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Monday, April 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Enjoy wild turkey hunting safely


Ryan "JR" Elkins Jr. of Spokane Valley bucks a national trend by following his father on a turkey hunt in October. Nationally, the number of youths being introduced to hunting by their parents is on the decline.
 (Holly Pickett / The Spokesman-Review)
Ryan "JR" Elkins Jr. of Spokane Valley bucks a national trend by following his father on a turkey hunt in October. Nationally, the number of youths being introduced to hunting by their parents is on the decline. (Holly Pickett / The Spokesman-Review)

HUNTING -- Spring gobbler seasons got underway last weekend in Idaho and Washington with thousands of camouflaged hunters sneaking around the woods and fields in hopes of bagging a tom.

Enjoy the sport and the current bounty of wild turkeys in the region, but just be safe. With the spring seasons continuing into May followed by all seasons, consider these safety tips from experts and Idaho Fish and Game:

  • Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always unload guns before getting into your vehicle.
  • Never presume that what you hear or what answers you is a turkey.  Assume that all sounds and movements are made by another hunter.  Never shoot at a sound or movement. 
  • Never shoot at a portion of a turkey. Make sure you can see the whole bird to determine if it is legal to shoot.
  • Eliminate the colors red, white and blue from your hunting clothing. Red is the color hunters count on to differentiate a gobbler's head from a hen's blue colored head. White can look like the top of gobbler's head. Turkeys can see these colors as well.
  • Be particularly careful when using a gobbler call. The sound may attract other hunters. If a hunter does approach you, yell to alert him to your presence.
  • Select a calling position that enables you to see 50 yards around you. Remember that eliminating movement is your key to success, not total concealment.

Other important reminders include always asking permission before entering private land, and being aware of what is beyond your target before you shoot. Some hunters wear a blaze orange garment when walking to or from their calling spots, and even attach orange flagging to their harvested bird when carrying it to their vehicle.

See additional turkey hunting information here.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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