In order to be a successful turkey hunter, there are some things you should avoid doing. Every hunter is bound to make some mistakes while in the woods, but here are some of the few things that you should generally steer clear of in order to be a successful turkey hunter.
Avoid Standing Up to Verify the Turkey's Location
It can be hard on the body to be bent over or kneeling, but this is the only way to remain camouflaged from the birds during hunting. Many beginners make the mistake of stretching or standing up to check the turkey's exact whereabouts. But no matter how carefully you think you are operating, always resist the urge to stand up when a bird is moving in your direction.
The Early Bird Gets the Turkey
One of the biggest mistakes that any hunter, novice or otherwise, will make is to sleep in late. Although turkeys are up and about during all waking hours, any experienced turkey hunter will tell you that the crack of dawn is the only time that you can expect to make a big score. The most exciting hunting is always in the early morning hours. Rising early can make all the difference between a successful or a disappointing hunt.
Don't Give Up Just Yet
Another common mistake that many hunters make during a turkey hunt is to leave too soon. The early risers who abandon the hunt after 9 a.m. may experience a bad hunt, just as the latecomers make experience a bad hunt. Although it can be frustrating to experience many near-hits during a very early morning hunt, it can pay off to stick around long enough to encounter more birds.
Getting Too Close to Birds on the Roost
This is a common mistake because it can be very tempting to get too close to the roost, especially if you spot many birds on the limbs. As a general rule, however, you will get a better shot if you are able to get near a tree full of roosted birds without being detected. You are more likely to get a clear shot when the birds fly down. However, you don't want to get too close to the birds on the roost, especially if you are hunting very early in the morning. As you tiptoe through the darkened woods, the roosting birds may merely become a dark blur of shapes flying from the trees. When you flush a flock of birds from the trees, you may not only miss a clear shot from the chaos of fleeing birds, you may also inadvertently cause a commotion that alerts other nearby flocks. This can cause a flush of turkeys from the area, making it very difficult to get a good shot in the area.
Calling the Turkeys Too Long
This can happen when the hunter gets carried away with his own calls. Many turkey hunters enjoy honing and practicing their own turkey calls. Calling too long may actually be counterproductive in that it can cause the turkeys to spot you. A call should be just long enough to get birds in the area. But when you sense a bird approaching your setup, stop calling. Otherwise, the turkey may notice the caller and flee.
Not Dressing in Layers
Not wearing the suitable clothes for a turkey hunt can certainly cause a problem. Many turkey hunters tend to under-dress for the hunt. This is a mistake. Prepare yourself for the elements and you will be more apt to experience a successful hunt. The general guideline here is to dress in layers, and don't forget the rain gear.