With a record high issuance of spring wild turkey hunting permits in Nebraska expected this year, the shotgun turkey season opening Saturday, not to mention all of the morel mushroom hunters, hikers, etc., the woodlands of Nebraska could be busy! So, safety and defensive hunting strategies are paramount for us spring turkey hunters to use!
Below you will find the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Top Ten Tips For Turkey Hunting Safety. Join me in reading them, remembering them, and practicing them!
- Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird.
- Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey. It is also unethical and could lead to an accident.
- Select a spot that is in open timber rather than thick brush: wearing camouflage clothing and eliminating movement is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover.
- Sit against a large stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head or use a portable, camouflaged blind when calling wild turkeys.
- Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler. Watch out for red, white or blue on your socks, t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats, bandannas, etc. Wear dark undershirts and socks, and pants long enough to be tucked into boots. It’s always a good idea to wear a little blaze orange clothing like a blaze orange cap going to and from your turkey hunting spots in the woods in order to be seen by other hunters.
- Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence to other hunters if necessary, yell repeatedly: “Hunter, hunter!” Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence.
- Keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling.
- Maintain a clear field of view when using a camouflage blind or netting and be totally certain of your target and background before you fire that shot!
- Ensure your decoy is not visible when you are transporting it. Stash the decoy in your vest and make sure the head is not sticking out. If you harvest a wild turkey during your hunting trip, you also should cover the bird’s head and body when carrying it out from your hunting spot.
- Put on your gun’s safety and approach the downed bird with your firearm pointed in a safe direction after firing. Never run with a gun!
I wish you a safe and successful hunt! GW.