Setup for Success

Five easy stepsthat guarantee you’ll never miss a turkey again 1. PICK A TREE Get as close to the turkey … Continued

Five easy stepsthat guarantee you’ll never miss a turkey again

1. PICK A TREE Get as close to the turkey as you can without spooking him.

⿪ Choose a tree orlarge rock to sit against. It should be wider than your shoulders and tallerthan your head. ⿪ Ideally, you want to be set up so that when the turkey steps into view, itwill be close enough to shoot. ⿪ Sit so you’re hidden in shadow and the sun is at your back.

2. RELY ON CAMO Don’t sit in a spot where you’re so concealed by brush your view is obscured oryou can’t swing your gun.

⿪ Sit asmotionless as possible and trust your camo clothing to keep you hidden from atom’s sight.

3. TAKE A SEAT Sit on the ground and bring up your left knee (if you’re right-handed) toprovide a solid rest on which you can balance your shotgun.

⿪ Holding your gunat the ready will minimize motion when you adjust your aim. ⿪ Keep your head up and, moving only your eyes, scan the entire area beforeyou. ⿪ Be ready for a turkey to slip in silently from either side of your setup.

4. MAKE THECALL Mouth calls, which require no body movement to use, are great for working a tomin close, but don’t overlook your favorite slate or box.

⿪ Arrange yourcalls next to you so they’re hidden by your raised leg. Subtly work them withyour trigger hand when the tom’s head is behind a tree.

5. SHOOT SMART Make sure the gobbler is close enough for your shot to hit its neck and headwith a dense, even pattern, ideally 40 yards out or closer.

⿪ Wait until thebird steps into an open lane clear of limbs and brush. ⿪ If you need to adjust your aim, do so only when the turkey’s head is hiddenbehind a tree. ⿪ If he suddenly stops and raises his head, he’s seen something he doesn’tlike. You have mere seconds to shoot before that tom dashes out of sight.

TONE IT DOWN When a turkey is near, lower the volume. Loud calling will only spook a birdthat is close. “I don’t like calling to a visible turkey if I can helpit,” says Quaker Boy Game Call’s Dave Streb. “If the bird is coming andyou can see him, just keep quiet.”

TAKE AIM Once you spot the gobbler and see that it is almost in range, be sure to keepyour head down on the shotgun’s stock and sight down the barrel. “A lot ofhunters raise their heads to watch the turkey, which causes them to shoothigh,” says turkey guru Ray Eye.

SWING IT When setting up, turn your left shoulder (if you’re right-handed) toward thedirection from which you expect the tom to approach. Then, if he slips more tothe left or to the right, you’ll be able to swing the gun farther withoutmoving your entire body.

BONUS TIPS

Avoid Obstacles A lot of guys move straight toward a turkey and just set up. Remember thatmoving directly toward him may not be the best way. Something could still beblocking his approach to you, like a creek or a downed tree. Make sure you takethose obstacles out of the equation. –Dave Streb

Make a Stand Sitting isn’t always your best position. Stand up to see over a rise or lowbrush. Stand against a tree with your gun at your shoulder. When the bird stepsinto view, just shoot it. –Ray Eye

Know Their Habits Turkeys develop habits just as people do, and will follow a similar patterneach day if they’re not pressured by hunters. If a gobbler typically goes eastfrom a roost, set up to the east of its roost. If it heads toward a particularfield, set up near that field. This is where scouting can really pay off. –Doug Howlett