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.
What you take into turkey grounds with you often determines what you bring out of the turkey woods. Turkey hunting is unlike most other forms of hunting, especially in the East. You may know the area of the woods you’re going to hunt, but most of the time you don’t know where you’ll have to set-up to get a turkey. Being prepared to set-up anywhere at anytime is a critical ingredient to being able to bag a gobbler.
We all like to hunt in open woods, and we know that turkeys like to walk in open woods. But if you’re hunting along a flood plain or a mature forest, there’s not going to be much brush that you can set-up in or beside. If you do find a good place to set-up, you may have brush between you and where you expect the turkey to come. Always take a folding saw and pruning shears with you – critical ingredients that can help you take a turkey. With these two items, you can cut brush in front of you, if that brush will obstruct your view and your shot. But much more importantly, you can cut and trim bushes and limbs to make a quick natural blind to sit out in front of you. All you have to do is use your shears or your saw to cut limbs and brush to build a quick natural blind that will help break-up your silhouette, make your camo twice as effective and keep the turkey from seeing you.
Another very critical ingredient is a good cushion on which to sit. A turkey often may take as much as an hour or two to come to where you are. Remember earlier (see Day 2), we talked about the less you move, the greater your odds are for successfully taking a turkey. Having a cushion between you and the ground can add a degree of comfort, when you have to wait a long time for a turkey to show-up. If you’re fidgeting and moving a lot, you’re going to spook the turkey you’re trying to take. But if you can sit still for a long time, your odds increase tremendously for bagging the gobbler.
The one piece of equipment that allows you to sit still longer is a quality cushion. The several different types of seats or cushions you can use include: a turkey vest that has a drop-down seat to give your back support, if you’re sitting on flat ground; and a stool that allows me to adjust the front legs, so they’re longer than the legs on the back if I’m hunting in the mountains. By having those adjustable legs, I can create a flat place to sit even on a steep incline. So, don’t just think about having a comfortable cushion – also consider the terrain you’re hunting. If you’re going to be hunting in swampy country, and you know the ground will be wet, you may want to get a cushion or a chair that keeps you off the ground. If you’ll be hunting in flat country where the weather is dry, just use a really comfortable cushion. Hunting in the snow also means you’ll need a cushion or a seat that gets your fanny off the wet, cold ground and out of the snow. So for me, saws, pruners and cushions are almost important as my turkey calls when I’m hunting turkeys. These three items definitely can make the difference in how well you’re camouflaged and how long you can sit without moving.
Tip #3 – Go High for Gobblers
Tomorrow: Tip #5 – Woodsmanship Is the Key to Successfully Hunting Turkeys