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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Turkey Hunting in Strong Winds and Rain

The start of our Michigan spring turkey season is often filled with colder than normal temperatures, cloudy days, and even some snow. It is easy to just decide to wait until the weather improves, but turkey season only lasts a few weeks.  If, like most people, you have a limited number of days to hunt then you have to take advantage.

For starters, the wind is going to make it harder for the tom to hear your calls.  You will need to call louder and more frequently.  Your best chance of calling one in maybe first thing in the morning right off the roost.  If you are not lucky enough to get a tom to come in right away, you may consider going mobile to chase them down.

The wind and swaying branches can help provide auditory and visual cover, allowing you to potentially get closer to the birds without spooking them than you normally would.

Using decoys can be extra helpful with loud winds because it gives you another way for the turkeys to respond positively to you when they cant hear your calling.  If, however, the wind is so strong that it is blowing your decoys over then it is probably best to skip using them.

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Rain and precipitation can also provide some added benefits to turkey hunting, although they may make it miserable for you to be in the woods.  The constant sound and visual of the steady falling rain can make turkeys feel vulnerable in the woods.  Their natural defenses are based on their sense of sight and sound.  Without these operating at 100% they are more susceptible to the attack of a predator sneaking upon them in the trees.

I have found, that during constant precipitation the flock of turkeys may be more likely to move to an open field or somewhere where they can see for a greater distance.  This allows them to still be aware of what is coming when they can’t hear due to the rain.

Next time you wake up at 5 am to hunt turkeys and notice the terrible Michigan spring weather, consider still going out.  The weather can provide a benefit if used right and the old saying “you’ll kill 100% more turkeys in the woods during inclement weather than you will at home” is true.

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