Predators & Small Game
Turkey Hunting Tips for the Pre-Season
By Steve Hickoff
Turkey hunting tips for the pre-season are a lot like spring training drills for baseball or any other sport. “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail” as the old saying goes.
1. Contact landowners now. They’d prefer you drop by months ahead rather than the night before the turkey opener as they eat supper. And offer to help some with those farm chores.
2. Check permit deadlines and license information. New dates, laws and requirements often come our way. Read up on that stuff. Sometimes these websites also include turkey hunting tips for the particular state.
3. Block off season dates. There’s no better time to negotiate with family than now as hunt dates go. Balance your time away and in the field with plans for them as well. If they turkey hunt too, that’s no problem at all. Check youth dates. Introduce your kids to our tradition.
4. Keep in shape. Join a men’s recreational hoop league. Walk before or after work. Start jogging or playing softball where weather provides. Up north guys play pond hockey or swim indoors. Don’t get in shape during the season. Do it now.
5. Plan to hunt a new state. You’ve wanted to jump the border to another one for a long time. Do it this turkey season. Of all the turkey hunting tips this might cost the most but life is short.
6. Buy a custom box call. Sure you can call in a love-crazed suicidal gobbler this spring with an old box call. Have you even stroked that paddle on one made by a true craftsman of turkey calls? Try it sometime. You’ll be amazed how many turkeys come out of that calling tool as you run it.
7. Get some new apparel. Your old jacket feels lucky, sure. But isn’t it about time you got some more comfortable clothes to wear in the turkey woods? Turkey vests qualify here. Some of the newer ones are as much a seat as apparel covered with pockets. Get one.
8. Shoot your shotgun and loads. Get some turkey targets. Have some fun with your buds trying out new shells. Buy some boxes together, splitting the cost. Make a contest of it. Who can put the most pellets in the killing zone? Loser buys lunch at the Waffle House.
9. Attend winter outdoor shows. There are few better places to make new turkey hunting contacts than at events like this one. State agencies often put booths there too, offering information from wildlife officials on the spot.
(NWTF media photo)