Editor’s Note: Ernie Calandrelli is the director of public relations and advertising for Quaker Boy Game Calls in Orchard Park, New York and a longtime Mossy Oak enthusiast. I’ve hunted with Ernie over the years, and he’s one of the best turkey hunters I’ve ever met, so I wanted to know how he takes tough turkeys.
I hunt turkeys in big-sky states like Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where the wind really howls. If you’re hunting under really-windy conditions, you have to start with a really-loud turkey call, like one of the Turkey Thug calls from Quaker Boy Game Calls. I’ve hunted in wind so strong before that I couldn’t hear a turkey gobbling 50-yards away. The real secret to taking turkeys on windy days is to call loudly, call often and keep your movement to a minimum. A turkey may be gobbling and coming to you, but you may not see him until he’s in your face. I like a Turkey Thugs box call, a double-reed diaphragm call for volume and/or a tube call.
That’s the bad news about hunting on windy days. The good news is, you can call turkeys from a longer distance on a windy day, because your call will ride the wind. There may be turkeys gobbling downwind of you that you can’t hear. I’ve called turkeys into gun range from perhaps as far as a mile away on a windy day, since that wind has carried the call to my turkey. Although the wind can keep you from hearing turkeys downwind of you, the downwind turkeys can hear you. If you’re facing downwind and calling, and you hear a turkey gobble, you better have your gun on your knee and be ready to take the shot. When you can hear a turkey from downwind on a windy day, he’s generally much closer than you think. So, one of the keys to taking turkeys on windy days is to call from upwind of where the turkeys are located. On some properties, if you get on the upwind side of the property and start calling, your call may reach almost every turkey on that property. Turkeys still have to eat, drink and mate on rainy and windy days, so there’s no reason not to hunt turkeys at any time during the spring.