Are turkeys active on cold, rainy days? This season, it rained steadily for a while, and we didn’t hear any signs of birds since it began. Will turkeys still call? — Robert Ruken
Yes. Or no. It depends.
The level and intensity of precipitation determines how turkeys will react. A light spring shower won’t affect their behavior much. I’ve killed several rainy-day gobblers that were pepper-hot. However, more severe cold, wind and rain can definitely put turkeys into a funk. That is, birds won’t gobble much if at all, even on the roost. In fact, they might linger on the roost for a while before flying down. During very heavy downpours, turkeys will actually tuck their heads and wings tight to their body to weather the rain.
But here’s the catch: You don’t know how they’ll react unless you’re out there. Modern raingear and pop-up blinds let you hunt comfortably during otherwise miserable days. If the forecast looks wet, I’ll grab my waterproof calls and set up near a field or similar open area, which always seem to attract turkeys during wet weather. If they gobble, great. If not, I’ll wait them out as long as I can.
One more thing: When the rain stops and the sun shines, get out there. Turkeys often tear it up after they dry their feathers and warm up.