Turkey seasons are kicking off around the country and hunters everywhere are switching gears to tag a gobbler for the annual spring Thanksgiving ritual that only true hunters celebrate. Whether you stake your decoy in Virginia or in California you should be prepared for another pesky predator to sneak into your setup — the coyote. Sure a bobcat may sneak in hoping for a big poultry prize, but it’s not uncommon for coyotes to race in when they hear hens yelping and then see a decoy staked in an easy-to-pounce-on location.
Many states have year-round coyote seasons so check your state regulations to make sure you can tip over a turkey-sneaking coyote before putting a bead on Wile. E. If you do get the green light for a possible spring pounding then you should prepare for your turkey hunt with a possible coyote caper included. Here are few notes and strategies to guarantee you’ll get the most bang from your spring outing.
1. Pick a load for double duty. Coyotes are big, weighing 30 pounds or more, whereas a big turkey seldom tips the scale more than 20 pound. Choose a turkey load with plenty of punch like Hornady’s Heavy Magnum Turkey in a 3-inch, 1 ½-ounce load of #4 shot.
2. Keep attentive to incoming turkey actions. If turkeys suddenly start putting and then duck, and dive for cover it might not be your heavy breathing. A coyote could be sneaking in for a surprise attack.
3. Be ready for a double. Early in the season coyotes could still be hunting in pairs before and after pups are born. Shuck another shell into the chamber and scan for another canine culprit if you ground your first target.
4. Crank it up a bit. If you don’t have a hot turkey on the run or have one holding up in the distance, put some excitement into your calls. Start a turkey fight, sound like hen yearning for a mate or simply add some enthusiasm into your yelps. The loud calling could make a gobbler show up or lure a coyote in from a long way off.
5. Take along a rifle. It may not be legal to hunt turkeys with a rifle, but if you fill your turkey tag early who says you can’t add a few more hours of hunting by calling coyotes. Stow your turkey vest and return to the field with a coyote mindset.
Do you have a turkey hunting adventure that suddenly went to the dogs? Share it with our readers and good luck on your spring turkey hunt.