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Bad Weather Turkeys

Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

Cuz turkey hunting

Anyone that is dedicated to and obsessed by turkey hunting has dealt with less than ideal weather conditions while hunting. First, what are ideal weather conditions? You might think it is a cool clear blue bird morning with no wind and indeed those conditions are enough to make even the most seasoned turkey hunter grin with anticipation. There are occasions though when a cloudy, breezy humid morning can for some reason end up being one of those awesome gobbling mornings that defy logic and come along only once or twice in a spring season. As Tom Kelly refers to in the book “Better on a Rising Tide,” if we could figure out what makes a turkey gobble, we’d be “rich.”

Weather is what it is during turkey season. Aside from hurricane type winds or a whiteout blizzard from a late arctic blast, no conditions should keep you from your early morning rounds in the turkey woods. When faced with tough conditions, you just adjust. If a steady wind has conditions tough for hearing, then you “double up”. Call twice as often, twice as loud as normal, cover twice as much ground and stop and look or glass twice as much. Turkeys may change their routine but they are there feeding, scratching, doing whatever they do the other 364 days a year.

Wet conditions may change the turkey routine more than wind, but again, they are still out there making a living. If a steady drizzle is the flavor of the day, then friction calls are all but useless so air calls are the method of the day. Mouth calls, tube calls, wing bone are unaffected by moisture so become proficient with one or all of these. Wet conditions may keep gobblers silent later in the morning for several reasons. Wet feathers make it hard to fly if needed to evade predators, or it could be just dampened spirits that keep them quieter than normal. In any case, slow, cautious movement is the method of choice but occasional calling should be thrown in to the rainy day plan. 

The bottom line is: anytime you can be out there is the right time. That one lone, hot gobbler can respond at anytime to any sound and the only requirement on your part is to be there when it happens. 

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