Turkey Blind Techniques
Dr. John Woods 03.27.17
Every turkey hunter has their own favorite way to set up on gobbling turkeys. Most turkey hunters probably still just back up to a big tree and try to stay still when a strutting gobbler approaches. Staying still is the operative tactic, one which I cannot do with consistency.
Accordingly, I have taken a rather lazy and comfortable approach to hunting wild turkeys. My days of the run and gun are long over. I prefer to set up in a likely turkey rich environment and wait them out. More often than not the birds will eventually appear. When they do, I’ll be hidden from sight.
My favorite turkey haunts are along a fence line next to an open field where I have scouted turkeys coming down from the roost, or passing by at critical times during the day. This is most often about early to mid-morning and the mid to late afternoons. I am set up and ready.
In big part wild turkeys are a creature of habit, somewhat. They roost and fly down at first light. The hens start clucking, feeding, and heading off to greener pastures. During the chase cycle the gobblers are usually in tow. It is tough to break a gobbler away from his harem of hens. But, just wait. He will be back later and he will remember those soft yelps and clucks you called.
My ground blind set up uses a series of steel poles pushed into the ground to create span of about 8 feet in front of my seat. Attached to the poles is a 4-foot high piece of nylon spun camouflage fabric with cut holes to let the wind blow through looking like leaves moving in the breeze. Behind the blind I use a pop up seat with a comfortable back leaning up against a tree.
I form the blind around my seat in a half moon pattern. I try to set up 5-6 feet back from the edge of an open field. I trim away any limbs, bushes, or greenery that might block my view and a clear shot. I clean out a good spot to sit and extend my legs. Beside my seat I lay out all my gear. This includes a selection of calls, binoculars, water bottle, bug repellent, and my shotgun by my side. Then I just starting calling and play out the waiting game. I might nap, too. The best part is that other hunters now use my blind technique, too.