Turkey Hunting: Tips for Hunting in Early Morning

Turkey hunting in the early morning can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience for any avid hunter. As the sun rises and paints the sky with vibrant hues, the woods come alive with the sounds of gobbling turkeys. However, successfully hunting turkeys in the early morning requires careful planning, preparation, and knowledge of their behavior patterns. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and strategies to enhance your turkey hunting skills during the early morning hours. From understanding turkey habits to selecting the right gear and employing effective techniques, read on to learn how to make the most out of your early morning turkey hunts.

Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to turkey hunting, selecting the perfect location can greatly increase your chances of success. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right hunting spot:

Scouting for Turkey Habitats

Before heading out for your early morning hunt, it’s essential to scout for turkey habitats in your area. Look for signs of turkey activity such as scratch marks on the ground or feathers. Turkeys tend to frequent areas with ample food sources, such as open fields, meadows, or forest edges. Additionally, they are known to roost in trees near water sources, so keep an eye out for nearby creeks or rivers.

Identifying Roosting Areas

Turkeys typically roost in trees during the night and descend at dawn to begin their daily activities. Identifying roosting areas is crucial as it allows you to set up your hunting position accordingly. Look for large, mature trees with wide branches that can support the weight of turkeys. Pay attention to areas with droppings or feathers underneath the roosting trees, as this indicates their presence.

Considering Weather Conditions

Weather conditions play a significant role in turkey behavior and hunting success. Pay attention to weather forecasts, especially in the early morning hours when you plan to hunt. Turkeys are more likely to be active during calm and clear mornings. Rainy or windy conditions may cause turkeys to seek shelter and reduce their activity levels. By considering the weather conditions, you can adjust your hunting strategy accordingly and increase your chances of encountering turkeys.

Remember, choosing the right location involves thorough scouting, identifying roosting areas, and considering weather conditions. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be well on your way to a successful early morning turkey hunt. Happy hunting!

Preparing for the Hunt

Gathering the Necessary Equipment

Before heading out for an early morning turkey hunt, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary equipment. Having the right gear can make a significant difference in your success rate. Here are some essential items you should include in your hunting arsenal:

  • Shotgun: Choose a shotgun that is specifically designed for turkey hunting. A 12-gauge shotgun with a tight choke is ideal for accurate and lethal shots.
  • Ammunition: Load your shotgun with turkey-specific ammunition, such as turkey loads or magnum shells. These provide the necessary power and penetration for a clean kill.
  • Camouflage Clothing: Dressing in camo patterns that match the surroundings is crucial for blending in with the environment and remaining undetected by the keen eyesight of turkeys.
  • Binoculars: High-quality binoculars are essential for scouting and spotting turkeys from a distance. Look for binoculars with good magnification and clarity to aid in target identification.
  • Turkey Vest: A turkey vest with multiple pockets allows you to carry essential accessories, such as extra ammunition, calls, and other gear, while keeping them easily accessible.
  • Calls: Turkey calls are essential for luring in gobblers. Carry a variety of calls, including box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, and locator calls, to increase your chances of success.
  • Decoys: Realistic turkey decoys can attract curious gobblers, providing you with a better shot opportunity. Carry a combination of hen and gobbler decoys for added effectiveness.
  • Blind or Chair: If you prefer hunting from a stationary position, consider carrying a portable blind or chair to provide comfort and concealment during the hunt.
  • Game Bag: A spacious game bag is essential for safely carrying harvested turkeys out of the hunting area.

Dressing Appropriately

Early morning turkey hunts often require enduring chilly temperatures, so dressing appropriately is crucial for staying comfortable and focused. Follow these tips to ensure you are dressed for success:

  • Layering: Dress in layers to regulate your body temperature as the morning progresses. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, followed by insulating layers, and top it off with a camo outer layer.
  • Insulated Boots: Wear insulated, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry throughout the hunt. Opt for boots with good traction to navigate different terrains silently.
  • Headgear: A camo hat or facemask is essential for hiding your face and reducing glare. This helps you remain undetected by wary turkeys.
  • Gloves: Use camo gloves to keep your hands warm and concealed. Look for gloves that allow for dexterity, enabling you to handle your shotgun and calls effectively.
  • Rain Gear: Check the weather forecast before heading out and carry lightweight rain gear if rain is a possibility. Staying dry is vital for maintaining comfort during the hunt.

