Shamanic Turkey Hunting Tips

Here’s some random turkey hunting tips

The cold:

I carry an extra set of socks when it’s cold. Between what’s coming through the shoe and what’s coming over the top from all the cold dew on the grass, my feet get wet. Along about 9-10 AM , after the dew’s dried out, I change socks. It makes the walk home much nicer.

When it gets real cold, I throw a handwarmer in the front pocket of my bibs. It heats my chest, which heats the blood going to the heart/lungs. It’s like a hot water heating system.

Calls:

A dab of epoxy on the tip of your striker will waterproof it.

Carry extra rubber bands for your box call.

A broken fishing rod is a great source of striker material. You can get 2-4 strikers from one rod.

A wooden clip clothespin is a dandy thing to hold a spare mouth call. Add one to your crow call lanyard, sew one on your vest or . . . well, you get the idea.

Dekes:

Save the foam rubber from packing and stuff it in the tail and heads of your foam dekes. It helps them keep their shape.

Camo:
Take faded camo, and use RIT dye. I’ve used bright green, dark green, and brown at various times. It will fill in the faded areas and produce a muted version of what you had. The turkeys won’t mind a bit.

Guns:

The best material I’ve found for cleaning shotguns are worn out fuzzy hunting socks– the wicking kind. I cut a strip, tie it with an old shoe string and sort of do a homebrew version of a boresnake.

I use home made Ed’s Red exclusively as powder solvent and lubricant for all my firearms. Google “Ed’s Red” and find the recipe. It’s mostly kerosene and automatic transmission fluid– 50/50 works as a gun oil. The rest of the ingredients are standard hardware store items. The reason I’m not giving you the recipe is I want you to look it up and read all the ins and out of the stuff.

Hunter Orange:

Make a resolution to start wearing Hunter Orange this year. It doesn’t have to be much– a ball cap, a reversible boonie, a vest, or carry a Hunter orange bandana. Wear it when you’re out moving. Put it up in a bush close by your set-up.

Remember: turkeys will spook at 400 yards or more just by seeing you moving. A little orange is not going to make any difference. Your biggest problem is the nearsighted hunter.

Planning:

Always leave a trip plan with someone. Tell where you’ll be and when you’re planning on coming out. Have an agreed time to contact someone on the tail end (“If I haven’t called you by. . .”) At least write it on a scrap of paper and leave it on your windshield. Remember that hypothermia sets in quickly and you don’t want people starting to think about combing the state two days after you’ve assumed ambient temperature.

Blind:

Take camo-colored camper’s cord and go all the way around a 4X6 section of die-cut camo blind material. Attach the cord to the material with small electrical ties. Wad this up in a little sack and carry it as an instant blind. The cord will loop over twigs.

or:

Take a length of camper’s cord and a 12′ length of the burlap or die-cut blind material for another instant blind. Tie the cord around three trees. Use clothes pins, to attach the material to the cord. With burlap, you can use small sticks or carry nails to pin the material over the cord.

Basic Survival:

Carry the following no matter what:

a pack of matches in a waterproof container
A wad of drier lint for tinder
2 small working compasses. I carry a pin-on and a cheap lensatic
A small knife
A 2AA cell flashlight and a change of batteries
A whistle

I’ll post my yearly — “the Shaman’s Guide on How to Keep from Becoming Mulch.” later on, but this will do for now.

Shoes:

When you replace a broken lace, make sure to put the remainder as a spare in your kit. It’ll also make a great turkey tote.

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