Getting up early to begin your turkey hunt is hard enough when it’s sunny and warm. So a little rain is typically enough to send us all back under the covers to hunt another day, leaving the hunting grounds wide open for those willing to go turkey hunting in the rain!
I love to hunt in the rain but that might be because I don’t want to fight others for turf. When I wake up and see rain, I am even more excited to pack up my best crossbow and get to work. I love having the freedom to hunt where I please and not worrying about stepping on anyone’s toes or shooting them in the chest.
The key to success when turkey hunting in the rain is to understand that it is a whole different kind of hunt. Animals act differently in the rain and you need to take advantage of that in order to be successful. Check out our 5 tips to get you going on the right path.
5 Tips for Turkey Hunting in the Rain and WindStake Out a Field
When it is raining, turkeys prefer to walk through short vegetation so they aren’t dragging their feathers through saturated underbrush. They also like open areas where they can see predators better because they know that they won’t be able to hear them until it’s too late.
Your best bet is to find a field that you know the turkeys use and stake it out. Find them and figure out what direction they are moving in so that you can cut them off. Set up the decoys and start making calls until they are within range. Everything may move a little slower than it would on a sunny day but they will come, just be patient.
Dress Right or You Will Be Sorry
Hunting for turkeys requires a lot of sitting and waiting, and the process is not easy if you are not comfortable. Add a ton of rain, wind, and mud to that equation and your day could become a disaster really quick.
The best way to stay dry while waiting for your target to come into sight is a nice vinyl poncho. That might just be my seven years of Army talking, but I think you will regret wearing a raincoat or jacket. I also match this with a pair of rubber boots to ensure that I stay high and dry all day long.
How to Call Turkeys in the Rain
Volume is the key to turkey hunting in the rain. Remember that you are competing for attention with the rain and the wind. The turkey will be on high alert because they know they are at a disadvantage, so don’t be afraid to turn the volume up and make sure that they hear you.
Once you get the turkey’s attention, don’t move at all. They can sense any movement you make and they will get spooked if you are not careful. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by scaring them away over something stupid.
Make sure that you keep your call in a plastic bag to keep it dry and protected.
Decoys Are Essential
Whether you are turkey hunting in the rain or under perfectly clear skies, decoys are always a great help. The wind and rain will affect a turkey’s ability to hear but they will still be able to see your decoys. I always like using a decoy but I wouldn’t go out without one in the rain.
In 2016, I had a child on the way any day and didn’t have much time to soak in the turkey hunting season. I would normally skip out on a rainy day but I decided to give it a go since I had limited time as it was. After an hour of using my decoys, I caught two of the largest gobblers I have ever caught in my life. It was almost like the decoys were more effective in the rain than they usually are.
The rain and the wind are going to make it harder for you to hear what is going on too. You might have a whole flock of turkeys behind you without you hearing a thing. It is important to keep your ears open and alert so you don’t miss the opportunity that you are hoping for.
Because of the sound barrier, you might not hear the turkey until they are 10 yards behind you. Make sure that you are always ready to take your shot!