Turkey Hunting in the rain doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. If you know what you’re doing, plan ahead, and adjust accordingly you can still put yourself in what we call a “high probability situation” that can have positive outcomes and still be a ton of fun.
Cover or No Cover?
It’s no secret, turkeys have great eyesight, but falling rain tends to make things a little bit harder to see. Steady rain falling in the woods also tends to make quite a bit of noise itself as well as dampening the sounds of existing leaf cover. Combined, these three things set up a situation where turkeys are likely to head to fields. Being in a field will increase their field of view and make up for the differences in noise that they prefer. It will also bring certain types of worms, grubs, and other bugs to the surface that turkeys can feed off of.
As we mentioned above, rain will dampen the forest floor and bounce off the trees making it a bit harder to hear. With that, turkeys will be relying on their great vision even more than they already do. That also means that you will also have a tougher time hearing than usual. It is important that you keep alert because you never know when there might be a big Tom strutting nearby.
Rule number one of calling turkeys in the rain – you better use a mouth call or do everything in your power to keep it dry. Box calls and slate calls simply do not work when they’re wet. Once you get your call figured out don’t be afraid to make it a bit louder than usual. This goes with the whole rain impacts hearing theme.
Personally, when i’m turkey hunting in the rain I like to increase the amount of decoys that I am using. Knowing that turkeys will be relying on their eyesight a little bit more than usual, I try to give them something extra to look at as well. That means that I’ll usually toss out a few smaller hens and jakes as well as one mature pair
This goes without saying, if you’re going to turkey hunt in the rain, bring dry clothes. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have something to sit on if your vest doesn’t already have a build in seat. There is nothing worse than sitting in the woods soaking wet. Try to avoid it if at all possible.
- A steady, light, drizzle with overcast skies can actually improve hunting because it will prolong the mornings activity
- Colder, harder, rains will tend to delay or even halt the start for the day as the birds will stay in their roost longer to wait for conditions to improve
- Fog will also limit movement. Turkeys will have a very tough time seeing in the fog, which will spook them and cause them to stay roosted
- The occasional thunder will spook Toms and could be a great locator tool
- When you do finally nail that big Tom in the rain, the pictures will likely look pretty bad due to a wet fan. If possible, try to dry it out first.