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Successful Turkey Hunting

There are two turkey truths:
1. You won't bring a turkey within range if he sees you.
2. You must be able to see the turkey when he comes into your range. That means you'll need to sit still for long periods of time and hide your face without impairing your vision.

Sitting Pretty
NEVER use folding aluminum beach chairs when turkey hunting, they are too noisy when carried through the brush and will limit the hunter's ability to turn toward the bird. Some turkey hunters carry two inflatable cushions: one to sit on, one to put behind their backs. The combination does not limit movement, and the deflated cushions fit easily in the pocket of a hunting vest. But what happens when you need to make a quick setup on a gobbler that's close? Will you have time to inflate the cushions, and if you don't inflate them, will you be comfortable enough to sit still? The ultimate development in turkey hunting seats these days is a padded seat and backrest combination that folds inside a turkey hunting vest. It's convenient because it is built in. It's quiet because it remains inside the vest. And it moves with you if you need to pivot on an approaching bird. No preparation is required. Just drop the folding seat and sit down. A good turkey hunting seat is the Turkey Lounger, manufactured by the Bucklick Creek Company in Missouri.

All Clear
Accurate shooting depends on clear vision. If your face mask blocks the edge of your field of view or your hat gets skewed when you move, your depth perception is affected, and you may miss. Likewise, a hat brim pulled down too low limits your vision and can cause you to tip your head back. When you do so, you can't sight parallel to the gun barrel, so you will shoot high or to the side.

Hat Trick
Hats with full, round brims do a good job of shading your face and allow you to turn your head without changing your profile, so a turkey is less likely to notice movement of your head. However, there is the danger that the rear portion of the brim may make contact with whatever you are leaning against, causing the hat to tip forward and block your vision. Baseball hats are most popular, but it's important that you get one that perfectly fits your head. If the cap sits too low on the back of your head, it will ride up when you raise your chin, causing the brim to tip down in front of your shooting eye. Short brimmed military caps are not very popular, but they are effective. The short brim shades your eyes but does not interfere with your view, and the soft fabric of the cap grips your head tightly without shifting when you turn your head. A knitted cap makes lots of sense, too. Wearing a knitted cap, you can turn your head without changin your profile, so turkeys are not likely to notice slow head movements.

Facing Facts
One of the most successful turkey hunters uses a natural colored bandanna tied cowboy style over his nose and mouth for a face mask. He says a bandanna is all anyone really needs. It hides your shiny face, can be dropped down around your neck when you are moving, and can be pulled into place quicly whenever you stop. Most of us, however, have succumbed to the lure of more sophisticated masks. The "executioner" type hood that covers your entire head provide the most effective coverage, but you must choose one that can be secured to your head so that it will turn with you. The best of these has a wide elastic band sewn into the scalp section, such as those available from Quaker Boy, which anchors the mask in place. Others have strings sewn above eye level, which can be tied to secure the mask. Most important is the manner in which the eyeholes are constructed. They should be large enough to provide full visibility, but not so large that they show more than your eyes. A good example is one that has an internal soft wire frame sewn around the eyehole, which you can bend to fit the shape of your face. Another good design employs a face mask sewn to a pair of eyeglass frames. The frame guarantees that the eyeholes stay in front of your eyes when you turn your head.

The right seat, hat, and face mask will extend the length of time you can sit still - and sitting still is the key to successful turkey hunting.