There are endless different ways to hunt Wild Turkey, but the two most common have to be the mobile route of running and gunning or hunting from a pop-up blind. They both have their pros and cons so let's discuss them to help you decide which option will suit you the best this spring.
Use Hunting Blinds
Hunting out of a pop-up blind can be beneficial in many different scenarios. Bow hunters often utilize blinds to be able to get away with the movement needed to draw and take aim at a bird in range. Folks that have a property that is mostly field or just small tracts of land in general where you can’t be very mobile.
The most exciting reason I am looking forward to hunting out of a blind this season is bringing my 4-year-old daughter. She has shown a lot of interest in the outdoors and hunting. I cannot wait to have her out in the blind and really show her what turkey hunting is all about! Previously I haven’t had one of the see-through style blinds but with the 270-degree see-through blind offered by TideWe, I think she will be able to enjoy the hunt even that much more!
One tactic that I and a fair amount of my buddies use while hunting out of a blind is multiple decoys. The majority of the time we use a blind on the edges of fields and if you want to improve your chances while field hunting the use of decoys is a must. Now what decoys can vary depending on the time of year and the flock makeup in your area. Sometimes this is a trial-and-error process. If you put out a strutting Tom decoy and you are seeing Toms shy away then it might be time to switch to a Jake and some hens. Where on the flip side if there are a lot of Jakes in the area then you may want to go to the strutter or maybe even multiple hens.
Cons for a blind, you are more or less stationary. Now yes you can pull your set up and move but chances are your blind is set in its spot for a reason. That being said, don’t be afraid to move your blind if you can. If you sit for two or three days and the birds are on a pattern that doesn’t involve getting into range of your setup…move closer to where they have been frequenting. Hunters tend to get comfortable and refuse to adapt. Being more flexible will vastly increase your chances of sitting in one spot and hoping it will work.
Run and Gun
This type of mobile hunting can be a great option especially if you have a lot of land to work with. There are many different setups you can use when being mobile. Some hunters like vests that have tons of pockets where they can bring everything they need to navigate the woods and throw many different calls at turkeys. Others like to pack light and might use a chest harness with only a call or two so they can get around the woods easier and potentially cover more ground.
Personally, I have a few different vests and harnesses to choose from depending on the temperature and the size of the land I am planning on hunting that day. On days during the early season when it is cool and I might not have a large piece of land I am planning to hunt I will bring a vest full of all the calls I hunt with as well as a Jake or hen decoy. Once the temps start getting a little warmer or I have a lot of ground to cover I am switching to the lightest setup I have in my arsenal, which most likely won’t bring a decoy.
One key detail to keep in mind when roaming around is the terrain features. Using the terrain is crucial when you are setting up on a bird that you just got to gobble or even sneaking in on one you were able to roost the night before. Having access to any of the available land mapping apps that offer not only terrain layers but also allow things like waypoints are a must for a mobile hunter. I have used apps to mark a bird and come back to later if they aren’t in the mood to be called or they aren’t in a good position to be eased in closer to. There are many different apps to choose from but they are a no-brainer to add to your phone if you haven’t yet.
One last thing I would recommend for any style of turkey hunting is binoculars. Now you don’t need a high-power super expensive pair but a nice and compact pair. Many options in the 8x32 range are great smaller options that will not get in the way when making moves on that longbeard.
No matter the style you decide to use, soak up every moment you get to spend in the woods this spring. Spring is my favorite time to be out and listening to everything wakes me up. If you get a chance bring a youth or introduce a friend that has never turkey hunted before.