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One of the most popular ways to hunt turkeys is with a bow and arrow. It is a tradition in North America, apparently, that relies on turkey calling and making the perfect shot. There are many agencies and organizations in place to both put a stop to turkey hunting and to support the tradition of turkey hunting. Like most warring factions, these two groups will stop at nothing to try to prevent the overtaking of their ideals. One cannot typically pick a side on an issue, however, without knowing the issue itself. It is important, therefore, to get as much of a foundation in the information on turkey hunting as possible to guide an informed decision.
Turkey hunting is all about luring the birds out into the open and plugging them with a bow and arrow or with a shotgun shell. Many people prefer the bow and arrow because it adds a great deal of tradition to the hunt, almost justifying it. The first notion of turkey hunting is finding a turkey roost. These are generally easy to find, though, because the roost is within a controlled environment in North America for the most part. Wild turkeys are also quite easy to find because they gather together in large groups. The idea is to not get too close to the roost of the turkey. It is recommended that the hunter stays about one hundred to two hundred yards away from the roost, leaving ample room to fire and to get set when the turkeys come running.
The next focus of the turkey hunt is to get the turkeys out of the roost, of course. For this, the hunter must begin a series of embarrassing but effective turkey calls. These consist of an array of clucks, clicks, whistles and hoots. It is important not to confuse the call of an owl or of another bird with a turkey call, lest the hunter is set upon by various predatory birds and the hunt becomes a lot less enjoyable. When turkey calling from a location, start with a series of clucks and yelps. If there is no return cluck or yelp from a live turkey, increase the sound volume and get more aggressive. This will make turkeys think that a turkey nearby is either aggressively approaching or is challenging territory. Eventually, a turkey should come out of the roost.
When this happens, it is a good idea to set the sight of the shotgun or the bow and arrow on the target. Prepare and continue calling the turkey, as this will draw them closer to the range of fire. If the turkey will not approach a suitable range, try to use very soft purrs or clucks. As always, watch out for the other predatory birds or cats that may latch on to the use of this sound. The clucks and purrs should, theoretically, entice the bird out and closer to the range of fire for the hunter. Turkeys can be stubborn at times and incredibly stupid at other times. They really do not have much of a distinction between knowing human calls and knowing actual turkey calls.
Nonetheless, the shot must be taken when the bird is close in range. The hunter should release the intellectual grasp on the clucking and purring for long enough to release an arrow or squeeze off a shot. The follow-through is important as the sound will likely send more turkeys scattering away or in all sorts of directions. The birds quickly will become disoriented, so it is important to remember to spot the kill and mark it before continuing. Resist the temptation to try to pick off another one of the scattering birds, as this may lead to a never-ending cycle of killing running turkeys without the freezer space to accommodate.
A turkey hunt typically results in a bird for Thanksgiving or Christmas. There are many countries and states, however, that do not allow wild turkey hunting anymore. The hunter is responsible for checking on local regulations before participating in any turkey hunt and learning the laws of the land in which they are prepared to cluck and purr.
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