Wild Turkey Hunting Tips

First a little basic information about the wild turkey.

Wild Turkey Fact #1:

The wild turkey has telescopic eyesight. In otherwords, the wild turkey can see much better than humans and see detail more clearly of smaller items than any other game. Not only does the wild turkey have telescopic vision their field of vision is over 180 degrees spread.

Wild Turkey Fact #2:

The wild turkey is seldom found alone especially when feeding. The wild turkey flock has a cooperative feature, there is always one or more set of these great eyes looking the hunter's direction.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #1:

If the turkey hunter hunts from an open stand it is necessary to be completely covered with the appropriate camouflage color and pattern for the background behind the hunter. A wild turkey can see an eye move or blink for a hundred yards therefore a face net is a necessity.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #2:

This goes for any hunting equipment, the wild turkey can see a un-camouflaged bow, arrow, gun barrel, binocular, range finder and etc. especially if it moves quickly. Not only does the wild turkey have telescopic vision their field of vision is over 180 degrees wide and when aiming or repositioning try to do so when no other turkey is looking your direction this will be hard to do because they are so quick and cautious. When you get to the wild turkey stand area remove any hardware and lay it out of the way because when positioning or lifting a weapon for aiming you don't want to have a range finder hang up on a piece of clothing then suddenly drip just as you come to position.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #3:

To avoid the need for full camouflage and the worry of the wild turkey seeing anything moving or flashing use a portable blind. The new blinds are as easy as a camping tent to set up. They are warmer than being out in the open and they block winds. In fact some can double as a tent. The turkey hunter only has to wear something dark while inside. Gun hunters can use a smaller blind but bow hunters. will need the two or three person shoot through models.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #4:

In states which allow feeders for wild turkey attraction, it is common to start feeding them a month or so before the season starts. Since the wild turkey is more cautious of anything new popping up in their environment if possible the hunter should put up the blind about a month prior to opening. Let the wild turkeys get used to it.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #5:

If the hunter can not feed the wild turkeys in their state, preseason scouting must be done to find their feeding and roosting areas. When coming into the blind, if not already spending the night there, the hunter does not want to walk under a roosting area and throw up a blind.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #6:

If gun hunting the wild turkey use a rifle and aim at the head. If using a shotgun install an "extra full" choke and aim for the head. There is not a lot of meat on a wild turkey anyway so filling the body up with #6 shot can ruin most of the meat.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #7:

If the hunter wants to to use a shotgun try to find one with rear sights in addition to the normal single front sight..

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #8:

In some areas of Texas deer feeders are allowed. Where I hunt near Telegraph there are a lot of wild turkey. We used timers and photocells to trigger the feeders. By mixing maize with corn we attract both turkey and deer.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #9:

If you have an existing wooden blind it can be converted easily to a shoot through blind with camouflaged netting covering the shooting ports.

Wild Turkey Hunting Tip #10:

Bow hunters best turkey shot is the breast area.

Cooking the Wild Turkey Tip

A little known secret north of Interstate # I-10 is that if you want a juicy baked wild turkey (or any turkey) place it in the pan breast down, no liquid added and cover with foil. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Use a thermometer to check the temperature as the broiling temperature is critical. Cook by weight as follows:

8 - 10 lb. turkey, cook 3.0 - 3.5 hours
10.5 - 14 lb. turkey, cook 3.5 - 4.0 hours
14.5 - 18 lb. turkey, cook 4.0 - 4.5 hours

Do not continuously check the oven as this will cool the oven and extend cooking time. The low temperature cooking is a big key to juiciness.

Many dressings and stuffing's such as cornbread, wild life, mushroom, sausage, oyster, apple, chestnut, cracker or light bread go well with your wild turkey. That is beyond the scope of this article and it is best to check the experts for this. These can be cooked separately in a small pan of foil along side the turkey. Do not cook the turkey in any extra liquid. From the Maple Bacon Roast Turkey recipe referenced above you can search for literally anything to go with it.