Many turkey hunts fail due to how hunters set up on incoming birds. The setup is where turkey hunts are won, and lost. Jason Cruise offers some tips on things to do, and avoid, for the best possible opportunity to harvest a long-bearded gobbler.
Don’t panic when a nearby tom gobbles
When a gobbler sounds off close by, a common mistake made by hunters is to quickly sit down from thinking the bird will be on them at any second. Chances are, you have plenty of time to evaluate the area and make a good decision on where and how to set up on the bird. Don’t just sit down, look for a shaded area to help conceal your outline.
Try not to be backlit by sunlight
Cut a few branches from trees to place behind, in front and on both sides of where you choose to sit. If hens approach ahead of an out-of-range gobbler, it’s obviously important to not get busted by the hens before the tom is in range. Adding some additional concealment, along with shade, will play a huge role in making sure hens remain unaware of your presence.
Avoid light-of-sight obstacles
The absolute perfect setup for an incoming gobbler is rare; all you can do is deal with things you can control and ignore the rest. Most of the time, avoiding obstacles – fallen trees, brush, big rocks, etc. – is something that can be avoided. Once you sit down to setup on a hot bird, pay attention to nearby obstacles that could limit a wide range of shot opportunities. If you determine you don’t like it, move to another spot, don’t wait.
Turkeys are on turkey time, not your time. What sometimes seems like will be over in five minutes – the hunt – can often turn into a marathon chess game between hunter and turkey. As noted earlier, chances are you have plenty of time to setup properly, sit down and get as comfortable as possible to limit the amount of moving you make. It’s so much easier to sit still when you’re comfortable.