With turkeys being very good at spotting your movement, there are some important strategies you must put into place to ensure an opportunity at a kill. If you listen to me really well and take this knowledge into the fields, you will have a greater chance of killing a turkey on a rainy day.
Personally in my experience of hunting turkey over the years, the rain hasn’t thrown off their pattern that much. If it’s heavy rain, then it can sometimes force them under some type of cover or thick growth. A lighter sprinkle or mist has shown to not change their movement any in my experience.
Now let’s dive deeper and look at some techniques that will show actionable results while turkey hunting in the rain:
1. Open fields
When it’s a steady rain (not a downpour), turkeys tend to flock to open fields as normal. They will be scratching around, eating bugs, leftover corn, soybeans, or any other vegetation they can get their beaks on. The sound of raindrops hitting leaves in the woods tends to spook the turkey a little bit. Turkey can use their 300-degree vision to see much better in the open field and feel much safer. They don’t want to drag their feathers along the wet brush, so they would rather be in the fields while it rains than in the roost.
This one is a must-have. Decoys are needed for pretty much any type of turkey hunting. While turkey hunting in the rain, I like to set up a couple of jakes, a few small hens, and then a Gobbler and good ole Raspy Hen pair. Sometimes I will bring out the Gobbler and Hen mount, but mostly just the pair works fine. During the rain, it can be a little harder to hear, so it’s best to use something they can visually see.
You don’t have to be an expert turkey caller, but learning the basics will definitely help you out. If you sit in the middle of the woods year after year, you start to recognize the different turkey calls directly from the turkey themselves. This usually always happens during deer season for me. They tend to be active while I’m deer hunting and then go away during turkey season. Turkeys can have a difficult time hearing during the downpour, so don’t be afraid to make your call sounds louder. While turkey hunting in the rain, I’m not shy and I like to raise my calls quite a few decibels, especially on a windy day. Also, make sure you keep your box call in a dry place so you can continue to use it throughout your hunt.
While hunting turkey in the rain, the most important thing is to keep yourself somewhat dry. If you are hunting on the ground and like to move around and chase turkey, then you can expect to get a little wet and dirty. If you are a more stationary hunter, then you will want to bring rain gear – a poncho and rubber boots will go a long way in staying dry. Alternatively, you may want to invest in a ground blind.
5. Keep alert
The bad weather and rain keep things noisy and you won’t be able to hear gobbling or yelping as easily. A turkey could be close by, strutting around, and you wouldn’t even know it. You should always keep your head up and your sight clear.
What do turkeys do when it’s raining?
In light rain – not much. They generally keep the same patterns as they always do. But if it’s raining heavily, they may seek shelter under trees.
Is turkey hunting good in the rain?
It definitely can be. Light rain can even make turkeys gobble more.
One last thing…
Before taking your turkey hunting photograph with your big gobbler, make sure the tail feathers are dry. Wet turkey feathers look like a nasty, wet cat in the pictures. Use a blow dryer or boot dryer to dry them off beforehand.
Hopefully, these tips and tactics will help you learn to adapt to hunting turkey in the rain. After reading this, you should head out to the fields and snag a big Gobbler. Feel free to come back here and let me know how your turkey hunt went.