Whether you’re in Carolina or Colorado, hunting turkeys in bad weather might be the key to punching a tag.
Sometimes stormy spring mornings, especially after having hunted hard for several days running, are welcome. The rain tapping on the tin roof of a hunting cabin, the wind gusting through the trees. It’s a recipe for rolling over and getting a few more hours of shut eye. But what many turkey hunters may not realize is that hunting turkeys in bad weather is actually a good thing.
Have the Woods to Yourself
The majority of other hunters are going to do what you so badly want to: sleep in. So the first reason why you should get up on stormy mornings is the simple fact that you’ll probably have the woods all to yourself.
Turkeys Don’t Care
Dealing with Mother Nature’s most extreme elements is part of life for turkeys. Wild animals are just that, wild. So a stormy day is really simply a day to a turkey, especially during the spring when toms are looking to breed hens. We were all young once, and a little weather on a Saturday night did little to thwart desire.
Mornings dark with low-slung clouds can provide some great opportunities in the turkey woods if you're willing to go.
Get a Ground Blind
Obviously you’re not going to wake up on a stormy morning and run out and get a ground blind. Well, at least most people wouldn’t. Having one on hand in preparation for stormy days can provide a little shelter.
If you arrive at camp on Friday afternoon and the forecast calls for rain Saturday morning, go ahead and set it out. Turkeys will often head to fields when they’re wet so we’d suggest a field near a popular roost site.
Gobblers aren’t going to gobble much on stormy days. Probably wouldn’t hear them if they did. Providing a visual by using decoys can draw in silent toms. This is another reason to have a ground blind, so you don’t get caught unawares by a silent bird creeping into your setup.
While a hen would certainly work, consider incorporating a jake to give dominant gobblers a little more to get excited about.
Turkeys are typically quiet in these conditions. But don’t be afraid to call anyways. And loudly using a box call. All you need to do is grab the attention of a wandering tom. Once he sees your decoy, there’s a good chance he’s coming in.
When the Weather Breaks
When the weather breaks it’s likely to get really good in the turkey woods. Get out of the blind and move to a nearby high point to see if you can locate a bird. Toms that didn’t respond to calling during the rain probably didn’t hear you and are likely to pipe up when the sun comes out.
Most of us adhere to a weekly work schedule that doesn’t afford us the luxury of hunting only when the weather is good. Take what Mother Nature gives you and make the best out of it. There’s always a good chance you’ll be cleaning a fine tom turkey back at camp when others are just rolling out of bed without a clue what they missed.