Each and every year it never seems to fail. Between trade shows and some other late season or off-season duties, turkey season always seems to sneak right up on us. Now, I would be lying if I said there was a lot to do before the season starts.

I’m not saying there is not for some people, but for me there are a few things to iron out before the season gets here. Turkey hunting can be very easy sometimes, or it can be extremely challenging. This is a good reason why you want to stack as many odds as possible in your favor.

Check Trail Cams for Turkeys

Turkey tracks for hunting

I like to go back and check out my trail camera history from whitetail season. I typically see a good amount of turkeys on my Tactacams and this is a good way for me to see what kind of numbers are out there and if there was a good crop of turkeys that year. It also gives me a good idea of what areas I can find them in, especially if I have cameras overlooking some food plots such as clover or any type of perennial grasses that turkeys enjoy snacking on. 

Turkey Kit Gear Check

One of the next things I like to do is make sure all my turkey hunting gear is in check and ready to go. Also making sure there is nothing new I need to add to my arsenal before the season arrives. I like to get out my decoys, my pack, gun/bow, camo, hunting blind, or any other knick knacks that I might bring along.

An important part of checking all my gear is making sure you are organized and know where everything is at. There is nothing more frustrating than being up hours before daybreak trying to locate gear or the location of something when you are trying to head out into the woods. 

Call in Gobblers

I definitely learned you do not have to be overly skilled to call or locate turkeys when using a call. I personally use Phelps game calls and have had great luck in my years. I typically just use “Clucks” to let nearby Toms know that I am in the area. If interested, they will definitely show up.

Depending on their temperament, decoys can either be of great help or hurt. For example, if you are using a Strutting Tom Decoy, they can sometimes be intimidating if the bird you are calling in does not want to fight. On the flipside, if you call in a bird that does want to fight and you don’t have a Tom Decoy, then he may not be interested either. It’s one of those things where you will just have to be prepared and have a couple different options if you plan to play the decoy game.

For me personally I just have two Avian X Hen Decoys. I have had pretty good luck with this combination, but I definitely would like to have a Half-Strut Jake or a Full-strut Tom as well. 

Listen in the evenings

Lastly, another good thing to do weeks prior is try and go out just before dark or just before light and listen for turkeys gobbling. This can help you determine what areas they are roosting and hanging out in. This can be helpful especially if you’re wanting to put out a ground blind before the season.

If you plan to run and gun and not hunt from a blind, you can go out an hour before dark the day of and simply just wait. When that first Tom fires off, you more than likely will hear others as well. Just be smart and do not set up too close. Turkeys have some of the best eyesight and can bust you in no time!

Goodluck this season and happy turkey hunting!

-- Kevin Weber