The arrival of spring brings many things with it: Leaves start to grow on the trees,flowers begin to bloom,and most exciting of all, turkey season arrives! Unfortunately,it also brings with it rain,wind,hail,heat,and tornadoes. Here are a couple of tips to make the best of these otherwise un-huntable days (other than the tornado days. Just stay at home.)
Gear Up: Nothing can ruin a good turkey hunt quicker than getting wet. Hunting spring gobblers requires a lot of walking, usually through non-ideal terrain. Why make it harder on yourself by making the trek in wet boots? Also,if there is even a Chance of rain in the forecast,I pack in rain gear. Even a simple poncho can be the difference between having a bird in your tuck on the way home or not.
Wind/Rain: I wish there were some magical trick in finding birds in high wind and rain,but there just isn’t. Turkeys are very wary animals,and use all of their senses to make it through every day. When the woods are constantly moving,and rain is beating down on the trees,they generally just huddle up in cover and wait it out. The only wet weather I actually do like to hunt in is a light drizzle,with no wind. I have seen a plethora of birds out in fields feeding during this time. Again,if it doesn’t confuse their senses,they probably won’t mind it. If you do choose to hunt in the wind or rain,there is an upside. You are able to get away with a lot more noise and movement in a noisy/windy environment. windy days are GREAT times to try out your spot and stalk skills,as you are able to move in very close to birds who on a calm day would be un-huntable.
Heat: If you are hunting in the deep south,or out west,be aware of the effect heat has on turkeys. Good places to look for fresh sign is around watering holes (even small puddles can draw turkeys),and especially dusting areas. These are usually areas of very dry,very powdery dirt, where turkey’s flip dust on themselves to help keep mites and other biting insects off of their skin. When hunting in Mississippi,I’ve seen dusting areas 150′ sq ft or more. Also be aware that during the heat,turkeys are more likely to hang out in low-lying areas like valleys,hollows,and draws,as well as tree cover, as these area’s are generally cooler.
Good luck out there this year! And remember,when in doubt,pull out! Good huntin’.