by T&TH reader Jason Houser
Hunting turkeys with snow on the ground requires hunters to make some changes to their fall hunting techniques. Forget about busting a flock and then attempting to call them back with kee-kees as you would earlier in the fall. Hunting turkeys in the snow is unlike anything else you have done to bag a turkey. It will quickly become your favorite way to use your turkey tag.
1) Practice makes perfect. Unlike the spring or fall, you will have on many layers of clothing that could affect your accuracy. Practice shooting at 3-D turkey targets while you are wearing your hunting gear. An arm guard might be needed to prevent your clothing from getting in the way.
2) Scout for winter, not fall. The first step in scouting for a snow hunt is normally done before a snowflake ever hits the ground. Survey fields from a distance to see where the birds are feeding. After you have pinpointed their feeding areas, wait for the ground to receive a covering of snow. Once you get the snow you need, spend the day looking for travel routes. Setting up where the birds are feeding is not good enough.
Concentrate on scouting any fields that are up-hill from the roosting trees. A field that is uphill from the trees is a good location for your blind.
3) Blind time. I recommend setting your blind up 3 to 4 days before you hunt from it. This will give the birds plenty of time to get comfortable with the new scenery.
4) Know your ins and outs. Plan your entries and exits carefully. Once you are inside the blind you still have to be careful. If you are spotted entering or exiting your hunting area, or getting in your blind, go home.
5) Get the right clothes. Due to the stillness that a winter afternoon can bring, it is a must to wear quiet clothing. I recommend wool clothing, since it is both quiet and warm. Hunters might have to add on extra layer under their wool pants, shirt and coat on order to stay warm.
6) Look the part. I like to drape a white sheet over my blind when hunting in the snow. This is not necessary, but I like knowing I am doing everything I can to match my surrounding.
7) Ready for action. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait in the comfort of your blind.
For more winter hunting advice, click here to check out Fall and Winter Turkey Hunter’s Handbook by T&TH contributor Steve Hickoff.