10 Tips: Staying Safe Turkey Hunting

Lots of hunts focus on antlers, flushes and flocks, but a few hunts lead you to your quarry via audible clues, such as elk and spring turkeys. If you're following those vocal clues they just might lead you to another hunter.

Many hunters use game calls to lure in animals and unlike ducks that drop out of the sky, turkeys may slink in behind a veil of vegetation. If you're planning a spring turkey hunt or any hunt where vocalizations are your main clue to locate game, keep the 1O Safety tips below in mind.

  1. Always assume every turkey sound you hear is another hunter.
  2. Always set up against a large backdrop to protect your body. Large trees wider than your shoulders work well.
  3. Never aim with the intent to shoot unless you are 100 percent sure of your target and beyond.
  4. Never shoot at sounds. Always identify a legal target.
  5. Always keep an opening in front of you for game to emerge for clear identification.
  6. Never cloud your vision with camouflage netting, ground blind netting or a face mask. Maintain clear vision throughout the hunt.
  7. Never shoot at movement. Determine the maker of the movement.
  8. Never wave or make turkey calls to alert other hunters. Other hunters could mistake you for a gobbler. Talk to them in a loud, clear voice.
  9. Always take extra time to determine if the turkey you see is real or a decoy if stalking. Turkeys seldom stay still for long.
  10. Always conceal your decoy while going to or from your hunting location. Someone could mistake a decoy sticking from your vest as a live bird.

Hunting turkeys and other game species by luring them in with game calls or following vocal clues requires years of hunting experience for success. Follow these tips and you'll continue to have many more years of experience to refine your hunting skills.

For more info on NSSF's Project Child Safe go to ProjectChildSafe.org.

North American Hunter Top Stories