Tips For Safe Turkey Hunting

Written by Big Game Camera Man on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I hope you all have enjoyed the tips I've posted over the last few months. I certainly have enjoyed recalling my experiences. If you've been following my posts, this is probably the most important one, even for seasoned hunters.

Many members are whitetail hunters. That's pretty much a one-on-one sport—when you hunt sharp-nosed whitetail, you need to hunt solo to avoid presenting too much human scent. Hunting wild turkey is another matter. It's more enjoyable when you hunt with a friend, and working together can improve your chances. But hunting with other people also increases dangers—the obvious ones, and some which are not so apparent.

When you get turkeys fired up, they can come in from any direction, gobbling or silently—some may even slip in from behind you. Even in the heat of such a moment, you always have to be 100% aware of your particular target. Seasoned hunters know that, in the mayhem of a breathtaking hunt, the whole roof seemingly can cave in on you. It's easy to lose track of where your partner is located, and that's when accidents happen. You must stay focused.

A good hunter knows when to take his safety off; a smart, safe hunter knows when to put the safety back on. At each and every setup my hunters and I have throughout a season, the guys think I'm a pain in the butt for constantly asking "is your safety on?". Always treat your shotgun like it's loaded—never, ever point the barrel at yourself or anyone else. While turkey hunting, your safety should be on at all times except when you have a bird fooled into approaching you, it's within 50 yards, and you think you're about to have a nice, clean harvest. At that point, slip the safety off slowly and quietly. Immediately after the moment of truth, put the safety back on. Make that a habit, because it's easy to forget to do it in the excitement of a kill.

A few points about non-firearm hazards:

The woods are wet in Spring, and conditions can be slippery. Be very aware of your footing.

Branches may still be bare and hard to see—protect your eyes.

At the end of a hunt, check yourself carefully for ticks. They're everywhere, even this early in the season.

Think your day through in advance. Competent planning can go a long way:

Tell someone else—your spouse, a relative, a friend—where you're going and when you expect to be back.

Pack along a snack and plenty of water. You may be out longer than you planned!

If you have a cell phone, bring it along. (Keep it turned off; at the moment of truth
you won't have time to take any calls!)

I'll take luck before skill any day, but skill can't hurt! That big gobbler has no appointments, he'll show up when he wants to and you'd better be ready. You're not competing against other hunters, but against a big-game animal that's one of the most difficult to hunt successfully. I hope my tips have helped some of you to improve your skills.

Keep the tradition alive. Take a youngster hunting!

Remember, when turkey hunting, safety comes first.

About The Author

I’ve been in the business of filming hunts for 24 years now. I have hundreds of hours of...

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