Hunting is a balancing act between preparation, luck, and persistence, which is especially true for turkey hunting. Due to their keen eyesight and intelligence, turkeys can be one of the most challenging game species to hunt, but also one of the most exciting.
More often than not, a failed turkey hunt can be the result of simple and avoidable mistakes. Let’s go over some of the 5 most common mistakes most turkey hunters make and how to avoid them.
Getting Spotted Before Daylight
If you’re eager to get out into the field, one of the best ways to maximize your hunt is to get to your spot before daybreak. This can help you sneak in undetected under the cover of darkness to take advantage of ambushing turkeys as they fly down from their evening roost.
However, walking into your spot before daybreak can sometimes do more harm than good because most hunters use a headlamp or flashlight to navigate in the dark. Since turkeys sleep in high treetops, known as a roost, if you walk in before daylight with a bright light, all the turkeys nearby will know exactly where you are and will avoid you. This can ruin your hunt before it even starts.
Instead of using a light, allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness or wait until first light to head to your spot. If there’s a bright moon and few clouds, you’ll be able to see well before twilight without the need for a light.
Better yet, many experienced turkey hunters don’t bother heading into the woods until the mid-morning hours between about 8 or 9 o’clock when turkeys tend to move around more. If you can’t get to your spot without a light, try sleeping in a little and sneak in when the sun is already up.
Calling too much
Another common mistake made by turkey hunters that’s easily avoidable is calling too much. Calls are an important part of turkey hunting but using them too much can cause the opposite of the desired outcome.
Turkeys are weary creatures. They spend every day in the elements avoiding predators and hunters like yourself. A smart and mature tom turkey can tell the difference between a real turkey and a hunter’s call. The more you call, the higher your chances of making a bad sound or the turkey becoming suspicious.
Too much calling can also make toms simply lose interest as well. No one is exactly sure why this is, but successful turkey hunters with a lot of experience under their belt always preach minimal and subtle calling practices.
Staying Too Long in One Spot
Many novice turkey hunters sit in a blind all day hoping that turkeys will come right in front of them for an easy shot. While hunting from a predetermined and secluded spot is a tried-and-true strategy, it can also be limiting.
If the turkey woods have gone quiet for a few hours, try moving to a different location and listening for gobbles. You should keep moving until you hear a gobble and try to close the distance. Staying in the same area for too long can seriously limit your success. The best turkey hunters put many miles on their boots by the end of the season, and you should too.
Giving Up Too Soon
As mentioned previously, persistence is one of the keys to hunting that’s often overlooked. The old saying “you can’t kill them from the couch” is hard to debate, so get out there and keep trying.
A little luck is always involved, but the more time you put into turkey hunting, the more you’ll get out of it. Many turkey hunters give up too soon because they don’t see or hear any turkeys right away, but also because they don’t have the right gear and clothing to keep them comfortable. This brings us to our next turkey hunting mistake.
Having the wrong gear and clothing is also another crucial mistake many turkey hunters make. Going back to what we just mentioned about giving up too soon, not having the right clothing can cause you to get wet from rain or become susceptible to cold temperatures. This can cause you to become uncomfortable and want to throw in the towel too soon.
First and foremost, camouflage clothing is a necessity for turkey hunting, as wild turkeys can see colors as well, if not better than humans. If you’re not concealed well enough, a turkey can spot you and run off long before they’re in range of your shotgun or bow.
One of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can have for turkey hunting is the GoHuntVest Pro heated vest. With its battery-powered internal heating system, you can keep plenty warm on those cold mornings, or you can take out the battery when you don’t need it on warmer days.
The GoHuntVest Pro is also abrasion and water-resistant, making it suitable for all weather conditions. It also comes in camouflage, which is an absolute necessity for concealing yourself from the excellent eyesight of wild turkeys.
Having the proper clothing is one of the easiest things you can do to be prepared for a successful turkey hunt. With the wrong hunting clothing, you may get too cold or wet to be able to hunt for an extended period. With the right hunting clothing such as the GoHuntVest Pro, you’ll be able to hunt for as long as it takes to be successful.
Turkey hunting is far from easy, and even if you don’t make any of these mistakes, you can still come home empty-handed. However, if you keep these things in mind and have luck on your side, you can drastically improve your odds of having a memorable and successful hunt.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this list is persistence. With the GoHuntVest Pro, you no longer have the excuse of being too cold to hunt. With this invaluable tool, you can stay out longer and in adverse conditions and harvest a beautiful tom turkey worthy of your wall and your table.
Remember these mistakes and burn them in your mind so you don’t make them yourself. No hunter is perfect, and we all make mistakes, but learning from your mistakes and the mistakes of others will make you as good of a hunter as you can be.