How to Get Started Turkey Hunting

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped into the turkey woods in search of my first gobbler. I had watched a pile of Primos turkey hunting videos, read magazines and sat in on a turkey hunting seminar or two. But when I sat down against a tree on that first spring morning, I was the shining example of a clueless rookie turkey hunter. When I finally heard a bird gobble a mile away, I immediately went into a series of super-soft tree yelp sounds. I was pretty sure that’s what Will Primos had said to do when dealing with turkeys off the roost. I was just young and dumb enough that it never crossed my mind that gobbler a mile away couldn’t possibly hear my soft tree yelps. I quickly found myself discouraged and frustrated with my lack of turkey hunting knowledge. On that day I committed to beefing up my knowledge and learning how to  turkey hunt. I wanted to be a turkey killer. Here’s the things that changed the game for me when I was getting started in my turkey hunting journey.

Watch Turkey Hunting Videos and Blogs

There’s so much more turkey hunting information available today than when I was getting started years ago. How-to videos about turkey hunting on YouTube and turkey hunting blog posts like this one make a wealth of turkey hunting wisdom just a click away. Take advantage of these resources. Watch real turkey hunters do their thing via videos and TV shows. You can learn a lot by simply seeing how the hunt goes down on better turkey hunting videos and shows. It’ll give you a look at what to expect, how to setup, how to handle birds, calling routines, and much more. Tap into online turkey hunting resources and you’ll be ahead of the game as you get started.

There’s a ton of content online designed to help you be a better turkey hunter.


Recruit a Turkey Hunting Mentor

Figuring things out for yourself definitely has its fair share of benefit. But when you come to the point of realizing you can’t do it alone and you need to tap into the wisdom of someone that’s been there before, you’ll be better for it. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know jack when it comes to turkey hunting. Remember, you’re just getting started. You shouldn’t know everything – or anything for that matter. The key is to find a turkey hunting mentor that is willing to help you in your journey to turkey hunting success. Find someone that’s willing to listen to you call and offer input on how to sound more like a turkey. Tap into someone that’s willing to offer advice on better tactics for success. A hunting mentor will be one of the best moves you make when it comes to hunting turkeys. It’ll be a relationship you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Film a Turkey Hunt

I learned a lot about how to kill turkeys simply by offering to film other hunters that would be willing to let me tag along with my camera. It gave them a free video of their hunt and allowed me access to a free turkey hunting education every time I stepped into the woods. You’ll also learn a lot of things when you’re watching the hunt unfold through the camera lens that you might have missed otherwise. Filming another hunter can also lead to more hunting opportunities as you’ll often be invited back to hunt for yourself.

Hunter filming turkey
Offer to film your buddies turkey hunt – the extra time in the field can be invaluable in speeding up your turkey hunting learning curve.


Listen to Live Birds

Whether it’s an audio recording of live birds or finding someone that’s got turkeys on their farm, take the time to listen to live birds. You’ll hear many sounds you never knew existed. You’ll hear soft, subtle sounds that you can build into your calling routine. You’ll soon learn the rhythm and cadence of live hens yelping. It makes a huge difference when it comes to your calling success when you listen to the real thing and then learn to master those exact sounds. I believe in this so much that I’ve started raising my own domestic turkeys at home. They are a lot of fun to listen to and watch around the farm. The sounds they make beyond the basic yelp, cutt, clucks and purrs will blow your mind.

Listen to live birds to learn the turkey vocabulary.


Knock on Doors

Gaining permission on land that holds turkeys can be the toughest part of getting started in turkey hunting. It’s an aspect that I still struggle with today. Turkey hunting access will come and go when it comes to private land. Land owners change their mind, lease ground to someone else, or start hunting for themselves. But don’t think for a minute that the opportunity to hunt private land isn’t still there. You simply need to knock on the right door. Most folks are honestly scared to ask for permission. They don’t want to walk up to a strangers door and ask to hunt on their property. Get over this fear! Knock on doors and find your next turkey hunting location.

Hunt With a Friend

Iron sharpens iron. Likewise you can help sharpen your friend as you both learn to turkey hunt together. A friend will help you keep going when you’re ready to quit, even when you’d rather be back home eating breakfast. A friend allows you to listen better, see more, and hunt longer. And tag-team calling can be one of the deadliest tactics in the turkey woods. Don’t miss out on the benefit of turkey hunting with a friend.

Turkey hunters walking in green field
Turkey hunting with a friend or relative is a great way to stay motivated and try new tactics.

Becoming a successful turkey hunter won’t be easy. And that’s exactly the sport of turkey hunting is so addictive. It’s a challenge like no other that draws us back to the spring woods season after season.


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