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West Virginia Wildlife
Turkey Hunting Tips
Patrick McMurtry Hunting Safely For Spring Gobblers

April 25, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


The air is crisp, the woods are quiet and all of the sudden you hear this...
the sound of a turkey chirping or clucking...Spring gobbler season is here but before you head out into the woods, you need to keep in mind, that chirp might not be a bird, it might be a hunter calling in a gobbler.

Jerry Payne, a West Virginia conservation officer, offer some pointers, "Turkey hunting is a safe sport, but there are certain things you need to keep in mind. You want to be sure of your target, you want to make sure your turkey has a beard, if you're making sure you're looking at the beard, you are making sure you aren't going to shoot a person or someone else."

Making sure you have a good bead on your target is crucial because turkey hunting calls for more camouflage than other types of hunting, and that means you're going to be harder to be seen, not only by the gobblers, but by other hunters too.

"You want to make sure you have proper clothing, you don't want to wear white, blue, black, you want good cammo because the turkey can see you, it will help your hunting. Also, when you're setting up, you want to get a tree that's wider than you are because you don't want anything coming in behind you." says Payne.

A large tree will protect your back from approaching hunters who might be lured in by your calls. Make sure you have a good field of fire, and a good line of sight.

"You want to be set up so you can see somebody approaching, somebody who hasn't hunted a lot, hears a turkey and thinks they can slip in on it. That's not going to happen, but people will try and it's actually you making the call so it's good to have your head up and looking around to see if other people are approaching." says Payne.

If you practice these simple safety tips, you'll be fine in the woods as you try to call in one of these awesome birds.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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