Photo by: @kerryboriginals

Turkey season is right around the corner.  Now is the time to start preparing for opening day. There may be snow on the ground and the temperatures are still well below freezing in some parts of the country, but it won’t be long before the sun starts shining and gobblers start sounding off from the trees. Although turkey populations are extremely high in most states, often hunters fail to fill their tags because they make a few mistakes that cost them a bird. Below are a few tips to help you fill your tag this spring.



Start Scouting Now



There is no greater time to start scouting than right now. Wherever you find birds in the late winter, chances are you will find birds in those areas in the spring as well. The birds won’t be in as large of flocks as they are in the spring, but if you find a large flock in February, many of the birds will probably be in the same area when spring arrives.  Since most people aren’t out scouting right now, if you see birds on private land, getting permission to hunt might not be extremely difficult. If you knock on someone’s door in February to ask about hunting in April or May, you will probably be the first person that asks to hunt.  Make sure you know the landowners’ name before knocking on their door.  The best way to find out their name is by purchasing the pro version of the HuntWise app. It provides landowner boundaries for you.  As you drive around checking out farms, the landowners’ information is at your fingertips.  The app is like a plat map for your phone.

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Practice Makes Perfect



Practice your calling. I hear many hunters say woodsmanship is more important than calling ability.  That might be true in some cases, but a person who knows when to say what to a boss gobbler and knows how to say it is likely going to fill more tags. Don’t just sit in your living room and call. Get on YouTube and listen to videos of real turkeys cutting, helping and purring. Try to imitate the real thing. By practicing a few minutes a day, you can sound awesome by opening day.



More Is Better



Make sure you have a few good decoys. How often do you see a hen by itself in the early spring? Sure, it happens. It occurs a fair amount in the late season but most of the time, turkeys hang out with other turkeys so having a small flock of decoys out will likely increase your odds of success when hunting. Duck hunters and goose hunters rarely hunt with just one decoy. Turkey hunters shouldn’t either. I recently hunted with well-known turkey hunter, Jeff Budz from Florida. Budz has more turkey Grand Slams than anyone on the planet. I was amazed when I watched him put out a half dozen decoys when we set up in the morning.

The more decoys you have, the better odds a tom will approach with confidence. I typically put out two or three decoys. To add a touch of realism to my decoy setup, I wrap my decoys in the A-Way Turkey Wrap. The Turkey Wrap is made of real turkey feathers. You attach it to the decoy with Velcro straps and it makes a decoy look real. Instead of looking like plastic, the decoys have actual feathers. Toms often
approach the decoys without hesitation when the wraps are used.

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Find Their Best Roosting Area



A few weeks before turkey season opens, figure out exactly where toms are roosting. Don’t just figure out the area they are roosting in, locate the exact limb they call home. Greg Abbas from A-Way Hunting Products spent many years guiding turkey hunters on public land and his success rate was nearly 100%. “The reason I was so successful was because I knew the limb a tom roosted on and knew which way he flew down and where he was headed the moment his feet hit the dirt.  Many people have an idea of where a tom is roosting.  They should take the time to scout and watch the bird fly down several days in a row so they know the pattern of the bird so they know where to set up and where to call from on opening day.  "I was successful on public land because I had many birds patterned long before the season opened,” Abbas explained.



Keep Your Energy Levels Up



One of the toughest things about turkey hunting is getting up hours before daylight to get into the woods before fly down. After a few days of getting up early and hunting hard all day, it is easy to start hitting the snooze bar. It is hard to kill a turkey sleeping in bed. Most turkey hunters have some type of vice that helps them keep going even when they feel like calling it quits. For some it is coffee; for others it is Mountain Dew. If you are looking for a great alternative that is healthier for you and will keep you going, check out Energy & Focus from Wilderness Athlete. This energy drink alternative is packed with vitamins, is available in several flavors and can be purchased in easy-to-use packets. It will provide the boost you need to keep on keeping on.

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Like any type of hunting, if you want to be successful you have to scout,do a little research and master the craft. Good luck this spring. Hopefully the above tips will help you fill your tag this spring.

About the author: Tracy Breen is a full-time outdoor writer, consultant and game dinner speaker who discusses how he overcomes cerebral palsy. He works with a variety of companies in the outdoor industry including Mathews Archery, Wilderness Athlete, Redneck Hunting Blinds and many more. Learn more about him at

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