Turkey Hunting: The Hidden Gem of Hunts

Turkeys feeding in the morning
Turkeys feeding the the morning

Many of us hunters try to get out into the woods as often as possible. Talk to any serious hunter and you will no doubt hear how much they enjoy deer or elk hunting. These are by far two of the most popular and widely hunting species on the continent, but there is one particular hunt that is often overlooked by most outdoorsmen. This hunt is most often underrated by many hunters and it doesn’t even conflict with the most popular hunts out there: turkey hunting.

Mostly done in the spring, turkey hunting is truly one of the most underrated hunts out there. Here are a few benefits and advantages to planning a spring turkey hunt this year, and why you need to make room for it on your calendar! 

Turkeys Are Everywhere

One of the first benefits of planning a turkey hunt is that they can be found just about anywhere. No matter where you live in the United States, you will either live in or near some quality turkey hunting areas. In fact, Alaska is the only state in the country that does not have any wild turkeys. Every other state (even Hawaii) has at least one of the many subspecies of wild turkeys that you can go out and hunt. 

Even if you do not have any turkeys near you, there are most likely some huntable populations just a short drive from you. Unlike elk and sometimes deer, turkeys do not require as much traveling in order to hunt and are generally very easy to find. Maybe this is another reason why many hunters will ignore turkey hunting, but although they are generally plentiful that does not mean, however, they are extremely easy to kill. You may see a lot of turkeys in one day, but it will still be a fun and exciting challenge to harvest one! 

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

Cost Benefits

Comparing turkeys to deer and elk again, you also get the benefits of saving a lot of money while hunting them. Not only are tags cheaper, but you most likely have less traveling and less equipment to purchase in order to go turkey hunting. In fact, the same bow you hunt deer with or the same shotgun you use for waterfowl can be used for turkey hunting! 

Turkey hunting does not take a whole lot of equipment to get started. First, you will need some basic camouflage. These birds have excellent eyesight so it pays to stay as hidden as possible. This includes camo pants, shirt, hat, face mask, and a good pair of hunting boots. In addition to the weapon, you will also need some turkey calls. These are very inexpensive and there are many different types out there. Lastly, some additional items that can help increase success (but are not vital) include things like decoys, ground blinds, and binoculars. With some very basic gear, many of which you probably already own, you can go out and successfully hunt turkeys. 

One of the biggest arguments that hunters have against turkey hunting is that turkeys are small and you do not get much meat when you kill one. While it is true that a deer or elk will give much more meat, turkeys are a great way to help supplement the freezer. Not only are they more cost-effective, but their main hunting season does not conflict with deer or elk season either! 

Turkey Hunting in Montana
Turkey Hunting Montana

Spring Time Hunting and Practice

One of the biggest advantages of turkey hunting is that the core turkey season takes place in the spring. This is when their breeding season is, and when they are the most vocal and easiest to hunt. During this time of year, you can utilize your turkey calls to lure the birds right to you. Luckily, there are not a whole lot of other hunts going on during this time period for it to conflict with anything either. So while many hunters pursue deer in the fall and winter, they can roll right into spring with some turkey tags in their pockets and keep on hunting. Many often will compare spring turkey hunting to fall elk hunting, as many of the same tactics are used for both species. 

This also means you get to keep hunting for longer and keep your hunting skills sharp. There is nothing worse than taking an extended period of time away from hunting, only to return to the woods a little rusty. Turkeys have exceptional eyesight and hearing, making them a very worthy adversary in the woods. By lengthening your hunting season, not only will you get to enjoy the outdoors more but you will continue to sharpen and hone all of your hunting skills for future hunts. 

This is also why turkey hunting is the perfect hunt for beginners or youth. Not only are turkeys plentiful and the action is sure to be exciting, but they are much smaller and less intimidating for a beginner hunter who is just learning the ins and outs of the outdoors. It can be done in much more controlled environments, the weather tends to be much better in the spring, and turkeys are relatively easy to kill (at least compared to giant bucks or bulls). This is the perfect recipe for a hunt that is great for teaching and introducing others to the hunting lifestyle. 

Final Thoughts

Although turkeys can be found in just about every state in the country, many hunters still do not take full advantage of the turkey hunting opportunities around them. From extending your hunting season to getting more practice in, turkey hunting can be a great way to enjoy some added benefits and even put a little more meat in the freezer. And when it comes to sharing the outdoors with others, there is truly no better hunt out there than the hidden gem of a springtime turkey hunt! 

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