Tip #1 - Don’t Let the Turkeys Smell You during Early Season Scouting for Turkeys
Editor’s Note: Bucky Hauser of Virginia is a member of Mossy Oak’s Pro Staff and has been hunting turkeys for 25 years. This week we asked Bucky to give us five tips that will help us take turkeys this season.
When turkey hunting, one thing many hunters completely overlook is controlling human odor. We all know that turkeys can’t smell like deer do. But turkeys aren’t the only animals in the woods, during spring turkey season. Most places where you’ll discover turkeys you’ll also find deer. Every time I go hunting, I spray down with an odor eliminator, because animals other than turkeys can give alarm sounds. When they do, turkeys can hear and understand that the alarm sounds of other animals means there’s danger in the woods. You may be set-up and working a turkey when a deer comes in downwind of you and starts blowing and stomping, because he smells human odor. If the deer smells you, it will spook the turkey. I go one step farther than just using odor killer when I’m hunting for turkeys. I use odor killer when I’m scouting for turkeys too. I don’t want any animal in the woods to know that I’m a hunter. Therefore when I’m scouting, I wear full Mossy Oak camouflage, and I’m as scent-free as possible.
If you spot a turkey out on the edge of a field before turkey season, and a deer starts blowing, stomping his feet or running off, an older-age-class turkey will know that’s where danger has come into the woods. Regardless of the animal you’re hunting, you not only want to be invisible from his eyes by wearing Mossy Oak, you also want to be invisible to his nose. We really don’t know if odor control products kill odor, but we do know that they reduce the amount of odor a deer can smell. Possibly, even if a deer smells you, because the odor’s greatly reduced, the deer may think that several hours have passed since a human’s gone that way. If he smells you, he won’t be nearly as alarmed.
So, don’t forget that turkeys aren’t the only critters in the outdoors during the spring. If you don’t eliminate human odor, you will spook other game, and that game can and will spook your turkey. You don’t want to spook a blue jay, a squirrel or even the morning birds that get up before the turkey does. The only difference in scouting before the season and hunting during the season is you don’t have a gun in your hand when you’re scouting before the season. Always remember to scout as stealthily, quietly, odor free and camouflaged as you do during the season. Then, you’ll see more turkeys and spook fewer turkeys.
Tomorrow: Tip #2 – Don’t Move When You’re Hunting Turkeys