At NOMAD, we love the excitement and challenge of turkey hunting. It’s one of the most difficult yet rewarding forms of hunting, and like many American outdoor enthusiasts, we are always waiting for spring and fall turkey hunts. However, we all need to be reminded that turkey hunting, however enjoyable, can be a very dangerous sport. When done recklessly, turkey hunts can cause injury and even death.
You may have taken a hunter’s safety course, but it’s always wise to review proper turkey hunting safety so you and your fellow hunters can stay safe in the woods and the fields.
How To Protect Yourself during Turkey Hunting
Wear Blaze Orange To and From the Site: Blaze orange is an important part of hunting safety, so while turkey hunters wear camouflage while in position, you should always remember to wear blaze orange from your vehicle to the hunting spot and back.
Do NOT Wear Blue, Black, or Red: You don’t want to wear anything that will make you look like a turkey, so leave the blue, red, and black at home. Wearing these colors will only increase your chances of an accident.
Sit with Your Back Against a Tree that is Wider Than Your Shoulders: If another hunter places a shot from behind, it will help to be completely protected by a large tree. This will not only keep you safer, it will hide your profile from big strutting toms.
Mark Your Hunting Spot with Blaze Orange: On the trunk of your tree, wrap a large blaze orange ribbon so hunters know you are in position. You may also want to place orange markers and other displays to announce your presence.
Do Not Move When Another Hunter Approaches: If another hunter approaches, do not wave or motion to grab their attention. Instead, shout out loud to identify yourself. Waving may provoke a shot, so give a clear, loud shout in the other hunter’s direction.
Carry Your Turkey Out in a Blaze Orange Bag: When you take your prize, carry it out in a large orange bag so other hunters can easily see it. You don’t want to be carrying an exposed turkey through areas where other hunter are present.
Protecting Others while Turkey Hunting
Identify Your Target and Beyond: Make sure you are completely sure of your shot before pulling the trigger. Know exactly what is behind your target, and be 100% positive that you are firing on a turkey, not a decoy, because behind the decoy could very well be another hunter.
Do Not Shoot at Sound: Turkey hunters make calls that sound flawlessly like turkeys, so never, ever shoot at sound. Always make visual identification of your target.
Do Not Stalk a Turkey, Let Them Come to You: Stalking a turkey might seem like a great idea, but it’s not. Safety experts strongly recommend that you never stalk a turkey, (it’s also illegal in many areas) but instead master calling techniques to draw them into you.
Hold Your Shot When in Doubt: It’s one of the pinnacle safety rule of hunting. When it doubt, hold your fire. Once the trigger is pulled, you can’t bring back the shot, and the results could change your life forever.
Be smart, patient, safe, and wise in the woods and everyone will have a great day on the hunt and return home to their families at night.