Tricks and Tactics to Hunt Longbeards in Fair Weather
Spring turkey hunting can be unpredictable. Depending on where you are hunting you could experience high winds, rain, or even warm or hot conditions. Have you ever planned for one type of weather condition and everything changed during your hunt?
Since spring turkey season is our favorite time to hunt turkey, we need to know how to take advantage of the conditions to make our hunt a success. As a hunter, we need to prepare for all weather conditions and have the best gear available for our hunts.
Knowing how you might handle different situations can help you be more successful. Let’s look at some strategies that can help you when the weather conditions are not perfect.
Hunting Turkey in Windy Conditions
As the seasons change and temperatures rise, so do the challenges faced by us long-beard chasers. One such challenge is hunting turkey in the wind. While windy conditions can be downright frustrating, they can also offer unique opportunities for success if approached with the right mindset and tactics.
Let’s look at key strategies for hunting turkey in the wind, ensuring that you not only enjoy your time in the outdoors but also make the most of the conditions Mother Nature has thrown your way.
Use the wind to your advantage:
Windy conditions can impact your ability to call in turkeys, but they can also help conceal your movements and sounds. Wind gusts can mask the noise you make while walking, setting up your decoys, and adjusting your position. Turkeys may also be less alert, considering the rustling leaves and branches may distract them or make it difficult for them to hear your movements.
To maximize this advantage, set up in areas where the wind is blowing across or at an angle to your position. This will help carry the sound of your calls away while making it harder for turkeys to pinpoint your exact location. When calling, use more aggressive and louder calls to break through the wind noise barrier and get the birds' attention.
Understand turkey behavior in windy conditions:
Turkeys often change their patterns and behaviors in response to windy conditions. For example, you might find them staying lower in elevation, seeking sheltered areas like valleys, creek bottoms, or timberlines to get out of the wind. Pay close attention to the terrain, looking for these types of likely hiding spots.
Additionally, turkeys may rely more on their eyesight in windy conditions, as their hearing is impaired by the noise. This means they may be more inclined to move to open areas with clear lines of sight, like fields or cutovers, where they can spot potential danger from a distance. Adjust your setup accordingly, choosing spots with openings that provide visibility for the turkeys and clear shooting lanes for you.
Adapt your calling strategy:
As mentioned earlier, it can be more challenging to get turkeys to hear your calls in windy conditions. To counter this, you may need to switch up your calling strategy. Focus on using louder, higher-pitched calls that can penetrate the noise better, there are three types of calls for each hunter. Check out our Top 3 Turkey Calls Every Hunter Should Own and Master Before Hunting Season Starts.
You may need to use more aggressive calling techniques to get and keep the turkey’s attention. However, don't overdo your calling. Remember that you're trying to mimic a natural conversation between birds, so strike a balance between compelling and authentic calling.
Success in windy conditions often requires more patience than on a calm day. Turkeys might take longer to respond to your calls or to work their way toward your position. They may hang up at a distance, trying to gain visual confirmation of what they're hearing. Be prepared to wait them out and resist the temptation to overcall or move to a different spot too soon.
Sitting longer also allows you to observe how the birds react to the conditions and adjust your tactics accordingly. Be persistent and prepared to adapt, as the birds’ behaviors may change throughout the day depending on how the wind shifts or decreases.
Safety and shot placement:
In windy conditions, the risk of a misplaced shot may be slightly higher due to the varying gusts and their impact on the flight of the arrow or pellets. Therefore, be even more mindful of proper shot placement and ethical hunting practices in these situations. Make sure you have a steady shooting platform and that you feel confident in taking the shot at the given distance.
Final Thoughts Windy Conditions:
Hunting turkey in the wind can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it's a challenge you can overcome. By understanding and adapting to the unique behaviors and patterns of turkeys in windy conditions, being more intentional with your calling, and exercising patience and focus, you'll increase your chances of success.
While every hunting scenario is different, these tactics have proven effective for experienced hunters braving the gusts. So, when the wind begins to blow, embrace the challenge, and harness the power of the wind to fill your turkey tags this season.
Hunting Turkey in Rain or Wet Conditions
To be successful in hunting during wet conditions the priority is to make sure you stay dry. Using the property clothing or ground blind will keep you in the woods and increase your opportunity for success.
Use Camouflage clothing that is water-resistant or waterproof. Remember the turkey has a keen sense of sight and hearing. Don’t produce clothing or cover that is unnatural in the surroundings.
Use a ground blind. The best way to stay dry is using a blind. If you have a blind that is already set up and has been seen by the turkeys in the past then your odds of success increase. If you throw up a ground blind because it is raining there is a likelihood you will have a gobbler that is more skittish and hesitant to come close.
You can offset the ground blind by having good turkey decoys working the areas in front of the blind. Having some soft purr calls and good decoys may entice other birds to come in for a closer look.
Being patient when hunting in the rain is important. If you can stay dry, give the birds a chance to work the fields and woods in the rain. The conditions may change some of the activities of the birds but they are wild and therefore will be looking to forage and breed in the spring.
Use the right calls during wet conditions. Some calls will not be as effective when there is moisture in the air. Know your calls. If you are working with chalk on a friction call, be cautious that the chalk doesn’t gum up and cause crappy calling.
Mouth calls and glass pot calls can be helpful in wet conditions.
Hunting turkey in wet conditions can present unique challenges but with the right preparation and techniques, such as wearing camouflage clothing, practicing patience, and knowing your call technique, it doesn't have to be an impossible task! With these tips under your belt, you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you next time you go hunting! Good luck!
Hunting Turkey when it’s Warm Outside
When temperatures soar, turkey hunting becomes a whole new ballgame. Although warmer seasons introduce new challenges for hunters, it doesn't mean that you can't have a successful hunting trip. In fact, with the right strategies and techniques, you may find that hot weather turkey hunting is even more rewarding than the cooler seasons.
In warmer temperatures, expect turkeys to be more active early in the morning and late in the afternoon, as they seek refuge from the heat. You'll also find them sticking closer to water sources for hydration and flocking beneath shaded areas such as thickets or tall trees.
Keep these factors in mind as you plan your hunting spots – setting up near water sources in the early morning or late afternoon will increase your chances of success.
Be more patient than usual. Turkeys, like other animals, are more reluctant to move during the heat of the day. Adjust your calling based on the turkeys. If they are still active because of the spring breeding season and being vocal you can utilize a more aggressive strategy. But, if they are quiet and non-responsive during the day, don’t be aggressive in your calling.
Adjust your clothing to be more comfortable. If you plan on cooler weather and you have no warm weather gear, take some time and run out and pick up some new clothing options. When a hunter is comfortable, he will be more likely to hold out in warmer weather.
Final Thought on Hunting Turkey During Fair Weather Conditions
Bagging a turkey in all weather conditions doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right approaches and adjustments, you can have a successful hunting experience even in the most challenging conditions.
Keep in mind the altered turkey behavior, adapt your gear to the weather, and scout multiple roosts to have several opportunities. By using these tips, you'll be well on your way to bagging your next gobbler, whether you're hunting in the scorching heat or enjoying a mild day in the woods.
For more successful options check out our blog on The Ultimate Gear Guide for Turkey Hunters where we have a deep discussion on the gear to be a successful turkey hunter.