Due to the tremendous success of Tennessee’s turkey restoration efforts, the interest in turkey hunting is on the increase, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
As with any hunting, there are certain rules needed to keep turkey hunting safe for the participants. One primary concern is the occasional accident when a turkey hunter does not properly identify his or her target. Even one accident is too many. The TWRA encourages all turkey hunters to follow defensive turkey hunting tactics recommended by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
While hunting wild turkeys in Tennessee this season, follow these safety rules:
- Select the largest stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head to place your back against when calling; a hunter is more likely to spot another hunter when moving to the front or side than from behind.
- Eliminate the colors white, red, black and blue from your hunting outfit; this includes handkerchiefs, socks, underwear, etc…these are the colors of a turkey gobbler.
- Select your calling spot in open timber rather than thick brush; eliminating movement is the key to success, not concealment.
- Be discreet when imitating the sound of a gobbling turkey.
- A good woodsman can always detect movement in the woods by watching other game or listening for the alarm cries of blue jays, crows, squirrels or woodpeckers. Be alert.
- When songbirds, crows or your turkey shuts up, be alert. There’s a good chance another hunter may be moving in on the same turkey.
- Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence. These tactics are safer than quick movements. Use common sense.
For all the rules and regulations about the 2012 turkey season, pick up a copy of the 2011 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold or visit the TWRA website.