6 Steps To Prepare For Turkey Season

By Jeremy Koerber, ACSM Exercise Physiologist
As temperatures begin to warm and the days last just a little longer, our thoughts turn to turkeys. Big, gobbling turkeys with beards so long they flop side to side as they come strutting into our sets. It won’t be long until we are putting birds to bed and waking in the wee hours in the hopes of punching a tag. Here are some tips that will help you stack the deck and up your chances of bagging a bird in 2018.

Take Inventory and keep notes:
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hunt dirt that doesn’t hold birds. Sure, birds are probably still in winter flocks but now is the time to start running trail cams to see the numbers and age structure of birds on our properties. Know where they roost, feed, loaf, strut and water and you will know how to set up on them opening morning!

Boost your fitness:
No, you do not have to be fit to hunt turkeys but having a high level of fitness certainly increases your odds of success. Simply having the ability to belly crawl to move up on a bird or the stamina to run and gun all day will increase your likelihood of punching a tag. And if you start now, you will be in peak condition as season opens. We suggest starting with walking 30 minutes two to three times per week. After a week or two strap on your turkey vest to simulate the physicality of being in the woods.

You can also pick up our customized Strutter strength program that will provide turkey hunting specific exercises to ensure you have the physical tools to bag your bird by clicking HERE. 

Each program, 6 or 12-week, comes with a complete list of exercises, videos with instruction and a phone consult by a Fit To Hunt coach.

Learn to call:
This year at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention I had the privilege of working a booth with legendary turkey hunter Ray Eye. Now I kill turkeys every year but like many of us, there are times where we rationalize our lack of success by saying the “birds just weren’t cooperating” or were “henned up.” And this can happen, but what I learned from Ray during his Saturday presentation just about re-wrote everything I thought I knew about turkey hunting and how to be successful in the woods. I might run into these situations but now I have the strategies to combat uncooperative, henned
up birds.

If you cannot make it to one of Ray’s live presentations we highly encourage you to pick up his “Calling is everything III” DVD by clicking HERE.

You will learn everything from how to gobbler yelp and how to address the hen social structure; two techniques that will drastically improve your odds of success.

Practice your calling:
Ray was kind enough to get me a new box call from his sponsor Hooks Game Calls…then proceeded to show me things that I have been doing wrong for the last 20 years (I am a
serial lid lifter). Whether box calls, slate or mouth calls, make sure the first sound you make isn’t as the sun comes up on opening morning.

Pattern your shotgun:
Sounds like a no-brainer but birds are missed every year because the first shots fired through that hunter’s gun are his or her first of the year. We are all busy people but if you do not know the shot pattern or range of your weapon you are doing disservice to yourself and the animal by not knowing the range for a safe, ethical kill. Besides, shooting is fun. Go do it!

Lose ten pounds:
It may not sound like a lot but ten pounds is ten pounds. Plus, it is much easier to
move through the woods with stealth when you are a little lighter. Consider the Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge! All of our clients who have followed the system have lost between 10 and 13 pounds and the best part it is an easy system to follow. Pick up your challenge by clicking HERE and remember to use promo code: fittohunt to get a 10% discount on the challenge.

Turkey hunting is a lot of fun.
It is even more fun when you are killing turkeys.

Follow these tips and increase your odds of bagging a bird this Spring!

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