Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

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shaman
 
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Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby shaman » February 19th, 2009, 2:38 am

I have been on this forum for a few months now, and I seen a lot of posts that I find distressing. They are distressing to me, because I feel that they show an ignorance or disregard for what I was taught as basic turkey hunting safety. Perhaps it is my on parochial views, but I checked both the Kentucky and Ohio websites and came up with a similar set of safe hunting tips.  I am including the ones from Ohio:





From Turkey Hunting Safety Tips  on the Ohio DNR website




Carefully read the following tips and be a part of a safe and enjoyable hunting experience. A trip with an experienced turkey hunter can teach you a lot about both safety and turkey hunting tactics. And if YOU are an experienced hunter, consider taking a younger or less experienced hunter out so they can learn from you. [ol] Don't Stalk - Do not stalk a turkey or turkey sounds or try to drive turkeys to another hunter. The chances of bagging a turkey by this method are slim, but the chances of becoming involved in a shooting are great.   Always call the turkey to you.

Dress For Success - Eliminate the colors black, red, white, and blue from your hunting clothing. These colors are predominant in the male turkey's plumage and can contribute to a mistaken-for-game incident. Wear complete camouflage.

Remain Still - Never move, wave, or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Instead, yell or speak in a loud voice and remain still. Never assume you are the only hunter in an area.

Calling - Be careful when using the gobble call. The sound and motion may attract other hunters and lead to a dangerous situation.

Positioning - Select a calling position that places your back against a large tree and leaves the area in front of you open. Do not hide so well that you cannot see turkeys and other hunters. The tree you sit against will camouflage your outline and help protect your back.

Identify Your Target - Never shoot at a sound or movement. Remember you can legally shoot only a bearded turkey during the spring season.

Hunter Orange - Wear hunter orange when walking in the woods. If you kill a turkey, tag it immediately and then conceal it or wrap an orange covering on the bird before walking out of the woods.


Know Your Range - Do not shoot at a turkey out of your shotgun's effective range. Always shoot at the head and neck of the bird and remember that 30 yards or closer is ideal for a safe, clean kill. Remember to pattern your gun before the hunt and do not use large shot. A number 4, 5, 6, or 7 1/2 shot is ideal for turkey hunting in Ohio.

See the Beard - Never let excitement, nerves, panic, or peer pressure guide your behavior. Make sure the object you are shooting is a bearded turkey. The most critical moment of any turkey hunt is when you decide to pull the trigger. See a beard before you shoot.
[*]Hunter Education - Attend a Division of Wildlife hunter education course. The NWTF and the Division of Wildlife sponsor turkey hunting seminars each year. [/ol]


I would encourage anyone who is coming onto this site as a beginning hunter to read these tips and take them to heart, and not take the advice of a poster on this forum over this list. I would also encourage the beginning hunter to find whatever rules and tips are available in their own state and follow them. These are just a representative list from Ohio; your rules and tips will vary. Third, I would encourage every turkey hunter to read their yearly hunting guide cover to cover. Lists like this may seem self-evident and silly, but they are put there for safety.  It may take only 10 minutes to read the whole pamplet, but it might save a life-- perhaps your own.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby shaman » February 19th, 2009, 4:56 am

I really don't think that's necessary or helpful at this time.  However, I will point out some of the tips where I think otherwise experienced turkey hunters have either clouded the issue or gone ahead and openly disagreed with these tips: [ul][*]Wear  Hunter Orange when on the move
[*]Cover up the turkey carcass after the kill. Don't  carry it in the open
[*]Eschew  stalking[*]Hunt defensively-- do not wear red white or blue [/ul]I have to admit to being somewhat guilty of the first. I have probably gone lax in this since I have been hunting my one place for the past 8 seasons, and I expect to be the only one on the property.  After the poaching incident last season, and the fact that my 16 yr old son will be hunting separately for the first time this season, I have decided to go back to a more conservative observance.  When I'm on the move, I'll be wearing an orange hat, and I'll hang it up close by my setups. My sons will do the same.
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby Turkeybuster » February 19th, 2009, 6:27 am

Shaman
Ohio's safety guideline seems almost word for word to Pa.'s with the exception that as of last year there isn't any orange required in the spring season only, a orange hat was required previously.
However I will wear one while moveing for my personal safety.
It has been said that orange may be mistaken for red and is dangerous,I will take my chances with the orange.
These rules are set forth as a basis for safe hunting and as hunters we are reasponsible to obey them and exercise common sense as to our personal safety afield and the safety of other participants enjoying the sport.
That said we have all been lax at one time or the other so this is a situation to be considered and to be aware of while hunting at all times.
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby shaman » February 19th, 2009, 7:14 am

Yes, it's also very similar to KY's.  I think they all draw on the same body of work; I don't know if it's the national Hunter's Ed organization or what, but states are starting to standardize on the same or similar verbiage in writing their hunting rules. 

