Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Bad Weather Birds

Bob Humphrey photo

Bob Humphrey photo

By Bob Humphrey

Turkeys don’t like bad weather and neither do most hunters. But regardless of conditions the birds are still out there and you should be too. You just might want to change your tactics a bit when battling both the birds and the elements.


A typical morning hunt usually begins setting up close to the roost in hopes of intercepting the birds shortly after they pitch down. The action, whether successful or not, is often short-lived.  In bad weather however, turkeys may be a bit tardy in leaving the roost. And when they finally do, they may not disperse as quickly or as far.  That makes waiting them out in the slightly improved comfort of a ground blind a better option.


Running and gunning is the preferred method of most turkey hunters nowadays. After the birds disperse over the landscape they switch covering as much ground as possible - on foot or ATV - stopping occasionally to try and shock a bird into gobbling. However, the birds are far less interested in breeding during inclement weather and you’ll be better off adopting the old school strategy of sitting tight for long periods and calling sparsely. 


In really bad weather turkeys are far more interested in food and shelter. They’ll want to get out of the elements as much as possible, but once on the ground they’ll also want to consume as many calories as possible. Try and find sheltered areas to set your blind like a dense overstory or the leeward side of a hill, or near concentrated food sources.


Comfort is crucial, particularly when facing the elements. A ground blind will help break the wind and precipitation but you’ll still want to stay warm. Bring extra layers of clothing, hand and foot warmers and even a heater if necessary. 


Turkeys could show up at any moment, and will be far less likely to announce their arrival.  Remain vigilant, still and quiet.