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How to Stay Safe When Hunting Turkeys

How to Stay Safe When Hunting Turkeys

Hunting season is finally upon us, which has hunters taking to their favorite places in an attempt to catch some game. Whether you hunt for sport or for food, there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe this season.
Turkeys are some of the most challenging game to catch. In fact, their intelligence is one reason Benjamin Franklin wanted them to be our national bird. Hunting a turkey takes skill and patience, as well as adherence to a few safety tips. Follow these to enjoy a safe turkey hunting season:

Wear the Right Colors

When going on your turkey hunt, dress appropriately for more than just the weather. Don’t wear red, black, blue, or white: red is the color of a male turkey, while hens are usually blue. Either, however, can be white or blue. A turkey’s feathers are black, so avoid this hue.
When moving between a hunting site and a vehicle, consider wearing blaze orange. This helps other hunters recognize you. At the hunting site, it’s fine and advisable to wear camouflage, including your face and forearms. This helps hide you from a turkey’s keen eyesight.

Choose the Right Spot

When you arrive at a hunting site, one of the first things you should do is scope out a calling position. Choose one that provides a 180-degree visual range, both for optimal hunting and your safety. Using your turkey call may attract the attention of other hunters in the area. Since you’re camouflaged, it’s not safe to wave or make motions to identify yourself to other hunters. Instead, draw attention to yourself with a loud voice.

Prepare for the Haul

Catching a turkey is cause for celebration, but be careful when carrying it back to your car. Don’t let its wings become splayed or carry it in a way that might lead other hunters to believe it’s a living bird. Consider bringing a blaze orange tarp or covering for transport.

Follow Basic Firearm Safety

Next, follow basic firearm safety tips to protect yourself and other hunters. This means treating every gun as if it were loaded and only pointing at what you plan to shoot. Never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to take the shot. Finally, clearly identify your target and the surrounding area before taking the shot.

Plan Ahead

Hunters can encounter all sorts of inclement weather, so be prepared with warm and waterproof clothing and boots. Check the weather report before leaving so you know what to expect. Finally, consider bringing a satellite phone for communication in the event your hunting brings you to a remote area with no service.
Turkey hunting can be an enjoyable hobby, but it’s not without its risks. By following some simple safety tips, you can protect yourself and other hunters this season. Follow these rules and use some common sense so that you can come home safe with a turkey in your trunk. Good luck, and have a happy hunting season!

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