Safe Hunting Tips

Hunting can be an exhilarating and exciting experience, especially when hunting turkeys. The wild turkey has a keen sense of sight and can easily detect movement and colours that are are out of place in the woods, making hunting turkeys quite a challenge. But along with this challenge comes the associated risks with hunting turkeys, the most prominent being mistaken for game. To protect yourself and other hunters around you it is recommended that you practice defensive hunting, much like defensive driving, in that you make sure you are being safe, but as well, that you are prepared for other mistakes or dangers that other hunters around you might make. Below are some tips, for both amateur and experienced hunters, that will help you to get the most out your hunting experience while making sure that it is a safe one, both for you and other hunters around you.


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  • Clothing and Camouflage

    • NEVER wear clothing, even something as simple as socks, that contains the colours red, blue, black and white. These colours are predominant in the male turkeys plumage and if a nearby hunter catches a glimpse of these colours s/he could mistake you for a turkey and fire upon you.
    • When waiting in your position for a turkey to come by, dress in total camouflage. This should include a face mask and gloves or face paint if you do not possess a mask or gloves. If only dressed in partial camouflage, first a turkey will be more likely to see you, but more importantly, this increases your chances of being mistaken for game. Another hunter may only see parts of you and mistake you for a turkey. As well, your gun should be camouflaged as blued steel looks like black from a distance.
    • When moving in the forest or on hunting grounds, make sure to wear hunter orange clothing. This is to make sure that you are visible to other hunters that may be in the area. As well, when transporting a turkey, wrap it in an hunter orange vest so that other hunters don't mistake it for a live turkey and fire upon it. Very few states or provinces require by law that you wear hunter orange, but it is in your best interest to do so for your own safety.
  • Positioning and Calling 
    • Never stalk a turkey. It is almost futile and will only serve to increase your chances of being mistaken for game.
    • Position yourself with your back against a tree that is wider than your shoulders. This will help camouflage your outline as well as protect you from accidental shootings from behind. Never position yourself such that you cannot see clearly around you without moving.
    • Place a orange ribbon around the tree in which you are positioned to alert other hunters of your presence.
    • NEVER use a turkey call, move or wave to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead yell or shout "STOP" in a clear voice to get their attention and remain still while doing so. Remember, if another hunter is walking in the area, more than likely, any turkeys will be gone so shouting will not be detrimental to your hunt.
    • Once in position, remain still, especially when calling a turkey. This will help guard against other hunters firing prematurely at your own movement, especially after you have made a turkey call. Never assume you are the only hunter in the area.
    • Be careful when turkey calling and use it as little as possible. Not only can calling attract turkeys, but it can attract other hunters as well.
  • Target Selection
    • Before shooting at a turkey, make sure that it is a legal turkey. Check at least twice and do not go on instinct when you think you have spotted a turkey.
    • Assume that every noise, movement or call that you hear is another hunter. If there is any doubt, DON'T shoot.
  • Equipment
    • Make sure that your equipment is kept in proper order and repair as specified by the manuals that come with them.
    • Make sure that you know how to use the equipment properly and safely.
    • For tips on firearm use and safety click here or visit the links below.
  • Hunter Education and Regulations
    • Attend seminars on turkey hunting and be aware of the regulations that exist in the area that you are hunting in.
    • For wild turkey hunting seminar information in Ontario click here.
    • For wild turkey hunting regulations in Ontario click here.
    • For hunting regulations in the United States click here and click on the State and Fish Game Information located on the side.

For more information on firearm registry in Canada or the United States click on the links.


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