Turkey hunting is not an inherently dangerous sport. But the potential for problems exists as camouflaged guys slip around the woods and call like turkeys in the spring and fall. Safety MUST BE your first priority.
Tips for staying safe while turkey hunting.
- Handle your shotgun safely at all times.
- Unload it before entering a truck, camp, house, etc.
- Don’t wear a red, white or blue T-shirt or socks beneath your camouflage. If one of these colors sticks out during a hunt (i.e., your camo pants ride up to show white and red-topped socks) some careless nitwit nearby might mistake it for a gobbler’s head. Don’t laugh, it has happened!
- Don’t use gobbler calls or decoys on heavily hunted public lands.
- Set up to call in fairly open areas where you can see 40 to 60 yards. Sit against a tree as wide as your back. If you see another hunter approaching your calling post, don’t wave your hands-sudden movement could be mistaken for a turkey flashing in the brush. Whistle or speak out in a normal voice.
- In the spring if you hear a turkey gobbling near a truck or ATV parked in the woods, you can pretty much bet another hunter is working the bird. Back out of the area and go find another tom to hunt to avoid a potential conflict.
- Is that a hen or another hunter yelping or cutting in the brush? Sometimes it is tough to tell. If you have the slightest doubt that another caller might be in the area, leave.
- Before slipping off your shotgun’s safety BE ABSOLUTELY SURE OF YOUR TARGET-a long-bearded tom in the spring, or a tom or maybe a hen (where legal) in the fall. Never take this seemingly simple task lightly. Statistics show that mature, experienced hunters cause many accidents. A 180-pound man should never be mistaken for an 18-pound turkey, but it happens every season. Know your target before shooting!