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.
Even though I’m comfortable hunting while wearing Mossy Oak camouflage and leaning up against a tree, I believe the better you’re concealed, the better your odds are that the turkey won’t see you. For this reason, when I get ready to set-up on a gobbler, I try and have some brush around me like a natural ground blind, or I may use a commercial ground blind. Once I set-up the ground blind, I’ll put sticks, limbs and bushes in front of the blind to help break-up that solid wall of camouflage.
Hunting from an elevated tree stand is another tactic I’ll use. A full-grown turkey gobbler isn’t worried about hawks or owls that hunt in the sky trying to kill it. So, turkeys rarely will look-up. But hunting from an elevated platform like a tree stand is a two-edged sword. Yes, you’re above the turkey, and they don’t look for danger coming from the sky. The problem is you have less cover than if you’re hunting from the ground. If that tom sees movement from the tree, he’ll look up and get spooked.
In Virginia, we have some really steep terrain. If you’re sitting on a hillside waiting on a turkey to come up that hill, you’ll continually be sliding and having to move to maintain your position. Hunting a turkey in steep terrain isn’t the same as hunting a turkey on flat, level ground. So, if you’re hunting off an elevated platform like a tree stand, even if you’re only 2-feet off the ground, you have a flat place to sit. You can move more comfortably than if you’re sitting on a cushion or on your fanny. Even if you’re sitting on the side of a mountain, you still have the mountain as back cover, and you have a flat place to sit. You can move much easier and much quieter than if you’re sitting on that steep mountain.
If you plan to use a tree stand or hunt from an elevated platform, make sure it’s legal in the state you hunt. Some states don’t permit hunters to hunt from elevated platforms, while other states do. Check your local regulations, before you take a tree stand with you into the turkey woods.
Tomorrow: Tip #4 – When Hunting Turkeys Don’t Leave Home without Pruners, Saws and Cushions