How to Know When to Move in on a Turkey

>As any turkey hunter can tell you, turkeys can move a lot quicker (and a lot smarter) than many people give them credit for. Any a perfect shot has been lost when a hunter tries to move in on a turkey at the wrong moment or when the hunter tries to make a fast adjustment to a new move made by the bird. If you want your turkey hunting trip to end in success, then the most important thing you can do is learn the right time to move in on a turkey.

First things first: you have to attract the turkey in to you. Most of the time, at least one turkey will answer your calls, and the first part of moving in on a turkey involves listening to this turkey answering your calls and judging where the bird is by where the calls are coming from. At this point, it is important to know you shooting ability and from what distance you are capable of taking shots. Knowing your shooting habits will help you determine when you are ready to take a shot and when you need to move in a little bit closer. Of course, the distance at which you are capable of taking a shot will also determine the distance you will need to cover when you move in on the turkey you have in your sights.

Knowing how close you need to be to the turkey to take a shot is one part of calculating your perfect approach to the turkey is one part of making the perfect move. The other part is all about learning to judge the behavior of the turkey and being ready to react to it. Every hunter has experienced the scenario in which they have been calling to a turkey, and getting tons of returned calls from the bird, when all of the sudden everything goes quiet, and then the turkey suddenly pops up next to you. To try and avoid letting the turkey sneak up on you, make sure you key in to all of the sounds the bird is making - not just the calls. Calls can give you an idea of the turkey is at, but it is also important to listen for the sound of the turkey's feet crunching on branches or the shaking of leaves as the turkey moves by. Putting all of these sounds together will help you keep track of the turkey's location more precisely.

When you're planning your move on the turkey, it is a good idea to stay in a position in which you are ready to shoot and ready to move quickly if the turkey suddenly breaks left or right. Squat down with your left shoulder pointed in the direction of the turkey (if you are left handed, go for your right shoulder). Keep your gun propped up against that shoulder with your head low, near the stock as through you were about to take the shot. You'll be ready to react whatever happens from this position.

If you end up needing to creep up a little bit more, make all of your moves when you cannot see the turkey's eyes. If you can't see their eyes, they can't see you. Of course, you will want to move as quietly as possible - any loud noise will scare the turkey away.

Last but not least, remember that safety comes first. A turkey might pull a fast one on you, but be sure to think before you react. A clear shot is the only one worth taking.