Spring Turkey Hunting Preparation

hunter stalking tom in field

Every year, spring turkey hunting gets more and more popular, capturing the interest of hunting and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That’s because turkey hunting provides an opportunity to get outside, connect with nature, and, if you’re fortunate enough to have a successful hunt, bring home a trophy gobbler. As spring approaches, it’s time to start getting ready for the spring turkey season.

Further Reading: New to turkey hunting? Learn how to start turkey hunting.

Thoroughly Inspect Your Gear

Inspecting your gear is crucial to your success on any hunt. Look over and inspect all of your equipment is in good working order. Start by making a list of all the gear you take into the field. Include all of the essentials, bows or firearms, ammunition, calls, decoys, and clothing. Check your firearms for any signs of damage or malfunction, make sure your bow or crossbow is in good working order, confirm that your ammunition is in good condition, test your calls to ensure a realistic sound, make sure decoys are clean and undamaged, and make sure your hunting clothing is still in good condition.

Practice Shooting

Regular shooting practice is a key component of preparation for spring turkey hunting. This is doubly important for bowhunters, where shooting turkeys with a bow requires getting close to make an accurate shot than hunters using a shotgun.

For hunters using a shotgun, make visiting a target range a priority. Focus on getting tight, consistent patterns at the range. The goal is to make sure you can hit the head or neck of any turkey that gets close enough to take a shot at.

Bowhunters are more likely able to set up a target at home, so if you have the space, put up a target at start practicing. Vary up your shooting distance; you’ll likely want to be within 20 yards to make accurate, consistent shots.

two hunters step out into open field on turkey hunt

Scout Out Your Hunting Grounds

Scouting several days in advance is important to improving your chances of bagging a gobbler, especially if you want one on the opening weekend. Turkeys are very much creatures of habit. They usually follow a daily routine if left undisturbed. You can find out where they are roosting and where they are gathering. This lets you plan where to set up when the season opens.

Being able to avoid disturbing turkeys is key however. Once spooked, turkeys may leave the area and not return to that location for the remainder of the hunting season.

Another benefit of scouting ahead is that you can get familiar with the hunting area, and you can pivot your hunting strategy if the turkeys’ habits do change.

Work on Your Turkey Calling

To put it simply: being able to properly call in a turkey by mimicking its vocalizations can mean the difference between going home empty-handed or bagging a gobbler. Start by listening to recordings of turkey calls. Try to match the cadence and tone of a real turkey. Don’t try to imitate other hunters. If they get it wrong, so will you. With that said, there are online tutorials that can help. Just be sure to come back to the source, real turkeys.

Make Sure You’re Fit

It’s easy to forget to prepare for the physical rigors of the hunt, but this is also an area where you should make sure you’re up for the challenge. Walking several miles to find turkeys isn’t uncommon, and when you finally bag that gobbler, you’ll have to carry him out—with all the gear you carried in.

Start with regular exercise. It doesn’t have to be incredibly intensive. Going for short walks will greatly improve your fitness. If you’re anticipating rough terrain or steep inclines, be sure to incorporate that into your exercise. Carry your gear to make sure you can handle the load. If you’re not used to the additional weight, you may have a rough time on your first outing.


Remember, preparation is key to a successful hunt. Check your gear, practice your shot, scout the hunting grounds, practice calling, and get outdoors to get in shape for spring turkey hunting. While this doesn’t guarantee you bringing back a gobbler this spring, but the preparation is invaluable and does increase the chances of bagging that gobbler.

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