Bringing Decoys and Calls

Decoys and calls play a crucial role in attracting turkeys within range. Here’s what you need to know about using decoys and calls effectively:

  • Decoys: Choose decoys that closely resemble the appearance and posture of real turkeys. Position them strategically to create a natural-looking scene. Setting up a hen decoy near your hiding spot can attract gobblers seeking companionship.
  • Calls: Mastering turkey calls is essential for a successful hunt. Practice different calls to mimic the sounds of hens, gobblers, and even distressed turkeys. Strive for authenticity and use calls sparingly to avoid raising suspicion.
  • Calling Strategies: Experiment with different calling techniques to gauge the response of nearby turkeys. Start with soft and subtle calls, gradually increasing the volume and intensity if there’s no response. Remember to pause and listen between calls to detect any approaching gobblers.

By adequately preparing for your early morning turkey hunt, gathering the necessary equipment, dressing appropriately, and bringing decoys and calls, you’ll be well-equipped to increase your chances of a successful and rewarding hunting experience. Happy hunting!

Techniques for Early Morning Turkey Hunting

Setting Up Before Sunrise

When it comes to turkey hunting in the early morning, setting up before sunrise is crucial for a successful hunt. Turkeys are most active during the early morning hours, and being in position before they start moving can greatly increase your chances of bagging a bird. Here are some tips for setting up before sunrise:

  1. Scout the Area: Before your hunt, scout the area to find the best location for setting up. Look for signs of turkey activity such as tracks, droppings, or scratching in the ground. Ideally, you want to find an area with good visibility and cover.

  2. Find a Concealed Spot: Once you’ve located a promising area, find a spot that provides good concealment. Use natural cover like bushes, trees, or rocks to blend in with the surroundings. Avoid wearing bright colors that can alert turkeys to your presence.

  3. Face the Right Direction: Position yourself facing the direction where you expect turkeys to come from. This will allow you to have a clear line of sight and make it easier to take a shot when the opportunity arises.

Using Calls Effectively

Using calls effectively is an essential skill for early morning turkey hunting. Turkeys rely heavily on vocal communication, so using the right calls can lure them closer to your position. Here are some tips for using calls effectively:

  1. Start Softly: Begin your calling sequence softly to mimic the natural sounds of turkeys waking up in the morning. Use soft yelps or purrs to grab their attention without overwhelming them.

  2. Mix Up Your Calls: Turkeys are intelligent animals and can become wary of repetitive or unnatural calls. Vary your calling sequence by incorporating different types of calls such as clucks, cuts, yelps, or kee-kees to make it sound more authentic.

  3. Pay Attention to Timing: Timing is crucial when using calls. It’s important to give turkeys enough time to respond before making another call. Patience is key, as sometimes it can take a while for them to approach.

Understanding Turkey Behavior

To become a successful early morning turkey hunter, it’s important to understand turkey behavior. Knowing their habits and tendencies can give you an advantage in predicting their movements. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Roosting Locations: Turkeys roost in trees at night for safety. Locate their roosting areas before your hunt, as they will likely fly down from these spots in the early morning. Setting up near their roosting sites can increase your chances of encountering them.

  2. Feeding Patterns: Turkeys feed in the morning to replenish their energy after a night of roosting. Look for areas with abundant food sources such as fields, open meadows, or agricultural lands. Understanding their feeding patterns can help you position yourself strategically.

  3. Travel Routes: Turkeys often follow established travel routes between their roosting and feeding areas. Look for trails, paths, or natural corridors that they might use. Setting up along these routes can intercept them during their morning movements.

By following these techniques for early morning turkey hunting, setting up before sunrise, using calls effectively, and understanding turkey behavior, you’ll increase your chances of a successful and rewarding hunt. Remember to always prioritize safety, respect nature, and abide by local hunting regulations. Happy hunting!

In conclusion, turkey hunting in the early morning can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips mentioned in this article, such as scouting the area beforehand, using camouflage and decoys, and employing calling techniques effectively, hunters can increase their chances of success. It is important to remember to stay patient and alert, as turkeys are known for their keen senses and cautious nature. With practice and a good understanding of turkey behavior, hunters can improve their skills and enjoy the thrill of a successful morning hunt.