Each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to turkey hunting, but these are all based on basic consideration for others and common sense. It's very rare that you will be in the woods hunting by yourself, so it makes sense to protect yourself from getting shot, and to prevent yourself from shooting others. Here are some tips to guarantee a safe turkey hunting season:
- Never stalk a turkey.It raises your chances of getting involved in an accident, while the odds of getting close enough to shoot it remain slim.
- Do not wear red, white, blue or black. Hens have blue colored heads, and toms have red heads, and if you wear these colors, another hunter may mistake you for a turkey. A red baseball cap or even a glimpse of white undershirt can make you a target. Even if your pants ride up to expose your white socks or shins, you could be in trouble. On the other hand, it's a good idea to wear an orange hat and vest when moving around.
- Use distinctly human sounds to alert others of your presence. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds: any sudden movements may draw fire. Yell loudly and stay hidden. This is especially important if you camouflage yourself while turkey hunting: if you're making turkey sounds other hunters may not recognize your camouflaged form.
- Handle your shotgun safely at all times. Before entering a house, camp, truck etc., always unload it. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE OF YOUR TARGET before slipping off the safety. Do not shoot at a sound or a movement. Statistics show that experienced, mature hunters cause a lot of accidents when turkey hunting, so don't take this task lightly.
- Sit in front of a wide tree trunk that provides body coverage. This will protect you if another hunter is behind you shooting while you're in the line of fire. Choose calling locations with a clear view to the front and the sides so you know if other hunters approach. When turkey hunting in pairs or in groups, do not separate. It's easy to lose track of your buddies and shoot at each other by mistake.
- Always wrap harvested game in hunter orange when you carry them out of the woods. Do not allow the wings to hang loosely or the head to be displayed in such a way that another hunter mistakes it for a live bird.
Always familiarize yourself with your state's rules and regulations before you go turkey hunting. Be sure you're licensed, and that you have permission to hunt on any privately-owned lands. Also, be aware of your state's bag limit. Once you know the rules, you can enjoy your upcoming turkey hunts!