Locating Birds in Turkey Hunting Season during These Weather Conditions
Spring turkey hunting season is a defined period. There is a start and end, both of which come with great anticipation. Those dates are about the only two things you can control when it comes to spring turkey hunting.
The most uncontrollable factor of course is the weather. There are only so many days between the start and end of spring gobbler season to hunt. As turkey hunters, you don’t have the choice many times to pick and choose your days to hunt, which become even fewer if you choose to only hunt perfect weather days.
The best weather for turkey hunting season doesn’t always coincide on days where you hear the most gobblers. Gobblers will be more vocal on days where winds are less than 10 mph, the temperature is between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and the barometric pressure is high and steady.
The Right Gobbling Weather in Turkey Hunting Season
Certain weather patterns promote increased gobbling activity more so than others. Research on turkey gobbling patterns from Dave Godwin at Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in cooperation with National Wild Turkey Federation has shown “nicer days” tend to increase gobbling activity, generally, for eastern turkeys. Nice days being exactly what us as turkey hunters consider nice days such as light winds, high pressure, and moderate temperatures.
How to Stay on Top of Weather
Spring gobbler season weather varies dramatically, especially in the northern states. Days can quickly change from sunny to windy cold fronts in higher elevations. Detailed weather for your hunting areas is critical as you figure out how to locate turkeys in the spring. The only way we know how to accurately stay on top of changing weather is by using the TrophyTracks hunting app. It provides all the key weather data you need to scout for turkeys and also take advantage of the best days for hearing more gobblers.
3 of the Best Weather Days for Locating Birds
- Light Winds – High winds throttles gobbling and most turkey activity. Regardless of precipitation, cloud cover, etc., light wind days are the best for hearing birds.
- Cool (not cold or hot) Days – Second to the wind is temperature. Cold days shut up birds until well into the afternoon if they gobble at all. Extreme heat also limits gobbling. Stick with moderate temperature days in spring gobbler season.
- Steady or Rising Pressure – Dropping pressure means a front approaching. Turkeys will anticipate this and begin to prepare by focusing on feeding and other activities instead of being vocal.
Best Weather for Spring Gobbler Season
There is a lot to be said for hearing entire ridgelines light up with gobbles in spring turkey season, however, gobbling doesn’t always translate to success. In turkey hunting season, the weather can be used to your advantage. The nice days are best for hearing birds, locating them, and even closing the distance for a kill. Although, there are other weather patterns where gobbling almost disappears but your chances of killing a mature bird go way up.
Our two best weather patterns to kill a mature bird are light rainy warm days and hot dry days. Both these weather conditions force birds into predictable patterns. Once you have located birds during optimal gobbling days, you can take advantage of less than ideal days to micro-target birds.
Turkey hunting in the rain should be focused on fields and open areas. Birds will take advantage of the moisture to feed. Often you can find birds in fields throughout the day close to roosting areas. Pinpoint areas and mark them in your TrophyTracks app as you hear birds so you can go back to these areas when the weather tanks. On hot dry days, birds are going to concentrate near water and shady mountainsides. They will want to stay cool while they continue searching, strutting, and seeking out hens.
The weather is out of your control. But just because you can’t control it, does not mean you can’t use it to your advantage. Study it, note it, and exploit it in the field. One of the best turkey hunting strategies is to keep a hunting journal. By doing so, you will begin to be able to pattern spring gobblers. Key in on days where the weather is ideal for big gobblers to be sounding off and either close the deal those days or use a less than ideal weather day to go back and exploit known patterns to kill a big bird this turkey hunting season.