Turkey Hunting Tips

Bag a bearded bird in no time at all by following this advice from an experienced hunter.

| March/April 2020

Photo By Getty Images/ Ikillfish

I learned to hunt wild turkeys through trial and error, beginning in 1988. I stuck with it, and after a few seasons of experimenting with calls, equipment, and techniques, I learned how to get close to this wary bird. If you’re interested in doing the same, be sure to read up on your local turkey hunting regulations before you do anything else.

Wild turkeys are extremely skittish and moody. No single technique works on them every time. Consistently filling turkey tags requires learning several different techniques, being flexible, understanding all you can about your quarry, scouting the territory, developing your outdoor skills, and knowing your weapon.

Bearded Tom and Matted Hen

 two trukeys
Photo by Dennis Biswell

Male turkeys have black, shiny, iridescent feathers; a beard, which is a clump of stringy feathers that grows from their chest; and spurs growing from the backs of their legs. While strutting, they change the color of the skin on their featherless heads to bright red, blue, and white.

As males age, their appearance changes. (See “Distinguish a Tom from a Jake,”) Jakes are yearling males. They have short beards and spurs. The middle feathers in their fanned tails are longer than the outside feathers, forming an uneven fan. Toms are 2 years and older, and they have long beards and spurs. Their tail feathers form an even fan when strutting.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters