6 Reasons Your Turkey Hunting Buddy Won't Kill a Bird This Spring

By author of Turkey Blog with Steve Hickoff

Do You Have a Turkey Hunting Buddy Like This?

There are turkey hunters and there are turkey hunters. Some are deer or duck hunters looking for something to do in spring. Some prefer bass or trout over gobblers, but go out to do "something" other than sitting on the couch watching The Walking Dead reruns.

That's cool. It's all good.

Others try to turkey hunt, but make crucial mistakes doing it.

See why your buddy won't kill a turkey. (c) Ryan Orndorff illustration

Check out this click-through photo blog to see if your turkey hunting buddy fits the description.


S/he Talks Too Much

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1 | S/he Talks Too Much

Your turkey hunting bud won't shut up. Sure, whispers as a strutting gobbler approaches into gun or bow range are usually fine – so long as rapid head movements aren't part of it. The problem with an ongoing conversation is you lose focus.

In turkey hunting, you need to drill down on the details, especially when that turkey you want steps into view, and minces steps your way. Talking at your setup, side-by-side with your back against a tree trunk, won't cut it.

Tip: Sure, you could hold in-depth, quiet conversations in a pop-up blind, but even then . . .

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S/he Moves Too Much

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2 | S/he Moves Too Much

Squirming and shifting positions at your setup won't cut it. Can't focus? Go fishing, or catch up on your lawn work. Moving too much is one of the great sins of turkey hunting. The wariest game bird on the planet is unforgiving. Trust me, they can catch you scratching your nose, or waving your hands at great distances.

As the great turkey hunting writer Archibald Rutledge once said: "The turkey's eyes are such that he can see a bumblebee turn a somersault on the verge of the horizon."

You might not even see turkeys seeing your movement.

Tip: Get a comfortable seat cushion. Wear apparel that feels good and keeps you warm (or cool) depending.

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3 | S/he's Bored

Let's face it, your turkey hunting bud – male or female, old and young – is bored.

It's not for everyone. Waiting for action is a big part of turkey hunting. Watching for everything to fall into place takes patience, and lots of it.

Some people just don't have the knack for sitting over long periods of time.

Tip: Take your turkey hunting buddy on short "flash hunts" if he or she can't hang in there for the duration. Get there before fly-down, and spend time in the woods for an hour or so after. Breakfast is always a nice option.

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4 | S/he's Got Goofy Gear

That shiny 20-gauge pump with the improved-cylinder choke isn't going to cut it for long in the turkey woods.

Tip: Your turkey hunting buddy owes it to the greatest game bird on the planet to get his or her shotgun details in order. Full- to extra-full chokes only, please. And pattern that gun before hunting.

Bonus Read: How to Pattern Your Turkey Hunting Shotgun

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5 | S/he's Distracted

It's tough for anybody to kill a turkey if they're distracted by work, family or health issues.

Think you can kill a hung-up gobbler before your 10 a.m. dentist appointment?

Think again.

Tip: Set off blocks of time when you won't have to worry about other issues, and you can just concentrate on turkey hunting.

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S/he Loves Sleep

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6 | S/he Loves Sleep

Let's face it, you can't really turkey hunt if you love sleep more than rolling out of bed several hours earlier than usual in order to make your setup in the pre-dawn woods before fly-down time.

Tip: Some hedge a little, and hunt mid-mornings, sleeping until a reasonable hour. It can be done at certain times in spring, especially when hens drift off to lay eggs and leave gobblers alone.

So maybe there is hope after all for your turkey hunting buddy with issues.

(Stick number photos by Bill Konway.)

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Editor's note: This Realtree.com post was first published Feb. 9, 2018.

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