Let’s Talk Turkey About Hunting Safety. Or Vice Versa.

Doe anyone else think the The National Wild Turkey Federation‘s url is funny? Anyway, nwtf.org offers hunters 10 Tips for a Safe Spring Turkey Hunt.

1. Leave the area if you suspect there’s another hunter already working the same bird. “Working” as in hunting. Look for beer cans, cigarette butts, shotgun shells and spoor. Just kidding. I think.

2. Resist the urge to stalk turkey sounds. It is nearly impossible to sneak up on a turkey. It is also unethical and could lead to an accident. Just my luck: I missed the Turkey Hunting Ethics class at Harvard Law. Anyway, I like how the Turkey Feds use the word “accident” as opposed to “shooting someone.”

3. Select a spot that is in open timber rather than thick brush: wearing camouflage clothing and eliminating movement is more critical to success than hiding in heavy cover. This time we’re talking about not getting shot by someone unethical sneaking up on a turkey.

4. Sit against a large stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head when calling wild turkeys. And wear bright clothes so you don’t get shot? NO!

5. Never wear bright colors, especially not red, white, blue or black, because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler. Watch out for red, white or blue on your socks, T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats and bandannas. Wear dark undershirts and socks, and pants long enough to be tucked into boots. It’s pretty scary to think that a flash of red, white, blue, black or anything brightly colored could get you shot. That doesn’t leave much in the palette for turkey hunting fashionistas.

6.’ Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence to other hunters if necessary. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence. Why would anyone make turkey sounds to tell another turkey hunter NOT to shoot them? I so don’t get that.

7. Keep your hands and head camouflaged when calling. O.K., now I’m scared.

8. Maintain a clear field of view when using a camouflage blind or netting. Makes sense to me.

9.’ Ensure your decoy is not visible when you are transporting it. Stash the decoy in your vest and make sure the head is not sticking out. Are you happy to see me or is that a turkey decoy in your pants?

10. Put your gun’s safety on and approach the downed bird with your firearm pointed in a safe direction after firing. Never run with a firearm. In other words, don’t let “high five” be the last words you hear.

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