territorial and a bit aggressive. This means that once you shoot a turkey, the likelihood of another turkey hopping on top of them like they are playing ‘king of the mountain’ is pretty high. Play off of this aspect of their nature by placing a few dummies out in prone or weakened positions on the ground. Once your birds come in from your amazing calls, there is a good chance one or two will set up camp on top of your dummies and will also help to give you a great shot.
5. Aim for closer range and use the right tip. Using a blind can be helpful this time of year, especially because if you want your best chance to hit your bird you’re going to want to be within around 20 yards. You’re also going to want to make sure your point is geared towards turkey hunting so that you don’t unintentionally decimate your dinner due to too large of a tip.
Our last tip is to remember to be grateful. Life gets so hectic from time to time that many of us forget to take time to look around and realize all the blessings we have around us. So, this Thanksgiving, remember to stop and smell the roses, to smile at your kiddos crazy antics, and to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast; even if the bird is a little burnt and Uncle Fred forgot the stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from our family to yours!