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There’s not much we can control when turkey hunting. Weather is particularly one of the factors we can’t control. However, we can prepare for any weather. Don’t let rain and wind spoil your gobbler hunting. To paint it in broad strokes, all you need is proper attitude, adjusted tactics and sufficient turkey hunting gear. Think of a nasty weather as of your advantage over those hunters who’ll get back under their covers.
And now some practical recommendations if you get caught by foul weather amid a turkey hunting season.
1. Don’t panic
Not all rainy days affect turkeys the same way. Some of them even make turkeys gobble more intensively, whereas some birds tend to shut up. Concentrate on the sounds and don’t rush. You may want to check under the trees as turkeys prefer to shelter there if the rain is too heavy.
2. Use proper decoys
Locate turkey hunting decoys properly. Turkeys seek open areas in the rain so that they have extra space for escape. Since visibility is low, you’ll want to make sure your decoy is visible, yet doesn’t attract too much attention. You may use a hen mount and a gobble, which work great in pairs. Since rain and wind can make it a little harder to hear, make sure you offer something turkeys can visually see.
If it’s your first turkey hunt ever, make sure you’ve learnt the basics of turkey calling. You don’t want to gobble too much or too loud. It won’t make turkeys come up and you’ll only waist your energy. Turkey calling should sound natural.
4. Be patient
Turkeys don’t goof around during the rain. They slacken, observe and wait. So should you. Just because the bird doesn’t answer, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
5. Be ready
Prick your ears and listen carefully. Wind and rain make it difficult to identify the gobblers’ position or estimate the range. Always keep alert even when you are seating in a comfortable hunting chair and enjoying the rain.
6. Suit up
Turkey hunting in bad weather can be very challenging, especially when you need to wait for hours for gobblers to come out. Hardly will you catch a fish… oops, a turkey, if you’ve soaked to the bone or got weather-beaten. A wide brimmed hat, a rain suit and camo patterns are necessary to keep you dry and warm and ready to hunt. Dress in layers to put your turkey hunting clothes on and off as may be required.
7. Combine your tactics
Don’t stick to one particular hunting tactic thinking it’s the only right one. Combine, experiment, test. Remember that turkeys don’t follow rules, they follow instincts. That’s why you should also be flexible. Don’t be guided by particular patterns, create new ones.
8. Keep spirits up
Don’t forget that hunting is more about pleasure and fun. So don’t be frustrated because of the foul weather. Be bold, be creative and hunting will end up successfully.