What is the Best Weather for Turkey Hunting? | Big Beard Bounty | Dothan, AL
Every hunter wants to increase the odds of their success, and finding the perfect time to hunt under the right weather conditions is one way to do so. Considering the weather and its variables can help you observe the behavior of your game.
Turkeys are some of the most hunted game in North America. According to OnXHunt, Alabama was named the best state to hunt turkey in 2021. At the heart of the season, here is where turkey legend Colonel Tom Kelly spent eight decades stalking and calling toms. Having the largest turkey population and a larger limit because of it, a relatively long season, and over 2 million acres of public land, Alabama turkey hunting provides us with plenty of data on determining the best weather for the season.
Turkey Hunting in the Rain
For optimal turkey hunting success, take all variables into consideration including precipitation. Many experienced turkey hunters love hunting in the rain because turkeys enjoy eating in the rain and tend to let their guard down. As moisture soaks into the ground and worms, seeds, bugs, and insects rise to the surface, this presents a field day for both hunters and game. Turkeys tend to be less cautious while the rain also hinders the birds’ hearing and visibility, making it easier to get close. When it’s raining, turkeys are likely to be out all day, improving your odds of success. Bring snacks, hot tea or coffee, and stay warm while taking advantage of these conditions.
Dry, Clear, and Sunny
On the other hand, when the sky is clear and visibility is at its highest, the same goes for the game. You will likely encounter turkeys in the fields during twilight and in among the trees around midday. On alert, with their eyesight at its sharpest, hunters become easier to spot. One positive is that turkeys tend to be most vocal on clear days which will make them easier to find.
Windy Weather and Turkey Calls
Most turkey hunters have experienced high winds that impede activity in the field. Turkeys tend to mirror this and are quieter on days the winds are howling. While the turkey’s hearing is impaired, the same strong winds make the hunter’s ability to hear turkey calls more difficult.
How Temperature Factors in to the Hunt
Temperature plays an important role in turkey activity as well. Particularly, turkeys tend to be more vocal in mild temperatures (60-69°F) while cold weather will slow them down.
All About Timing
Most states have a spring and fall turkey season, with the bearded turkeys reserved for spring. Early spring and mid-fall tend to be peak times to head out on a hunt. Prioritize hunting first thing in the morning if possible. This is when the turkeys start to stir from their ground and tree nests and when they search for food, are vocal, and will be on the move.
- Morning – When targeting your flock, remember that their grazing patterns can change. Staying mobile and responding to the changes in their behavior will help you be successful. There are two basic strategies: ambush or calling. When ambushing, predict where the turkeys are headed and wait quietly. If calling, start off with subtle calls. If that doesn’t work, use more aggressive fighting purrs. If you spot a pattern based on the above-mentioned factors, you may have luck with setting up a permanent blind. It’s best to use both strategies.
- Noon – Some states have laws that prohibit hunting past mid-day. In this instance, noon might mark the end or beginning of your hunt. Turkeys’ “loaf” around this time or will head to shadier areas to escape the heat. Turkeys also dust around this time to rid themselves of pests, so find a dusting location and determine the best method.
- Afternoon – Many of the noon-time activities carry on into the afternoon. Now is the time to focus on loafing areas.
- Evening – Around this time, turkeys head back to their nests after grazing. If you are going to hunt, be careful not to scare them away from their nests and ruin morning hunts.
Turkey Hunting Tips | Big Beard Bounty | Southeast Turkey Hunting Competition | Alabama
Watching the weather, the time of day, and the seasons can help you make the most of your next turkey hunting trip. While it’s great to have a pick of optimal days, sometimes, it’s just best to put on your gear, ready your equipment, and head outside. Even unsuccessful hunts can teach you important lessons for the next one. Tune in for more turkey hunting tips and enter Big Beard Bounty 2022 here.