5 Tips For Turkey Hunting In The Rain

 Turkey hunting in the rain shouldn’t be a difficult task if you know what you are doing and plan ahead. They have a very good eye and can spot any movement from hundreds of yards away. While turkey hunting, you have to be very patient and use your stealthiness. Their eyes are on the side of the head which gives them a wide 300-degree view of the world. They are very skittish and will be spooked like your grandma in a haunted house.

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. 

2. Decoys

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. 

3. Calling

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.

4. Clothing

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. 

FAQs

  • 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. 

Trey

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

9 thoughts on “5 Tips For Turkey Hunting In The Rain”

  1. Hey Trey, thanks for the article. We are going to use these tips for the upcoming spring turkey season. But hopefully it doesn’t rain. If it does we will be prepared.

    Reply
  2. it’s not really hard to hunt turkey while it’s raining. they like to be out in the fields so they don’t get feathers as wet as they would in the woods. pretty self explanatory if you ask me.

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  3. Great tips on how to turkey hunting in the rain. Found it to be a lot easier than I thought. However, you never know what’s going to happen when you get out in the woods. Anything could happen…

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  4. Guess you folks have never in the steep canyons and draws of the West. Years ago, well before cell phones, my partner and I were on either side of a steep canyon. A huge spring rainstorm came up and we took cover. I looked across the canyon and there, maybe 20 feet beneath my partner…tucked under a ledge, were two big gobblers. They couldn’t see him and he had not a clue what was right under his feet.
    What to do? We were 80 yards apart. The rain finally quit. The birds crept from their cover and vanished down the canyon.

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  5. Thank you for all the good tips it really helped me a lot I would not hunt in the rain but with these tips I’m going to try it thank you God bless Grace and peace stay safe K Anderson

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  6. Thanks. Would like to add my experience of turkey hunting after a heavy morning rain, locate decoys near the edge of an open area, as male gobblers will be hot to trot and will emerge from cover anxious to get with a hen.

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  7. Speaking of rain, I have noticed just this season that an overnight thunderstorm or shower for some reason tends to make the gobbler not so sure where he saw those hens late yesterday and will usually gobble to try to locate them! I used to think ” who wants to gobble after he just got soaking wet”? Well he DOES!

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  8. Tray, my name is Rod I live in Newburgh Indiana. I’m like you have hunted all my life until last couple years getting old and broke down but I’ll still read any article on turkey hunting it’s an obsession like they sat your article was spot on thanks

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  9. Hey guys I don’t want to be the guy that disagrees about something but I’m 38yrs old and I’ve won calling competitions not tooting my horn but after I killed my first turkey by myself at 11 I was hooked!!!! And my first job was with a champion caller at a taxidermy shop and learned a lot. I hunt the ozarks of north Arkansas and Missouri but I’ve also hunted West VA, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Rio Grandes in south Texas. Basically I hunt everything but turkey hunting is my passion. Nothing makes me happier than calling a turkey up for someone else especially kids.
    To my experience in the rain you can do one of two things in the light rain.
    1. If you are committed and know where they are roosted Turkeys usually don’t fly down and go the same direction as they normally do so you need to get close early and quietly depending on how much the turkeys are talking you might not want to call much but Do call Loud cluck cluck slap your leg like wings cut right as your pretend hen hits the ground and be prepared to move if you have to. A lot of times they choose a direction a go that way so if you have to quickly and quietly circle around in front of them. My favorite thing since I’m getting older is:
    2.that guy that said turkeys don’t like getting there feathers messed up so they go to open areas is very true Very true VERY True. So if you know somewhere close they frequent, set up a blind if you can if not I highly recommend Frogg-Toggs breathable rainwear. I agree with someone earlier who said set a Jake decoy on the edge of the opening about 5yds out and then one feeding hen the edge and a upright hen a few feet in and over.

    Be vigilant a Tom is likely to come in silently sometimes especially if they aren’t gobbling and if that’s the case I would not call a lot just loudly Yelp about 20 minute intervals and just purr n cluck loudly preferably w/a slate and diaphragm call I love a box call if you can keep it dry I try to sound like two hens at once so I call in one direction w/my mouth clucking hard and purring while I Yelp w/my slate or box and then I switch it around. PS. This is a good time to get a mid day hunt in. Also if you heard them fly down I’d get about a hundred yards in the direction they went and don’t call to much just loud proud and arrogant and R.I.P. Mr.Tom. Good Luck everybody you can have a blast when they gobble at thunder ive yelled “Gobble” and they’ve gobbled back on several occasions!!!! Marshall F

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