Preparing for Missouri Turkey Season 2023: A Comprehensive Guide
As the summer months slowly drift away, the anticipation for Missouri turkey season begins to build. Hunters throughout the state prepare themselves for weeks of sit and wait, early mornings, and the thrill of the hunt. While it may seem like a long way off, it’s never too early to start preparing for the 2023 Missouri turkey season. Here is a comprehensive guide to help hunters prepare for the upcoming season.
Get Your Gear Ready
The first step in preparing for the Missouri turkey season is to make sure all of your gear is ready. Hunters should check their shotguns to make sure they are in good working order and shoot a few rounds to check for accuracy. The turkey calls, decoys, and other hunting necessities should be checked as well. If anything needs to be replaced, now is the time to do it.
Hunters should also make sure that they have all the required licenses and permits. This includes a turkey hunting permit and a turkey hunting safety certification. These can be obtained through the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
Scout the Area
Knowing where to hunt is just as important as having the right gear. Hunters should take the time to scout the area they plan to hunt in. This may mean walking through the woods, checking for turkey tracks or looking for signs of feeding or roosting. Hunters should also talk to landowners or other hunters in the area to get information on turkey movements.
It’s important to note that turkeys may not always be in the same spot. They tend to move around depending on the time of day, weather, and other factors. It’s helpful to have backup hunting locations in case the turkeys decide to move.
Practice Your Calling
Turkey calling is an art form that takes time to perfect. The more natural and convincing the call, the more likely it is that a turkey will come to investigate. There are several different types of calls, including box calls, slate calls, diaphragm calls, and push-button calls.
Hunters should experiment with different types of calls to see which one works best for them. Additionally, they should practice using the calls to create different turkey vocalizations. This includes the yelp, cluck, purr, and gobble. It’s important to remember that the key to successful calling is to mimic the sound of a real turkey.
Set Up Decoys
Hunters can use decoys to lure turkeys into range. Decoys come in all shapes and sizes and can be used to mimic the appearance of a feeding or breeding turkey. Hunters should choose a decoy that matches the area they plan to hunt in.
Some hunters prefer to use a single hen decoy while others use a combination of hen and jake (a young male turkey) decoys. It’s important to remember that turkeys have excellent eyesight, so decoys should be set up in areas with good visibility and kept out of direct sunlight.
Plan Your Hunting Strategy
There are several different strategies that hunters can use to increase their chances of success. One strategy is to hunt from a blind. Blinds provide concealment and can help keep hunters hidden from the keen eyes of turkeys.
Hunters may also choose to employ a “run and gun” strategy. This means that they move through the woods, calling and listening for turkeys. When they locate a turkey, they can set up quickly and try to lure the bird into range.
Another strategy is to set up in a location where turkeys are known to roost. This can be difficult because turkeys are highly susceptible to disturbance during their roosting period. Hunters should be sure to scout the area ahead of time and set up early in the morning before the birds begin to move.
Hunters should also consider the time of day when planning their hunting strategy. Turkeys tend to be more active during the early morning and evening hours, so it may be more productive to hunt during these times.
Preparing for the Missouri turkey season takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. Hunters who take the time to scout the area, practice their calling, set up decoys, and plan their hunting strategy are more likely to have a successful season. With the proper preparation, hunters can enjoy the thrill of the hunt as they pursue this elusive and magnificent bird.