Do ground blinds scare Turkeys? No, turkeys are not afraid of blinds. However, depending on circumstances, some turkeys could be put off by the presence of your ground blind and will avoid it.
Some hunters noted that turkeys seem “spooked” by the presence of blinds. This could be for a few different reasons, but there are some tried and true turkey ground blind tips to ensure that the turkeys aren’t scared off.
Since hunting season coincides with mating season in most areas, turkey behavior can be pretty predictable. You’re more likely to hear gobbling during this season.
If you live somewhere that has a fall hunting season and you’re hunting those late birds, it’s a little different. Turkeys will congregate with their “peers” rather than mates.
This means you’ll see groups of jakes or gobblers or hens.
Knowing this behavior is key to understanding how to hunt without spooking them off.
Why You Should Use a Ground Blind For Turkey Hunting
If you’ve never used a ground blind for turkey hunting before, you may be limiting yourself as a hunter.
As you already know, it takes a skilled hunter to take down an easily-spooked turkey.
Turkeys are known for their excellent eyesight. Without a blind, there is little forgiveness for human error.
With their incredible eyesight, they can pick up on the slightest movements - stretching, adjusting your firearm or bow, even scratching an itch. Behind the safety of a ground blind, you have a little “wiggle room” if you don’t want to lose your shot.
While the ground blinds themselves do not scare turkeys and should not dissuade them from entering the area you are in, a few things may scare them off, such as:
The tent rustling in the wind
An unfamiliar object in an area the turkey is accustomed to
The area is high-traffic for hunters, so the turkeys are on high alert.
To offset the first two concerns, you can set your blind up before your hunt. This will get the turkeys used to seeing it and less easily spooked by any rustling.
The earlier you set it up, the better. This article recommends two weeks before your hunt. I have set up my blind just days before hunting in the past and seen success.
Don’t worry about spraying any kind of scent elimination spray - turkeys have a notoriously bad sense of smell.
You could brush the blind in, though. Just camouflage it with brush and branches so that it doesn’t look like a man-made structure. This may make turkeys less hesitant to approach it.
Tips On Placing Your Blind
The location of your blind is key to making sure that you are invisible to the turkeys you are hunting.
While hunting from a blind, you should set up in one of three main areas.
It will take some scouting to locate these areas:
The roost: Watch the birds’ behavior and locate where they roost. Set up your blind a couple of days beforehand to avoid suspicion. Clear a path so you can enter your blind silently, and you should have a pretty easy morning.
Feeding grounds: Turkeys eat mainly insects and frequent familiar feeding areas (usually fields or pastures).
Dusting areas: Turkeys kick dust over themselves to stay clean. They tend to hang out in these spots in the late morning or the afternoon.
Next, consider using decoys to attract birds. You may want to set them up in front of your pop-up, but that is actually not advised.
Since turkeys have excellent eyesight, putting the decoy in front of you will just draw attention to you. Place yourself between the decoy and the bird, giving him reason to walk right past you.
Keep only one window open and keep the sun at your back. This helps ensure that the bird does not spot you.
Turkey calls still work a treat and if you’ve set your decoys up where they can be seen, the occasional yelp or click should be enough to attract the attention of a tom.
The fact is that a patient hunter set up well-concealed in a ground blind can be rewarded by sitting it out and letting the bird become a victim of its own curiosity.
If you’ve chosen your spot wisely, not done anything to give yourself away and remained comfortable within your blind there is every reason to expect a busy day’s hunting.
It is a myth that turkeys are scared of ground blinds. They are easily spooked in general, and usually, if a bird is avoiding a blind, it is hunter error.
When setting up a blind, you want to consider the time of day and position of the sun before choosing a spot that turkeys are known to frequent.
Following tried and tested ground blind strategies is a good first step to take, then tailoring those plans specifically for turkeys is the icing on the cake.
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