Turkey hunting in the rain is fun, but it requires you to change your habits a bit if you plan to bag a gobbler. Some hunters might tell you you’re crazy when you want to hunt turkey in the rain, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s great. After all, you only get a limited amount of time to hunt turkey each year, so you have to take advantage of it. If you’re afraid to hunt when the weather isn’t perfect, you’ll be wasting days that could’ve been your day to get a turkey.
Rain Affects Turkeys But They’re Still Out There
The truth of the matter is turkeys are still in the woods when it rains. They’re just busy doing turkey things. When it rains, it’s a bit harder to get them to come in, but they’re going to. It’s also important to realize that most spring days the rain is only drizzling and not coming down in a downpour. If it’s drizzling and not downpouring, turkeys will pretend the rain isn’t happening. If it’s downpouring, their behavior may change a bit.
Another aspect to consider regarding turkeys and rain is to think about when the rain started. If it started to rain during the middle of the night when turkeys were roosted in the trees, they might not come down as early in the morning as they would have if it had not been raining. They will eventually come down, but it will probably take an hour or two longer than it normally would. The turkeys late descent from the trees doesn’t mean you should delay your hunt by an hour or two though. In fact, you should probably hunt the same time you normally would, and just be prepared to wait a bit longer than normal before you start to see some birds.
If the rain starts after turkeys have come down from the trees for the day, they will be more affected by the rain then if it had started when they were sleeping. When a bird has already started their day, they will likely head to open fields when the rain starts to come down. To put yourself in the best position to get a bird, it’s important to watch the weather. If you see that it’s going to start raining shortly after you enter the woods, grab a blind and get it set up in the woods. Get to your hunting spot early and just wait for the turkeys to show up.
Advantages of Turkey Hunting in the Rain
While there are some obvious disadvantages to hunting in the rain, there are some advantages as well. One of the biggest advantages is seeing more turkey. When it’s rainy, turkeys don’t want to hang out in the woods. Instead, they tend to hangout near fields and in pastures. Hanging out in the open makes it easier to spot them. So, whenever the rain hits hit the fields and you’re sure to see turkeys.
Another way to bag a gobbler when it’s raining is to use a decoy. It’s best to use a tom decoy and at least two hens. When it’s raining, a turkey may not be able to hear you call. But, if you use a decoy, they’ll definitely be able to see that.
Turn up the effort with your turkey calling. Rain can be loud, which means if you want to draw turkeys towards you, you’re going to have to turn up the volume with your calling. Wind won’t spook turkeys, but it does make them super alert and cautious. Since a turkey’s hearing is on overload when it’s raining, you may want to call louder than you normally would. Even though it’s raining, you still have to make sure you watch your movements. If you call and a turkey looks at you, it’s important not to move. Turkeys eyesight isn’t affected by rain at all, so you have to be super careful about your movements.
Video: How to Hunt Turkey on Rainy Days?
Dress for the Weather
There’s no way you’re going to last very long in the woods when it’s raining, if you don’t wear the right gear. When it’s raining, you might be sitting in the same spot for a very long time waiting for turkeys to enter an open area. If you’re not protected from the rain, you’ll be miserable in the rain. For best results, it’s best to have camos that are made to wear specifically in wet weather.
Be More Alert
We’ve talked about turkeys being more alert when it’s raining, but we haven’t talked about hunters being more alert. The entire atmosphere changes when it’s raining. For this reason, hunters need to be more alert than ever if they expect to ever get a gobbler while hunting in the rain. Why do you need to stay alert? You won’t be able to hear the normal signs of an approaching turkey. Their gobbles will seem farther away and you won’t hear them coming either.
When you use the tips above to hunt turkeys in the rain, you’ll increase your chances of getting a good-size tom or hen, and you’ll probably have less competition in the woods that day since most hunters won’t even think about turkey hunting in the rain.
Wet Turkeys Photograph Terribly
If you’re like most hunters, you want to take a picture of your prize after you’ve got the kill. It’s even more exciting if it’s your first turkey or a kid’s turkey. However, if you want to take a picture of a turkey you caught in the rain, you’re probably not going to like the way the picture turns out. Why? A wet turkey kind of looks like a wet dog, which means it’s not going to be a very attractive picture. However, if you take a couple minutes to dry the turkey feathers before you take the picture, you’ll be much happier.
Now you have it, turkey hunting in the rain is a great way to grab a big bird without a ton of competition in the woods. Follow our advice, and you’ll be happy you hit the woods when your buddies decided sleeping in and staying dry was a better idea.