Editor's note: Here's another great video and article from our friends at Best Turkey Decoy.
Hunting fall turkeys in the rain can mean a slight change in plans. They typically use the same locations you have been finding sign and seeing them, but they tend to use open field areas more frequently. The reasons are simple and revolve around safety.
Noise in the Woods Moves Fall Turkeys to the Fields
We have all been in the woods when it rains, and one thing you remember is the noise those raindrops make on the leaves. That little pitter patter we find find to be a pleasant sound renders a fall turkey's sense of hearing ineffective. When a turkey can’t hear danger coming, it heads for the relative safety of an open field so it can use its eyes as a primary line of defense. The woods become dangerous when those fall turkeys cannot hear an ambush coming until it is too late.
Wet Fall Turkeys Have Trouble Getting Off the Ground to Fly
In a severe downpour or extended periods of rain, a thoroughly soaked turkey might have trouble flying. A turkey's feathers do not have the water-shedding ability of duck and goose feathers, and as they get wet, they become heavy and less effective as flying tools. If a turkey has trouble getting off the ground, it must use its legs to avoid predation. The field becomes a safer place, as birds can see danger from a distance and safely avoid a predator by running instead of flying away.
Field edges are your best bet when hunting fall turkeys in a light to moderate rain. If you see a group of birds using a specific field edge when it's raining, you can bet they will frequent it the next time it rains, and it’s a great place to plan an ambush in the comfort of a nice, dry ground blind.