Turkey Hunting Setups
Dr. John Woods 03.18.20
Time flies faster than a longbeard gobbler, and turkey hunting seasons will be open soon. Questions always arise about best tactics and strategies for hunting turkeys, especially how to “set up” in a hot turkey area including seating options. With 50 years of turkey hunting under my belt I can certainly offer some advice on this topic.
I never was much of a fan of the “run and gun” tactic even back in the days when I could run. It seemed like that strategy was mostly running with virtually no gunning, as it is extremely difficult to get ahead of a gobbler that is on the move or with hens. An exception to that is if you happen to know a field, green plot or other favored spot the gobblers happen to use regularly. In those cases, you may be able to run directly ahead to that spot and get situated before they arrive.
My favorite turkey hunting method is to scout for places where gobblers regularly roost, feed, strut, or hang out to sun or wait for hens to visit. I pick a setup spot back five to ten yards away from the open space and find a big tree to set up my turkey hide. I might spend several hours in such a spot while calling every so often but largely attempting to just wait out the gobblers that usually come to the field.
My typical turkey “set up” consists of placing a comfortable turkey hunting seat leaning against a large tree wider than my shoulder profile when sitting. I don’t want a gobbler that may come sneaking in from behind to be able to spot me making small moves in my seat.
The best turkey seats raise your rear end off the ground a bit, but more importantly they have a sturdy back for comfort and stability. And you want to be able to pivot enough to move the gun barrel to the target.
I use an old fabric blind that is connected to four steel posts pushed into the ground. The blind is plenty wide enough to completely enclose me sitting against the tree. Over the years I have cut sticks with forked ends to help support the blind. This works good and completely hides me.
Inside the blind I clear away all the leaves and junk so feet and leg movements are quiet. I place all my hunting gear, water bottle, several calls, bug spray, binoculars, turkey bag, and whatever else around me within easy reach. Then I settle in to call every fifteen minutes or so. I have lost count of how many gobblers I have collected using this setup.
Create your own gobbler setup and see how it works for you.