When turkey hunting season rolls around, it’s an exciting time. But the weather doesn’t always cooperate with you just because you’re excited. Animals also react in interesting ways to inclement weather, which changes the dynamic of the hunt.
Then there is the fact that gobblers much prefer the finer weather, kind of like their human counterparts. However, even turkey hunting in the rain, toms still feel the instinctive urge to find hens and breed.
If the toms are out, you should be out, whether it’s raining or not. Surely you wouldn’t let a little water steal a tag from you. Turkeys change the way they operate in the middle of the day when it’s raining. It’s up to you to understand their habits and take advantage.
Is Turkey Hunting Good in the Rain
Turkey hunting can be just as good in the rain, so long as you know how turkeys react to it. For one, they’re going to remain in their roost a little longer in the morning. For two, they prefer wide open, flat areas, relying on their site to make up for what they can no longer hear in the rain.
They’re also going to keep quiet, but that doesn’t mean they will ignore your calls, especially if you’re close by. It pays to know the areas you’re hunting. Knowledge of the local topography is ideal.
Since turkeys prefer to stay out in the open during the rain, you should know where all the open roads are, all the open fields, and areas of water that don’t feature heavy brush or treelines along the bank.
Wide open areas under power lines are excellent spots for turkeys to hang out in the middle of a rainy day, as well as pastures where the cows normally roam, and fields that have already been harvested.
It’s really a good idea to hit these open areas between showers. When the rain slows to a drizzle, turkeys are even more likely to hit the open fields for a time. It’s also easier to move since you’re harder to spot in the rain.
Remember, there is a chance your call will still be attractive, especially if you are close by. One of the best things to have with you is a portable blind you can set up in seconds, especially if you know what direction the turkey are moving in and can anticipate them.
Tips for Success
Rainy weather hunting starts with the gear. Nothing will kill a turkey hunt faster than showing up in the rain, soaked to the bone. A good pair of hunting boots is more than worth it. Once your feet get wet, everything else is over.
1. Bring the right gear
If this isn’t your first rodeo, you should know by now what to bring if you’re expecting rain, and you should always expect rain. Meteorologists are great at talking up a storm and not so great at predicting them.
- Waterproof hunting boots
- Breathable raincoat
- Waterproof pants
- Plenty of layers if it’s cold
- Your turkey call
- Small backpack with your portable blind
- Your shotgun, of course
The idea is to keep yourself from becoming too miserable. A good focus and mentality are pretty important. Besides, you’ll probably spend some time on the ground, maybe as far as doing belly crawls.
2. Patience is a virtue
Rain will delay a gobbler’s motions first thing in the morning. If you’ve scouted the area and feel pretty confident there is movement throughout the area, set up your blind and settle in. Give it a little time, and if the rain slows in intensity, you’re likely to get what you’ve been waiting for.
Set up in an open area if you can. They are instinctively attracted to the open in moderate or light rain and will come out if the rain drops down to a drizzle.
3. Don’t stop calling
As we mentioned above, if you’ve scouted the area previously and know they’re there, don’t stop calling just because the rain is making it hard to hear. It’s hard for turkeys to hear in the rain too, but that doesn’t mean your call won’t break through the noise.
Up the lung power a little bit and make those calls as loud as you can make them. Turkey usually stay quiet in the rain, but that’s not the same as complete silence. If they happen to catch one of your calls, they’ll get curious.
The most popular and effective calls on rainy days are “cackles” and “yelps.” Keeping it simple is often the way to go.
4. Bring a solid, portable blind
You should bring something along that you can throw up in a hurry. You can get a lot closer to wild turkeys in the rain than you can in good weather. Don’t bother making those calls until your blind is up. You’ll want to work quickly, so bring a blind that you can assemble in as much as a minute.
Rain or shine, turkey hunting season stays open. If you limit yourself to days of good weather, then you limit your opportunities altogether. A little extra gear, some scouting, and the proper strategy will provide you with an opportunity to take a shot.
Don’t forget the decoys either. They might not be as effective in the rain as they normally are, but no decoy is not effective at all. Your calls are important too, especially if you’re nice and loud. If they’re close enough, they’ll hear you.
It might not be the most pleasant thing you’ve ever done. No one wants to get back in their vehicle at the end of the day, soaked through and through. But if you get in the vehicle with a gobbler in hand, it will all be worth the trouble.
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