I think mandatory Hunter's Ed was a good idea. It's certainly brought down the fatalities.  When I first got into hunting there were a lot of old schoolers still spouting off about "sound shots" (the practice of shooting at sounds rather than actual game)  and other really goofy things. Most of that seems to have faded away.

Hunter Orange for turkey seasons will probably be a hard sell, but I think it's a good idea.  If I'm up and moving around, with or without orange, I can scare off a turkey at 400 yards-- just the movement will put them in a panic.  Adding a little bit of color does not change that much on the turkey's end of it.  I have also run across turkeys in the fall when I'm in my Hunter Orange clown suit hunting deer. They seem remarkably unfazed by it.
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby Turkeybuster » February 19th, 2009, 9:29 am

Shaman
 
I would like to relate a story to you as I know you have sons hunting with you from your posts.
This story happened to my son and I shortly after he was old enough to hunt and will never be forgotten by either of us. We were hunting turkeys towards the end season and decided to hunt a very remote area that gets very little pressure ever due to it's inaccesability. We had to wade a very wide creek in chest high waders to get to this location the only other access is a 6mi. walk in.
We hit fresh turkey sign in the creek bottom and knew we had to get above them, we climbed the steep ridge just enough that we had the high ground but could still see into the bottom and decided to start calling. After the third series of calls we heard a person shout down in the bottom and soon we saw him walking in our direction, we called out to him and then showed him some orange. He proceeded to climb the ridge to our location and as he neared us I recgonized him as I ran into him a couple of times while trout fishing. He was visibly shaken and we thought something happened, after he got his breath and regained his composure he told us the following story.
This was the first year he had hunted turkeys in five years and his first day out he said five years ago
he was hunting this same area with his son basically the same ridge and his son at the time was about the same age as my son was. They were also calling and had birds comeing,suddenly his eyes filled with tears he hesitated then went on. His son started to move his gun into position to shoot and there was a sharp crack his son fell forward shot through the head and was dead. Shot with a rifle from a distance and the shooter said he heard the birds saw the movement and shot. We never will forget that story I don't know if this man had a flash back or what but needless to say we all left the woods at that point together and quietly.
Words cannot discribe the pity we had for this man and after that we always made it a point to stop at his cabin when he was there. So the point is you can never assume you are alone in the woods and should
never leave your guard down. I don't know in this instance other than wearing orange what could have
prevented this terrible accident but I'am sure the shooter became overwhelmed with excitement failed to identify his target and pulled the trigger.
Turkeybuster

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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby StevePA » February 19th, 2009, 10:34 am

No stalking....Hmmmm.......
turkeykiller

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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby swpatrkyhunter » February 19th, 2009, 11:00 am

Thats a terrible story TB! Personally I don't feel Turkey hunting with a rifle is very sporting. My opinion. In Pa. You can not hunt Turkey with a rifle in the spring but you can in the Fall. And I think the only reason for that is because of the orange requirments in the Fall. But Regardless. The first thing I learned about saftey was to "BE sure of your target" I guess there are those that seem to forget that upmost imortant rule of thumb. As sad as it is to say accidents will happen no matter what amount of orange someone wears. There are more accidents during deer season then there are during Turkey seasons. Maybe it has to do with the kind of hunters of the particular season. Last year there was a post about a terrible accident where a Father shot his son. After more information was obtained it was found that the Father had Alcohol in his system. You can only do so much to insure your own saftey. As resposible hunters we try to think first and do the right thing but It's the other guy you have to watch out for. I always try to be on the lookout for other hunters in the woods and note their location. Not only for their saftey but for my own and anyone else I am hunting with. And i think that is how we all feel.
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shaman
 
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby shaman » February 19th, 2009, 11:01 am

Turkeybuster,

I know I've received guff on here earlier this year for mentioning this, but I can't stress enough how important it is to be a defensive turkey hunter.  It isn't that it's first-timers that do the shooting, it's experienced hunters who are dead certain they've seen a turkey.  Hunter Orange will break up that gestalt.  Leaving red, white, and blue out of your wardrobe helps keep the gestalt from forming in the first place.

Hunter Orange not only helps the mistaken-for-game scenarios, but also keeps hunters from being involved in a shoot-through scenario.  I've been on public land  and seen an orange hat hanging in a distance. Right away, I know I'm in danger.  I've also been shot at twice, both shoot-though incidents.

That was a tragic story you gave us. I can't imagine being on either end of it. Yikes.
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby Ozarks Hillbilly » February 19th, 2009, 11:38 am

To me it all boils down to identifying your target and whats beyond it before you pull the trigger. In Missouri for the last several years they require a orange "be safe" sticker be placed on your gun that is visible when you sight down it. It just serves as a small reminder, I am sure your States have similar things in place. 
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Turkeybuster
 
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RE: Turkey Hunting Safety Tips

Postby Turkeybuster » February 19th, 2009, 2:38 pm

I should have added that it was the fall season when this young man was shot and also the fall season
in Pa. when we had this incounter.
TB

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