The Art of Bagging a Trophy Tom From a Ground Hunting Blind

Turkey hunting does not have to be a battle with cramped legs, tired arms, sore back, and painful posterior. Ground hunting blinds offer a more comfortable and a more enjoyable option for the avid  turkey hunter. The many different styles and designs of these blinds allow the hunter to bag that trophy tom in a way that best fits their hunting style. The first step to becoming a successful turkey hunter is learning some general facts about wild turkeys.

One of the keenest senses that a turkey has is his vision. Unlike deer hunting where the hunter can get away with minimal movement, a wild turkey will bust you for the most minute movement. The eyesight of a wild turkey is so keen that even the slightest movement will sent them running in the opposite direction. Ground hunting blinds can help hide these slight movements.

Since the wild turkey is a prey specie, its eyes are located on the side of the head. Because of this, the turkey’s frontal vision is somewhat limited. When they walk, the turkey has to move its head from side to side to judge the distance of objects. Also, unlike deer, when a wild turkey is spooked by movement, he’s not coming back. A spooked deer may come back around for a second chance, but not a wild turkey. Chances are when a wild turkey is spooked, he is long gone.

Just as keen as the eyesight of a wild turkey is the turkey’s hearing. Just like the eyes, the ears are also located on the side of the head. This allows the turkey to hear sounds all around it. When the turkey initially hears a sound, the bird will have to turn its head from side to side to determine from which direction the sound is coming. While investigating the sound, the bird will give an alarm signal first. After the bird gets the direction of the questionable movement or sound, it can then determine the direction of flight. When hunting wild turkeys, the hunter had better be quiet and be in a ready position even before a bird is actually sighted. This makes hunting wild turkeys from ground hunting blinds even more profitable.

The next important thing to understand about wild turkeys is their roosting habits. Turkeys prefer to roost in large trees with plenty of high horizontal branches. They will look for these trees near food sources and running water. Good food sources include agricultural crops, acorns, and open green fields which all supply the high energy foods that wild turkeys crave. In the colder climates in the spring, turkeys love low swampy areas especially along creeks. The warmth of early spring temperatures causes the grubs and other insects to come up out of their dormant winter state. Wild turkeys love to scratch around in that black muck searching for grubs and other larva to feast on.

To find the roost area, look for droppings and feathers lost while flying up to the roost. As the sun sets on a beautiful April evening, listen for the gobble of a roosting tom. A quick hoot on an owl call will frequently get a response from a roosting tom. A fresh early morning spring sunrise will send the roosting toms gobbling out their love sick cries. Once the roosting area is found, find a good feeding area near the roost. Turkeys will always roost close to food sources.

Once a good roost area has been located, now is the time to pop up a ground blind. The best location is between a good roosting area and a good food source. Wild turkeys are not bothered by the sudden appearance of a ground hunting blind. Unlike deer, the wild turkey does not seem to take notice of a newly located blind. Nevertheless, try to locate the ground hunting blind near natural brush, along the edge of fields, or along fence lines as much as possible.

Most ground hunting blinds set up in a matter of minutes. Enter the hunting blind about ½ hour before the first peak of morning light. As the morning breaks, listen for the toms gobbling from their roost. By listening, the exact location of a roosting tom can be pinpointed. Another great benefit of a ground hunting blind is the degree of mobility. If the first morning hunt proves that the blind was not in the exact correct location, switching locations for the next morning or even for that evening is quick, quiet, and easy.

The many styles of ground hunting blinds include fold out camouflage barriers, hub-style ground blinds, spring steel hunting blinds, chair blinds, and even 3-D ponchos. Any of these blinds equipped with a trigger stick and a comfortable hunting chair makes sore limbs and sore posteriors just a humorous memory. Since spring brings many rainy days and some turkey hunting seasons last only a week, ground hunting blinds can overcome any weather condition.

It is easy to see that ground hunting blinds offer the turkey hunter flexibility, mobility, comfort, and great camouflage. Turkey hunting is a challenging sport. The feeling of being within a couple of feet of that strutting tom is second to none. Spring in to this year’s turkey season in a ground hunting blind. You will be hooked for life.


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