Monday, April 05, 2010

Foul weather toms

© By Othmar Vohringer

When the weather is cold, wet or windy many turkey hunters stay in camp. It is commonly assumed that hunters don’t have a chance when it rains or the wind is howling or when the temperature suddenly takes a nosedive.

Sure, these conditions aren’t the best turkey hunting weather unlike the warm, still and clear mornings. But when the weather turns the turkeys still have to eat and tend to their daily needs, and while they may not gobble as much as on a “perfect turkey day”, some lovesick toms still respond to your calling and make for some exiting experiences.

In the past I had some of my best hunts on some of the worst days weather wise. To start with you will have the woods and fields to yourself. To me it almost seems that turkeys know that when the weather turns bad hunters stay home and that makes them more relaxed.

One time I heard a gobbler during a thunderstorm. Each time when the thunder rolled trough the small valley and lightening flashed in the sky the toms would sound off as if in competition with the thunder. Just for the heck of it I started calling and sure enough one of the toms came very close, but never to where I needed him to make a clean shot. Still, it was a very exiting experience seeing that tom coming through the pouring rain gobbling his head off at me.

If the weather is nasty I try to get closer to the roosting tree. Provided the terrain permits me to approach the roosting tree unseen by the turkeys I like to get within 50 yards or even less. I set up where I can see the birds still roosting in the tree. By daylight, as soon the tom get ready to fly down, I start calling and that often entices him to fly from the tree and come right in.

Hunting turkeys in bad weather is not easy but then again the only time you don’t have a chance to bag a tom is when you stay in camp. If you planed a day of hunting, maybe even have taken a day of work, then go regardless of what the weather conditions are like. Like I said you can’t bag a tom if you stay home.

Photo Caption: Sandy Okonski shot her first ever gobbler on a rainy, wet and cold May morning. Read the full story here

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